Harry James Musson Wilson

Harry James Musson Wilson

b: 15 JUN 1854
d: 21 NOV 1914
Harry James Musson Wilson's father was James Wilson 1833-1905.

James Wilson's father was John Wilson 1805-1872, whose parents were James Wilson 1769-1854? and Anne? 1771-1855? of Derryhillagh, Ireland.

Notes made by Tom Wright on his grandfather:

HARRY JAMES MUSSON WILSON (1854-1914) and the GOVERNOR GENERAL'S BODY GUARD

Harry was a chief telegraph operator on the railroad. He was a militia sergeant-major in 'A' troop of the Governor-General Body Guard at Humboldt, Saskatchewan in the North-West Field Force during the Riel Rebellion of 1885, and later in the 3rd Canadian Mounted Rifles in South Africa, 1902. He later worked for the firm of Sir Henry Pellatt (Pellatt & Pellatt). He died in Toronto on Nov.21, 1914, when my mother was twelve years old.

The West York Cavalry, raised in Toronto in 1822, was the nucleus of the Governor General's Body Guard, a militia unit. They were on active service in the Rebellion of 1837-38. Also known as the Queen's Light Dragoons or the First Toronto Independent Troop of Cavalry, this mounted militia unit was brought into the active force in 1855.

During the American Civil War the Governor General's Body Guard carried out border patrols under Major George T. Denison, guarding against possible raids by Irish Fenians. At the close of the Civil War the Fenian threat increased, and a major raid into Canada was repelled in June of 1866. Skirmishes continued until May 1870, when invasions from Vermont and New York State were driven off.

In 1870 Riel's first rebellion in the Red River district was put down by a military force under Colonel Garnet Wolsely.

Spring of 1885 saw the outbreak of the second Northwest Rebellion. By this time Harry Wilson was a 30 year old sergeant in the Body Guard, still led by George T. Denison, now a Colonel.

On April 1st the corps was called into active service, and on the early morning of April 7th they left by train for Winnipeg, Manitoba on the
partially completed Canadian Pacific Railroad, reaching the end of the first section of track about noon on the 9th, beyond Biscotasing. The next 400 miles contained four gaps in the track, totaling 110 miles. These miles, across frozen lakes and rivers and in snow up to four feet deep, were traversed in bitter cold on foot or on horseback, with great difficulty. Red Rock on Lake Superior was reached at 11 p.m. Monday, April 13th, and Winnipeg at 1 a.m. April 15th. A total of 1500 miles was covered in 8 days.

Colonel Denison described his corps as follows:

"My men who served in this affair were of a very superior class ---many of them well educated and of good social status, many of them in comfortable circumstances. There were doctors, bank clerks, business men, farmers, one Oxford graduate, one ex-army officer etc. They behaved splendidly, keen to obey every order, always willing, and preserving perfect discipline. Not the stolid discipline, the result of years of routine, but the discipline of zeal and enthusiasm, based upon the common desire of us all to do the very best we could for our country, and for the credit of our corps." *

On April 23rd the troops left for Qu'Appelle, which they reached on the evening of the 24th, just in time to hear of the Battle of Fish Creek which had been fought that day. They reached Humboldt, Saskatchewan (then only a log cabin telegraph office) on May 1st, and dug in.
It was here that Colonel Denison, in his book "Soldiering in Canada" made mention of Sgt. Harry Wilson, as follows:

"Just at this serious crisis of the campaign, the telegraph lines were constantly interrupted, and the events were thickening. Lieut. Colonel
Otter had been defeated at Cut Knife on May 2nd, and for four days the general (General Middleton) was entrenched about a half a mile from the enemy's advanced posts. During this period Humboldt became the end of the telegraph, and as I was in command there, and the telegraph operator away for some days trying to repair the line from Humboldt to Clarke's Crossing, the whole work had to be done by Sergeant Harry Wilson of the Body Guard, who was an expert operator." *

The Battle of Batoche (May 9th-12th), and the capture of Louis Riel, effectively put an end to the rebellion. Big Bear was pursued and
captured, and Poundmaker surrendered. Several minor battles occurred, and the old chief White Cap and part of his band were held by the Body Guard at Humboldt for eight weeks.

The Body Guard left Humboldt July 9th, marching 140 miles in 4 days and 3 hours to Fort Qu'Appelle. They left Troy by rail July 14th and reached Winnipeg on the 15th. They left Winnipeg July 16th and arrived in Toronto on the morning of July 23rd, after 9 days on the train.

