Showing posts with label 48th Highlanders. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 48th Highlanders. Show all posts

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Saluting Canada, Where Ancestors Landed or Settled

Capt. John Slatter (front and center) with the 48th Highlanders
As Canada approaches its exciting 150th anniversary celebration, I want to highlight ancestors who either settled there or first touched North American soil in Canada.

First, let me mention the illustrious Slatter brothers, my husband's London-born great uncles. They became well-known bandmasters in Canada, putting to good use the musical and military training they had received as children on the Goliath and Exmouth.
  • Albert William Slatter (1862-1935) served as bandmaster with the 7th London Fusiliers in Ontario.
  • John Daniel Slatter (1864-1954) achieved fame as the bandmaster of the 48th Highlanders in Toronto, helping to popularize the craze for kiltie bands.
  • Henry Arthur Slatter (1866-1942) was the distinguished bandmaster for the 72d Seaforth Highlanders in Vancouver.
At least two of my Berk/Birk/Burk/Block/Berg ancestors left Lithuania, stopped in England with family to learn English and polish their woodworking skills, and then continued on to North America.
Henrietta Mahler Burk & Isaac Burk
  • Isaac Burk (1882-1943) was a cabinetmaker who, at age 19, was residing with an aunt and uncle in Manchester (according to the 1901 census), along with his older brother, Abraham. Isaac sailed for Canada in 1903 but stayed only for a short time, moving on to New York City where his older sister Nellie Block (1878-1950) was living. Isaac married Henrietta Mahler in New York, and moved back and forth between Montreal and New York for nearly 10 years before deciding to remain in New York permanently.
  • Abraham Berk (1877-1962), also a cabinetmaker, was residing with the same family in Manchester as his brother Isaac during 1901. After his brother left, Abraham stayed on to marry Anna Horwich, then sailed to Canada and made a home in Montreal, where he and his wife raised their family.
Oh Canada! Happy anniversary and many more.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday - Operation: Picture Me Finds Capt. Slatter's Resting Place

Hubby's great uncle, Capt. John Daniel Slatter, died in Toronto in February, 1954. I have numerous obits of his illustrious life as the beloved bandmaster of Toronto's 48th Highlanders Regiment for 50 years.


But none of the tributes mentioned where the good Captain is buried. So as part of my Genealogy Do-Over/Go-Over, I reached out to my friendly contacts at the 48th Highlanders Museum in Toronto, which hubby and I visited in 2014.

Dave, the wonderful museum volunteer and prolific Find A Grave contributor behind Operation: Picture Me, dedicates himself to locating and posting photos of Canadian military personnel who died during wartime, as a way to honor their memory.


 Not only did Dave immediately search for a funeral notice for Capt. Slatter--stating that the burial would be in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto--he also posted it on Capt. Slatter's Find A Grave page.

Then Dave went to the cemetery and photographed the Slatter family's headstone, front and back.

 Thanks to Dave's kindness and dedication, the family now can see the final resting place of Capt. Slatter and his wife Sophie Marie Le Gallais Slatter, plus two daughters (Edith Sophie Slatter and Bessie Louise Slatter), along with son Albert Matthew Slatter and Albert's wife, Maude Mary Hutson.

To Dave and Operation: Picture Me--please know how much your efforts are appreciated!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sentimental Sunday: Three Generations of Fighting Slatters

For Memorial Day, I'm honoring the military service of hubby's Slatter family.

Above, a news photo with caption that sums up my tribute: "Three Generations of Fighting Slatters."

At far left is Lt. Frederick William Slatter (1890-?). Lt. F. W. Slatter was wounded during WWI while serving with the Canadian armed forces at the famous Battle of Vimy Ridge in April, 1917.

Second from left is Captain John Daniel Slatter (1864-1954), father of Frederick. "Capt. Jack" gained fame as the long-time Bandmaster of Toronto's 48th Highlanders. In 1944, he was appointed a member of the Order of the British Empire as a tribute to his service in training military bands for so many decades.

