Showing posts with label 72nd Seaforth Highlanders Canada. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 72nd Seaforth Highlanders Canada. Show all posts

Monday, September 4, 2017

Military Monday: Ask the Archivist About Ancestors in the Military

Earlier this year, as part of my Genealogy Go-Over, I contacted the Archivist of the 72nd Seaforth Highlanders museum in Vancouver, asking for information about the military career of hubby's great uncle, Henry Arthur Slatter (1866-1942). This strategy--ask a historian or an archivist--is one of my Genealogy, Free or Fee tips that has paid off several times, yielding details and clues to further my family history research.

Bandmaster H.A. Slatter served with the 72nd on and off from 1911 through 1925. By the way, this was after his earlier service with the British military, including the Grenadier Guards. (All three Slatter brothers were military bandmasters and served both in England and in Canada.)

The archivist provided a few details about this bandmaster's career in Vancouver, and he has been keeping his eyes open for photos. Today, he sent me a link to the Vancouver Archives, where the above photo is stored. The caption says that the unnamed military band is playing during a 1918 wartime parade in downtown Vancouver (specifically, the 100 block of East Hastings).

Although neither the 72nd Seaforth Highlanders nor Bandmaster H.A. Slatter are identified or referenced, the eagle-eyed archivist recognized the unit's uniforms and caps right away. He says that the band's conductor (sitting with his back to the camera at the front of the vehicle) could very well be the great uncle we are researching. And I agree, given the physical similarity between the conductor in this photo and other photos I've seen of his bandmaster brothers.

Without the help of the archivist, I never would have found this photo, because the 72nd Seaforth is not mentioned in any of the captioning data.

So go ahead, ask a historian or archivist--these professionals really know their way around the archives and can help us learn more about our ancestors!

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, 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?

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.