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Thompson, Victor Harrison, Oakville [Kawende], Manitoba, Class of ’18 (B.S.A.). Military Service: Private, Reg. No. 910108, 1st Can Mounted Rifles Attestation Papers. Diary References: “Old Student’s Day. Quite a number of the old boys came back, among them Scott, Hird Storey, Vic Thompson, [E. R.] Bewell, Paul F. Bredt and quite a number of minor celebrities,” 1:18 Feb.’15; “Tonight while going up to O.O. supports I met Vic Thompson. He is in the first C.M.R. and says there are a few of our old pals around his batt. Am going over tomorrow on a visit,” 1:11 Jun ’17; “This afternoon went over and met Vic [Thompson] again,” 5:12 Jun ’17.
Additional Biographical Information:
Victor Harrison Thompson, Reg. No. 910108, was a 27-year-old “farmer and student in agriculture” at the Manitoba Agricultural College at the same time Frank was enrolled there. He enlisted in March 1916 in Winnipeg with the 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles. According to information in his attestation paper, Vic was wounded and “invalided to Canada for further medical treatment” from “Duchess of Connaught Red Cross Hospital at Taplow,” For more information on that hospital, see the Canadian Red Cross Memorial Hospital Shrine.
Undergraduate, V. N.[sic] Thompson, 196th Univ. Bn., Transport Sect.
University of Manitoba, Archives and Special Collections, Managra, v. XI, No. 1 (Nov 1917), 9.
France, Feb. 6th, 1918.
I think I made it clear in my last letter that I would be at the Divisional School during February, and I am nicely started on the course now.
It rained all day, but we were able to stay inside, as they have large buildings of chicken wire and tar paper to serve as lecture rooms in wet weather. We had a lecture on gas engines today, but I missed it.
We had a re-union of the 196th boys last night at the town in which we spent our Divisional rest this summer. It took the form of a banquet. We paid eight francs each and had soup, roast beef, cabbage, chicken and tomatoes, some cake, apricots, and custard. All these were in limited quantities, of course. The “eats” were provided by the French and served by the following officers: Martin, Oliver, McKenzie, D. Smith and Hudson.
There were over sixty present, and it would have lasted all night if we had not had to get back.
The officers all made speeches. McPhail and Lieut. Hudson told us what it was like to fly and how the country looks from a height of 18,000 feet and some of the funny things that happen.
Of our old platoon there were the following present: Doug. Smith, J. Hudson, Tingley, Holmes,[J. Alvin] Mitchell, Jones, Hepworth, Munro, Higham and myself.
It was the most pleasant evening I have spent for many a long day. There wasn’t any of “We will be home at this time next year” talk. They had all been out here too long for that.
The suggestion was made by J. Hudson that an account of our reunion be sent to the home papers that would appreciate news of that nature, so Managra will likely have an account of it in the last issue.
We were all wishing we could have another, but I am afraid that by the time we get another chance the old crowd will be pretty well scattered.
We gave the yells and sang “Auld Lang Syne” in closing. I did not have a chance to talk to the boys as much as I would have liked.
I had a letter last night from Eb. Sirrett [Sirett]. He got a medal for his work at Passchendale. I may not have told you about it. The mud was so bad up there that after the first trip in, he asked to be changed to stretcher-bearer work, that is “first aid.”
One of their men had been killed so they took him on, and we missed him from the gun. Every working party sent out takes along a “first aid” man with a stretcher. We sent out a party of twenty men one night and each of the companies did the same. From ours the Sergeant and Corporal came back. Eb. and Tingley were the men that dressed the bunch. Eb. was wounded on the cheek (not badly, of course, but enough to take him over the water), but he stayed and dressed away until the last man. He is back in reserves now and has been transferred to Machine Gun Company. From his letter, he is getting “fed up” with the way they are used over there, and is ready to come back. Louis Shatilla, another of our section, went out last trip; that just leaves Casey, Mac and myself of the old gang and we are the lucky numbers.
Yours as ever,
No. 910108, Pte. V. H. Thompson,
1st C.M.R.’s, France.
University of Manitoba, Archives and Special Collections, Managra, v. XI, No. 5 (Mar. 1918), 61-62.
When the universities of the West were recruiting their now famous battalion, “Vic” was a student at M.A.C. In February 1916, he enlisted in the 196th and went overseas with that unit. Upon reaching England he transferred to the 1st C.M.R.’s and soon reached France. He was actively engaged for sixteen months, being in all the big events from Vimy until the last big drive. During all this time he escaped any scratch until finally he was caught by shrapnel in the forearm. “Vic” has now come back to us and is at present receiving treatment at Tuxedo. He has always a real interest in the best things going and his sterling worth has been many times proved wherever his genuine person has gone. We often see him when he is paying his “sisters” quite rightful visits and we like to see him thus becoming attached to this institution where in another year his studies will be resumed.
University of Manitoba, Archives and Special Collections, Managra, v. XII, No. 1 (Jan. 1919),15.
Victor H. Thompson, Oakville, who left with the 196 Battalion, returning last fall from overseas, is back taking third year diploma.
University of Manitoba, Archives and Special Collections, Managra, v. XIII, No. 1 (Nov. 1919), 42.
Click on the footnote number to return to the text:
 Ebeneezer “Eb” Tom Sirett, Reg. No. 910902, 196th Univ. Bn., was practising law at Rossburn, Manitoba, when he enlisted in 1916. Attestation Papers. Thompson may have become acquainted with him through the battalion, or through Eb’s relative, J. E. Sirett, of Glendale, Manitoba, who obtained a B.S.A. in 1915.