All posts by sarah1781

Dearth of Guy Books in 2017. No Canada Eh?

Three weeks ago I went to my local Indigo store to check out the new reads. I had a guy question, thus I sought out and found a mid aged man to pose it to.

“What are guys readings now?” I asked the greying man.

I received a stunned look.

“What books would you recommend to a guy for a good read?” I asked again.

After a moment, he replied that there was one self-help book in the best sellers area.

Now I was stunned.

He had no idea, as well he made no attempt to get at what I was seeking.

I explained in more detail I was doing a non-scientific survey to determine what books and genres were popular with men today.

It was obvious he was limited to best sellers, but not clued in on customer help.

Segue to my point.

Currently, there is a dearth of new books that are of interest to men. I asked a librarian two weeks ago the same question, only to find that men may be reading what is offered as choice, but these titles and genres may not be their top choices.

So, what is book genres are hot in today’s market?

Light romance

Graphic novels

Thrillers (with romance)

Erotica (romance)

Historical fiction (romance)

You see a trend here.


And there is certainly a dearth of books celebrating Canada on its 150th birthday.

Where are the books that endear us, captivate us and make us proud to be Canadians? What about the builders of the Blue Nose, or the Chinese constructors of the CPR, or the Grey nuns and others who cared for the fever stricken Irish poor in 1847, or Metis Charlotte Small, wife of explorer David Thompson?

No it’s more the same offerings.

I guess I’ll just have to read rereads.  My wallet rests.

photos – Chinese workers on the CPR, Charlotte Small Thompson,  Grey Nuns with sick at Grosse Isle, the Blue Nose.


Trump – Madison: Enemy Aliens – 1813 and 2017

The menacing President Trump with an equal, overlooking his left shoulder. That painting is of Andrew Jackson (see previous post).

As the Trump government begins to enforce its own racist policies against “illegal Immigrants”, I ask; will 1813 repeat itself? Will law abiding people be whisked away; deported or imprisoned? Will aggressive border agents and ICE agents take their own biases into play and decide who stays and who goes?

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers detain a suspect as they conduct a targeted enforcement operation in Los Angeles, California, U.S. on February 7, 2017. Picture taken on February 7, 2017. Courtesy Charles Reed/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via REUTERS



President Madison, 4th President of the USA, from 1809 – 1817, declared war on Britain in 1812. As part of the war clamp down, he invoked the Enemy Aliens Act in April 1813. Eventually the 12,000 British subjects who had not become US citizens were limited to a 5 mile radius from a designated place (one’s home would be an option, if located 40 miles away from the coast or Canadian border). This was basically house arrest, eliminating one’s ability to work and communicate. District marshals were given discretionary authority to carry out the act. An unknown number were imprisoned. When I researched the civil arrest records for 1813, in the Montgomery County Archives, I found no record of Isaac’s arrest. A local historian, Scott Haefner suggested that such an arrest, however unlikely, would have been a military one and no records would have been made.


Now, in February 2017, local authorities have been given the right to arrest and deport. Minor misdemeanors, such as a DUI, could result in swift removal and deportation. Will 2017 be a repeat of 1813?

Now my story.

My ggg grandfather Isaac Preston became an Enemy Alien in 1813, while living in Amsterdam New York. He refused to swear the Oath of Allegiance. I surmise that as a former skilled cavalryman in the British Army, and maybe possessing a sharp tongue, he was removed from his wife, Sarah and his three sons, likely in June 1813 by a county marshall. Our family history has him in a Prisoner of War camp until release, likely in March 1815. From my research I am leaning to the Pittsfield Massachusetts Cantonment as his likely place of imprisonment with about 1300 other British POW’s.

Following his release, he was unable to obtain meaningful stone mason and contracting work. He was still labeled an Enemy Alien by locals. In 1816 he left his family for the Kingston Ontario area. Two years later, again a successful contractor, he returned to collect his beloved Sarah and now 5 boys. He was very bitter about his treatment by the US government. His “Loyalty” remained untarnished, unmoved and iron clad.

Because of politics, war, prejudice, the unfair application of law, plus my ancestor’s choice, I am a Canadian.



Laura Secord, Madelaine de Vercheres and Sarah Porter Preston

Laura Secord, heroine, yes. Madelaine de Vercheres is very much known for her heroism in Quebec. Sarah Porter Preston?

A little reminder of the first two.

