Friday, January 23, 2009

War graves at William Head, British Columbia

I recently stumbled across the graves of two Canadians at the William Head Correctional Institution southeast of Victoria, BC. The graves are those of two conscripts from the Canadian Siberian Expeditionary Force, who survived the journey to Russia and back in the winter of 1918-1919 but then died while in quarantine at William Head in May and June 1919. Disease had spread through their ship on the way home from Vladivostok, and the ship was quarantined at the William Head Quarantine Station. 

The two soldiers were Private Richard Massey, a 20-year-old farmer from Alberta who served in the No. 8 detachment of the Canadian Ordnance Company, and Rifleman Peter McMillan, a 22-year-old miner from Ontario who served in 'A' company of the 259th Battalion (Canadian Rifles). Both men were conscripted under the authority of the Military Service Act of 1917 and shipped to Russia.

Watch a short video taken at their graves in January 2009: