Mary's Wedding
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Betty Allison

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Archie Allison (Hogg) is the grandfather of Betty Allison who is one of the principal singers in “Mary’s Wedding”.   War changes everyone and Archie was no different.  He had minimal attachment to his family in Scotland after the  ”Great War”; so a few years after marrying Margaret Baker, a school teacher in northern Saskatchewan, they changed the family name from Hogg to Allison.   Betty’s name is traced back to her great aunt Betty Hogg. 

Betty Allison (1982) – daughter of  Frank Allison (1945) – son of Archibald Allison (Hogg) (1898)

Archie’s Story

Archibald Hogg (Allison) was born in Scotland on November 22, 1898.  At the early age of 16 he joined the Scottish Rifles, also known as the Cameroonians and headed off to war in Europe.  As with many WW1 veterans, Archie seldom spoke of his experiences. It must have been traumatic for a young farm boy to end up surviving the trenches of France for virtually the duration of the war and under such horrid conditions.  A carpenter by trade, he probably helped build boardwalks through the mud, but again, we do not know what  he did or even what area he served in, as it was a topic he chose not to discuss.  We do know that he ended up with shrapnel in his forehead and lip, and this was to affect his physical appearance and even his life decision to move to the west coast.

As with many young soldiers, when he returned to Scotland things had changed and life would never be the same.  As he was the younger brother, the farm had passed to the oldest brother and there was no place for him.  Archie crafted a large chest to fill with his belongings and booked passage with a friend to find a new life in the colonies.  Apparently he was on his way to Australia or New Zealand, but ended his journey in Canada.  Departing Glasgow on Sept 12, 1919, on the ship Corsican, he arrived in Quebec  on September 21, 1919.  Archie traveled to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan to deliver a package to someone from Scotland, found work taking in the harvest, and never left. 

Archie was able to get a soldier’s grant in 1922 and a homestead grant in 1924 and became a bachelor farmer near Smeaton, Saskatchewan.  During the depression a young teacher from Saskatoon arrived in Smeaton.  Archie married Peggy Baker in 1936; afterward they travelled to Victoria for their honeymoon.  They both loved  Vancouver Island . Returning to Saskatchewan, they eventually sold the farm and moved to Ladysmith, British Columbia, in 1942.  A family story suggests that they made the move because the shrapnel that Archie carried in his head and lip was very uncomfortable when he was working outside in the sub zero temperatures of a prairie winter. Moving to Vancouver Island offered relief from the cold.  In the 1970’s Archie finally had the shrapnel removed from his lip, but the shrapnel remained in his head until he died in 1985.

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