Laura Secord is fondly remembered for her 20 mile trek through the bush to warn the British of an impending American attack in 1813. The ensuing engagement was the Battle of Beaver Dams. For most of Laura’s remaining life, she lived simply as she wished, her heroic deed, not figuring in her life. She was much of the wanting, living on the edge of poverty. Her fame really began in the 1880s when those still loyal to Britain in Canada wanted to raise her status. (sketch of Laura in later years)

Madelaine, a fourteen year old in 1692, lived with her family on the south shore of the St. Laurence River, just east of Montreal. This period of time was punctuated by raids of Iroquois, who regarded the Habitants as equal enemies to the Algonquin’s. She eluded the rushing Iroquois warriors to sound the alarm at the fort by firing a musket, followed by the cannon. Some settlers were captured. Those left within the small fort endured a short siege. The other inhabitants of the areas, arrived within a day.  The surprise attack had been thwarted, by Madelaine’s bravery.

In the years following the attack, Madelaine married a French army lieutenant, and together raised their family on their Seigneury.

My case, is to raise Sarah Jane Preston (nee Porter) to that equal to of these other two brave women. Both Madelaine and Laura were noted for one brave act. I argue that Sarah had at least three.

The story begins in 1801 in Donegal, Ireland. Sarah was being courted by the lower class Isaac Preston, a cavalryman and stone mason. That was not permitted by her overbearing father, Captain Matthew Porter. Sarah, chose to elope, leaving a life of privilege, likely with servants in a large home, to living in common within the Belfast Barracks. The first brave act, based on love.

The second event occurred over a four year span from 1813 to 1815 and again 1816 – 1818. This is the time period of the War of 1812 and aftermath. Isaac, her husband was imprisoned in 1813 as an Enemy Alien, who refused to swear the Oath of Allegiance to the USA.  How did a young mother with three young boys, survive with no husband, no income. A fourth son was born while Isaac was in prison. After his release in 1815, the locals in the Amsterdam New York area, still regarded him as an Enemy Alien, Work was hard to come by. In 1816 Isaac went to Kingston Ontario to seek employment. Sarah and her now five sons remained in Amsterdam. In the spring of 1818, Isaac returned to bring his family to Upper Canada. 1816 was also the “Year of No Summer”, due to the effects of volcano eruption in Indonesia. Crops froze – people starved. She and the boys survived, likely by their own efforts to feed themselves, the oldest son working? And by the generosity of some friends? And by the resilience of that woman.

The third event, recorded in Kingston history, involved the Bill Johnston pirate gang raid on the Preston home on June 8, 1838. About 30 raiders broke into the Preston home, ransacking the house and robbing the family of all valuables. Gun fire was exchanged, Isaac, his sons James and David; seriously wounded. Sarah with a pirate’s pistol to her face, eluded the guard, raised the neighbours and scared the raiders off the island. Her actions were described as “true heroic British courage” by the Kingston Chronicle. She stood up to death, outsmarted the raiders and saved her family.

Sarah was known as being fearless, very smart, resilient and passionate about all her causes.

We have no sketches or pictures of Sarah. It is said she was slight of build, dark almost black hair, fair skin and likely blue green eyes. I think she may have looked somewhat like the famous Donegal singer, Enya.

So; Laura, Madelaine and Sarah. You are all heroines.


Jackson vs Pakenham

Jackson vs Pakenham – Joining The Dots.

The photo over The President’s left shoulder is that of the 7th President of the United States, General Andrew Jackson. The other figure in red uniform, is General Sir Edward Pakenham. What do they have in common?

Those two generals met on January 8, 1815 at New Orleans. You may remember the song by Johnny Horton with the lines… “..We fired our guns and the British kept a-comin’…”

These were the combatant leaders: Andrew Jackson the 47 year old militia and political veteran and Edward Pakenham, the 36 year old professional soldier, a veteran of the Irish Rebellion and Napoleonic Wars. The result: The American Army defeated the British Army. Pakenham was killed. Jackson became a populist war hero.

Their legacies: Jackson – 1000 acre plantation owner worked by 150 slaves, the removal and resultant deaths of thousands of American First Nations peoples. A Presidency full of graft, ego and hatreds. Pakenham – a revered leader, brother-in-law of the Duke of Wellington, loved by his troops, respected from nobles and politicians alike, a generous person who placed honour, duty, courage, modesty and cheerfulness as his life code.

