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L'histoire des familles McCallum et Armstrong

Le Musée examine et accepte les dons de souvenirs et d'histoires, personnelles ou familiales, à la collection. En tant qu'institution pédagogique, ces récits nous aident à comprendre comment les individus se souviennent d'expériences vécues, comment ils les interprètent ou, encore, comment ils créent un sens à partir de celles-ci. Les histoires ne sont pas modifiées par le personnel du Musée. Le point de vue exprimé est celui de l'auteur et non celui du Musée.

Catégorie: 
Culture : 
Langue: 
Anglais
Creative Commons: 
CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
Numéro d'accession : 
S2014.579.1

Texte d'histoire: 

June, 2013
Histories of the McCallum and Armstrong Families

Corrected entry for McCallum, Arthur Edward on page 453 of J F Bosher's Imperial Vancouver Island.
Professor Bosher has accepted the amendment and it will appear if there is a subsequent revised edition
of his book.
McCallum, Arthur Edward (1836-1899). "AM" He was born on 10 September 1836 probably in Russia,
son of Charles McCallum, a King's Messenger, and his wife Margaretta nee Edwards, whose other five
children were born variously in England or Belgium. He was christened later on 19 June 1839 in London
at St. Luke's, Chelsea, and in due time (1869) commissioned as a captain in the 91st foot, Argyllshire
Highlanders. He served in India and elsewhere, and commanded a special guard for Queen Victoria
when Fenian terrorists were threatening. On 22 January 1867 he married Rosa Warren at St Mary-leBone,
Middlesex (London), witnessed by her father in a double wedding, her brother John Warren
marrying Adelaide Constance Gwynn. The 1881 census recorded AM and Rosa at 30 Denmark Villas,
Hove, Sussex, with a son, aged 13, and two domestic servants. Rosa was recorded as a "Lady' aged 47,
born in London, an Anglican daughter of Robert Warren of Portman Square, and AM, aged 44, as a
retired officer, an "agnostic" born in Russia to a Scottish father and a Welsh mother.
In 1885 AM and Rosa emigrated to Vancouver Island where they first lived at Maple Bank, Esquimalt. In
the fall of that year he travelled by canoe with Indian guides from Cowichan Bay to Lake Cowichan and
pre-empted land at the west end of the lake, thinking it might attract settlers. As a couple they were
recorded in the 1891 census as living at Cowichan with a cook, but also as occupying two of fourteen
rooms of a wooden house in Esquimalt. Other sources shown them as owners of land at the east end of
the lake at a place that became known locally as "McCallum's Landing", near the outlet of the Cowichan
River. "McCallum's Bridge" was later built across the river. He was active in local affairs, involved in law
suits, and caught up in a notorious incident in which he was apparently duped into paying F300 for an
alleged fossilized man, a "Petrified Giant" dug up at Sooke, which turned out to be a worthless piece of
limestone from San Francisco. AM died, aged 62, on 11 April1899 in Victoria, and Rosa aged 83, on 3
October 1923 in Esquimalt, but they were buried together in the Colwood Pioneers' Cemetery, their
graves marked by a plaque commemorating him in full regimental dress.
Their only son, Arthur Campbell Oldham McCallum, (1867-1910) was born in Scotland at Fort George,
Ardersier, Inverness, where AM's regiment was based. He became a professional mining engineer and
managed mines in Mexico and Arizona before returning to live in Victoria, where he had many
successful business interests, especially in real estate. On Douglas Street he had an office building, the
McCallum Block. On 24 September 1888 in Victoria he married Caroline Kinghurst Hawthornthwaite
(1872-1913), who was born in Ireland, and they had five children all born in the Cowichan Valley or
Victoria.
The first, Gladys Rosa Kinghurst McCallum (1889-1973) married John Herbert Gray (1880-1965) on 2
April1913 in Victoria and they eventually lived at 3409 West Saanich Road, narrow, picturesque and
winding near Saanich Inlet. Gray was born on 10 December 1880 at Dibrugarth, Assam, on the
Brahmaputra River, gateway to the principal tea-producing areas of northern India. They had no
children.
A Short McCallum Family History
CHARLES McCALLUM
The 18th and 19th Century McCallums were thought to be an Army family. The first one of whom we have
confirmed knowledge is Charles (c .1790-1840), a "King's Messenger".
Charles was born in Scotland, according to the information on his son Arthur Edward's 1891 Canadian
Census form. Scottish parish records so far disclose only four Charles McCallums born between 1777 and
1801, in Argyllshire or Glasgow; it cannot be determined from these records whether he was one of
these or who his parents were.
It is very likely that he entered the army, and may have served in Belgium meeting his wife Margaretta
Edwards there where her family were living in 1815 when her father John Edwards died in a shipwreck
off Ostend, Belgium, while sailing from England to rejoin his family. However, Charles's name is not on
the officer roll ofthe Argyllshire Highlanders 91st Foot, who were stationed in Belgium during the Battle
of Waterloo (1815); records of other regiments have not been checked.
After his marriage to Margaretta about 1819, the first two children were born in Belgium in1820 and
1822; the other four in London. Charles McCallum was appointed as a regular King's Messenger in
November 1833, so presumably he had by then retired from military service.
According to V. Wheeler-Holohan's History (2), the King's Messengers Service was reorganized in 1824
setting the number of regular foreign-travelling messengers at 18, to be "gentlemen" rather than lowerclass,
preferably between the ages of 30 and 35 and drawn from retired army or navy officers. These
regulars were sometimes known as "Messengers in Ordinary", to distinguish them from temporary
appointees who were "Acting" or "Extraordinary". Appointments were made by the Foreign Office. The
annual salary was about£450/500, though the "extra's" a Messenger could earn raised this to about
£800. This was a good income at the time, so appointment to the Messenger Service was eagerly sought
and probably required patronage. A Messenger was also required to be a good horseman, provide his
own carriage, live in London within two miles of the Foreign Office in Whitehall, and wear a special
uniform while on duty. Apparently the uniform was greatly disliked and seldom worn, the Messenger
relying instead on his Silver Greyhound badge and special diplomatic passport to confirm his status.
The duties were confined to expeditiously conveying documents to and from Whitehall and British
embassies and legations abroad, under diplomatic immunity. A Messenger was expected to make every
effort to reach his destination as quickly as possible- many journeys were arduous, dangerous and
prolonged. On arrival at a foreign location, while he might well be a well-received guest of the local
British diplomat, the Messenger was not himself engaged in any diplomatic negotiations with the
country which he was visiting, that is, he did not act as a diplomat or plenipotentiary. This somewhat
debunks the family legend, mentioned below, about Charles having been a "plenipotentiary
extraordinary", and being heaped with gifts and jewels as tokens of esteem in Russia. On the other
1 Lt. Col Percy Groves: History of the First Batallion Princess Louise's Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (91st Foot),
W.&A.K. Johnson, Edinburgh, 1894
2 V. Wheeler-Holohan: The History of the King's Messengers, E.P. Dutton, New York, 1935)
hand he might well have had the opportunity to profitably buy such items abroad. (Official records show
the actual Minister/Plenipotentiary in St Petersburg to have been the Earl of Durham in 1835-37, and John Ralph
Milbank in 1837-38).
