Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - September 27, 1918, Lethbridge, Alberta
MIES AT THB FRONT m m Railway Hcpocs at the War vA cUnited States Committee, on Public Information. WRITING from war correspondents' headquarters in France, Roland Hill Bays: "The1 men who drive the big engines of Canada's ocean-to-ocean trains across the prairies and through the mquntajns are made of stern stuff, and Uave nerves aB steady a* the steel roads they travel. You may meet many pi them at the war." Under" the most trying circuBtances these men are carrying on the most difficult work right up behind the firing lines, .The train tracks are often broken and the rail beds damaged by enemy shell fire. t Men less skitted would npt risk running a train over them, bgt these expert Canadian engine drivers often pilot their cargoes along lines that seem Impassible. They bring up troops, food supplies, guns and ammunition, and they bring back the wounded to the- hospitals. Nothing daunts -them. Roland Hill tells of a young sergeant-who in days p" peace drove the Imperial Limited, from Moose Jaw to the Y/e3t; this man backed up Ms engine to a shell dump where there were $200,000 worth' of shells. Part of this dump was on fire and the shells were bursting around the brave sergeant. H-o coolly connected a hose with hismaiii/stearaipipeand for half an hour pumped steam into the burning mass, and finally overcame the fire. His engine, was bored with shrapnel holes. The flying fragments tore his clothe*, and his escape was miraculous. His gal" lantry during the fire -rallied others to his assistance. Many of these were wounded; he utilized his damaged engine to bring them to an adjacent hospital. Private James Peter Robertson, of Medicine Hat, Alberta, was one of the C. P. R. engineers to win the Victoria Cross, the most coVeted distinction in the army. A Reuter despatch says: "Number 552065, Private James Robertson, late infantry, enlisted at Maoleod, displayed the utmost bravery and outstanding devotion to duty in an attack when his platoon was hold up by uncut wire and a machine gun was causing- many losses. Private Robertson dashed to an opening on the flank, rushed the machine gfln, and after a desperate Btruggle" with thor crow, killed four men and turned the gun on the remainder, who, oyer? come by the fierceness of his on- slaughts, were tent running towards I their own lines. His gallant work enabled the platoon to advance, He inflicted many more losses amongst the enemy, and then,' carrying the captured gun, led his platoon to the final objective. He there selected an excellent position and got the gun into action, firing on the retreating enemy, who by this time were demoralized by the fire brought on them. His courage and coolness cheered his comrades and inspired them to finest efforts. In carrying In a wounded' man he was killed in front of his own trenches." But not only have the engineers been doing great things at the war; men from other branches of the ser vice pf the"C. P. R. have been doing nobly as well. At present there are 9,500 employees of the company In the fighting ranks; they, are scattered everywhere there is a fight or the prospect of one, on sea or land, and some are training at home. � Many have risen to the highest official positions, and many are being promoted every day. . Private Michael James O'Rourke, of New Westminster. British Columbia, was assisting in the boring Of Rogers Pass tunnel-whero the C.P, R. passes thrqugh the Rocky Moun tains-when the war began. At Mo-quay Farm he won the military medal after beting a short time at the war. On this occasion be spent three hours in a sap bombing Germans and when his supply of bombs ran.* out he- lay In a shell hole sniping He was subsequently helping at a Lewis machine gun, and went away to get ammunition. While absent the gunner was killed. O'Rourke got another gunner who shared the same fate. Then O'Rourke focated a bomb, killed a German with it, took a lot of bombs from the German and flung them into the German lines. Private O'Rourke was in the thick Pf the fight for twenty-eight months without receiving a serious wound, Some months ago he won bis Victoria Cross unscathed. .This is how he did It: For three days and nights he was a stretcher-bearer working without halt going Into No Man's Land and bringing In the wounded, dressing them and getting them food and water. On one occasion he saw a wounded man, blinded, and stum- bling ahead of him, who was being many of. the enemy out of action, fired on by the enemy. Regardless of his own safety O'Rourke guided that man into safety. On another occasion he- went out fifty feet in front of the British barrage where he was exposed to'V6ry heavy shell and machlno 'gun fire, and brought in a woiindod man. In a single trip to No Man's Land O'Rourke dragged no fewer than six wounded Into � the shelter of a trenoh. Throughout the entiro operations the area in which he worked was subjected to Incessant fire of all kinds, but this hero was all the time absolutely, reckless regarding his own safety, and though almost .exhausted stuck to his task unflinchingly/ Corporal K. EJ, Reeco, formerly an employee of the Canadian Pacific 1- ) Railway, Is another to, win the military medal. He rescued a number 12 howitzer gun that had been left ia a dangerous position and was liable, to be put out of action by the enemy,. Th� gun was taken back four mile* under a terrific shower of shrapnel which lasted for four hours and wa� struck eight times during the, removal to tho rear. ' Lieutenant L. A, Coulln 0f the<22M Battalion was awarded the mllltajf arose lor splendid work in rescuing the wpunted under toeavy1shell Are during*-the battle of Passehandatjlo. Previous to enlistment he was employed in the passenger department of the C. P. R.v Thene are only a few instanceis of tbo heroism displayed by the soldiers rocruited from the services of Canada's great railway. '