Now the dots to me …

My ggg grandfather, Isaac Preston served under Pakenham in the 23rd Light Dragoons. (1797 – 1800). They were the same age, and went to school 5 miles apart, likely crossing paths in Armagh and at church, as boys.  Isaac held Pakenham in high regard, always.


“Meeting with Sir John A.”

Sir John A Macdonald – the Letters – my family connection 

My Dear Sir John:

This may not have been the proper salutation to a Prime Minister in 1887, but if you were a personal friend, then, quite permissible.

Here I am in Macdonald’s East Block office on Parliament Hill, restored and maintained to 1891, as he left it. In my hand are family letters addressed to Sir John A. They are interesting as they tell of the times in Canada’s history, the little things that Macdonald encountered.

The Letters and notations are:

  1. A letter dated from 1887, from Isaac Preston Jr., asking Macdonald to influence the hiring of his niece into the civil service.
  2. A family history stating that Macdonald stayed at Isaac Preston’s home in Bethany Ontario, during the election campaign of 1887.
  3. Isaac Preston’s will from Winnipeg Free Press from 1895, in which it is stated “… It was at Wind Mill (Upper Canada Rebellion Battle of 1838) that the deceased again met John Alexander Macdonald, the companion of his boyhood…”
  4. David Preston’s letter to Sir John, full of gushing superlatives and praise, encouraging Macdonald to visit Amherst Island during the election of 1882.

The takeaways:

1 . Isaac Preston born in 1816 in Amsterdam NY, arrived in Bath Ontario in 1818. The Macdonalds arrived in 1820 to Kingston from Scotland. “Johnny” was age five. (The Prestons and Macdonalds were only about 8 miles apart. The Macdonalds moved to Hay Bay shortly after, a distance of about 7 miles from the Prestons. The population was strung out along dirt paths or roads, and people encounters were important. The two may have crossed paths at school, Isaac likely attended the Bath Academy. The two met again in the militia of 1837 – 1838 and I expect at Orange Lodge meetings. In 1866 Isaac participated in the Fenian Raids, important as the militias defended the country in Macdonald’s new Canada. The 1887 election is interesting as Macdonald wanted rest and a chance to see an old friend. He enjoyed children. The family story has Sir John bouncing the very young Eunice Preston on his lap. She remarked at his big nose. No harm done.

  1. David Preston, 5 years younger than Sir John was a political organizer and as chairman of the Conservative Electors of Amherst Island, was responsible for getting Sir John elected in Lennox Riding in 1882. They succeeded. David’s obituary too, cites a lifelong friendship to Macdonald.
  2. My connection – Isaac Jr., and David were younger brothers of Alexander Preston, my gg grandfather, also a staunch Macdonald supporter.

There was a strong, lifelong friendship between Isaac Jr. and Sir John. I believe there was also a sense of respect and of loyalty to each other. Sir John needed supporters, and defenders in Canada. Isaac provided that. Isaac needed a British-aligned leader, for his new Canada.

For me, this visit to Macdonald’s office was very special, a re-connection with my ancestors and their important roles in fashioning Canada in its early years. As the letters are part of the Library and Archives Canada collection, I expect those same letters actually crossed, Sir John’s desk.

So, as I reflect… My Dear Sir John:

Thank you.

Expanded Synopsis: “Loyalty”

Expanded Synopsis: “Loyalty”

1798. Rebellion. Ireland is ablaze. The British 23rd Light Dragoons, smash into the line of United Irishmen Rebels and French Army. A slaughter of the rebels ensues. Posted to Donegal, the handsome Isaac Preston of the 23rds meets the pretty, yet strong-willed Sarah Porter, a captain’s daughter. Her proud, overbearing father forbids her courtship by the tenant farmer’s son, he of inferior class. Facing a decision between love and privilege, she chooses to elope, leaving a life of comfort for common living in the Belfast Barracks in 1801.

History unfolds conflicts and challenges, with Isaac employed as an agent on an Irish estate, following a peace treaty between Britain and France. But with Napoleon threatening invasion of Britain, the family flees, to avoid Isaac’s likely recall, journeying to upper New York State.  Isaac now a successful builder and still a stubborn loyalist, refuses to swear the Oath of Allegiance, resulting in his imprisonment during the War of 1812.  Sarah must endure a harrowing four year survival period as a lone parent with her four boys. Isaac imprisoned, his release in 1815 and his subsequent inability to find work in a still hostile community, leaves for Upper Canada. In 1818, he returns to take his family north to the Kingston area. They settle on Amherst Island in 1820, cutting out a farm from the forest. In June 1838 the Upper Canada Rebellion flash points includes a shootout with the Bill Johnston pirate gang in the Preston home. The fearless Sarah eludes a pistol toting guard, escaping to raise the neighbours and chase the raiders off the island. She is recognized for her “true heroic British courage”.

