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Creston Valley Goes to War

Maurice Issacs

Issacs Letter

Letter written by Maurice Issacs and published in theĀ Creston Review

Maurice Issacs (sometimes spelled Isaacs or Issaac)) was, according to his death notice in the Creston Review, the only member of the Ktunaxa nation to serve overseas in the First World War.

He was born in 1894 at Windermere and enlisted with the Forestry Corps at the end of February, 1917. In March 1918 the local newspaper published a letter he wrote from France, in which he described the 41st Company's ten-hour work days making railway ties and complained of "Rain all the time; it's worse than British Columbia. Talk about BC having rain all the time, France has got her beat."

That rain was almost certainly a factor in Issac's terrible struggle with pneumonia. His first hospitalisation for pneumonia and lung problems was in December 1917; the following May he was hospitalised again for adenitis and underwent surgery at 8 General Hospital at Rouen. From there, suffering from lung problems, he was sent to England. In June, he was transferred to a London hospital with Influenza, which continued to affect him well into July. Then he spent several months in a sanitorium being treated for pulmonary tuberculosis.

Issacs was invalided to Canada on 19 February 1919. After another stay in hospital, he returned home, but never recovered from his illnesses. He died of a hemorrhage at Findlay Creek, near Canal Flats, on 17 November 1921. His death was officially attributed to his war-time service.