Author Archive

Victoria Mutiny Commemoration

Written by Unknown Author on December 16th, 2014. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


December 21, 1918: Mutineers March down Fort Street in Victoria.

Honour the Resisters of the 259th Battalion

When: Sunday, December 21, 2014

7:30 AM – Memorial Walk, departing from Carnarvon Park (2801 Henderson Rd, at Carnarvon Street, in Oak Bay), following the route of the 259 Battalion

9:00 AM – Ceremony at corner of Fort and Quadra Street (location of 1918 Mutiny)

On the morning of Dec. 21st, 1918, French-Canadian conscripts in the 259th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force mutinied at the corner of Fort and Quadra streets in downtown Victoria. They refused to embark for service in a new war, as the Conservative government of Canada committed troops to aid the White Russian forces fighting the Bolsheviks in the Russian Civil War. The war on the Western Front had ended six weeks earlier. So sending conscripts to fight in the Russian Far East had dubious legal grounds.

But at the point of the bayonet, the mutinous men were forced to embark for Russia. The ringleaders were shackled together on a ship, sent to Vladivostok and given sentences of between 30 days and 3 years imprisonment with hard labour for their act of resistance.

In 2014, on the 96th anniversary of the mutiny, we are gathering for the annual commemoration to remember this forgotten moment in the history of Victoria, Canada and the world.

The event has two parts:

1. A ceremony at the corner of Fort and Quadra streets (9:00AM) to honour these men’s resistance to imperialism and to demand a formal apology from the Canadian government for the families and a full pardon for the French-Canadian soldiers wrongfully convicted of mutiny at Victoria.

2. A commemorative walk will leave at dawn (7:30AM) from Carnarvon Park (2801 Henderson Road, at Carnarvon Street in Oak Bay) to the ceremony at Fort and Quadra streets. Highlights will be provided along the route. After the ceremony, the walk will proceed to the Rither’s Wharf (near Ogden Point), followed by brunch at a local cafe. Transportation for people with mobility issues who would like to participate in the walk is being accommodated. Please email

Sponsored by the Victoria Peace Committee

Join the event on Facebook

Learn more about the Victoria Mutiny



  • Harold McNeill

    February 28, 2022 |

    Hi Robert, I do remember some of those folks from my early years in Cold Lake (Hazel was my aunt and our family spent many fond times with Uncle Melvin, Aunt Hazel and Family. I knew Lawrence and Adrian. Having read a half dozen accounts it is clear their were many false narratives and, perhaps, a few truths along the way. I tried my best to provide an even account from what I read. Cheers, Harold. (email:

  • Robert Martineau

    February 25, 2022 |

    Its been a long time since any post here, but its worth a shot. My Grandfather was Hazel Wheelers brother Lawrence, and son to Maggie and Adrien. Maggie Martineau (nee Delaney) is my great grandmother. The books and articles to date are based on the white mans viewpoint and the real story as passed down by the Elders in my family is much more nefarious. Some of the white men were providing food for the Indians in exchange for sexual favors performed by the Squaws. Maggie was the product of one of those encounters. Although I am extremely proud of my family and family name, I am ashamed about this part of it.

  • Julue

    January 28, 2022 |

    Good morning Harold!
    Gosh darn it, you are such a good writer. I hope you have been writing a book about your life. It could be turned into a movie.
    Thanks for this edition to your blog.
    I pray that Canadians will keep their cool this weekend and next week in Ottawa. How do you see our PM handling it? He has to do something and quick!
    Xo Julie

  • Herb Craig

    December 14, 2021 |

    As always awesome job Harold. It seems whatever you do in life the end result is always the same professional, accurate, inclusive and entertaining. You have always been a class act and a great fellow policeman to work with. We had some awesome times together my friend. I will always hold you close as a true friend. Keep up the good work. Hope to see you this summer.
    Warm regards
    Herb Craig

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Hi Dorthy, So glad you found those stories and, yes, they hold many fond memories. Thanks to social media and the blog, I’ve been able to get in touch with many friends from back in the day. Cheers, Harold

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Well, well. Pleased to see your name pop up. I’m in regular contact via FB with many ‘kids’ from back in our HS days (Guy, Dawna, Shirley and others). Also, a lot of Cold Lake friends through FB. Cheers, Harold

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Oh, that is many years back and glad you found the story. I don’t have any recall of others in my class other than the Murphy sisters on whose farm my Dad and Mom worked.

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Pleased to hear from you Howie and trust all is going well. As with you, I have a couple of sad stories of times in my police career when I crossed paths with Ross Barrington Elworthy. Just haven’t had the time to write those stories.

  • Howie Siegel

    November 25, 2021 |

    My only fight at Pagliacci’s was a late Sunday night in 1980 (?) He ripped the towel machine off the bathroom wall which brought me running. He came after me, I grabbed a chair and cracked him on the head which split his skull and dropped him. I worried about the police finding him on the floor. I had just arrived from Lasqueti Island and wasn’t convinced the police were my friends. I dragged him out to Broad and Fort and left him on the sidewalk, called the cops. They picked him up and he never saw freedom again (as far as I know). I found out it was Ross Elworthy.

  • Herbert Plain

    November 24, 2021 |

    Just read you article on Pibroch excellent. My Dad was Searle Grain company agent we move there in 1942/3 live in town by the hall for 5 years than moved one mile east to the farm on the corner where the Pibroch road meets Hwy 44. Brother Don still lives there. I went to school with you and Louise.