“Loyalty” is also a story of the Protestant – Catholic divide in Ireland and its establishment in Canada with Isaac an Orange Order original, remembered for his lifelong commitment to the Lodges.

Loyalty is tested on many fronts and on many levels. Isaac is confronted with (in his mind) disdainful Catholics, through which he must evaluate his own beliefs. Sarah faces a decision of loyalty to either the man she loves or to the upper class family to which she belongs. As well as being a page turner, the story also deals with prejudice, love, loss and resilience. It is definitely not a soft romantic story placed into a historical scene. In the style of Hillary Mantel, it is well researched, in order to get the facts right.

Based on the true story of Sarah Porter and Isaac Preston, this sweeping saga follows the key events they lived and also the historic characters they touched: General Sir Edward Pakenham; Archibald Acheson, Governor General of Canada; Benedict Arnold; Sir John A Macdonald and the pirate Bill Johnston.


Sarah Porter and Isaac Preston were the author’s great-great-great grandparents.


It is time for this old story of Upper Canada to re-visited and loved once again.

Feedback: “Loyalty”

Feedback: “Loyalty”

In the journey of writing one’s first book, receiving feedback on that work, is a worrisome time. There is apprehension in passing your “baby” off for scrutiny. The book, so close to you, for so long and because you are so biased in its favour, you ponder. How will others receive it?  Will the voluntary readers politely trash the effort that has taken four years, leaving me feel like this effort has been waste of time, or will they like it? Better yet, will they really like it?


I asked seven very knowledgeable readers, authors and history professionals to review “Loyalty”.

The results. The positive comments were more than I had hoped for. Those comments included: a pager turner, sweeping saga, cared deeply for the protagonists, cried at Isaac’s death, wonderful telling of history through the characters, saw the movie as I read …

I am grateful.


“Loyalty is not yet published. In order to get a higher profile to catch the attention of potential publishers and agents, I am conducting a campaign to collect fans of the book and supporters of the story.

Below are the comments from the readers in their own words.

Percy Seymour – 3rd Canadian Ammunition Column

Percy Balfour Seymour 1891 – 1962

Member of the Canadian 3rd Division Ammunition Column, January 1916 – March 1919


This is a brief summary of Percy Seymour’s service in one of Canada’s under reported military units during World War 1.

The Canadian Divisional Ammunition Column’s (CDAC) purpose was to supply munitions from ordnance depots behind the “Front” to the artillery batteries or to the trenches themselves. Canada’s Third Division was recruited in early 1916, arriving on the battlefields of Flanders in July 1916.

Percy was likely chosen for the Ammunition Column as he knew how to care for and drive horses from his farm upbringing. The Seymour’s were horse experts for many generations previously, and I expect that this knowledge was important for his selection.

Most CDAC members were classified as “drivers”. The vehicle most often used was a horse drawn cart. Horses, lighter carts, and men were more maneuverable than unreliable small trucks, and with the ground constantly changing due to bombardments, and crater holes full of mud, that was paramount. Often, a driver would lead two pack horses or mules strapped to their backs. Other non-officer rank positions in the unit included gunners, bombardiers, shoe smiths, farriers, veterinary sergeants, and saddlers.

Travel was often at night to hide the activity from the German spotter planes and long range binoculars. One family story has Percy leading a pack mule with 4 shells attached, through no-man’s land in the dark to feed the trenches. He could have been killed many times over according to his commanders, but was not.

The 3rd CDAC, assembled and did its initial training in Toronto, leaving for England on board the “Metagama” on March 11, 1916 from St. John New Brunswick.

The picture below is the unit, in Toronto prior to debarking for England. In total, the number of members were 610. Their commander was Lt. Col. William Hurdman from Ottawa.


Archives Canada has details of all military units preserved in diaries. Hurdman’s is most interesting, describing the weather, enemy operations as well as the generalized duties of each day. Mention is made of meritorious conduct and of the casualties.

