When I first began to research the history of the London
Citadel Corps, it soon became apparent that there is a
tremendous heritage at this Corps. To be a part of the Corps
where it all began is indeed something to be proud of.
I believe that it is very important for current and future
members of London Citadel to remember those who went
before, and the efforts they made to further the work of
the Salvation Army in London. To avoid confusion the Corps
is referred to as "London Citadel" throughout the whole
history, even though the original name was "London 1".
There were also some contradictions in the historical
material concerning dates of events so I chose to use the
most widely accepted dates. Time did not permit the
inclusion of every noteworthy incident, but I hope that you
will enjoy the very brief glimpse into the past.
Julia P. Wilson
Joe Ludgate arrived in Canada in January 1882 and on the third Sunday in May, Addie, Ludgate and a few singers met in Victoria Park where a drunkard was saved. The Army then used the Westminster Skating Rink for their meetings. At the request of the City the open airs were held in Market Square instead of Victoria Park. In August that year the Army sent Captain Shirley (nicknamed "Shouting Annie") to London from New York with the corps being officially opened by Staff Captain Wass.
The Skating Rink proved too difficult to heat and so an abandoned Presbyterian Church was
purchased on King Street. Unfortunately this building was destroyed by fire and for a while
the City Council permitted the Army to use City Hall for its meetings.
Not all relations between the City and the Army were as friendly. Captain Addie was arrested for
beating a drum in public. At his trial he said these words in his defense, "The Salvation Army
is not a law-breaking organization. It is made up of law-abiding citizens. Many of its members in
the past have appeared in this court again and again, but where the law failed to reform
them, God, through the Salvation Army, has succeeded. Drunkards are now sober, thieves are
now honest, those who were swearing are praying, those who were bad are good."
His sentence was either a five dollar fine or ten days in jail. Unable to pay the fine he opted for the
jail term, but it was never served. When he was transferred to California, Captain Addie went to the
police station to serve his sentence before leaving London, but the judge said they would come after him if they wanted him, shook his hand and wished him luck. Another officer in London was not as fortunate as Addie. On June 11, 1884, Captain Isabella Nunn marched alone on King Street beating a drum. She was arrested and served ten days in jail. William Booth sent representatives to London to appeal the sentence. The law against drum beating went to the Supreme Court and was altered to allow the open-air work full freedom.
On November 1, 1884 the first issue of the Canadian War Cry was published with a circulation of 18,850. In this first issue was an advertisement from London which read, "Barracks wanted. Many of our soldiers and friends could help us very much if they would keep a sharp look-out for buildings likely to suit, such as old churches, theatres, music halls, skating rinks or warehouse."
In 1886 there was great excitement in London with the visit of General William Booth, then age 78. He was in London for 2 days and while here, spoke at the Grand Opera House at the corner of King and Richmond, where the Royal Bank Building is today. Many years later a London citizen who was at the Opera House that night wrote, "I do not at this date remember what he said, but I shall never forget the impression which he gave of deep earnestness, transparent godliness and boundless love for his fellow men."
The City of London was continuing to grow just as the Army was, and in 1882 London's first long distance telephone line came into operation, running from London to St. Thomas, In July 1883 there was a great flood which inundated a large part of London West, causing heavy property damage and some loss of life. The rain came down in torrents for 8 hours and the lightning which accompanied the storm destroyed the Imperial Oil Refinery in London East, putting to the test the skills of the newly formed London East Fire Department. In 1885 the village of London East amalgamated with the City of London.
London Citadel was growing all the time and many of the features of the corps which we know today had their start in this decade. The League of Mercy began in 1892 and two unusual bands, the Lassies Brass Band and the Timbrel Band got their starts.
In 1894 the Army purchased a building from the YMCA at 394 Clarence Street to house the London Citadel Corps as well as the Divisional Headquarters. The Army had previously used this building's auditorium for special occasions and when the building was put up for sale the Army decided to purchase it.