V. Wheeler-Holohan's book says that the Messengers "loathed" the St. Petersburg run. This was done on
land, presumably in the interests of speed, not by sea. By the 1850;s the journey as far as Warsaw via
Berlin could be taken by train, however in the 1830's it would have been entirely by carriage or coach,
on poor roads and using post horses. From Warsaw to Moscow took a further 9 days. "In winter, a sledge
was dragged behind the carriage, and as soon as the snow became negotiable the wheels were taken off and the
coach was lashed to the runners. In the depths of winter the discomfort must have been great, and a certain
amount of risk had to be run".
Charles married Margaretta Edwards (1802-1888, daughter of John Edwards) about 1819, had 6
children, and died in 1840, after which his widow married Daniel Glassford Gordon in November of
1841. It is improbable that Charles had spent much time residing in Russia, especially with his wife and
family, so the statement in the Colwood church graveyard that son Arthur Edward was born in Russia in
1837 is open to doubt; in fact some official records show him as born in September of 1836 at Chelsea.
One source (3) says that he and Margaretta separated well before 1839, though their final child
(Margaretta) was born in 1840. He is said to have had a daughter (Ellen) by his housekeeper, Eleanor
Elizabeth Furmidge (b. before 1839). Charles's death in March 1840 is recorded in the official death
records. He apparently left money to his wife and several of his children.
Family myth has it that one of Charles McCallum's daughters married (General?) Napier. This alliance is
commemorated in the middle name of Eric Edward Napier McCallum. However, the biographies of
General Sir Charles James Napier (1782-1853), and his brother General George Thomas Napier (1784-
1855) do not name any McCallums as wives, nor do Charles's daughters record any Napier relationship.
The Edward relationship commemorated in the first Arthur's and Eric's name obviously refers to
Margaretta's family, where her father and two brothers (Richard and William) were active in Indian
military careers. In Margaretta's 1841 Marriage Certificate, her father John is described as having been a
Colonel in the East India Company, although he may have retired by the time of his death in 1815.
Family legend says, dubiously I suspect, that Charles left Russia with lavish tokens of esteem from the
Imperial Court- some diamonds which eventually went to Ken, a set of lapis lazuli beads which found
their way to Arthur and Sine (sold by them), and a truly monstrous coral and gold pectoral cross and
earring set which came to Gladys, and through her to Arthur and lan. (Subsequent inspection of these
last items by an appraiser at the Antique Road Show stated them to be Italian or mid-Victorian English!
So these items may not have been anything to do with Russia .)
3 Family of Roderick J. Craig, Ancestry.com 2002
A Short McCallum Family History
Charles and Margaretta had six children:
The oldest, Charles Campbell McCallum (b.Ostend, Belgium 1820) like his Edward's grandfather before
him, joined the East India Company army in 1837, retiring with the rank of Major General. He married
Maria Lane in 1847, had three daughters and died in Cheltenham in 1899.
The second, Eliza Maria McCallum (b. Ostend, Belgium 1822) married Thomas Bagnall Baker in 1845,
had one daughter, and died in London in 1895.
Amelia Georgina McCallum (b. London 1827) married Mark B. Cooper in Madras, India in 1855.
The next was Arthur Edward McCallum (b.1836), our direct ancestor, of whom more later.
Thomas John McCallum (b. London 1838), of whom nothing more is known.
Margaretta McCallum (b. London 1840)
Seven months after her marriage to Daniel Glassford Gordon in 1841, Margaretta had a further
daughter, Grace Gordon (June 1842). Daniel's family had been plantation owners in Tobago in the West
Indies; their estate there was called "Courland", a name subsequently given to Arthur Campbell Oldham
McCallum's house on Gonzales Heights, Victoria . Daniel was adjudged bankrupt in London in 1843, so
Margaretta and her family may have had a thin time financially. In the 1851 Census, Daniel is not
mentioned at all as a member of the household, and Margaretta is described as Head ofthe household
and an "annuitant". She was living with daughters Margaretta and Grace and son Arthur, at 138 Victoria
Grove Villas, Paddington, with a servant. This does not seem a great address: her neighbours were
policemen and grocers.
In the 1881 Census, Margaret was a widow living at 3 Hawick Place, London, with her granddaughter,
Grace Dugdale (daughter of Grace Gordon). She died in London in 1888.
ARTHUR EDWARD McCALLUM
There is much confusion about when and where Arthur Edward was born. Some records (1841 Census
and Craig) show him as born in Chelsea, London in September 1836; however he himself listed Russia as
his birthplace and the notice board in Colwood Cemetery also states he was born in Russia in 1837. St.
Luke's Church, Chelsea, was where he was christened in 1839.
According to the marriage certificate, he was a lieutenant in the 9151 Foot Argyllshire Highlanders at the
time of his marriage to Rosa Warren in 1867. He was later commissioned as Captain on May 3151
, 1869.
(A Captaincy was a reasonable rank; the Regiment had no majors, only a Lieutenant Colonel and Colonel
higher-ranked.) His obituary notices said he had served in India among other places; the plaque in
Colwood Cemetery says he was part of the Queen's Guard during the Fenian threat. In his History of the
First Battalion (91 5
t Foot) Groves states that the Regiment was in Greece in 1857-58, thensent to
India until October 1868 when it returned home. In March 1871, the regiment furnished a
Guard of Honour during the wedding of Princess Louise to the Marquess of Lorne (heir to the
Duke of Argyll). It was stationed in England, Scotland and Ireland until February 1879, at which
time it was sent to South Africa.
Rosa was born in Durham in 1847, and married Arthur Edward in London in 1867. At that time
she was presented with an elaborate brass-bound Bible inscribed from her sisters Mary and
Harriet. The marriage certificate is witnessed by Robert and Sarah Warren- presumably
Robert's wife; Robert also witnessed the marriage of his son John to Adelaide Constance Gwynn
at the same time in what looks to have been a double ceremony. We don't know much about
the Warrens other than that they were said to have lived in Portman Square, a good London
address indicating reasonable wealth. There are hundreds of Robert Warrens in the Census
documents, but I have found none who is identified as married to Sarah and having a daughter
Rosa. The 1851 census shows many Sarah Warrens, particularly in Devonshire. (One possible
match is a Sarah Warren, aged 40, with children Mary aged 14; Harriet aged 8, Sarah aged 6,
Benjamin aged 12, David aged 1, Henry aged 5 and Thomas aged 10. Their residence was in
Essenden, Herts, but there is no mention in the Census document of Robert or Rosa, who would
have been about 4 years old). Rosa is not found in the 1861 Census, at which time she would
have been 14.
