Law stu­dents who died in First World War called to bar


John Wil­liam Gow Lo­gan had one course and some ar­ti­cling to com­plete be­fore be­com­ing a lawyer, but his death in the First World War left his dream un­fin­ished.

The son of Man­i­toba home­stead­ers en­listed as a pri­vate in the 50th Bat­tal­ion in 1915 and within months was pro­moted to cor­po­ral. He was killed on the last day of the Bat­tle of the Somme in France on Nov. 18, 1916 — a month shy of his 30th birth­day.

Lo­gan is one of 37 aspir­ing lawyers posthu­mously ad­mit­ted to the bar in a cer­e­mony Fri­day at the Cal­gary Courts Cen­tre ahead of the 100-year an­niver­sary of the ar­mistice end­ing the con­flict.

Lo­gan’s great-niece Leslie Lavers said “It’s a piece of clo­sure. It brings him back and it puts him to rest all at the same time.”

Lavers never knew her “greatun­cle Gow,” but she learned a lot about him from his eight sib­lings who lived into their 80s and 90s.

“The shadow of his death lasted with them un­til their own deaths.”

Let­ters Lo­gan sent dur­ing the war were witty and cheer­ful, al­ways seek­ing to ease the wor­ries of his loved ones, she said. In one, he com­plains to his sis­ter: “There are far too many lice and they are far too af­fec­tion­ate for my lik­ing.”

Keith Mar­lowe with the Le­gal Ar­chives So­ci­ety of Al­berta said ev­ery No­vem­ber the pro­fes­sion rec­og­nizes mem­bers who died serv­ing. But when law stu­dents’ names are read, there has al­ways been the caveat that they were “never called.”

“But for the war, all of th­ese stu­dents would have gone on to be­come lawyers and they would have given back to the Al­berta le­gal com­mu­nity,” said Mar­lowe, a part­ner at Blakes, Cas­sels and Gray­don. “We wanted to make sure they were treated in the same way, on the same foot­ing, with the same recog­ni­tion as the Al­berta lawyers who also per­ished in the war.”

Or­ga­niz­ers credit Patrick Shea, a part­ner at Gowl­ings in Toronto who was in the re­serves, with mak­ing the cer­e­mony pos­si­ble. Shea dug through his­tor­i­cal records and amassed de­tails on the 550 Cana­dian lawyers and law stu­dents killed dur­ing the First World War.


A bu­gler plays the Last Post dur­ing the We Have Not For­got­ten Bar Call cer­e­mony in Cal­gary Fri­day in re­mem­brance of 37 Al­berta law stu­dents who died in the First World War.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.