Gordon Stirling was living in Salmon Arm, calling himself a rancher, when war broke out in 1914. He was 25 years old.
Aug. 4 – Stirling was enjoying the summer at a cottage near Paradise Point on Shuswap Lake. A good friend he called ‘Boo A.’ came from town bringing news. England, Belgium and France were at war with Germany. “We are all very excited and talk till late that night,” Stirling stated in his diary.
Aug. 10 – “While packing and getting ready to return to South Canoe, received wire from Captain Temple… to re-join 30th B.C. Horse at Kelowna immediately.
We returned to South Canoe in the afternoon, crossing lake in one trip in Samson’s boat with outboard engine.”
Aug. 12 – all were up at 4:30 a.m. “…took (the 9:30) train for Kelowna to join 30th BCH. Father, Vera, Mrs. A., ‘Boo’ (and Tim) see me off. Big crowd… Slept in Lakeview Hotel. Dead broke, but Currie stood me a bed.”
Aug. 17 – D Squadron of the BCH went to Vernon via the CPR sternwheeler to join the remainder of the regiment. “We are quartered in old skating rink. Sleeping on sawdust.”
Aug. 27 – Arrived in Salmon Arm about 10:30 a.m. Saw mother and Vera. Went up with Mrs. A to Little England. Had lunch.
Said good-bye to Billie, Miss M, horses and dogs, and Mrs. A drove me to Salmon Arm.
Had last talk with mother – walked to the station and town with Mother, Father and Vera.
Hung around till troop train came through from Kamloops. Very nervous and depressed. Big crowd on platform. Ethel, Bivvy (Roderick Beli-Bivar), and Eileen Tanqueray arrived from camp just in time. Troop train came through about 5:45 p.m. (T.G.!!! damn all the good-bye scenes.)
Much cheering and booze…. Was more mizzy than I think I have ever been before. Annoyed at myself. Arrived in Revelstoke about 9 p.m.
Pulled out again for Valcartier and arrived there about 5 p.m. Everyone very dirty and hungry. No dishes to eat food from. Had to rustle for food.