Presumably Arthur Edward resigned his commission before the regiment's dispatch to South
Africa in 1879. The England Census of 1881 describes him a "Captain, retired, 915
t Foot",
residing at Hove, Sussex, with wife Rosa, son Arthur Oldham Campbell and two servants. That
census also describes his birthplace as Chelsea, Middlesex, England.
What prompted Arthur Edward and his family to up-stakes and move to the wilds of British
North America can only be speculated upon. It is possible that his retirement from the army in
his mid 40's was prompted by a financial windfall from the Warren side of the family- there
doesn't seem to have been much to come from his mother Margaretta who was still alive until
1888.
Arthur Edward, wife Rosa and son Arthur Oldham Campbell arrived in BC in 1885, according to
information provided in a later census. The Canadian Pacific Railway line from Montreal was
not completed until November of that year, so it is most likely that they would have crossed the
United States by train via the Great Northern to Seattle or the Union Pacific to San Francisco,
and proceeded on to Victoria by ship.
Victoria was an important port at that time, much more so than New Westminster on the
mainland, let alone Vancouver which did not even come into existence until after the CPR
arrived. It was the main port for the Royal Navy's Eastern Pacific Squadron, presided over by an
Admiral with a considerable naval establishment. In addition, it had become a desirable place
for retired British army and naval officers, particularly those who had served in India, plus the
'remittance men' sent out to the Colonies to get them out of the way of their English families.
JF Bosher in his book lists many retired colonels, generals, naval captains, and other gentlemen
living in the Victoria or Cowichan areas of Vancouver Island, all of whom still felt they were
living in British territory under the Union Jack albeit some distance removed from "home". The
McCallums had quite likely been influenced in their choice of destination by the knowledge that
so many other people like them were already there, living in a pleasant climate where
gentlemanly standards of living could be maintained on pensions or limited income.
The McCallum family lived first in the Victoria area; the Esquimalt district also included the area
later known as Colwood where AE established himself. In October 1885, AE gave his address as
Maple Bank, Esquimalt; in 1887, their residence was described as Rosebank in Colwood.
Subsequent addresses in the Victoria area were Colwood Park Esquimalt (1890's); and for
widow Rosa, "Wyneford", Lampson Street {1910), however there were also addresses during
the 1890's in the Cowichan area: McPherson's (later known as Cowichan Station) and
Quamichan (new Duncan), and house called "the Grange" in South Cowichan or Cobble Hill.
In 1885, shortly after they arrived in Victoria, AE was involved in "The Petrified Giant" affair,
where it appeared he was duped into buying a purported fossilized man, allegedly found at
Happy Valley (near Sooke) for£300, about$ 1,500 at the then-rate of exchange, a very large
sum at the time. The police felt that a fraud had been perpetrated by the vendor, one Dubois,
and wanted AE to prosecute him, but he refused saying he was experienced in minerals and
confident that he knew what he was getting. The customs authorities then impounded the
article, claiming it was merely a box of limestone from Idaho which had been previously
imported under an undervaluation for customs duty. AE objected, saying if he was right there
was no duty payable on an antiquity; alternatively if it was a pile of worthless stone, then again
it would not have been undervalued. The outcome was not reported, but subsequent articles
have treated the affair as a scam in which AE was victimized- perhaps he was too proud to
admit he had been conned! (5)
AE became very interested in areas further north on Vancouver Island, around the
Duncan/Cowichan Bay area. In late October of 1885, he wrote a lengthy letter to the editor of
4 J F Bosher: Imperial Vancouver Island, Xlibris Publishing Corp., 2010
5 British Colonist Article: The Petrified Giant, August 151
h 1885
the British Colonist, describing two trips he had made from Maple Bay or Cowichan Bay inland
to Lake Cowichan, a distance he reckoned of about 30 miles. The first trip was made by canoe
up the Cowichan River, accompanied by two local Indians. The river was not easy to navigate,
with many obstructions from downed trees and rapids, but he was impressed by the huge
amount of salmon in it. On reaching Lake Cowichan, he thought the surroundings very suitable
for settlement as the land was very rich. Some of the extensive forests on the south side of the
lake had already had timer rights leased, but it is possible that lumbering activity had yet to
start in earnest as there was no easy way to get the logs out. AE climbed the two peaks on the
north-west of the lake, marvelling at the view from the top in all directions.
His second trip to the lake was made by way of the newly made road, which he found very
rough. He noted that a settler called Charles Morrow had pre-empted land at the west end of
the lake and that others were preparing to erect accommodation near the lake for prospectors,
so it is evident that development was very much underway. (6) AE himself published a notice
of his intention to buy a large tract of land at the west end of the lake. (7) An 1888
advertisement in the British Colonist offered a stage journey from Duncan's Landing to a
"Sportsman's Lodge" at the lake, offering "the best fishing and shooting". AE also bought land
on the north shore of the lake, at the point where the Cowichan River flows out from it. The
British Colonist in May of 1888 reports that AE had Morrow charged with inciting Indians to
shoot at him, but the case was dismissed. (8) It is rumoured that the Indians objected to AE
occupying land they might have felt was theirs, but that he shot at them to scare them off! The
land at the north-east of the lake was known as McCallum's Landing, the town of Lake
Cowichan itself across on the south side of the river. A wooden bridge was later erected to
accommodate the rail line, and is commemorated in a mural at the Kaatza Museum in the
town. The area today has a few modest suburban bungalows on it; it is sufficiently steep and
wooded that it is hard to imagine it ever having been farmed.
Picture -Mural painted by Gaylia Nelson at Kaatza Museum, Lake Cowichan showing
"McCallum Bridge" to McCallum's Landing
6 British Colonist article "The Cowichan Big Lake," November 19th' 1885.
7 Ibid, November 11, 1885
8 Ibid May 15th' 1888
Despite this fascination with Lake Cowichan, AE (and later his son Arthur Campbell) were
actually living and farming in the Cowichan Bay area, more particularly Quamichan, Cowichan
Station and South Cowichan (Cobble Hill). One of their houses there was called "The Grange".
The Hawthornthwaite family was also farming there and just to the south at Cobble Hill, their
young daughter Caroline marrying Arthur Campbell in 1899. (9)
AE was involved in further legal matters in 1896, when he laid a criminal charge against one J.A.
Lawrence for false pretences over the sale of a "quarter interest in the Goldstream claims".
