The Unknown Family Soldier

This page is dedicated to the following people who may or may not have been family, yet served in WWI and WWII
If you know who they are , please let Roy know. Please include Photo Number.

Unknown Soldier 1
IMG_SCAN_3448_PC_Canadian WWI Soldier
probably 1900-1914 photo postcard

Could this photo be of Barney?
In Ila TAYLOR Badger's info there is a reference to Brother-In-Laws death, which I never noticed before. I have included the whole notation below.

"...Barney taught in Fair Valley School, north of Glenboro, May 1916. He was killed at Vimy Ridge March 17, 1918...."

Ila is granddaughter of 2nd Great Grandfather to Roy
Ida (should be Ila) Beryl born 1900, lived with her parents until she married Jonas Bjarnason in 1920. Jona's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Kristjan Bjarnason with their two sons, Barney, seven years old and Jonas, two years old came to Glenboro from Iceland in 1902.
They resided in Glenboro until 1938, moving to live in the Icelandic Home at Gimli, Manitoba.

Courtesy of the Sig & Hank Christopherson Collection

Could this perhaps be Percival Hearn b: 2 Jun 1892 in Toronto, Ontario

Roy does have an Officer's Declaration Paper from Online, along with Birth Certificate which he is looking over.within the family.
UPDATE: Roy has now seen photos, thanks to Mary, of Percival throughout his life, this is not him.

Left: Enlargement of Cluster on collar of the photo above.
You decide if a match, 44th?
"44th Overseas Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force"



George Biles

George lived near the Christopherson Family. Hank knows which one is George
From the Sig & Hank Christopherson Collection


Click to Enlarge

Back side

Background: The Seaforth Highlanders, originally known as the 72nd Highlanders, formed in 1910. Its founding members were Scots who had immigrated to Vancouver; many were members of the local St. Andrews and Caldeonian Society. They wanted to form a militia with the same uniform and tartan as Britain's Seaforth Highlanders.
Source: Robert Goddard
Unknown Soldier 2
"72nd Highlanders Camp at Cumberland B.C. during Coal Strike August 1913"

Possible someone in the family went by the camp and took a photo. below is person on right.
Digital copy sent to The Seaforth Highlanders Regimental Association , Vancouver, BC V6J 3G4
Robert Goddard , Seaforth Association

The Story

From the Sig & Hank Christopherson Collection

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge
Unknown Soldier 3

Unsure of date. Men in kilts.
From the Sig & Hank Christopherson Collection

Examining the photo, large close up photo on the right is from another photo which is is posed with a woman and then he is in another photo posed with Eloise Stoneson and a man. Possibly Donald Stoneson, yet Roy only has two photos of him at a later
age. This man has a cleft in his chin.

The photo above with man on the right may be one in the same. Note he is right handed and smokes. Has a couple patches on right shoulder yet unable to make out. His belt seems to have two circles or an '8', along with fellow on right. Three in middle seem to have two laurels, again too grainey to tell.

It would make sense that if Donald, maybe sent to his aunt Gudrun (GM)


IMG_SCAN_3871_NoC16_ForRobert (Click to Enlarge)
This man was photoraphed with Eloise Stoneson. Does not appear to be Donald.
From the Sig & Hank Christopherson Collection

From Robert Goddard , Seaforth Association
Our Regimental History shows a
K42613 Pte Stoneson, DJ was with the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada from 21
May1943 to 25 Sep 1945
There is no record of him being a Sgt.

Unknown Soldier 4

A great photo. Possibly a seaman with his parents.
Perhaps someone might identify them or his Class, location, etc.