A triumphal march through Toronto, with Colonel Denison at the head of the Governor General's Body Guard and troops of the Queen's Own and the Grenadiers, marked their return. An estimated 125,000 citizens turned out to greet them as they marched four miles through the city.

In Colonel Denison's words: "I repeatedly saw both men and women cheering wildly, with tears running down their cheeks with excitement. It was a most interesting study." *

Harry Wilson went on to become a sergeant-major in the Governor General's Body Guard. In 1895, when he was 41 years old, he married 20 year old Elsie Margaretta Pearce (1875-1966), a girl from England.

* Quotes are from "Soldiering in Canada" by Lt. Col. George T. Denison, published in 1900 by MacMillan and Co., London, see also below (sent to Elaine Wilson by Tom and by her to ARJ):

Governor General's Body Guard a militia unit of The West York Calvary, also known as the Queen's Light Dragoons or the First Toronto Independent Troop of Calvary. " On April 23rd (1885) the troops left for Qu' Appelle, which they reached on the evening of the 24th, just in time to hear of the Battle of Fish Creek which had been fought that day. They reached Humboldt, Saskatchewan (then only a log cabin telegraph office) on May 1st, and dug in." "Just at this serious crisis of the campaign the telegraph lines were constantly interrupted, and the events were thickening. Lieut. Colonel Otter had been defeated at Cut Knife on May 2nd, and for four days the general (General Middleton) was entrenched about a half a mile from the enemy's advanced posts. During this period Humboldt became the end of the telegraph, and as I was in command there, and the telegraph operator away for some days trying to repair the line from Humboldt to Clarke's Crossing, the whole work had to be done by Sergeant Harry Wilson of the Body Guard, who was an expert operator." Harry went on to become a Sergeant-Major in the Governor General's Body Guard. In 1895, when he was 41 years old, he married 20 year old Elsie Margaretta Pearce (1875-1966).
Family photos including a photo of Elsie Pearce - see Harvey Wilson's old family photos at http://www.pbase.com/harvey_wilson/oldfamilyphotos_pvt



Biography
Harry James Musson Wilson's father was James Wilson 1833-1905.

James Wilson's father was John Wilson 1805-1872, whose parents were James Wilson 1769-1854? and Anne? 1771-1855? of Derryhillagh, Ireland.

Notes made by Tom Wright on his grandfather:

HARRY JAMES MUSSON WILSON (1854-1914) and the GOVERNOR GENERAL'S BODY GUARD

Harry was a chief telegraph operator on the railroad. He was a militia sergeant-major in 'A' troop of the Governor-General Body Guard at Humboldt, Saskatchewan in the North-West Field Force during the Riel Rebellion of 1885, and later in the 3rd Canadian Mounted Rifles in South Africa, 1902. He later worked for the firm of Sir Henry Pellatt (Pellatt & Pellatt). He died in Toronto on Nov.21, 1914, when my mother was twelve years old.

The West York Cavalry, raised in Toronto in 1822, was the nucleus of the Governor General's Body Guard, a militia unit. They were on active service in the Rebellion of 1837-38. Also known as the Queen's Light Dragoons or the First Toronto Independent Troop of Cavalry, this mounted militia unit was brought into the active force in 1855.

During the American Civil War the Governor General's Body Guard carried out border patrols under Major George T. Denison, guarding against possible raids by Irish Fenians. At the close of the Civil War the Fenian threat increased, and a major raid into Canada was repelled in June of 1866. Skirmishes continued until May 1870, when invasions from Vermont and New York State were driven off.

In 1870 Riel's first rebellion in the Red River district was put down by a military force under Colonel Garnet Wolsely.

Spring of 1885 saw the outbreak of the second Northwest Rebellion. By this time Harry Wilson was a 30 year old sergeant in the Body Guard, still led by George T. Denison, now a Colonel.

On April 1st the corps was called into active service, and on the early morning of April 7th they left by train for Winnipeg, Manitoba on the
partially completed Canadian Pacific Railroad, reaching the end of the first section of track about noon on the 9th, beyond Biscotasing. The next 400 miles contained four gaps in the track, totaling 110 miles. These miles, across frozen lakes and rivers and in snow up to four feet deep, were traversed in bitter cold on foot or on horseback, with great difficulty. Red Rock on Lake Superior was reached at 11 p.m. Monday, April 13th, and Winnipeg at 1 a.m. April 15th. A total of 1500 miles was covered in 8 days.

Colonel Denison described his corps as follows:

"My men who served in this affair were of a very superior class ---many of them well educated and of good social status, many of them in comfortable circumstances. There were doctors, bank clerks, business men, farmers, one Oxford graduate, one ex-army officer etc. They behaved splendidly, keen to obey every order, always willing, and preserving perfect discipline. Not the stolid discipline, the result of years of routine, but the discipline of zeal and enthusiasm, based upon the common desire of us all to do the very best we could for our country, and for the credit of our corps." *

On April 23rd the troops left for Qu'Appelle, which they reached on the evening of the 24th, just in time to hear of the Battle of Fish Creek which had been fought that day. They reached Humboldt, Saskatchewan (then only a log cabin telegraph office) on May 1st, and dug in.
It was here that Colonel Denison, in his book "Soldiering in Canada" made mention of Sgt. Harry Wilson, as follows:

"Just at this serious crisis of the campaign, the telegraph lines were constantly interrupted, and the events were thickening. Lieut. Colonel
Otter had been defeated at Cut Knife on May 2nd, and for four days the general (General Middleton) was entrenched about a half a mile from the enemy's advanced posts. During this period Humboldt became the end of the telegraph, and as I was in command there, and the telegraph operator away for some days trying to repair the line from Humboldt to Clarke's Crossing, the whole work had to be done by Sergeant Harry Wilson of the Body Guard, who was an expert operator." *

The Battle of Batoche (May 9th-12th), and the capture of Louis Riel, effectively put an end to the rebellion. Big Bear was pursued and
captured, and Poundmaker surrendered. Several minor battles occurred, and the old chief White Cap and part of his band were held by the Body Guard at Humboldt for eight weeks.

The Body Guard left Humboldt July 9th, marching 140 miles in 4 days and 3 hours to Fort Qu'Appelle. They left Troy by rail July 14th and reached Winnipeg on the 15th. They left Winnipeg July 16th and arrived in Toronto on the morning of July 23rd, after 9 days on the train.

A triumphal march through Toronto, with Colonel Denison at the head of the Governor General's Body Guard and troops of the Queen's Own and the Grenadiers, marked their return. An estimated 125,000 citizens turned out to greet them as they marched four miles through the city.

In Colonel Denison's words: "I repeatedly saw both men and women cheering wildly, with tears running down their cheeks with excitement. It was a most interesting study." *

Harry Wilson went on to become a sergeant-major in the Governor General's Body Guard. In 1895, when he was 41 years old, he married 20 year old Elsie Margaretta Pearce (1875-1966), a girl from England.

* Quotes are from "Soldiering in Canada" by Lt. Col. George T. Denison, published in 1900 by MacMillan and Co., London, see also below (sent to Elaine Wilson by Tom and by her to ARJ):

Governor General's Body Guard a militia unit of The West York Calvary, also known as the Queen's Light Dragoons or the First Toronto Independent Troop of Calvary. " On April 23rd (1885) the troops left for Qu' Appelle, which they reached on the evening of the 24th, just in time to hear of the Battle of Fish Creek which had been fought that day. They reached Humboldt, Saskatchewan (then only a log cabin telegraph office) on May 1st, and dug in." "Just at this serious crisis of the campaign the telegraph lines were constantly interrupted, and the events were thickening. Lieut. Colonel Otter had been defeated at Cut Knife on May 2nd, and for four days the general (General Middleton) was entrenched about a half a mile from the enemy's advanced posts. During this period Humboldt became the end of the telegraph, and as I was in command there, and the telegraph operator away for some days trying to repair the line from Humboldt to Clarke's Crossing, the whole work had to be done by Sergeant Harry Wilson of the Body Guard, who was an expert operator." Harry went on to become a Sergeant-Major in the Governor General's Body Guard. In 1895, when he was 41 years old, he married 20 year old Elsie Margaretta Pearce (1875-1966).
Family photos including a photo of Elsie Pearce - see Harvey Wilson's old family photos at http://www.pbase.com/harvey_wilson/oldfamilyphotos_pvt



Facts
  • 15 JUN 1854 - Birth - ; Toronto, Canada
  • 21 NOV 1914 - Death - ; Toronto
  • Occupation - Sargeant-Major, telegraph expert, later a stockbrocker
Ancestors
   
John Wilson
1805 - 1872
 
 
James Wilson
1833 - 1905
  
  
  
Eliza Armstrong
1810 - 1881
 
Harry James Musson Wilson
15 JUN 1854 - 21 NOV 1914
  
 
  
?
 
