Builders of the 137th Battalion Memorial

from the Estate of J.W. Boothby

In 1915, sponsored by the Hon. R.B. Bennett, M.P., later P.M. of Canada, permission was granted to form and recruit the 137 Batt. C.E.F. in Calgary. Lt. Col. Morfitt was C.O. Most officers and recruits were from the Calgary district. 3 Co’s were billeted in Calgary, and 1 Co. was billeted and recruited in High River. The 137 moved to Sarcee Camp May 1916.

On Aug. 14 the Batt. left for overseas, sailed on the S.S.Olympic, landed at Liverpool and on to Whitley Camp, England for final training. Oct. 1916 the Batt. was broken up and became part of the 21st Res. which supplied replacements for 4 Alta. units on the battlefield, viz: 10th, 31st, 49th and 50th Batt’s.

While at Sarcee the 137 placed rocks on a hill and laid out the figures 1.3.7. covering about 2 acres.

The first reunion of the 137 was held in 1923. Hon. R.B. Bennett attended and paid all costs for the 237 members. Reunions were carried on until 1960, then effects were given to the Cdn. Legion and Glenbow Museum. 1965 a few ex-members got together, cleared the brush & painted the rocks white. In 1965 the annual reunion was continued.

One of our members serving with the 50th Batt. during the Battle of Vimy was awarded the Victoria Cross for outstanding bravery. The 137 was successful, with the help of the City and Legion, in having a new bridge dedicated in honor of J.G.Pattison, V.C.

The site of the 137 rocks was sold for development purposes eliminating our memorial. Building a Memorial to carry the memory of the 137 Batt. into the far distant future seemed the only solution. The City of Calgary co-operated and dedicated to us a beautiful location in the lovely Glenmore Park. The result is the Memorial seen in these pictures. It is of solid construction using white cement, reinforced with steel, and should last hundreds of years. All costs were borne by ex-members and dependents, with all the work being done by ex-members in their late 70’s. We have every reason to be very proud of our efforts in erecting and dedicating a lasting Memorial to a Batt. that did not serve on the battlefields as a unit.

Plaque on Bridge dedicated to John G Pattison V.C. 1975-1917 Pvt

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