With this to guide me, I am researching the details of his service. These details are with family members and within his personal service records at Archives Canada. Some Canadian soldiers have their full service, medical and attestation records digitized for public viewing.

On August 9th 1916, at the Somme, 8 members of the 3rd CDAC’s were gassed. One driver, Reg Dyson was killed. Hurdman described his death as being from a “stray bullet.” Our family records also has Percy being gassed at the Somme, recovering and returning to active duty as a driver for the balance of the war. Percy may have been one of the eight to be hospitalized that day / night. Percy’s had lasting effects of the gas attack through his life with no recorded burns, thus I assume the gas was chlorine. Victims of gas attacks or other wounds, would be evacuated back from the lines, to field bandage units and onto hospitals. Some returned to England for treatment and convalescence.  Percy’s recovery details are within the archives, the details yet to be uncovered.



Loading shells into horse carts


King George visiting the Troops in Aug 14, 1916, including the 3rd CDACs


From Hurdman’s diary, another interesting find was Walter Ellingsworth. He was cited for bravery in 1916, but was discharged in December 1917, when he was found to be only 17, (15 when he signed up).

Major battles 3rd CDACs participated in: Somme, Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele, Amiens, Cambrai.


Above is Lt. Col. Hurdman’s diary account in the lead up to and start of Vimy Ridge action (April 9, 1917).


But the remembering of those who served and died, and those who served and survived, should entail more than just their service records. We need to understand and know the men (and women), who served; their mind sets, their personalities and why they committed to putting their lives on the line. And in this age of awareness of PTSD and the effects of war on civilian populations, a look at how these individuals lived following their war experiences, is also important. They all had unique lives.

“Driving Through Hell” my concept for a book, can be a story not only of service in battle for Canada, but of four men who came from different backgrounds to serve together and their resultant lives following The Great War. A story to unfold …


Alexander Bernard Preston

Alexander Bernard Preston 1895 – 1987 : his World War 1 Experience

The Conscription Act of Aug. 29, 1917 resulted in thousands of new recruits being drafted into the Canadian Army, to replenish the losses. And to this, there was a now only a trickle of volunteers. The dead and the images of the carnage in war, had choked off the enthusiasm, sense of adventure and duty to Britain that had fueled the first recruits. Bernard Preston volunteered for the Canadian Army in late 1917, as he felt it was now time to do so. There was still an expectation to serve the Allied efforts against the hated “Hun”, despite the terrible toll of lives lost. To serve, was righteous and those who did, were respected. So, he left his father’s farm in Bethany, age 23, to join the other late arrivals, draftees and volunteers: farmers’ sons, factory workers, the unemployed.

BP1 1918

Private Preston’s military number was #3060298. (attestation stamping – 1st Depot Sq E D Reg.  C.E.F.) He was a member of the 6th Canadian Reserve Battalion recruited from Eastern Ontario. They were based in Seaford England (County Sussex) from March 1917 until mod 1919.

Bernard travelled to Kingston for basic training. His official signing of attestation papers was June 1, 1918 in Kingston. He left Montreal June 28, 1918 with 1400 troops and boat crew on the 471 foot long, 4700 ton steamer, the City of Vienna, bound for England. For some reason it had to make a stop in Halifax, possibly for more supplies. The City of Vienna missed the Halifax harbour entrance, in dense fog, travelling too far west, hitting a reef 7:00 a.m. July 2. Bernard saw the ship lurch to one side, food trays flying in the kitchen while he and his mates awaited breakfast. Local fishing boats, its own life boats and a nearby US ship, rescued all aboard. Half an hour after the completed rescue, the City of Vienna, sank, fully loaded with munitions. Today it is still a hazard at the sea bottom, not far from Peggy’s Cove, 2.6 km from shore near Sambro Island.


City of Vienna

Upon arriving England, possibly Brighton, the troops were assigned huts in the Seaford military base camp, just 130 km from Dieppe France. Here, they underwent training in trench warfare, machine guns, rifles, gas prevention, parade duties etc. Bernard trained as a machine gunner. The camp population was 24,000 surpassing that of Seaford. The locals were overrun by Canucks and other foreigners speaking with varied accents.


