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Red Deer’s strong connection to Lord Strathcona’s Horse


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In my role as Honorary Lieutenant Colonel 41 Signal Regiment, I’ve been brushing up on my local military history.  In a recent visit with Michael Dawe, former Archivist for the City and newly-minted City Councillor, he told me about our city’s connection to the the Lord Strathcona’s Horse and the story of Angus Jenkins, the first member of the Regiment killed in action.  Here’s the first of 3 stories we’ll feature leading up to Remembrance Day this Saturday.

(by Michael Dawe – Photos courtesy Red Deer Archives unless noted)

Red Deer has a strong historical link with the Lord Strathcona’s, going back to the original creation of the regiment. In 1900, Lord Strathcona (Donald Smith), one of the founders of the Canadian Pacific Railway, offered to fund the raising of the regiment for service in the South African (Boer) War. Men across Western Canada and from Red Deer enthusiastically applied for enlistment in the new unit.

It was not hard to figure out the popularity of the Ld.S.H. It was a Western Canadian regiment, not one based elsewhere. It was a unit of cavalry/mounted rifles. The free-wheeling mobility of such a military unit was attractive to the cowboys who made up a sizeable portion of Central and Southern Alberta’s population at the time.

According to the Calgary Herald, 17 men from Red Deer and district applied for enlistment and 9 were accepted in the Ld.S.H. The regiment arrived in Cape Town in April 1900. They went into action in June as part of General Buller’s Natal Field Force.

Bad news started to reach Red Deer shortly thereafter. Archibald McNichol, of the Balmoral district on the east side of Red Deer became ill with enteric (typhoid fever). He passed away at Newcastle, South Africa on June 19, 1900.

On July 1, 1900 (Dominion Day), Angus Jenkins, also from Balmoral,  was killed in an ambush near Waterval. He was the first member of the Lord Strathcona’s to be killed in action. His funeral was attended by the Earl of Dundonald and Sir Sam Steele, the commanding officer of the Ld.S.H.

On September 4, 1900, Charles Cruickshank, another young man from Balmoral, was killed in an enemy attack near Badfontein. He, and five others of the Ld.S.H. who were killed that day, were buried on the banks of the Crocodile River.

In the fall of 1900, a decision was made to build a hospital in Red Deer as a memorial to the three young men of the Ld.S.H. who had lost their lives in service overseas. Lord Strathcona made a large donation to the project. When the Red Deer Memorial Hospital officially opened in April 1904, a large marble plaque was erected in the hospital so that the three young men would never be forgotten.

The veterans of the Ld.S.H. had a significant influence on Red Deer after the end of the Boer War. A.T. Stephenson became the first Town/City Commissioner in 1908,. He was the most important person in the running of municipality for the next  27 years, despite on-going ill-health due to the  malaria which he had contracted while in South Africa.

When the First World War broke out in the summer of 1914, many local young men flocked to enlist in the cavalry/mounted rifles, but they mainly joined the 35 Central Alberta Horse/ 5 Battalion.  Nevertheless, some, such as H.B. (Ted) George joined the Ld.S.H. Ted George not only survived his service in the trenches of the Western Front. He narrowly escaped being killed in the terrible Halifax Explosion of 1917.

The strong connections between Red Deer and the Lord Strathconas continued for many more years.  Lionel Page, who had been a student in Red Deer and then farmed what is now the Rosedale subdivision, became a highly decorated veteran of the First World War. After the return of peace, he enlisted with the Ld.S.H. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and became the Ld.S.H.’s commanding officer in 1929. During the Second World War, he became the Commander in Chief of the Canadian Army’s Atlantic Command.

The distinguished service of the Lord Strathcona’s to Canada has continued through the Korean Conflict, peace-keeping in Bosnia and, most recently, the war in Afghanistan.

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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Fill those yellow bags to ease shortages at the Red Deer Food Bank

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Article submitted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Red Deer Food Bank is consistently running out of specific food items. On October 23, Red Deer residents in the north half of the city are invited to participate in a food drive to help feed hungry central Alberta families.

