Sapper Gilchrist volunteers
for service with the Columbia Detachment and travels to the Colony with
his pregnant wife, on board the Thames City.
While on the journey, a son
is born to the Gilchrists.
|As a Sapper Gilchrist's Regimental Pay per Diem
would have been 1s. 2 1/2d. plus Working Pay per Diem of 1s.
According to Frances
Woodward, Gilchrist receives Crown Grant on 7th December, 1861, along with
Sapper William Haynes, for Lot 32, Group 1, New Westminster District, for
Gilchrist remains in the
Colony after the Detachment is disbanded in 1863.
Gilchrist is a member of the
Bute Inlet Expedition searching for the murderers of the Waddington party
in the spring of 1864
During the hot and dry Summer
of 1864, while Gilchrist is still away, disaster strikes.
1st June 1864 - The British Columbian
A Conflagration - Owing to the extreme dryness of the weather and
the high winds which prevailed during yesterday the fire spread at a
fearful rate amongst the lying timber in the rear of this city, and
the town was at one period considered in imminent danger. Several
unimportant buildings in the suburban plot, together with fences and
gardenstuffs, were destroyed, and the two mills immediately below
the city were saved with much difficulty. But the chief damage was
done at Sapperton, the north-eastern suburbs, where, we regret to
say, four dwellings were consumed, viz., Mr. Bruce's, Mr.
Franklin's, Mr. Gilchrist's and Mr. Edwards'. Many other
buildings in that locality were in great danger, but were saved
through the most praiseworthy exertions of the redoubtable Hyacks,
assisted by valuable volunteer aid. This fire must have destroyed a
considerable amount of property and shows the necessity of having
all the lying timber adjacent to the city burned off as soon as
possible. The Hyacks had a hard day of it. They were at work at
Webster and Co.'s mill when the summons came for them to go to the
Camp. We have, unhappily, of late had two striking illustrations of
the efficiency and value of the Fire Department, and we trust that
in future every reasonable facility will afforded them in order to
keep up an organization so indispensable to the safety of property.
4th June 1864 - The British Colonist
Having been personally engaged up to a late hour on Tuesday in
repelling the advance of the flames upon the property in the rear of
the city, we were unable to give anything beyond the very meagre
notice which appeared in our last issue of Wednesday. In that
notice we gave the names of four who were burned out at Sapperton.
We are happy to learn subsequently that only three of the four were
really victims, viz., Franklin, who lost his house and a great part
of his effects; Bruce, who lost every article he possessed in the
world; Gilchrist, who lost his house and a portion of his
effects. This last case was rendered perhaps more distressing from
the circumstances of Gilchrist having been absent upon the
Bute Inlet Expedition, from which he only returned to find a heap of
smouldering ashes where he left a comfortable house and happy
family. There were instances of heroic bravery, too, which ought to
be noticed in connection with the Sapperton fire. We learn that
almost superhuman exertions were made in order to check the fire,
and no better evidence of this is needed than the fact that
Colston's house is now standing. The Hon. Colonial Secretary, Mr.
J.T. Scott, Mr. C. Good, Mr. Howse, Mr. Deasy, Mr. Argyle, Mr. Green
and Mr. Ede, have all been mentioned to us as having exerted
themselves in the most praiseworthy and sometimes daring manner in
order to save both life and property. The damage done to fences and
garden stuffs must be very considerable, as we are informed that
every piece of fencing in Sapperton was either burned or torn down
to save it from being burned. The roads in that neighbourhood also
suffered more or less injury. On the Pitt river road 234 feet of
the roadway which was constructed of cedar logs covered with earth
and gravel, was burned, while on the North or Burrard road, three of
the bridges are more or less injured. In the rear of the city the
house of Mr. Benney was destroyed, and back about 2 miles on the
Douglas street road Mr. Bennet was burned out, while some three
miles down the river Mr. Martin's buildings were destroyed together
with most of the household stuff.
north-western suburbs considerable damage has been done in the
destruction of fencing and garden stuff. There is an old saying
that nothing is so bad but it might be worse; and notwithstanding
all these losses and misfortunes a general feeling of thankfulness
ought to pervade the community on account of the smallness of the
aggregate loss; and that feeling should find practical expression in
assisting as far as our circumstances will allow, the few who have
lost their all.
According to Frances
Woodward, Gilchrist leaves the Colony before receiving his Military Grant