M968.332.1x | David McCrae in Uniform

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David McCrae in Uniform
Kennedy Studio
About 1917, 20th century
28 x 20.4 cm
This artefact belongs to : © Guelph Museums
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Keys to History

John McCrae's father, David (1845-1930), emigrated from Scotland with his family at the age of four, in the year 1849. His family settled in Guelph. After graduating from the Ontario Veterinary College, David began to work with his father Thomas (1820-1892) in the family business.

This close-knit family prospered, first by purchasing a sawmill and then, during the American Civil War (1861-1865), a woollen mill to help meet the demand for clothing. They also raised sheep, cattle and horses, winning many prizes at agricultural fairs, particularly for Galloway cattle.

David McCrae took his first military course in 1865 at 20 years of age and helped to establish Guelph's first militia. He would stay involved with the military for the rest of his life.

  • What

    David McCrae wears his military uniform with a Sam Browne belt and officer's cap.

  • Where

    Located in downtown Guelph, the Kennedy Studio provided photographic portraits for local families. This photograph was probably taken after he returned from England in 1917.

  • When

    At seventy years of age David recruited the 43rd Battery and took them to England, where he was able to see his son John for what turned out to be a final visit.

  • Who

    Because of his age David McCrae was not allowed to participate in active duty during World War I, and so he returned home after a short visit to England.