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Red Deer’s Boer War Soldiers

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4 minute read

As Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of 41 Signal Regiment, I think it’s important that we learn about our military history, especially one as rich and meaningful as our local military history.  Here in the 2nd of 3 local stories, Michael Dawe tells us about the soldiers from our region who made the ultimate sacrifice in the Boer War.

When the Red Deer Hospital opened in 1904, it was dedicated to the memory of three young men from the Balmoral District east of Red Deer who had been killed in the Boer War. They were Angus Jenkins, Archibald McNicoll and Charles Cruickshank.

Angus Jenkins was born in Fredericton New Brunswick in 1877. He moved with his parents, brother and sister to a homestead about three miles east of Red Deer.  A big strapping man, more than 6 feet in height, he became a “cow puncher”.

In February 1900, he went down to Pincher Creek with his friend Charles Cruickshank and enlisted in the Lord Strathcona Horse. He then departed for South African and the Boer War.

On July 1 (Dominion Day) 1900, he was proceeding with an advance party near Waterval, South Africa. They encountered a group of Boers flying a white flag in a farm house.  When the Canadians proceeded closer, they were ambushed by unseen enemies who were hiding in a small orchard. Trooper Jenkins was killed instantly when a Mauser bullet hit his bandolier and two cartridges exploded.

Angus Jenkins was the first member of the Lord Strathcona Horse to be killed in action. He was buried in a garden at Wuuchaut Spruit. The Earl of Dundonald and Colonel Sam Steele attended the funeral.

Charles Cruickshank was born in 1877 in Pembroke Ontario. In 1891, he moved with his family to Red Deer, homesteading in Balmoral.  Charles originally worked in the construction business with his father, but later became a cowboy. In February 1900, he enlisted in the Lord Strathcona Horse with Angus Jenkins.

On September 4th, 1900, near Badfontein, South Africa, he was part of a small group of soldiers sent to assist an observation post which was coming under enemy attack. Trooper Cruickshank and Sergeant Brothers were in the front of the relieving party. When their company was forced to withdraw, they were found to be missing. Later that night, when the observation post was recaptured, the bodies of the two men were found.

Charles Cruickshank was buried by Rev. Webb Peploe, formerly of Calgary, in a grave at the headwaters of the Crocodile River.

Archibald McNicoll was born in 1876 in Bruce County Ontario. He moved with his family to the Balmoral district in the spring of 1891. The McNicolls started Red Deer’s first market garden. Archibald later became a cowboy, In February 1900, he responded to the call to serve “King and Empire” and enlisted in the Lord Strathcona Horse in Calgary.

In June 1900, he became severely ill with enteric (typhoid) fever. He died at Newcastle, South Africa on June 19th. He is buried near the site of the army hospital.

There was a large plaque at the Red Deer Regional Hospital which commemorated the fact that the Red Deer Hospital was originally dedicated to these three young men who lost their lives while serving their country. When Alberta Health Services took over the management of the Regional Hospital, it was taken down. It now resides at the Red Deer Museum.

Read more from Todayville.

President Todayville Inc., Honorary Colonel 41 Signal Regiment, Board Member Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Award Foundation, Director Canadian Forces Liaison Council (Alberta) musician, photographer, former VP/GM CTV Edmonton.

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Winners announced for Red Deer Hospital Lottery

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The Red Deer Regional Health Foundation has announced the winners of the 2024 Red Deer Hospital Lottery Dream Home and Tiny Home prize packages, as well as the Mega Bucks 50.

The Mega Bucks 50 jackpot reached $607,200.00, which makes Carolyn Pelerine of Cochrane, Alberta the winner of $303,600.00.

In addition, the luxurious Tree Hugger Tiny Home Prize Package, complete with accessories by Urban Barn and valued at $163,798.00, is now owned by Mary Vincent of Red Deer.

The coveted Sorento Dream Home Prize Package, which includes furnishings and accessories by Urban Barn and boasts a total value of $1,072,624.00, has been awarded to Maxine Rumohr of Sylvan Lake.

The highly anticipated draw took place at 10:00 a.m. Thursday at the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation office, located within the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre, with an announcement following live on Facebook, allowing participants and supporters to join in the excitement virtually.

“We are delighted to congratulate the winners of this year’s Red Deer Hospital Lottery,” said Manon Therriault, Chief Executive Officer of the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation. “The funds raised from this lottery will significantly contribute to enhancing patient care and services at the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who participated and supported this important cause.”

Proceeds from the Red Deer Hospital Lottery and Mega Bucks 50 will contribute to acquiring critically needed, state-of-the-art equipment for several units at the Red Deer Hospital.

This year’s lottery will fund equipment such as a phototherapy system, which allows parents to hold and soothe their infant while undergoing phototherapy, a cardiology case cart to monitor cardiac rhythms during stress testing, and other equipment to help provide excellent care for patients in the emergency and operating rooms at the Red Deer Hospital.

The winners of a variety of electronics were also drawn today. A full list of winners will be available in the coming days on the official lottery website at reddeerhospitallottery.ca. Prize winners who have not already been notified will receive a letter in the mail with instructions on how to claim their prizes.

The keys to the Sorento Dream Home and the Tree Hugger Tiny Home will be presented to the winners at a special ceremony this summer.

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The Grand Opening is TODAY!

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A Day Filled With Hope – Years in the Making!
For years the CACAC has been walking hand-in-hand with many different partners, community members, donors, policy makers, and leaders in research and advocacy towards this moment.The Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence now stands in the heart of Central Alberta, the first Centre of its kind in North America, creating space for different strategic partners to operate alongside one another in the best interest of children, youths, and families who have experienced any form of abuse.

Now, during this momentous chapter in our history, we invite you to join us for the Grand Opening of the Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence. 

We’re excited to welcome you and your family to the Grand Opening of the Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence today!

Today’s events are family friendly, and there’s something for everyone!

From Noon to 5:00PM the public is welcome to come and see everything the building has to offer at the SKCOE Open House! Staff from every organization from within the SKCOE will be there to answer questions. This is a great opportunity to learn about why this Centre is so important for Central Alberta.

Beginning at 7:00PM, the public is also invited to the formal program at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, which is the building immediately North West of us across the parking lot. The formal program will have many messages and presentations from dignitaries, and you can pick up our Champions of Courage pin, which was minted for the Grand Opening only! Following the program there is a ribbon cutting ceremony.

There is a lot to celebrate, so come out and say hi!

When: Thursday, May 16

Where: Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence, and Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, Main Campus of Red Deer Polytechnic, Red Deer, AB.

12:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Open House

7:00 PM – Formal Program at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to follow.

How to get to the Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence

Please note that there will also be parking available at the lot directly North of the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.

Detailed RDP Parking Map

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