Third from left is John Hutson Slatter (1920-2012), grandson of Capt. Jack. John enlisted in the Canadian military in the spring of 1940 for service in WWII. At far right is Lt. Albert Matthew Slatter (1887-1970), son of Capt. Jack, brother of Frederick, and father of John Hutson Slatter. Lt. A.M. Slatter served in Canada's No. 4 Company of 15th Battalion and then in the 48th Highlanders during WWI.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Sepia Saturday, Photo within a Photo: The 48th Highlanders of Toronto

Edgar James Wood (1903-1986), my late father-in-law, was 14 when he took up photography. He delighted in printing and enlarging his photos on his own.

Scanning the prints in his 1917 album, I came across the above photo of Ed's dad, James Edgar Wood (1871-1939). It was taken in Cleveland, at one of the many homes built by James during his construction career.

I didn't need a magnifying glass to recognize the photo on the wall, top left. Here it is, enlarged.

It shows the 48th Highlanders of Toronto, with Captain John D. Slatter, bandmaster. (There's no mistaking the kilts and boots.)

Capt. Jack (as we in the family like to call him) was the photographer's uncle, brother of his mother, Mary Slatter Wood (1869-1925). The families were in touch regularly. Capt. Jack's children crossed the border from Toronto to see their aunt Mary and her family on a number of occasions, we know from postcards (and border crossing documents).

On the eve of Veteran's Day, I want to salute Capt. Jack and all the other veterans in the Wood family.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #20: Capt. John Slatter, "Dileas Gu Brath"

Captain John Daniel Slatter (1864-1954) served as bandmaster of the 48th Highlanders in Toronto for 50 years. Although I've written about him many times, today for the first time I saw the three-foot tall photo portrait of him, below, which once graced the officers' mess in the Armory (now long gone).

The 48th Highlanders' museum is located in the basement of St. Andrew's Church on King Street in Toronto. Inside the church is this magnificent stained glass window, testament to the longstanding and close ties between the church and the regiment.

Capt. Slatter most certainly embodied the regiment's motto: "Dileas Gu Brath"--Gaelic for "Faithful Forever." Well into his 80s, he put on his uniform and greeted those of the 48th Highlanders who had served overseas in WWII, upon their return to Toronto.

According to Canadian records, Capt. Slatter's son, Albert Matthew Slatter, also served in the military. During WWI, he was confirmed in the rank of Lieutenant and by 1918, he was a member of No. 4 Company of the 15th battalion. He may have been wounded in the battle for the Canal du Nord (he was reported at a dressing station September 28, 1918)--part of the Hundred Days that led to the war's end.

Today's visit with the wonderful folks of the 48th who staff the museum brought up an intriguing possibility. According to Capt. Slatter's 1954 obit, his daughter Mabel Alice married a man named Davidson.

The first commanding officer of the fabled 48th was John Irvine Davidson, born in Aberdeen, Scotland and a highly successful business man in Toronto. Did Capt. Slatter's daughter marry into this Davidson family? That's a question I'll research as I continue to look for more Slatter cousins.

Here are photos and a brief video snippet of the 48th Highlanders Church Parade, which took place on May 25 this year.

video 
22 second video of the 48th Highlanders parading to St. Andrew's Church



Sunday, February 23, 2014

Military Monday: Band Sergeant of H.M.S. "Goliath" at Age 11

Hubby's great uncle Captain John Daniel Slatter (1864-1954) was the renowned bandmaster of the 48th Highlanders of Canada for nearly 50 years. Thanks to the kindness of the head of the Canadian Band Association, which published a biographical sketch of Capt. Slatter in 1943, our family now knows a lot more about his early career.

