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Creston Valley Goes to War

Today, a Lumberjack; Tomorrow, a Soldier

Skidding Logs.jpg

Skidding logs, Huscroft Camp near Creston, BC, circa 1912

It is early Spring, 1917.

The Great War has been raging in Europe for more than two years. Many of your friends, the boys you went to school with - even your brother - have enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force and even now are "doing their bit" in France.

But you have not.

You have your reasons for not enlisting. Maybe you're too young (maybe you're too old). Perhaps you're the only man of the house now, with everyone else in the fighting. Or perhaps that childhood injury kept you from passing the medical examination. Maybe you're just a little bit afraid.

Whatever your reasons, you are working hard here at home. Work is plentiful at the local sawmills, with demand for wood so high. Some days, you're out in the woods, cutting logs and driving the teams of horses to haul them back to the sawmill. Other days you're working in the mill, feeding the saws or hewing the ties.

But now, Conscription is looming. Within the year, you may be forced to enlist whether you want to or not. And then you see a notice posted at the mill: the government is looking for men just like you for a new type of soldier.

Today, you're a lumberjack. Will you be a soldier tomorrow?

These are the stories of men who faced that choice.

Corps Embarking.jpg

230th Battalion CFC preparing to embark at Creston, BC 13 April 1917

Today, a Lumberjack; Tomorrow, a Soldier