 
Emmaline Musson
1835 - 1913
  
  
  
?
 
Family Group Sheet - Child
PARENT (M) James Wilson
Birth1833
Death1905
Marriageto Emmaline Musson
FatherJohn Wilson
MotherEliza Armstrong
PARENT (F) Emmaline Musson
Birth1835
Death1913
Marriageto James Wilson
Father?
Mother?
CHILDREN
MHarry James Musson Wilson
Birth15 JUN 1854Toronto, Canada
Death21 NOV 1914Toronto
Marriage1897to Elsie Margaretta Pearce
FHenrietta (Ettie) Wilson
Birth1858
Death
Marriageto G W Murton
MJames Gustavus Wilson
Birth1860
Death1936
Marriageto Helen McKay at Boharm (Parkfoot),near Keith,,,SCOTLAND,
MWilliam Alexander Wilson
Birth1863
Death1873
MGeorge B. Wilson
Birth1866
Death
FAlice Graydon Wilson
Birth1868
Death1914
MRobert Wallace Wilson
Birth1870
Death28 JAN 1918(Died of war wounds)
MFrederick G. Wilson
Birth1873
Death1937
Marriageto Frances Hyatt
MPhilip Hamilton Wilson
Birth1876
Death10 AUG 1918(Killed in Action)
Family Group Sheet - Spouse
PARENT (M) Harry James Musson Wilson
Birth15 JUN 1854Toronto, Canada
Death21 NOV 1914 Toronto
Marriage1897to Elsie Margaretta Pearce
FatherJames Wilson
MotherEmmaline Musson
PARENT (F) Elsie Margaretta Pearce
Birth27 DEC 1875London, Middlesex, England (see Family Records Centre London index of births, Lambeth 1d.545 for March 1876 - certifica
Death19 AUG 1966 Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Marriage1918to Harry Pearson
Marriage1897to Harry James Musson Wilson
FatherHenry Edward Pearce
MotherHarriet Georgina (Hattie) Hurst
CHILDREN
FMuriel Doris Wilson
Birth6 NOV 1897Toronto, Canada
Death22 MAY 1981
Marriageto Len Connors
MHarvey James Musson Wilson
Birth1 DEC 1899Toronto, Canada
Death31 DEC 1949Lakeland, Florida
Marriage(1922 (in Spring))to Mabel Finlayson at Kincardin
MPhilip Hurst Douglas Wilson
Birth19 AUG 1901Toronto, Canada
Death9 DEC 1965
FGrace Hurst Armstrong Wilson
Birth19 AUG 1901Toronto, Canada
Death1988
Marriage24 OCT 1927to Thomas Frederick Wright , Revd at Church of the Messiah, Detroit, Michigan, US
FElsie Mavis Wilson
Birth13 MAY 1908Toronto, Canada
Death19 SEP 1990
MJack Ernest Alexander Wilson
Birth25 JAN 1911Toronto, Canada
Death10 JAN 1960Mount Clemens, Michigan
Marriage1936to Jean Ruehle
Marriageto Private
FPeggy (Lesley M) Wilson
Birth10 SEP 1914Toronto, Canada
Death10 JUL 1916After a fall
Evidence
[S1468] Grace Armstrong Wilson by letter to Harvey and Elaine Wilson 18 February 1982
Descendancy Chart
Harry James Musson Wilson b: 15 JUN 1854 d: 21 NOV 1914
Elsie Margaretta Pearce b: 27 DEC 1875 d: 19 AUG 1966
Muriel Doris Wilson b: 6 NOV 1897 d: 22 MAY 1981
Harvey James Musson Wilson b: 1 DEC 1899 d: 31 DEC 1949
Joyce Wilson b: OCT 1924 d: 14 NOV 1974
Joan Wilson b: MAY 1933 d: JUL 1935
Philip Hurst Douglas Wilson b: 19 AUG 1901 d: 9 DEC 1965
Grace Hurst Armstrong Wilson b: 19 AUG 1901 d: 1988
Thomas Henry Wright b: 5 FEB 1929 d: 2010
Margaret Mary (Molly) Wright b: 14 APR 1932 d: 1983
Elsie Mavis Wilson b: 13 MAY 1908 d: 19 SEP 1990
Jack Ernest Alexander Wilson b: 25 JAN 1911 d: 10 JAN 1960
Jean Ruehle b: 1911 d: 1977
Peggy (Lesley M) Wilson b: 10 SEP 1914 d: 10 JUL 1916