It’s not surprising that the Red Deer Food Bank is experiencing increased demand in the middle of a pandemic. While the food bank is doing a good job of meeting the needs of most users, there have been shortages in some food items. “We consistently run out of specific items like Kraft Dinner, canned beans and canned fruit,” explained Mitch Thomson, executive director of the Red Deer Food Bank. “We’ve been holding our own, but we’re consistently unable to provide those items. Forty percent of those served by the Red Deer Food Bank are children and comfort foods like macaroni and cheese is always in demand.” Other items that are always in demand include canned vegetables, tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, and canned dinners like beefaroni and hearty soups. All food
donations are used and appreciated.

How COVID has Affected the Red Deer Food Bank

The citizens of Red Deer have been very supportive of the Red Deer Food Bank and that has allowed the food bank to meet the increased needs it has seen since the pandemic began. It’s important to note that the Red Deer Food Bank supports 23 other food banks. It’s the only food bank in central Alberta that is
open five days a week and users come from Red Deer as well as other locations in the region. COVID has also resulted in a decrease in the numbers of volunteers who can assist stocking shelves, assembling and handing out hampers, and sorting donated food.

What’s New at the Red Deer Food Bank

The Red Deer Food Bank is getting a more functional truck to transport food thanks to support from local donors. They’ve also moved bays, so that the warehouse area is now right next to the food bank.

A COVID-Friendly Food Drive

Food drives organized by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Red Deer have become an important way for the Red Deer Food Bank to stock its shelves. The upcoming food drive will involve additional precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. “Volunteers will drop off bags on the doorsteps of homes beginning on October 18 and then pick them up on October 23 without making any personal contact,” explained Allison Strate, Red Deer Stake Food Drive Coordinator. “The bags will then be transported to the church and be placed on a truck to go to the Red Deer Foodbank. All volunteers will be wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment. We are hoping it will all run smoothly. We believe we can safely run the spring food drive and with the help of local citizens collect much needed food for those in need.”

How to Participate in the Fall Food Drive

Bags will be delivered to the doorsteps of homes on the north side of the city the week of October 18 and they will be picked up on Saturday October 23 between 10 am and 12 noon and delivered to the Red Deer Food Bank.

All north-area residents are reminded to please support the food bank by leaving a food donation on their doorstep on Saturday, October 23. Anyone who does not get a yellow bag in their mailbox is welcome to bring donations to the Kentwood chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (8 Keast Way) between 10 am and noon on Saturday, October 23. Any community members or groups that would like to assist in delivering or picking up bags are welcome to contact Alison Strate, the Red Deer Stake Food Drive Coordinator at [email protected]

The Red Deer food drives are part of a series of food drives organized by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “The food drive is a huge undertaking with hundreds of volunteers working together for a really important cause,” says Allison Strate, Red Deer Stake Food Drive Coordinator. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to provide an important service to families and individuals who need help from the Red Deer Food Bank to put food on their tables.”

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Trevor’s Story: I Have Anxiety and Depression. Where Can I Get Help?

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Trevor has suffered from anxiety and depression for a while. He had no idea where or how to get help with this. In discussing this with his doctor, he was referred to a Mental Health Counselor at Red Deer Primary Care Network.

Trevor says, “I, the skeptic, didn’t expect that I would get much help but did decide to work with the counselor. I needed to do something. We had 6 sessions together. The counselor provided me with insight on things that should have been so obvious to me but they weren’t. You don’t know what you don’t know. The counselor provided me with very practical and valuable tools. I came away with a different, more positive way to think about things. And it was just great to have a non-judgmental person to listen to me. It is a relief to just be able to tell someone who was really listening about my struggles.

These sessions were so valuable. I am in a much better state than I was. My struggles are not over but I manage to get through each day using the tools and improved mindset that I learned.

If anyone else is struggling like me I recommend no matter if they think it won’t help  just go, go in with an open mind. Even if you just feel you need someone to talk to you will get valuable tools to help manage your situation.”

To learn more about the RDPCN programs, visit

Read more Success Stories from the Red Deer Primary Care Network.

Looking After Myself

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