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A Soldier's Life Being the Personal Reminiscences of Edwin G. Rundle   By: (1838-)

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[Illustration: COLOR SERGT. EDWIN G. RUNDLE. Age, 28 Years.]

A Soldier's Life

Being the Personal Reminiscences of


Late Sergeant Major in Her Majesty's Leicestershire Regiment of Foot, Instructor and Lecturer to the Military School, Toronto, 1866 1868. Member of the Red River Expedition.

With Introduction by MAJOR HENRY J. WOODSIDE

Author's Edition



Of recent years we have had many books on military history, most of them chiefly devoted to the wars which have marked the extension of the British Empire.

In Sergeant Major Rundle's narrative we have the interesting story of how an honest English boy became attracted to the colors; how the British army lives, moves and has its being in the British Isles and in the Dominions beyond the seas; how that boy rose by honest effort to the highest non commissioned position in that army; and most interesting of all, his experience on foreign service when his regiment took part in the Trent affair and Fenian raids, following the close of the American civil war.

Later, Sergeant Rundle became instructor at the Toronto Military School, where he trained some men now very prominent in Canadian affairs. He also was a member of the Red River expedition, which helped very much to open up and develop that western empire whose golden tide of grain is now flowing into the wheat bins of the British Empire.

Scattered through the story are many interesting reminiscences and incidents. The actors in these dramas of a young nation's birth are falling by the wayside, and few have left a record of their adventures. It is from such that history is written.

In revising the manuscript, "by order" of my truest of Klondike friends, Colonel S. B. Steele, C.B., M.V.O. (the lion of the Yukon), I have endeavored to interfere as little as possible with Sergeant Rundle's pleasant and simple style of narrative, and it has been a pleasure to assist one whose record and character are without stain, and whose loyalty to sovereign and country is without blemish.


Ottawa, Ont., August 9, 1909.



I was born September 17th, 1838, in the town of Penryn, County of Cornwall, England, and was educated at the national and private schools. When my education was sufficiently advanced, I was apprenticed to learn the trade of carpenter and joiner. My father was a paper maker, and lived all his lifetime in the town. He was a strict teetotaler, and brought up his family, four boys and one girl, on the principles of temperance, which he assured us would form the basis of our future prosperity and happiness.

There are but two of our family living my eldest brother, now in his eightieth year, and the writer. My brother is able to attend to his business at the factory where he has worked all his lifetime, and we bless our father's memory.

It was at the age of fifteen that I began to learn my trade, my master's name being Samuel Rogers, builder and contractor. I entered upon my duties full of life and ambition, determined to become a good mechanic, and at the end of five years my progress toward that end was quite satisfactory.

However, a change was to take place. On a beautiful summer morning I bought a ticket for Plymouth, and took passage on a small steamer that plied between Falmouth and that port. My friends were not aware of my intention not to return again, but understood I was visiting. It did not take long for me to get in touch with the military stationed in the garrison. The parade marching past and the bands playing filled me with admiration, and finally I made up my mind to enlist in one of the regiments.

After the Crimean war the 17th Leicestershire Regiment was quartered in Quebec, and early in 1858 the Horse Guards ordered the raising of a second battalion... Continue reading book >>

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