Lawrence also charged AE, but the magistrate put the trial over to a higher court where a jury
could weigh the evidence; it was also suggested that civil litigation would have been more
appropriate. The outcome ofthis issue is not known, but it is further evidence of AE's litigious
nature! His obituary in the Victoria Times also referred to the "long pending cases of Gray vs.
McCallum and McCallum vs. Gray". (10)
The British Columbia Census of 1891 shows AE as residing at Cowichan, Vancouver Island, with
his wife and a cook, and possibly some farm-workers. His occupation is "Farmer". They were
presumably reasonably well supplied with furnishings and the necessaries for a pleasant life in
the colonies, but some of this may have been lost over the years in the fires which occurred in
some of the houses they lived in.
PICTURE - CAPT. ARTHUR EDWARD PICTURE - ROSA WARREN McCALLUM
9 Directory information provided by the Cowichan Valley Museum Archives
10 Victoria Times: Aprill2, 1899
Arthur Edward McCallum and Rosa are buried in Colwood, where he was residing at "Colwood
Park" by the time of his death in 1899, and where she continued to live until her own. Their
grave is in the Colwood Pioneer Cemetery, originally the graveyards for a (failed) Presbyterian
Church and (former but still-standing) Anglican Church of St. John. The notice board at this
Historic Site contains a black-and-white portrait of AE in full regimentals, and a picture of the
original grave marker which is more decipherable than it is now:
"SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF
CAPT. A.E. McCALLUM
LATE 915
T HIGHLANDERS.
DIED APRIL 11TH 1899.
AGED 62 YEARS".
PICTURES- GRAVE SITE MARKERS
This cemetery notice board also states that A. E. McCallum was born in St. Petersburg, Russia in
1837 of British parents. It goes on to say that "During the 1850s, he (A E) was part of the
Queen's guard during the Fenian threat. He immigrated to Canada in the 1880s. In 1885 he
achieved some notoriety when he tried to export a "stone man" found buried in Sooke (carved
in San Francisco a few years earlier}"
It seems unfair that Arthur Edward's greatest claim to fame in the fourteen years he lived on
Vancouver Island was the fraud he was victimized by on his arrival in 1885! His obituary dwells
on this event, though it also states "he had taken considerable interest in the affairs of the
country" and 'secured many interests throughout the province". It also notes that on one
occasion, he stood as a candidate "for the Dominion House in the Liberal interest."
PICTURE - COLWOOD CEMETERY
The Canadian Census OF 1901 shows Rosa as a Widow, with one domestic (a16-year-old
Chinese called Lim), living in the Esquimalt District of Victoria (Colwood). She is not on the same
Census page as son Arthur Campbell, indicating she was living separately from them although
they were in the same Census District.
She died in Victoria in October, 1923, having outlived her husband, son, daughter-in-law and
one grandson. Her obituary from the Victoria Times of October 10th states: "The funeral of Mrs.
Rosa McCallum took place yesterday morning from her late residence, proceding to Christ Church Cathedral,
where service was conducted by Dean Quainton at 11 o'clock in the presence of many friends. The hymn sung was
"Abide With Me". Rev. H. Pearson, of Colwood Church, officiated at the graveside. The following acted as
pallbearers: Messrs. F.B. Pemberton, R.H. Pooley, L.Crease, J. Hawthornthwaite, H. Meisterman and Major C.
Holmes. Interment was made in Colwood Cemetery." (We don't know who H Meisterman is but perhaps
he was the family lawyer, as Ken McCallum had to act as his agent in London to settle some
£3,300 in 1924 from ACO's estate, presumably tied to Rosa's death).
Her gravestone in Colwood Pioneer Cemetery is shared with her husband and reads "In loving
memory of Rosa, widow of the late Capt. A. E. McCallum, who died Oct 23, 1923. I know that my
Redeemer Liveth".
ARTHUR CAMPBELL OLDHAM McCALLUM
Arthur C 0 was the only child of AE and Rosa, born in February 1868 at Fort George, Ardersier,
Inverness, Scotland. He is mentioned in the England Census of 1881 with his parents at Hove,
Brighton; in the Canadian Census of 1901 it is stated that he immigrated to Canada in 1885.
On September 24th, 1888, aged 20 he married at Victoria a 16 year old South Cowichan girl,
Caroline Hawthornthwaite. Her father was William Hurst Hawthornthwaite an Englishman
married to Mary Wilson; they had six children all born in Ireland and had emigrated to
Vancouver Island about the same time as the McCallums. The Hawthornthwaites farmed at
Cowichan Station and Cobble Hill (South Cowichan). Among Caroline's sisters was Eleanor
(1864-1925) who for a time operated the Foul Bay Tea Rooms in Victoria, subsequently
owned/managed by her niece Gladys McCallum Gray and her husband. Another famous sibling
was James Hurst Hawthornthwaite, MLA for Nanaimo and champion of workers' rights against
employers such as Dunsmuir the coal baron. James caused something of a scandal when, on his
death in 1926, it was discovered he had been maintaining a second "wife" with whom he had
three children. There are still many Hawthornthwaite descendants living in the Nanaimo and
Cowichan areas.
After their marriage Arthur CO and Caroline lived at Cowichan South, where all their children
were born. The Canadian Census of 18911ists them there, his occupation as "gentleman
farmer", with wife, daughter and sister-in-law Eleanor. But the Canadian Census of 19011ists
him and his family in Esquimalt, Victoria (Colwood), where his widowed mother was also living.
PHOTO
This picture was simply captioned "Maple Bank 1905". None of the eight ladies or the man or
the boy are identified. Maple Bank, Esquimalt was the family's address in 1885; possibly
returned to later.
Children arrived to Arthur Campbell and Caroline with Victorian regularity- first Gladys in late
1889, then Ken, Dick, Eric and the youngest Arthur Howard, in1896. All were born in South
Cowichan (though Eric at one point showed Victoria as his place of birth). The family comprised
three generations at this point; Arthur Edward died in 1899, but Rosa lived on until 1923 and
was something of a character. Eric was a very good tennis player and did well in tournamentsas
he was presented with the trophy for winning one of them, Grannie Rosa called out from the
stands, "Turn it over my boy, and see if it's real silver!"
