Slain soldiers to be admitted to bar
37 law students killed in war to be honoured posthumously century after dying in battle
John William Gow Logan was a 29-year-old aspiring lawyer when he was shot dead in France on the last day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916.
His great niece, Leslie Lavers, got to know him over the years through letters, photographs and stories passed down in her family.
When she got a call informing her Logan would be posthumously admitted to the bar in Alberta 102 years after his death, she felt like he had been resurrected.
“I burst into tears,” she said. “It brought him back to life, you know, just for this point in time. There he is, he’s kind of reappearing after all these years.”
The Law Society of Alberta will admit 37 law students killed in battle, to the Alberta bar on Friday, to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
Current law students and families of fallen soldiers will be in attendance.
“It’s tremendously moving,” said Lavers, who lives in Lethbridge.
“I think for the families of
all of these men, it puts them into three dimensions again, after they had no opportunity to live their lives, get married, have kids, have their careers. It’s such a poignant thing.”
She said Logan’s death was a tragedy that cast a shadow over her family. Before he left for the war, his father said he would not forgive anyone if his son dies because of the incompetence
of the senior command — which, Lavers said, is exactly how Logan ended up dying.
His body was never recovered.
Logan was raised on a homestead in southern Manitoba and was attending law school at the University of Alberta, in Edmonton, when he enlisted as a private with the 50th (Calgary) Battalion in
May 1915. He was killed in action in November 1916 while going over the parapet at Regina Trench in Courcelette.
His name appears on the Vimy Memorial in Pas-de-Calais, France.
The ceremony will take place Friday at 4 p.m. in the Ceremonial Court at the Calgary Courts Centre.
DENIS CHARLET/AFP/GETTY IMAGES A wall of photos dedicated to First World War casualties from the battles of the Somme includes one of John William Gow Logan.