Slatter must have been one heck of a musician and a dynamic personality to achieve so much, starting at the tender age of 11 (yes, you read that right).
  • At age 11 (in 1875), he was Band Sergeant and solo cornet of the Boy's Band of the H.M. Training Ship Goliath.
  • Before he was 13, Slatter joined the British Army and at 14, he was the chair of Solo Trombone and chair of Euphonium soloist in a regimental band.
  • At 18, he became Euphonium soloist in the H.M. Life Guard's Band.
  • Next, he joined Patrick Gilmore's Band in America, a NY-based wind band famous throughout the world. Gilmore died in 1892.
  • Slatter moved to Canada and became part of the Band of "A" Battery, Canadian Regulars.
  • Next, he moved to Boston for a position with Ellis Brooks' Marine Band (which, if I have the correct article, played engagements at expositions and other big-city events.
  • For three seasons, Slatter served as first trombone of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
  • Despite offers from John Philip Sousa and Victor Herbert, Slatter joined the 48th Highlanders as Bandmaster in 1896.
  • For decades, Slatter and the 48th Highlanders Band toured the world. He even arranged the Royal Tattoo musical program for the Quebec Tercentenary celebration.
  • As Bandmaster, Slatter composed and arranged military music that is still in use today.
  • Slatter was a founder of the Canadian Bandmasters' Association, its first president, and then honorary president. 
  • A portrait of Capt. Slatter, in full Highland regalia, was presented to the Armories in Toronto (a beautiful building that is now, alas, gone). Wonder what happened to that portrait? I'm going to try to find out!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #6: The Slatter Brothers, Canadian Military Bandmasters

Hubby's grandma Mary Slatter Wood (1869-1925) was the younger sister of three distinguished gentlemen who left their birthplace in England for successful careers as military bandmasters in Canada:
  • Albert William Slatter (1862-1935) moved to Canada in 1906 and became bandmaster and music director of the 7th London Fusiliers in Ontario, Canada. He and his wife Eleanor Marion Wilkinson had 6 children: Maud Victoria, Ada, Albert, Ernest, and twins Glynn Edward and John (Jack). Albert attained the rank of Lieutenant in 1920 and the rank of Captain in 1923. Thanks to the Royal Canadian Regiment, I know more about Capt. Slatter's military career: He served 28 years in the British Army before moving to Canada and joining the 7th London Fusiliers, as shown in the 1914 pay list (above).
  • John Daniel Slatter (1864-1954) arrived in Canada in 1884, married Sophie Mary Elizabeth LeGallais in 1887, and had 6 children who survived childhood: Albert Matthew, Frederick William, Edith Sophie, Bessie Louise, Walter John, and Mabel Alice. The photo below shows Captain John Slatter in 1917 at Camp Borden, where he trained buglers during WWI. Capt. Slatter was a world-famous bandmaster, as I've written in earlier posts. In recent months, I also learned that he touched the lives of young men like Thomas Clark McBride.
  • Captain John Daniel Slatter, 1917
  • Henry Arthur Slatter (1866-1942) arrived in Canada in 1911 and became bandmaster of the 72nd Seaforth Highlanders in Vancouver. Henry and his wife, Alice Good, had 3 children who survived infancy: Arthur Albert, John Henry, and Dorothy Florence. Alice died on Christmas Day in 1914, and it looks like Henry remarried to Kathleen, and had a son Jackie, according to the 1921 Canada Census. The brief obituary from the Ottawa Journal of July 18, 1942 reads: "VANCOUVER, July 17, Henry Arthur Slatter, 76, one of Canada's leading bandmasters, and brother of Capt. John Slatter of Toronto, died here Wednesday." The Vancouver Public Library is sending me a 1928 article about this youngest Slatter bandmaster. 
Any Slatter descendants out there?

Friday, January 3, 2014

Military Monday: Tom Clark McBride and Capt. John Slatter

Capt. John Slatter
Captain John Slatter, hubby's celebrated great-uncle, taught thousands of buglers and musicians during his five distinguished decades as bandmaster of the 48th Highlanders Regiment in Toronto.

Tom Clark McBride
One was a young teenager named Tom Clark McBride, who first met Capt. Slatter at summer camp on Niagara-on-the-Lake in 1941. Tom served as the captain's batman during the two-week camp period (see photo at right, with Tom in one of his 48th Highlanders uniforms).