The family appears to have been comfortably off by colonial middle-class standards. land was
comparatively inexpensive, but it is not clear which of the many residences they occupied were
actually owned, as opposed to rented, although the farm properties was probably owned. Their
standard of living does not appear to have been significantly affected by AE's death in 1899,
and continued up to the First War with the children not lacking for anything appropriate to
their style of living. The family's move from Cowichan to Victoria by 1901 probably coincided
with ACM 's growing involvement with mining. His obituary notices (11) painted a very
praiseworthy picture of a man who had become an accredited mining engineer, managing
mines in Mexico and later Arizona. Upon returning to Victoria, he acquired "valuable interests"
in the city and further north, carrying on business as a real estate broker and owning an office
building ("The McCallum Block") at 1225 Douglas Street. He seems to have done very well
financially, being able to build a large new residence called "Courland" at Foul Bay (later known
as Gonzales Bay). ("Courland" was also the name of the plantation in Tobago in the West Indies
owned by the family of Daniel Glassford Gordon, who married ACM"s grandmother Margaretta
about 1840 after the death of her first husband, Charles McCallum).
PHOTO
Gonzales Heights, Victoria, c. 1920
"Courland" is the half-timbered house, halfway up the hill, below the Observatory.
11 Daily Colonist and Victoria Times, April 26th and 2ih, 1910
They had just moved into it shortly before his sudden death in 1910. He had engaged in a foot
race with his four sons and immediately afterwards suddenly collapsed and died at the doorway
of his house, presumably from a heart attack.
PHOTO - THE LATE ARTHUR CAMPBELL McCALLUM
(from his obituary notice)
Things may have begun to turn for the worse with the sudden death of Arthur C 0 in 1910
when Gladys the oldest child was only 21 and Caroline had to manage their affairs until her own
death in 1913, of diabetes- untreatable at that time. It's not known who she had to advise and
help her in matters financial - probably her brother James, Rosa her mother-in-law and possibly
someone later referred by Arthur Howard as "old Day". It is said that it was decided not to hang
on to some of the land Arthur C 0 had acquired and that it was let go for the taxes owning on it.
Arthur Campbell Oldham and Caroline McCallum are buried in the Anglican section of Ross Bay
Cemetery, with a simple marker saying merely "McCALLUM". The grave site is shared with
James Hurst Hawthornthwaite, Caroline's brother. According to BC historian Margaret Ormsby,
her brother James Hurst Hawthornthwaite was a Socialist who entered BC politics effectively in
the early 1900's representing miners and labourers and was a "sincere and able advocate of
reform". In contrast to the simple McCallum marker there, James Hawthornthwaite has a large
and well-kept polished granite marker "James Hurst Hawthornthwaite 1863-1926. First Socialist. MLA
Nanaimo 1901-1912, Newcastle 1918-1920". According to the Cemetery records, Caroline and James's
sister Eleanor (b.1864 d. 1925) is also buried there, though there is no marker for her.
THE CANADIAN McCALLUMS
PHOTO- The McCallum Children c. 1900
Gladys - Dick - Eric- Arthur - Ken
GLADYS ROSA KINGHURST (1889-1973) married John Herbert Gray ("Misty") in 1913; Misty
(c.1880-1965) was born in Assam, India and had apparently served in the British Army in South
Africa. He re-joined as a Lieutenant in May 1916, at which time he gave his address as
"Courland". (12) Gladys was living on a farm in langford near Victoria during the war, where
Arthur Howard sent her a postcard as a prisoner-of-war.
PHOTO - Gladys's Wedding 1913
12 J F Bosher, op.cit. p.306
Before his marriage Misty was involved with the Foul Bay Tea House, designed for him in 1909,
but Eleanor Hawthornthwaite, Gladys's aunt, acquired it in 1910 and lived there for a few years.
Misty was not popular with his McCallum brothers-in-law; the reason is not known but there
may have been a connection with a lawsuit involving Gladys's grandfather, A E McCallum,
whose obituary referred to the "long pending" matter of Gray vs. McCallum and McCallum vs.
Gray. Gladys and her husband had no children and spent their entire lives in Victoria. After
Misty's death, she married Jack Betts and died in 1973.
PHOTO- Foul Bay now Gonzales Bay with two-story Tea Room&Bath House (1837 Crescent Rd)
designed by architect W D Oyly Rochfort in 1909 for John Herbert Gray (heritage-registered) just left of
centre. Meteorological Observatory (heritage-registered) and radio-telegraph station on Gonzales Hill
upper right. Exlant but radio-telegraph station demolished. Collection Ron Greene postcard c 1915.
Caroline McCallum and her children are shown as living at "Courland", 250 Crescent Road in
Oak Bay in Henderson's Victoria Directory of 1910-1911.
All the boys joined the local militia when the Great War began, and were soon transferred
abroad. A part from any sense of duty to serve the Mother Country, they perhaps felt it was a
welcome opportunity to break loose from Vancouver Island as see something of the big world,
now that both their parents had died.
KENNETH CAMPBELL McCALLUM "Ken" (1891-1964) joined up very early in the War. His
Attestation Paper for the 2nd Field Battery C. E. F., dated September 22, 1914, states that his
"Trade of Calling" is Real Estate and that he had already had two years' military experience with
the "8th CGA Victoria". In 1924, (in the English Probate Calendar, re the will of his father Arthur
Campbell) Ken is described as a (former?) "Captain, RAF". He would never return permanently
to BC, staying on in Britain after the war where he eventually became manager of the very
select Brown's Hotel in Mayfair, london. His particular lady friend was Nancy, wife of Sir
Waldon Dalrymple-Champneys- also a friend of. Ken's! Ken is said to have inherited the
McCallum diamonds(?), possibly part of the "Russian treasure" trove(??! !) ..... to the fury of his
brothers, he gave them to Nancy. I an and Minna met him for the first and only time in london
during their honeymoon. Ken had planned a visit to BC to visit brother Arthur but died in 1964
in London before it could be carried out.
ARTHUR RICHARD McCALLUM "Dick" (1893 -1918) Henderson's Directory shows Dick as a clerk
in the Bank of Montreal, living at "Courland". He married Esmee James in July 1914.
PHOTO - Dick and Eric, March 1919- in BC?
We do not know when Dick joined up or what branch of the armed forces, but tragically he was
killed in October 1918, just two weeks before the Armistice, as a result of a flying accident.
Esmee continued to live in Vancouver and brought up her two sons Erroll and young Dick, but
there was little further communication between her and husband Dick's brothers and sister,
and touch has been lost with this branch of the family.
ERIC EDWARD NAPIER McCALLUM (1894 -1957) Eric joined the Royal Canadian Regiment,
became a captain, and was decorated with the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) for bravery in
France. According to the accompanying commendation found by his grandson John McCallum,
he rescued wounded members of his regiment under fire, and carried them to safety.
Eric married Anna Kidston, a Coldstream girl, after the war- possibly establishing the later
connection between his brother Arthur and Sine Armstrong. Eric and "Angie" continued to live
in Victoria where he promoted various mining and natural resource companies. They had two
children, Alexander Campbell ("Sandy") born in 1921 and Mary ("Molly") born 1924.
Eric died suddenly in 1957; Angie survived him for many years and married Jimmy Matthews.
