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Creston Valley Goes to War

The Commanding Officer

Mallandaine Letter

Letter written by Edward Mallandaine, requesting command of one of the new Forestry battalions.

Edward Mallandaine never was shy about putting himself forward. As a boy of seventeen he was working as a despatch rider between the Canadian Pacific Railway's construction camps when the great transcontinental railway was completed in 1885. He elbowed his way to the front of the crowd of dignitaries driving the last spike and wound up at the centre of one of the most famous photographs in Canadian history.

He arrived in Creston, BC in 1897 and from then on was a key figure in the community's development. He filled many roles: land agent and district forester; postmaster, coroner, magistrate; school trustee and waterworks owner; and many more.

Too old for the Infantry, when war broke out he promptly joined the 107th East Kootenay Regiment, a militia unit tasked with protecting local industry and transportation facilities and guarding internment camps such as the one at Morrissey near Fernie. He quickly gained the rank of Major and Commanding Officer of the Creston company.

In January 1917, he wrote to Ottawa requesting command of one of the new Forestry battalions. That may be one reason why the 230th was mustered in Creston.

Mallandaine joined the 230th as Captain, but during his service overseas was once again promoted to Major.