When Tom's regular music teacher, James Downie, left for WWII Navy duty, Capt. Slatter took over the musical training until Tom was old enough to join the Navy.

More than 70 years later, Tom's daughter Catherine contacted me for information about Capt. Slatter, part of her research for a scrapbook for her Dad. We've been exchanging e-mails ever since, having fun finding out more about the good captain. She sent me the photo above, showing Capt. Slatter around the time he met Tom.

Catherine has been kind enough to write down a few anecdotes from Tom's time with Capt. Slatter. These first-hand personal insights reveal the captain's personality and his compassion--showing us John Slatter the man, as well as Capt. Slatter the bandmaster. Thank you so much, Tom and Catherine! 
  • When my grandmother [Tom's mother] took Dad to Boddingtons (a music store in their area) to get his cornet, which was his first instrument, the captain went with them to make sure he got the right instrument for him. It was a silver cornet made by Besson of England. My Dad and his Mom thought the Captain was the greatest thing since sliced bread. He certainly didn’t need to do that but was kind enough to do so and I think obviously interested in my Dad.
  • If anyone made a mistake the captain would know who goofed and stopped everything. He’d then walk over to the offending “instrument” and ask for your instrument and physically check it out and test the operation of it. If it was ok, no sticky valves etc. he would hand it back and say it seemed to be fine, go back to where he stood and resume practice. It was done in a nice manner, never crabby or anything. Needless to say nobody goofed if they could avoid doing so. Dad would have been about 15 then.
  • One day they were marching in a parade of some sort, possibly Santa Claus, with a number of military bands such as 48th, Black Watch, Queens own, etc. Dad was marching along as was everyone else when out of the corner of his eye he spotted the captain marching in the middle of the six rows, waiting for the drums to catch up. It seems they had somehow changed tempo and so the captain corrected them, then marched back to the front where he had been and was supposed to be.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Military Monday: Oh Canada! WWI Military Badges

Heirloom belt from WWI
I saw this wonderful belt for the first time on Saturday, when a family discussion about genealogy reminded the current owner that he had this in his possession. Hubby remembered seeing it in the attic of his childhood home many decades ago.

It was passed down by a Canadian relative--mostly likely Captain John Daniel Slatter of the 48th Highlanders of Toronto. Capt. Jack, as we like to call him, was hubby's great-uncle, one of three military bandmasters in the Slatter family.

Capt. Jack was very close to his sister, Mary Slatter Wood (who married James Edgar Wood in Ohio). We have a couple of photos of him: One, above, shows him at Camp Borden in Canada in 1917, where he trained dozens of military bands and 1,000 buglers.

According to the 48th Highlanders Regimental Museum, Capt. Jack's military record was:

1874-6    Training Ship Royal Harry
1876-81  Royal Fusiliers
1881-6    "A" Battery Royal Canadian Artillery (Quebec City and Northwest Battalion)
1916-9    Officer-in-Charge of Training Bands & Buglers, Military District #2
1896-1946  48th Highlanders of Canada (based in Toronto)

Because he was in charge of training, he would have been able to trade badges with many of the military men he trained.

Above and below are the first closeups of the badges on this incredible heirloom belt. More to come soon, leading up to Canada Day on July 1st.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Surname Saturday: Slatter (The Musical Slatter Brothers)

Captain John (Jack) Daniel Slatter (1864-1954), my husband Wally's great-uncle, was not only a well-known bandmaster in Toronto, he had two musical brothers.

Above is Henry Arthur Slatter (1866-1942), who led the 72nd Seaforth Highlanders, 1911-14 and 1919-1925. Here he is circa 1913, standing on the steps of the Vancouver Courthouse, which is today the Vancouver Art Gallery. This photo was posted by "Bold Highlander" on "X Marks the Scot," where he also posted photos of Captain Jack.

The third musical brother was Albert William Slatter, bandmaster of the 7th London Fusiliers. I'm still researching him!