Sandy was particularly bright at mathematics and won scholarships to Upper Canada College
and McGill University. During the Second War he was an officer in the Signal Corps,
participating in the liberation of Holland and being awarded the Dutch Order of Orange Nassau.
After the war, he broke a leg skiing and ended up marrying his nurse, Joan Patteson (b. 1924).
They lived for his entire business career in Montreal where he became an Actuary for Sun Life,
then a partner in Towers Perrins an actuarial consulting firm, and finally head of the Alcan
Pension Fund. Their four children are John (economist and federal M.P.), Ann (architect),
Duncan (actuary/investment banker) and Martha (outdoor guide). All four married and have
children.
Sandy and Joan have had close contact with lan and Minna since the early 1960's, and ended up
living nearby them in Oakville. Sandy died in the spring of 1001.
Molly joined the RCN as a Wren, and toured in "The Navy Show". She visited the Arthur
McCallums in Halifax during the Second War and there met a naval officer, John Bird, whom she
married shortly after the war was over. Their entire married life was spent in Vancouver where
John had a law practice. The Birds' children are Michael (lawyer), Barbie (teacher) and Brian
(musician) and there are in turn further generations of children and grandchildren.
Molly became a good friend of Minna's when Minna migrated to Vancouver in 1959, and has
stayed in close contact with lan and Minna since our return to the west coast in 2008. John died
in 2006.
ARTHUR HOWARD KIRKMAN McCALLUM (1896 -1973). See Separate Chapters on Arthur&
Sine McCallum.
MAP OF SOUTHERN VANCOUVER ISLAND
ARTHUR HOWARD KIRKMAN McCALLUM (b. 1896)
PHOTO - c.1908 c.1914
Arthur Howard was commissioned as a lieutenant in early 1916 with the Gordon Highlanders of Canada
(based in Victoria and amalgamated with three other Canadian highland regiments into the Canadian
Scottish Battalion (105th) of the Canadian Expeditionary Force). However he transferred at some later
point into the Black Watch Regiment (The Royal Highlanders). In a note to his sister Gladys dated
"October end (year?), 73 Bn C2RH", he enclosed a Black Watch Balmoral cap badge and promised to try
and get her a Glengarry bonnet badge, which was "simply gorgeous". He ended his note by saying they
were "on their way to the thickest part".
He transferred to the Royal Flying Corps where he earned his Observer wings. He was shot down in
1916, and taken prisoner of war in Germany where he remained until the end of the war. His right elbow
was smashed in the crash, leaving him with limited movement in that joint, but a roll of barbed wire
cushioned his fall from the plane. While no bed of roses, the life of an officer in prison camp was
apparently tolerable- there are photographs of the camp and its inmates which, show them fairly
healthy and reasonably well supplied with food and minor luxuries like cigarettes. Arthur told of
dropping potatoes from second story windows onto the points of the pickelhaubers of the guards. More
poignantly he told of an escape plan which was betrayed and the escapees shot as they emerged from
their tunnel. Arthur mad some close friends in prison camp, notably one Howard Costello with whom he
spent much time in Britain after the War.
Known as the Young Lochinvar, he was mentioned in dispatches and apparently recommended for the
newly-instituted Order of the British Empire. Unfortunately, in the hearing of his C.O. he flippantly
referred to it as the Order of the Bad Egg and had the recommendation rescinded. He told of going into
one of the early major battles as the junior commissioned officer and coming out as the senior.
PHOTO 1916 With Howard Costello, Schweidnitz- Prisoner of War Camp February 1918
PHOTO - Captain Arthur Howard McCallum in regimental uniform escorting the Prince of Wales
inspecting RAF. Note some Air Force as well as Army and Navy uniforms, civvies and other clothing.
Probably 1919.
He emerged with the rank of Captain, attached to the 73rd Highland CEF, to which he was returned by
the R.A.F. March 16, 1919, although there is a subsequent reference to him as a Major. His Medals
included the 1914-1915 Star, the 1914-1919 Service Medal and the 1914-1918 Victory Medal. He also
obtained- under undisclosed circumstances- a German Iron Cross! The 1914-1915 Star is engraved
"Capt. A.H. McCallum R.A.F."
In December 1915 Arthur, then aged only 20, had married Mary Frances Mackenzie. Only 17, she was
the daughter of an American mining engineer who was probably an acquaintance of Arthur 0 C, also in
the same profession. Given address was 1226 S. Hampshire Road, Victoria.
Mary followed him to Britain; she is shown on Arthur's service record in 1917 as next-of-kin, living at the
Linden Court Hotel, 297 Cromwell Road, London, SW. They are shown on the passenger lists to have
returned together on the SS Vauban, arriving in New York from Liverpool on June 8, 1919. We don't
know where they lived in the period until1922 when, on her petition, they were divorced in BC; no
cause cited. Arthur was shown as resident in Seattle in the case.
Family history is that Mary "ran through all Arthur's money'; given her young age and circumstances of
living along(?) in London while Arthur was a prisoner of war, it is not surprising that she may not have
been financially responsible. In his postcard to Gladys of February 1918, Arthur instructs her to "tell old
Day ... that he is to keep on sending Mary $100 per month or we'll both starve". More than anything else,
their young ages were probably primarily responsible for the marriage failure. Mary Mackenzie
subsequently married someone called Lane (?) in BC, had children, and eventually divorced him as well.
Shortly after the War, Arthur ended up in the Tuberculosis Sanatorium at Tranquille, near Kamloops. He
also studied mining and geology at Denver, Colorado and spent some time prospecting in northern BC
and the Yukon. There were some watercolours of the northern landscape done by an acquaintance, but
now long lost or sold. However, an old black photograph album- unfortunately with few identifying
entries in it- shows pictures of Arthur and friends prospecting and at mining sites at northern B.C., the
Yukon, and the Kootenays as well as the landscape around Tranquille. There are also pictures of famous
Great War battle scenes- such as Vi my Ridge, post-war friends and family, in no particular order.
PHOTO - Tranquille Hospital
PHOTO - View of Tranquille from Battle Bluff
PHOTO - Arthur at Tranquille
Eric had married Anna ("Angie") Kidston, a Vernon girl, shortly after the end of the War. Possibly this
was the connection which introduced Arthur to the Armstrong family and the rest of the "Coldstream
Crowd". During the 20's, everyone appeared financially comfortable, and trips to and from the coast to
the Okanagan, and indeed "home" to Britain were frequently undertaken by many including the
Armstrongs and Arthur.
