Eighth Generation


4424. Peter David Stewart CRERAR2342 was born in October 1872.2342 He died on 3 May 1943 at the age of 70 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.2342 Peter had a frustrating but adventurous life. He at first sought to follow the maritime career of his family but, probably sensing the dissolution of that livelihood, joined the North-West Mounted Police in 1898. He engagement papers list him as "5 feet, 11.5 inches; 174 pounds; boiler-maker and teamster; intelligence appears to be good; sanguine temperament; fair complexion; light brown hair; blue eyes." He was stationed in Fort McLeod (Calgary) in what was then called the North-West Territories and assigned the number of Reg. #3295. He soon sought a discharge, which was rejected. He was, however, granted a "furlough" of leave, and while in Nova Scotia, requested to purchase the remainder of his contract with the NWMP. He gave two reasons for this request, his business affairs, and his desire to marry. It was at this time presumably that he married Margaret, who would remain, miraculously, his wife through all of his travels. This purchase was granted, costing him $51.00, and on 8 February 1901 he left the Force. He remained restless, however, and on January 11 1902 enlisted in Halifax to serve in the Boer War with the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles. He returned with Cape, Transvaal, and South Africa medals [Private #860]. Upon return, however, he languished in Pictou and Amherst, Nova Scotia. In 1909 his solicitor friend John Ralston, solicitor in Amherst, N.S. wrote to Lieut. Col.Fred White, Comptroller of North West Mounted Police:
There is a good friend of mine in this town named Peter D.S.Crerar, who was formerly of the North West Mounted Police and afterwards went to South Africa. He has been living here for the last two or three years working for the Robb Engineering Co.,Ltd., but during the last eight months he has just got two months work…He is a first class man in every way and his experience ought to eminently qualify him for any position similar to those I mention…He is simply in position now that he must leave town as things are very dull here, and I am anxious to do everything I can…
While this letter was unsuccessful, he embarked once again to what was now the infant province of Saskatchewan. He worked for several years in the west as a commercial traveller, carpenter and then police constable in Brandon. Finally, in 1914 he was reengaged by the Royal Northwest Mounted Police, being stationed to Lethbridge, and then to Expanse, Saskatchewan. There his ambivalent relationship with the force continued, as he was reprimanded first for not keeping this office in order, and then in bringing his family to Expanse without permission. To these reprimands, the citizens of Expanse District signed a petition attesting that "we have never had a Police Officer in Expanse district who has carried out his duties in such a satisfactory manner…" which seemed to gain him some reprieve. In 1915 he requested leave to care for his ailing wife, and in 1916 finally himself requested a full leave from the force due to rheumatism. This was readily granted and he left with the rank of Constable. For the next sixteen years nothing is known of his life, except for a stint in the Saskatchewan Police Force. His final years appear to have been difficult. In 1932, living in Calgary, his wife Maggie wrote to Prime Minister Bennett, requesting a pension for her husband:
His injuries were when he was ordered to break remounts by Sergeant Major Turner. My husband informed him at the time that if he was injured he would hold him responsible. He was detailed to ride one of the worst remounts the Force had at that time with the result he got thrown on the frozen ground injuring his knee cap badly…" This letter was unsuccessful so in a second letter she recounted some of his exploits: "…He was with them in Southern Alberta also the Yukon in 1898 leaving from Fort McLeod where he had been stationed for some time previous and was in charge of Little Salmon detachment in the Yukon Territory and for two winters owing to the shortage of men drove dogs daily carrying mail and provisions , and at one time owing to sickness among the men averaged 30 miles over the ice for thirty days in succession the last day of the thirty days he covered 62 miles with a doctor…
She claimed that he was forced to sign a statement that the contraction of his rheumatism had no relation to his service in the N.W.M.P., but to no avail. In 1943, living at 303 25th Avenue W., Calgary Peter David Stewart Crerar died. He obituary noted that he was a member of the Canadian Legion, South African Veteran's Association, Arctic Brotherhood, and urged like veterans to attend his funeral, at the Field of Honour Plot, Burnsland Cemetery [Sec. G, Block 8, Lot 62 (photo)], in south-east Calgary. Funeral arrangements were made by Last Post. He was survived by his two sisters in Vancouver, his widow, his daughter of Sylvan Lake, and his three grandchildren. In 1954 Margaret still lived at 303-25th Avenue West. She died on May 18, 1995 and on May 21th was buried in St. Mary's Cemetery [Sec. K, Block 2, Lot 140 (photo)], near Burnsland Cemetery.

Peter David Stewart CRERAR and Margaret "Maggie" were married.2342 Margaret "Maggie" died on 18 May 1955 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.2342

Peter David Stewart CRERAR-39077 and Margaret "Maggie" -39078 had the following children:

6161

i.

Peter CRERAR IV died before 1943.2342

6162

ii.

Olive CRERAR died young.2342

6163

iii.

Living (private).