Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Lest We Forget IV

As we continue during this Week of Remembrance... I like how it have become a week of remembering... we remember those who lived and cottaged at Sturgeon Point.

From the Hopkins family, Fred Hopkins...

and his twin brother, Charles Hopkins...

in uniform at The Point

and their brother-in-law, Trevor Roberts.

One war earlier, another generation of Hopkins brothers served. Robert Hopkins, father of Fred & Charles...

his brother Lt-Col Fred Hopkins...

Also their brother Dr. Bruce Hopkins served.

The Ryerson brothers, close friends and sailing rivals of the Hopkins, also served in WWI.  The eldest George Crowther Ryerson...

His brother Lieut Arthur Ryerson...

courtesy of The University of Toronto

Their father, Major-Gen Dr. Sterling Ryerson wrote in his book, The Great War (pub. 1924):

"On August 4th at midnight Great Britain, true to the treaty with Belgium, of which treaty Germany was also a signatory, declared war. We realized that when England was at war we were at war, for the Empire is one. England's king is our king, her flag is our flag, all of which facts Germany discovered to her cost.

The Government of Canada at once offered a contingent of one division to be sent to the assistance of the mother country. The offer was gratefully accepted by the British Government and our home Government called for volunteers on August 8th, four days after the declaration of war.

Between forty and fifty thousand men sent in their names, and among them my sons George and Arthur. George was a captain in the Royal Grenadiers, and Arthur, who was a graduate of the Royal Military College, was also attached to that regiment, but was immediately transferred to the artillery and appointed to the charge of the ammunition column of the 9th Field Battery.

I will never forget the fateful moment when they came to me and asked my permission to join up. I was greatly moved, for I realized the seriousness of the situation, but I was proud of the patriotic spirit they displayed and told them it was their duty to serve Canada and the Empire as their forebears had done. "

The Major-General Dr Stirling Ryerson had also served in the Fenian Raids, the North-West Rebellion and the Boer War before serving in WWI.

A third Ryerson son, Capt Eric Egerton Ryerson also served and was mentioned in dispatches. He managed to be at just about every major battle and emerged from that nightmare to return to Toronto and Sturgeon Point.

His son Lieut. Stirling Ryerson also served in WWII.  He was captured at Dieppe and spent the rest of the war as a POW at Oflag 7B.

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