Passenger ship records show Arthur (alone) sailing from Liverpool to Quebec in May 1925 and from
Southampton to Quebec in May 1929. The Armstrong family sailed from Glasgow to Halifax in March
1914; Janie, Elizabeth and Sine from Saint John, NB to Liverpool in January 1915; and William, Janie and
Sine from Liverpool to Halifax in October 1919. Sine travelled by herself- or at least with no other
members of her family, from Montreal to Liverpool in October 1922, and again from Montreal to
London in September 1926.
The Armstrongs had been living in Glasgow with Janie Armstrong's Stephen brothers and sisters during
the Great War, while William McGee Armstrong was serving with his regiment, the York and Lancasters.
They returned to Morven, their fruit farm in the Coldstream, after the War but periodic visits back to
Scotland continued. Sine was sent back to Europe and spent some months living with a French family in
the south of France. She then entered the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, but an acting
career did not materialize. Instead, she became a model for one of the well-known London fashion
houses, Molyneux. Her 'professional name' was Jane Orchard.
How and when Arthur and Sine got together in London is not known, but they became engaged and
were married there in 1930, at a ceremony in the Chapel of the Savoy attended by both Sine's parents.
The Savoy Chapel was used since, as a divorced man, Arthur could not be married in a church
PHOTOS - Arthur&Sine, Bebruary 25th, 1930
They lived briefly in a flat in London but, possibly because of the Depression and the poor market in
Britain for BC apples for which Arthur was agenting, they decided to return to Canada. They sailed on
the Duchess of Richmond from Liverpool to Saint John, NB, arriving on March 30, 1930.
What Arthur and Sine did in the early 30's is another unkown, but Arthur was described as a stockbroker
with "A H McCallum&Co." on lan's birth certificate in 1936. Eric had become a promoter for junior
mining and oil stocks in Victoria, and it is possible Arthur was also engaged in this business at the
Vancouver end. Life may have been a little less comfortable for Arthur and Sine than it had been a few
years earlier, but they seemed to manage frequent trips to Vernon and lived in a nice if small house at
6549 Balsam Street in Kerrisdale.
PHOTO - Sine and Arthur, Vancouver, September 1932
After the Second World War broke out in 1939, Arthur joined the RCAF (September 1940). How much of
this was motivated by a wish to serve and how much by economic considerations if his business affairs
were not flourishing, one does not know. (He spoke with scorn, however, at being relegated to the 'chair
force'.) At age 44, and with no experience as a pilot, he would not have been easily received by the RCAF
and in fact was only able to secure his commission in a relatively less popular arm of the service, the
Military Police, with a reduced rank.
Sine remained in Vancouver until after Sally was born in the summer of 1940- lan having been bundled
off to the McCieans for the summer- and the family then moved temporarily to Calgary where Arthur
was initially posted.
PHOTO - Sally, Sine and lan, Vancouver 1940
By 1941, Arthur was Flight Lieutenant, and was posted to Montreal. They rented a house on Melville
Avenue in Westmount, and Sine set about looking for a maid/nanny. She advertised for one, giving her
phone number. A very Scottish voice replied, and they discussed on the phone details of the position, to
the point that Sine thought she should meet the voice in person and hopefully conclude the hiring. She
set the time and date, gave the address, and added that she was "Mrs. McCallum". There was a pause,
and the Scottish voice replied sharply, "and my name is MacDonald and I've not sunk so low in the world
that I've got to work for a dirty Campbell!" and slammed down her phone ... sine subsequently ended up
with someone called lsobel who I remember as lazy, slovenly, probably a drinker ... and who wasn't
around very long. I don't remember any maid after her! The positive element in this little episode was
the amusing story which Sine made out of it, used to great effect at many dinner parties!
PHOTO - Arthur McCallum, Montreal1942
Elizabeth and Allan McClean were also living in Montreal, Allan a major in the Army. They had an
apartment in the Gleneagles on Cote des Neiges which fascinated me because of its view over the city,
and the tropical fish tank in the lobby. The McCieans acquired a baby Austin, which barely held two
McCieans let alone any others. Montreal seems to have been a good posting- there were occasional
trips to New York, and memorable dinners at restaurants such as Chez Petit Robinson and Au Lutin Qui
Bouffe. Elizabeth and Sine did volunteer work at a Bureau on Dominion Square which was concerned I
think with providing entertainment or accommodation for visiting servicemen.
In 1943, Arthur was promoted to Squadron Leader, and made Deputy Provost Marshal in charge of the
RCAF police for Eastern Air Command. The family moved to Halifax where living accommodation was
almost unobtainable, and we ended up sharing a house called Winwick with two other families, the
Mosses and the Macdona Ids (later replaced by the Turnills). Although the other families were Navyminesweeper
captains, I think- there were no inter-service rivalries.
Winwick belonged to a federal Cabinet Minister, Angus l MacDonald, and was a fair size, surrounded by
what I remember as huge woods and gardens set on the North West Arm. Alas, before we left, the
grounds were already being subdivided and when I saw the house in the early 1980's, it looked tiny!
Our house mates were all Westerners, the Mosses and Turnills from Vancouver and the MacDonalds
from Calgary. This must have formed a bond against the local Haligonians who distrusted all non-locals
unless they were regular Navy, and exploited families stationed there unmerciffuly. Other friends were
Charlie and Jean Dupont, he also with the RCAF. Violet Moss had Vernon connections- (her sister was
June Osborne)- and was the least popular of the three resident mothers. She can't have been much
younger than Sine who was then in her late 30's, but at one point remarked to her, "By jove, Sine, I hope
when I get to your age I'll be as well preserved as you are!" This may have been intended as a
compliment but it obviously rankled and Sine used to quote it for years afterwards with wry
amusement.
Memories of Halifax ... being driven to Tower Road School in the RCAF Black Maria which came to pick up
Arthur and take him to work every day ... watching the convoys or large liners sailing alone as they
crossed the end of the North West Arm ... an explosion at the Ammunition Dump in Bedford Basin which
caused most of the ships to be sent to moor in the North West Arm, an amazing sight... the VE Day riots
where celebrating servicemen found all the liquor stores had suddenly been locked up on the, and
naturally broke them open ... meanwhile, the locals were not slow to take advantage of opportunities: at
Tower Road School the morning after, the principal assembled all the pupils and exhorted them to
return any loot they had taken from the shops ransacked along Barrington Street... a local society
matron, Mrs. Oland denying that any Haligonians had been involved in the riots and looting, explaining
in a Cuban accent that they were all the work of "Some drrreadful people frrrom Torrronto". Sine and Vi
were returning from shopping and encountered some very drunk sailors. "We're going to get some liquor
and when we get back, we're going to rape you." Said they. Vi became hysterical. Sine unsympathetically
told her not to be so silly, whereupon Vi said, "That's all very well for you to say, Sine. You've got nothing
to worry about!"
