Chelsea Pioneer Cemetery

A number of projects I’m working on has me delving into stories surrounding the horrors of war, particularly those involving Canadians. One tale I came across is that of Private Richard Rowland Thompson who in the Boer War Battle of Paardeberg saved the life of a wounded colleague and stayed with him throughout the heat of battle. He also attempted to save another as the fighting raged about him. For this he was the only Canadian recipient of a Queen’s Scarf of Honour, one of eight scarves crocheted by Queen Victoria in her final year of life. The scarf is now at the Canadian War Museum. Turns out the fellow is buried in the Chelsea Pioneer Cemetery. So I biked up the 105 right passed the small dirt road that leads to the small cemetery.

Path off the 105 towards the Chelsea Pioneer Cemetery

Realizing my mistake miles later, I headed back but not before cursing the terrible conditions of the 105 north of the Larimac golf course.

Dangerous stretch of road

I also passed this very clever bike rack outside the Chelsea Smokehouse. They smoke fish.

Clever bike rack

Anyway, back to Private Richard Rowland Thompson … in commemoration of the honour Queen Victoria bestowed upon him, stone pillars flank the entrance to the small cemetery and a small cenotaph stands just beyond, listing the sons of Chelsea who fought and fell in the First and Second World Wars. It’s a very serene contemplative space, well worth the visit.


Author: ottawavelo


2 thoughts on “Chelsea Pioneer Cemetery”

  1. I have ridden that bad section of 105! At least once a summer, I head up to Lac Johnson (just west of Alcove. I rather mountain bike on from 0’Brian’s Beach to trail 50 exiting the park at Lac Philippe rather than go on 105. Alcove is a bit past Wakefield, so not really where you were headed.

  2. I see the route you suggested on the map – looks like a very interesting ride.
    They really should pave a safe shoulder for bicyclists on that section of the 105, at least as far as Wakefield. I’m sure it would be in the best interests for all the communities along the way in terms of attracting velo enthusiasts and tourists, especially in Wakefield with the train in limbo.

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