Extensive renovations were made including filling the swimming pool with cinders and putting flooring over the top. The seats for the congregation rose in a steep grade from the front of the platform, so that the congregation looked down upon the leader of the meeting.
The City of London was continuing to expand. The Sisters of St. Joseph moved from a ten bed facility to the newly built hospital on Grosvenor Street in 1892. In 1895 the London Street Railway sold its horses and converted the trams to electricity, while the Police department continued to improve its service to the community, purchasing a bicycle in 1898 so that they could apprehend cyclists who were speeding or riding on the sidewalks.
London West officially became part of the City in 1897. On January 3, 1898 disaster struck at the election celebration of Mayor John Wilson. A crowd of people were gathered in the 2nd floor auditorium of the city hall on Richmond Street, when the floor suddenly gave way, sending 250 people falling to the floor below. Seconds later a 500 lb safe slid through the hole onto the people beneath. 23 people died that night, with 150 more injured.
In world news Queen Victoria died in January 1901 and her son Edward VII succeeded her. Edward's son Prince George (later George V) visited London later that year with his wife Princess Mary. The Boer War raged in Africa from 1899 • 1902 and in 1900 Winston Churchill came to London to speak of his experiences during the Boer War.
With the arrival of a few Salvationists from England, the corps formed a permanent Songster Brigade in 1906. The Songster Leader, Mr. J. Harp, led the twice weekly rehearsals for a number of weeks before they sang in public, with the accompaniment of Mabel Horwood.
The League of Mercy was carrying on its practice of conducting a weekly service at the jail on Sunday afternoons.
Up until 1910 there were meetings held at the corps every night of the week. During the summer months meetings were held in Victoria Park under a tree, with the bass drum as a penitent form and the congregation sitting on the grass around.
The Band's reputation was spreading and they were in demand to visit other Corps. On one trip to Windsor and Detroit the train they were travelling on derailed, but thankfully there were no serious injuries and after some delay the band continued on to its weekend away.
The appointment of officers during this decade had slowed somewhat from previous years. There were ten officers who had the leadership of the corps one for each year. Among these officers were Staff-Captain Perry, Adj. J. Habkirk, and Staff-Captain Goodwin.
Cars were beginning to make their presence felt in London and in 1904 the London Automobile Club managed to gather 5 cars and 19 people for a road trip to Aylmer and St. Thomas by way of Belmont. The London and Lake Erie Railway finally managed to complete the tracks to Port Stanley in 1907 after some very lengthy delays due to financial problems. The London terminal of this railway was located on Horton Street on the present site of the Men's Social and Thrift Store.
On November 30, 1910 the switch was thrown bringing Hydro power to London from Niagara at a charge of 4 1/2 cents per kilowatt hour, a fee which was later dropped to 2 cents. There was no fee for the meter rental. The London Fire Department began testing the response of mechanical engines in 1911, but on the first three occasions the horses were faster than the engines. A new self starting motor finally allowed for the retirement of the horses.
The whole of the Salvation Army world (but especially in Canada) was shocked when the Empress of Ireland sank in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in May 1914. 150 Canadian Salvationists went down with the ship, including the Territorial Commander, Commissioner Rees, and his wife. All but 10 members of the Canadian Staff Band perished. They had been en route to the International Congress in London, England. One of the survivors was Alfred Keith, who later became Divisional Commander of the Ontario West Division and after retirement made London Citadel his home corps.
The outbreak of World War I, in 1914 brought changes to the London Citadel Corps. In 1915 almost all of the Citadel bandsmen of military age joined up and formed the nucleus of the band of the 142nd Battalion, London's Own Regiment, under the leadership of the Citadel bandmaster, George Wilson.
The Home League began its operations in the corps in 1917, growing from the meetings held by servicemen's wives.
