July 28, 2014 marked the 100th anniversary since the start of WWI. August 4, 1914 is a day that changed Canadian history for many families, Great Britain (which includes Canada) declared war on Germany.
This is an article that originally appeared in our June 2014 Newsletter about 2 local boys living in Lake Saskatoon who joined the fight.
Charles and Arthur Buck, from Hertfordshire, England, emigrated to Canada in 1910, when they were 24 and 22 years of age, respectively. They filed on land in the Lake Saskatoon district, calling their homestead Poplar Grove Farm.
When World War I began in 1914, recruitment drives and patriotic speeches convinced many of the young homesteaders to join up. Charles signed up with the British Military, 2nd King Edward Horse, and Arthur enlisted in the 49th Battalion of the Canadian Infantry, the Loyal Edmonton Regiment.
The 49th Battalion was soon fighting in France. Arthur died in the Battle of Passchendaele on November 1, 1917 and is buried in Poperinghe, Belgium. Charles was gassed during the war and although ill, managed to return to Poplar Grove Farm in the summer of 1918, with his English War Bride, a nurse named ‘Cis’. He died March 4, 1920 as a result of his war sickness and is buried in the small cemetery behind St. Andrews Anglican Church on the west side of Lake Saskatoon.
Neither Arthur nor Charles had any descendants, but in 2010, a niece from England donated a collection of their photographs to SPRA. They document the Buck brothers homestead activities, their cabin inside and out, and their battalion during the war. These can be seen on Charles and Arthur Buck fonds on our website.