The Air Force personnel in Halifax had behaved fairly well during these events- or at least better than
the Army and Navy- and Arthur got credit for this. Now Wing Commander, he was awarded an M.B.E.,
in addition to his 1930-1945 Star, War Medal and Canadian Volunteer Service Medal.
"In May 1945, the V-E Day Riots (a celebration that got out of hand) ... devastated the downtown business
district, causing $5 million damage ... Halifax's reputation as a narrow-minded backwater was fostered by
military personnel who served in Halifax during World War 11 when they went home to complain about
their mistreatment at the hands of grasping Halifax landlords and shopkeepers, the lack of
entertainment, and the restrictive liquor laws. The national press coverage of the V-E Day Riots
suggested that Haligonians richly deserved the destruction of their city".
----Janet Guildford: "Halifax, Venerable and Vibrant at 250", article in "The Beaver'' June/July 1999, vol 79.3, pages
6and 7.
The ARMSTRONGS
The Armstrong clan were notorious "border reivers" on the Scottish/English border in the 16th and 17th
Centuries. Our branch migrated to Ireland and were based in Belfast. Their family history has been
traced back into the mid 18th Century, 1 starting with a shopkeeper Thomas, who had a son John, an
Army Major, who in turn had a son William Nixon Armstrong, a doctor who became Surgeon General of
the British Army.
PHOTO Dr. William McGee
PHOTO Jane McGee Armstrong, William and baby Elizabeth c. 1904 (?)
William Nixon Armstrong married Jane McGee, the only daughter of William McGee, a wealthy doctor
and businessman and in 1853 Mayor of Belfast. Sine McCallum remembers her (in 1916) as "old, small
and ugly", but she had the reputation of having been a "great Beauty in her youth- something of an
heiress, and the day she married, all the young men in Belfast wore lavender kid gloves as a sign of
mourning". William Nixon Armstrong had been posted with his regiment to Quebec, but Jane returned
to Ireland for the birth of her oldest son, William McGee Armstrong, though the next child, daughter
Mary ("May") is said to have been born in Canada . In all, there were five children: William, Mary, John,
Kathleen and Thomas (see later).
William McGee Armstrong, (1868-1946) my grandfather attended Sandhurst and joined the Army
serving with the York and Lancaster regiment in India. He met my grandmother, Jane Clark Young (see
Young Family History), known as Janie, aboard a ship sailing to India about 1900, and in 1901 they were
married in India. After the birth of their first daughter Elizabeth at Ootacomund, an army hill station in
Southern India, he resigned from his regiment with rank of captain. Why they chose to emigrate to
British Columbia we do not know, but the province had already established a reputation among British
army officers in India as an excellent place to retire to, where a gentleman's life could be enjoyed in a
1 Caspar Graham
good climate on an army pension with congenial like-minded neighbours.2 Having visited the Okanagan
in 1904 they bought land in the Coldstream Valley from the Earl of Aberdeen, returning there in 1905
while their house "Morven", designed by a Vancouver architect, was being built. While it was being
completed the family camped for the summer down beside the Coldstream Creek. A second daughter,
Jane, but always known as Sine (pronounced "Sheena") was born there in 1906, the first (white) child to
have been born in Coldstream.
PHOTO Washday at Coldstream Creek before piping of domestic water. Nurse McPhail and Elizabeth
Armstrong . C. 1907
PHOTO Elizabeth and Jane (Sine) Armstrong in their father's orchard. C 1908
2 JF Bosher: Imperial Vancouver Island, Xlibris Publishing, 2010
PHOTO William McGee Armstrong Captain, York&Lancaster Regiment c. 1914
PHOTO at Morven, 1920's
William McGee and Janie found several expatriate Scots and English families in the Coldstream,
notably Kidstons, Mackies, Husbands and others, so they would not have felt particularly exiled
or isolated but quite comfortably among others of similar class and background. 3
PHOTO Mrs. Armstrong and Mrs. Kidston horseback riding, 1912.
3 Margaret Ormsby: Coldstream: Nulli Secundus, Coldstream Municipality, 1990
The farm was successfully planted in fruit trees and run for three years by the Coldstream
Ranch, operated by a Scot called Livingstone, 4 and later by another Scottish couple, Big Grant
and his wife Wee Grant. Money was not a problem; both William and Janie came from families
who were, at the time, quite comfortably off it not downright wealthy. Visitors came to them
from both the Armstrong side (brother Tom) and the Youngs (sister Mabel, awaiting her
forthcoming marriage to her brother-in-law, Fred Stephen, who also visited).
The Armstrong family visited Britain in 1914, returning to Canada from Glasgow in early March
1914. In August of the same year, the family were camping down on Lake Kalamalka at what is
now Jade Bay near Oyama, when William rowed down the lake to tell them that war had been
declared and that he had been recalled to his regiment. He left quickly for Britain while Janie
and the two girls followed him in January 1915, to stay with her family in Glasgow. William had
the rank of Major and likely spent some years fighting in France. In March 1917, as a Lt. Colonel,
he left London for Devon port, on board the SS Orontes in charge of 67 officers and 1256 other
ranks bound for the Far East via the Cape. At Durban, they transferred to the RMS Caronia, he
now in charge of 3,766 officers, men and a few women (wives and nurses), reaching Bombay in
June, arriving finally at Rangoon on the 24th.
He wrote an extensive diary of his voyage and the year spent subsequently in Burma as
Commanding Officer of a regiment formed from battalions from several other regiments. Unlike
so many of his contemporaries, William seems to have had a "good" and even enjoyable war,
for at least the last two years of it.
The Armstrongs returned to Morven In October 1919.The halcyon pre-war years had seen
profitable operations for the settler-fruit growers who also had lots of paid labour to run their
farms while enjoying an active leisure and social life- hunting, fishing, riding tennis parties,
boating, dances and so on ... but things were different after the Great War. Many of the men did
not come back to the Cold stream, and the 1920's were, for the most part, not such good years
for fruit farming because of poor prices for the crops and rising expenses for irrigation and
water systems. 5 Nevertheless, life went on not too unpleasantly though the "gentleman
farming" of the Edwardian era was replaced by hands-on efforts with fewer paid hands. William
took an active part in the affairs of the Coldstream Municipality, as a member of the Council,
Reeve (Mayor) in 1925 and 1926 and School Trustee.
In 1930, they again voyaged to Britain, this time to London for daughter Sine's wedding to
Arthur McCallum.
4 Anne Husband Pearson: An Early History of Coldstream&Lavington, Wayside Press 1986
5 Margaret Ormsby: op.cit.
PHOTO WMA and Sine, London, February 25th, 1930
PHOTO Morven, as it looked until the 1960's. Brown cedar shingle exterior, covered with
creeper; large line of poplar trees bordering the back lawn to the east of the house.