Sons of England, 1902

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Submitted by Christine Gorman

From the Daily Examiner, September 8, 1902

For the first time in the history of the society in Charlottetown, the Sons of England yesterday observed Decoration Day. The turnout of the brethren of both Lodges Eton and Prince Edward was more than creditable and the various officers are deserving of much praise. The procession was headed by the Fourth Regiment Band and marshalled by Brother Isaac Carter. It left the hall at 3:30 and proceeded to the cemetery through clouds of dust. The decoration services were very impressive and were conducted by Brother Winchester as chaplain, Bro. W. F. H. Gill as President, Bro. W. H. Clarke as Past President, Bro. W. N. Tanton as Vice President and Bro. E. H. Duchemin as Secretary.

Five deceased members' graves as follows were decorated; the decorations consisting of a potted rose and union Jack in each case:
Bro. David M. Richards, Lodge Eton, born July 1870, joined the Order May 1891; died July 25, 1895.
Bro. Wallace Scantlebury, Lodge Eton, born Sept 1849, joined the Order August 1891, died Sept. 25, 1894.
Bro. Wallace Arbing, born Sept 1830, joined the Order Sept 15, 1899.
Bro. Isaac Wadman, born Aug. 1830, joined the Order May 1895; died, August 25, 1899.
Bro. William R. Boreham, born Dec. 1850, joined the Order, May, 1896, died January 30, 1902.

A wreath with inscription and a Union Jack was then placed on the Taylor family plot in memory of Roland D. Taylor, killed at Paaredeberg, 1900, and the same decorations were placed in memory of Bro. Lawson Clarke, lost off Boston Harbor, 1902.

Just at this time when three British warships are in port, it was particularly fitting that the grave of Midshipman Watson, who died when H. M. S. Bellerophon was in Charlottetown some fourteen years ago should be remembered. It was decorated with an anchor of flowers and a flag bearing St. George's Cross.

Note: Canadian Encyclopedia, Hertig Publishers, Edmonton, 1988. page 709:

(in referring to the settlement of Canada by English, Scots, Irish, etc......

"The largest and most important English cultural society was the Sons of England, which in 1913 had 40,000 Canadian members. Lodges formed across Canada were usually led by affluent Englishmen, professionals, clergymen and former military officers who had joined local elites. The most important vehicle for maintaining traditions was the social evening "At home," which was modelled on the English music hall.On these occasions, the Sons were expected to thrill to jingoistic songs, weep at evocations of England, savour warm, dark ale, and revert to regional dialects. As a mutual benefit society, the Sons organized receptions of newcomers, provided medical services and paid unemplyment and disability benefits."

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