All the brothers were children of John Slatter Sr. and Mary Shehen/Shehan, married in Whitechapel, London, England, in 1859. Their other children were Mary Slatter (hubby's grandma, married to James Edgar Wood) and Adelaide Mary Slatter (married to James S. Baker), of more in later posts. Mary must have passed the family musical tradition down to her son, Edgar James Wood, who played piano and other instruments professionally for many years.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Captain John Slatter was a Bandmaster

Thanks to Stan Milne of the Regimental Museum of the 48th Highlanders of Canada, I found out that Captain Slatter (the gentleman in the kilt in last Wednesday's post) had a long and distinguished career in the military. He served with the 48th Highlanders from 1896 through 1946 and was appointed bandmaster in 1916. He was officer-in-charge of training bands and buglers during WWI!

Among his medals are a Member of the British Empire and the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal (for serving 20 yrs).

Next step: Ordering his records from the Library & Archives Canada. Finally, I hope to learn who John Slatter's parents were--the parents of hubby's grandmother. This will be a big breakthrough!

PS This just in!
  • I just found Captain John Slatter in the Canadian Encyclopedia of Music--he was a well-known military band master and his brother, Henry Arthur Slatter, is mentioned as well. 
  • He was instrumental (pun intended) in establishing the Canadian Band Assn.
  • Capt. Slatter toured the 48th Highlanders band through North America and played at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1934. In 1935 photo above, Capt. Slatter is at center of front row.
  • And he and the band toured all over the world, including at the Pan-American Exposition at Buffalo, NY in 1901. Below, Capt. Slatter (center, front) and the brass band from the 48th, which toured around the world.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Day of Remembrance: Captain Slatter of the 48th Highlanders

Captain Slatter, one of my husband's great uncles, lived in Canada and served in WWI (I've written about him here). And once again, I'm posting this photo of the captain in full regalia.
Thanks to Darcy Murray, who posted a comment on my original post about Captain Slatter, I learned that this is the dress uniform of the 48th Highlanders of Canada. This morning, Lt. Kassissia of the 48th Highlanders responded to my inquiry by confirming that yes, Captain Slatter does appear to be wearing the 48th Highlanders' uniform and my inquiry will be forwarded to the Regimental Museum for further study! 


In Canada, November 11 is Remembrance Day, as in America it's Veteran's Day. So this week I want to post a poppy in remembrance of Captain Slatter and all those veterans who have served our nations. Thank you for your service!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Military Monday: Capt. Slatter at Camp Borden, Ontario

This is Captain Slatter*, who is related (somehow) to my husband's grandmother Mary Slatter Wood. The reverse of this photo, handed down in the family, has a handwritten notation:
Camp Borden, Ont. 1917
Standing outside my tent
I only put my kilt on for special occasions in camp as it is so dusty with sand blowing all day.

Capt. Slatter's hat is the same as he's wearing in the earlier photo below, taken in Toronto, where he has on a dress kilt and is holding a baton. (A bandmaster?) I can't distinguish the insignia, rank, etc. on either uniform. Any ideas would be much appreciated!

Camp Borden was the WWI training grounds of Canada's Royal Flying Corps. Mary and her brothers John, Albert, and Harry Slatter (and sister Mrs. James F. Baker) came from England to Winnipeg, and the rest stayed in Canada. Exactly who Captain Slatter is, I can't tell (yet). Mary died in 1925 and her obit mentions her sister and three brothers, but no "E. Slatter." Perhaps he died before Mary. And how Mary got to Toledo, Ohio, by 1898 (when and where she married James Edgar Wood) is a mystery, as well!



Thanks to Darcy, whose comment is below, I think the mystery of the uniform is solved: This appears to be of the 48th Highlanders, as shown in the above sketch from Anthony R. Percival's page from the University of Toronto. I've written the 48th, with the photos, to ask for confirmation. A very good start! Darcy, your help is much appreciated.

*Update: This is Captain John (Jack) Slatter. The 48th Highlanders identified him for me! See my later post here. Stay tuned for more soon.