WW1 Soldier Arthur Collett’s Bible

April 2, 2018.  On March 25, Pieter was invited to give a presentation about the Cenotaph Research Project at Central Trinity United Church in Breadalbane.  In addition to preparing a slideshow of interesting photos to complement the talk about the research on the soldiers listed on the cenotaph outside the Borden-Carleton Legion, we had posters made of the Cenotaph photo and two of the articles published in the County Line Courier.  These posters were put on display, and will be used in future presentations.

Pieter Valkenburg and Mike Smith with Cenotaph poster and Muttart poster

Pieter on the left with County Line Publisher Mike Smith. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

We received a very warm welcome from everyone, and enjoyed the delicious potluck dinner that preceded the talk.  The presentation was well received, with a lively question and answer session after the presentation.  Jack and Arlene Sorensen of the Tryon & Area Historical Society attended, and accepted donations to the “Muttart Memorial Fund”.

Pieter Valkenburg at the podium in Breadalbane

Pieter at the podium at Central Trinity United Church in Breadalbane. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

One of the people who attended the presentation was Joyce Loo of Springfied.  When an article about Arthur Leigh COLLETT ran in the County Line Courier last fall, Joyce contacted us with additional information.   (See the same article published in Summerside Citizen (Sside Citizen Nov 15 2017 p15 Cemetery in a potato field in France) and our earlier blog entry: Grandcourt Road Cemetery in Farmers Fields).

Mrs. Loo, nee Haslam, wrote us that: “I am very interested in your article in the County Line Courier about Arthur Collett. He taught my mother in Springfield School. He boarded with Louis Haslam and family. I now live in that house and found his Greek Bible in the attic. My mother liked him very much as a teacher and she knew he had died in France.

Until receiving this email, Pieter had not found any information that Arthur Collett had taught on PEI before completing his education at King’s College in Nova Scotia and receiving his Rhodes scholarship to Oxford.  After contacting King’s College, Pieter received a reply and information from the University Librarian, Jennifer Adams.

From the information from March-April 1913 issue of ‘The Record’, a student magazine that later become the yearbook for King’s College, we learned that “in 1906, on taking a County Scholarship, he entered Prince of Wales College in Charlottetown….. During the years 1906-1908, Mr. Collett was enrolled in H Company of the 82nd Regiment Abegweit Light Infantry….Mr. Collett left Prince of Wales College in 1908, and took up teaching before entering King’s in 1909.”  Mrs. Loo was correct!

In her email, Ms. Adams noted that “In his last year at King’s, Collett was selected as a Rhodes Scholar and was also the Senior Student, equivalent to being head of the student body.”

While at King’s College, Collett had the nickname “Deak” and was briefly on the debating team.

Collett, Arthur Leigh - UKC Debating Team 1912

Arthur Collett on bottom far right in this 1912 photo of King’s College Debating Team. (Photo credit: courtesy of King’s College collection)

Joyce Loo brought the bible she had mentioned in her email, and we were able to see that it was a Greek-Latin bible, most likely part of the literary studies that Collett was enrolled in while at Oxford.  His graduation write-up at King’s College, in “The Record, Encaenia” for 1913 noted that “Throughout his College course, “Deak” has displayed a decided thirst for English, being both a prolific contributor to Haliburton Society and a valued member of the RECORD staff….

Pieter Valkenburg with Judy and Joyce Loo with Colletts bible

Joyce Loo (centre) with daughter Judy Loo on left and Pieter Valkenburg on right and Collett’s bible. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

Spine of Colletts bible

Spine of Collett’s bible. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

How wonderful it was to meet Joyce Loo and have this opportunity to learn more about WW1 soldier Arthur Leigh Collett!  As we learn more about the soldiers on the Cenotaph from families, books, and letters, we can keep adding to their stories.  This was but one example!  Our heartfelt thanks to Jennifer Adams of University of King’s College for providing the additional information on Arthur Leigh Collett’s life as a student.

All too soon, the first presentation about the Cenotaph Research Project was over, and Pieter was thanked by the event organizer, Evelyn Stewart.

Pieter Valkenburg with Evelyn Stewart after the presentation in Breadalbane

Pieter with Evelyn Stewart of the Cavendish-Breadalbane Fellowship Group. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

If you have a photo, or information, of Collett’s time at Prince of Wales College, his involvement in H Company of the 82nd Regiment Abegweit Light Infantry, or his brief teaching career, please let us know. Photos are still needed for many of the names on the Cenotaph outside the Borden-Carleton Legion, so please dig out those old albums and take a look.   Please share your photos, comments, or stories by emailing us at dariadv@yahoo.ca or by commenting on this blog.

Would you like to have Pieter speak about the Cenotaph Research Project at an upcoming event? If you are interested, email at dariadv@yahoo.ca.

Donations are still being collected towards the ‘Muttart Memorial Fund’ for a memorial panel in Wons, The Netherlands.  If you would like to donate, cheques may be written out to TAHS and mailed to Tryon & Area Historical Society (TAHS), PO Box 38, Crapaud PE C0A 1J0.  In the subject line, identify your cheque as being for the “Muttart Memorial Fund”.  A charitable donation receipt will be sent to all donors. 

If you wish to donate and you live in Europe:  Bank transfers may be made to Stichting Missing Airmen Memorial Foundation, Bank Account # (IBAN) NL35ABNA0569579856, and state in the subject line “Attn D.S. Drijver for Halifax L9561”.

 © Daria Valkenburg

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