Back Row: Douglas Redford (Killed in Action), William Redford. Front Row: Kenneth Boyce and Edward Redford, 1914 . SUBMITTED PHOTO

REMEMBRANCE DAY: A story of brothers

Nathan Van Dyk’s panel on Alberni Valley soldiers the Redford Brothers

  • Nov. 11, 2017 6:00 a.m.

Prepared by Nathan Van Dyk

Redford s by Elena Rardon on Scribd

James Redford and his brother John were early settlers to the Alberni Valley. They were farmers and owned and operated a slaughterhouse and meat market in Alberni. James had a family of eight children and his three oldest sons would enlist in the army together.

Edward Redford was the oldest of the three brothers. He was born on June 8th 1885 and was named after the Presbyterian reverend at the time, Edward G. Taylor. After his 29th birthday on November 7th of 1914; he went to Victoria with his two other brothers to sign up for the war. There Edward and his brothers joined with the 88th Victoria Fusiliers. From there they merged with the 30th Battalion, which was used as a reserve. They were then transferred to the 7th Battalion, which was right on the front lines. It wasn’t until 9 months after severe fighting that Edward was injured for the first time. Edward, however, wasn’t injured in combat. Edward and two other soldiers found an unexploded German artillery shell and decided they were going to clean it, polish it, and send it back home as a souvenir. While cleaning it the shell detonated, killing the two other men. Edward survived the blast, but it wasn’t without losing his left arm and sustaining other injuries in his hip and legs. Edward returned home in March, 1917. A month after his return on April 4th 1917, Edward and his brother, William, were honoured guests at an event for returning soldiers in the Somass Hotel. Edward remained in the Valley for a number of years and on February 18th, 1982 at the age of 97.

James Douglas Redford was the second oldest brother. Born on January 19th 1894, he was 20 years old when he signed up for the war with his two brothers, Edward and William, on November 7th. Douglas was in the 88th Victoria Fusiliers when it merged with the 30th Battalion and was also transferred to the front lines with his brothers in the 7th battalion. Douglas was killed during the war. He was originally thought to be missing in action (MIA) and is listed as such on the 1916 honour roll.

William Redford the youngest of the three brothers that enlisted. William was born on July 12th, 1895. He was 19 years old when he enlisted for the 88th Victoria Fusiliers on November 7th with his two brothers. William was the first one of the brothers to come back home. He was discharged from service as he had sustained shrapnel and gunshot wounds.

When William returned in November, 1916, he was greeted by the mayor, the council, and his mother. He rode an automobile with his mother to the city centre for a formal welcoming. It wasn’t until March of 1917 that he was able to see one of his brothers again, when Edward returned. William and his brother Edward were honoured guests at the Somass Hotel on April 4th, 1917, which was an event that welcomed back returning Port Alberni and Alberni soldiers from the war. After the war William owned a farm that he worked on until he retired in 1953 when he was 58 years old. On August 17, 1971, William Redford died at the age of 76.

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