Bernard Preston (8th from left – back row) and the old 6th Battalion,

Bernard’s WWI experience was bad luck which turned into good luck. He never served at the front. The Spanish flu, brought to England by returning soldiers, swept through the military camps and local communities. Sixty Canadian soldiers at Seaford base died of the flu in October 1918, and were buried at Seaford cemetery. Bernard too was hit by the virus, but survived. Because he was weakened, he was not fit for action at the front. When he did recover, the war was almost over, new recruits no longer being sent to the front. By this time, some of his mates from Eastern Ontario had returned to England, wounded.


Bernard Preston on left with buddies at Seaford, 1919


Following Armistice, the decision was made that the first troops to depart for home, would be the ones with the longest service. The 1918 arrivals staying until last. This afforded a relaxed camp atmosphere with time off for travel. Bernard and mates made it to Wales, Scotland and all over England. One of Bernard’s favourite stories, was an evening in London on leave when the boys went to the theatre. It was possibly a production at the Royal Alex. Bernard was seated at the aisle. To his surprise, King George V, and Queen Mary proceeded past him to their seats. If Bernard had reached out, he could have touched the King.

Bernard was assigned to KP duty much of the time. Masses of food. Mutton, mutton, mutton. Potatoes, endless potatoes to peel. And bread. That was prepared for the masses by melting butter and spreading it thinly on hundreds of slices at a time with a paint brush! My grandfather hated mutton.

Bernard and the last of the now 7th Battalion, returned to Canada July 1, 1919, to a much different country.

Bernard was my grandfather, who I knew longer than my own father. Spending 1:1 time with him on the farm, in summers, gave me an insight into the Preston mindset, to get a hint at their values, morals, beliefs and weaknesses. (Isaac, Bernard and I all shared a desire for fairness, a stubbornness and a temper if provoked).

He was my conduit to the Prestons in “Loyalty”.

Lt. Col J A V Preston

John Alexander Victor Preston 1863 – 1950

Summary: Orangeman, community volunteer, church devotee, Mason, husband, father, grandfather, militiaman, Lt. Colonel.


Jack was born on the family farm in Manvers Township to Young Isaac Preston and his wife, Mary Anne Hannah. As the first born, he was given the family responsibilities ahead of his five siblings. He was a leader.

Jack’s grandfather Alexander died when he was only nine months old, so his elder tutelage was from old Isaac, his great grandfather who delighted in instruction of the children in his large family of the basics: mathematics, reading, grammar, proper decorum, loyalty, responsibility and all things of the Orange Order. Jack was 86 years his junior.

Jack’s first school teacher, was the intense young man; Sam Hughes. Ambitious Sam, eventually became Sir Samuel Hughes, the Minister of Militia and Defense under Prime Minister Robert Borden during the first two years of World War 1.

Jack studied at U of T, earning a B.A. in 1885 and LL.B. in 1888. After studying at Osgoode Hall, he was called to the bar in 1888. His first practise was in Millbrook Ontario, not far from his home. In 1892 he located to Dufferin County and in 1906 moved into Orangeville Ontario to continue his law practice. He was a registrar of the Surrogate Court in Ontario in 1906. He took leave to serve in WW1. In 1928 he was created King’s Counsel.  He was appointed County Sheriff in 1944.

Charlotte Fitzgerald married Jack in 1892, in Millbrook. They had three children.

Jack served in the military as was the expectation of the Preston family for generations, first joining at age 13. He was a Lieutenant in the Riel Rebellion, with the Midland Battalion in 1885. Although he did not see direct fire, his unit was guarding a North Saskatchewan River crossing point while the Battle of Batoche was fought. His diary is part of the record of the times and archives of Saskatchewan. As most Anglos of that time, he thought poorly of the Metis and First Nations peoples, but was impressed with the leadership and courage of Poundmaker.


In 1914, he was appointed command of the 39th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force. The unit departed from Belleville Ontario in June 1915 for England and the front. The unit served at Mount Sorrel, Somme, Arras, and Ypres. In 1917 it was reabsorbed into other units. Jack then was Commanding Officer of the 6th Infantry Brigade until the war’s end.


Above – the 39th Battalion in Belleville Ontario, June 1915 – departing for England and the same unit with Lt. Col Preston in front

His service to his community following the war, included chairing the hospital board, school board, Cadets, Board of Trade, Masonic Order, Orange Order.

Jack was my grandfather’s first cousin.

For me, jack’s legacy is also one of history. He chronicled the Preston stories and without that and the work of Wallace MacAlpine, the book “Loyalty” would not have been written.