From the Sig & Hank Christopherson Collection

Click to Enlarge
Man and woman on porch.
From the Veiga CHRISTOPHERSON Dawe Album, Ytranes in B.C.
Courtesy of the Miriam Westereng Collection

Courtesy of the Miriam Westereng Collection
Unknown Soldier 5
Comments on the photos, which are greatly appreciated!
From Cousin Mike Christopherson

Looking at these photos the female uniform lacks insignias other then a shoulder patch.  Think they may be more like some type of civil defense type personal.  Seem more like WW 2 types of uniforms to me as well. The weapon is not a Ross or Lee-Enfield rifle used in WW 1.
I have studied the Canadian weapons my Grandfather probably used with the 72nd Highlanders in some detail.  Maybe someone's personal weapon.  The Canadian Woman's Army Corps didn't come about until 1943 although there was a nursing corps in WW 1.  My mom said [that] during WW 2 in both SF and Vancouver they had civil defense folks walking around to insure that everyone turned their lights out during blackouts so the Japanese had no visual targets.  The third picture looks like he is wearing some type of riding pants. These are all just guesses I guess.
Adding to the mystery according to my past research the Canadian 2nd consisted of three Brigades in WW 1. Of note the divisions within the Brigades came from all over Canada.  The Fifth Brigade had one division from BC and that was the 24th Victoria Rifles.  The 6th Brigade had the 27th from the City of Winnipeg and the 29th Vancouver.  My great grandfather  (mom) was a member of the 29th Vancouver and lost his life in the Battle of Flers-Courcellette in 1916 (Battle of the Somme).  So these folks pictured could have been part of the Vancouver 29th or somehow attached to them

From Colin MacGregor Stevens, CD
Retired Captain (army) and retired Museum Manager/Curator/Archivist
(last position was at the New Westminster Museums and Archives)

The 'rifle' is actually a double barrel shotgun. Civilian type, but the type was also used by the military for sport and possibly for some training. 

She is wearing a World War I army officer's uniform. The rank (indistinct) is on the cuffs. The shoulder patch is indistinct but might be the 2nd Canadian Division. Their formation patch consisted of a Royal Blue rectangle with a large gold (or yellow) letter C with two vertical bars inside the C ( I.e. Roman nyneral II inside C). Time period would likely be 1917-1918.

She appears to be cross-dressing, I.e. Wearing a man's uniform. The women's uniforms were different styles. It was quite common for women to play at war by dressing in a man's uniform and posing for the camera. I have examples of this in my grandparents' albums and from WWII. The man could be a husband, brother, fiancée, cousin or boyfriend. 

Click to enlarge

Man by BiPlane
From the Veiga CHRISTOPHERSON Dawe Album, Ytranes in B.C.
Courtesy of the Miriam Westereng Collection

Unknown Soldier 6
From Colin MacGregor Stevens, CD
Retired Captain (army) and retired Museum Manager/Curator/Archivist (last position was at the New Westminster Museums and Archives)

The unidentified man next to the aircraft appears to be wearing a Royal Flying Coros (Canada) "maternity jacket" uniform. No rank is visible. He may well be one of the ground crew who serviced and repaired the aircraft and machine guns. 

The aircraft is a JN-4 "Jenny" training plane and the photo will date from 1917-1918. The engine exhaust stacks venting above the upper wing are unusual but do appear in historical photos and in the drawing referenced below.

The partial squadron marking (a hollow diamond) on the left side of the fuselage appears to be that of the School of Aerial Gunnery. We cannot see the tail number so we cannot identify the exact aircraft, but as they were training aircraft, they were usually not associated with any particular individual. 

Here is a drawing of a similar aircraft.
Be careful because any such image is an interpretation by the artist and errors can occur e.g. In colours.

The Royal Flying Corps (Canada) was training in Canada and a decision was made to move them to Texas for the winter of 1917-1918 in hopes of having better flying weather. My Geandfather, Captain W.A. Stevens, was an instructor with the School of Aerial Gunnery, went to Texas and may well have trained this man or worked with him. The photo was either taken in Ontario, Canada or in Texas, USA. This squadron was at Beamsville, Ontario I think at one point (near St. Catharines, Ontario and I have two tables my Grandfather obtained from the officer's mess there at the end of the war. I also have dozens of photos that he took during the war. 

I must add that I am not a specialist in this section of military history. My collection and research focuses on WWII elite units of Canada and Britain e.g. Airborne, commando ( my father was attached to No. 4 Commando in 1943) , Special Operations Executuve ( including the resistance movements in Europe) etc. 

Copyright © 2005-2019 Roy E. Christopherson
All Rights Reserved By Each Family Member. Privacy Policy

Need a Translator? Google Icelandic to English
Icelandic Alphabet