In 1916 the Salvation Army Guards, which later became the Girl Guides, were organized under the leadership of the Divisional Commander's daughter. Miss Reta Rawling. In 1917 leadership was taken over by Miss Edith Salmond, (now Mrs. Edith Mann).
The building on Clarence Street underwent extensive renovations in 1917) and there was a dinner and programme held to celebrate the re-opening. A total of 700 people were served dinner that night, with the corps officer providing the meat for each table. The cost of the ticket which included dinner and the programme was 25c. The incumbent mayor of London, Mr. Hugh Stevenson, was the programme's chairman.
The major international event during this time was of course World War 1. London was headquarters for the Military District No.1 and Wolseley Barracks was remodelled to house the headquarters staff. London became one of the most important recruiting centres in Canada. Western Fair was taken over to house the troops in training, except while the Fair was on.
Various women's organizations were active in London at this time and London acquired its first female driver in 1914 when Miss Meta MacBeth passed her driver's exam.
The Armistice on November II, 1918 was celebrated by 20,000 people in Victoria Park, Spanish influenza struck in London just as it did around the world, and churches, schools, theatres and other places of public assembly were closed in order to help control the spread of the disease.
A mini building boom occurred after the war to handle both the increase in population and the fact that building during the wars years had been practically non-existent.
Funds began to be collected shortly after the end of the war to help build the War Memorial Children's Hospital as a practical monument to the men who went overseas. The building itself would be opened in 1923.
Many familiar names are part of London Citadel history. Just a few names may bring back a memory or two, and of course some are with us today!
JUDGE; HOE; SHEPHERD; McLEOD; BALDWIN; WICKENS; NEEDHAM; GIBSON; POTTER; DAVIS.
There are many tales that can be told of the characters who were a part of Citadel life. One such story is about Songster Leader Herbert Horwood.
The band was going away for the weekend. The Songster Leader worked for a bakery driving a horse-drawn van. He did not have time to get the horse back to the bakery and was worried the band would leave without him. He tied the horse to a tree, got in touch with the bakery and requested that someone come and look after the horse until his return, Such dedication was typical at London Citadel.
Some of the officers during this period included Commandants Ursaki, Ellsworth and Lang; Adjutants Leach, Alderman and Dixon, Captain Clague and Ensign Ellis, the last mentioned being a much loved officer. Unfortunately Ensign Ellis was promoted to Glory after becoming ill while visiting his mother in Newfoundland. His untimely death made headlines in the local newspaper.
The Citadel building on Clarence Street was redecorated in October 1931, with the corps paying half the expense and D.H.Q. paying the other half. In December 1931 there was a grand welcome meeting to welcome back to London Commissioner and Mrs. Edgar Hoe. The Commissioner had been serving in India at the request of the General who had called the Commissioner out of his retirement in London.
Eleven days of revival meetings were conducted by Colonel Clement Jacobs beginning on new year's day, 1932. The average attendance of the weeknight meetings was 180 people.
The Golden Anniversary celebrations were a great success, conducted by Colonel Dalziel, the Chief Secretary. The bandmaster, Hugh McGregor, wrote a march for this occasion entitled LONDON JUBLIEE, which was performed at the Saturday night festival.
In the Anniversary booklet is an advertisement for the Maple Leaf Cafe on Dundas Street, inviting people to visit them and enjoy a full course meal for either 35 or 40 cents.
The London Street Railway began to phase out their electric street cars and replace them with gas powered buses in 1923.
In 1925 there was a union of Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregationalist Churches to form what is now the United Church. In London 6 Presbyterian Churches joined the United movement while 5 remained outside. 2 churches which joined. First Presbyterian and St. Andrew's Presbyterian joined together to become what is today First St. Andrew's United Church.
London got its own radio station in November 1922, when the forerunner of today's CFPL radio, CJGC went on the air with an address given by Sir Adam Beck.
In 1929 a manually operated traffic light was installed at the intersection of Dundas and Richmond to help control the car population in London which now stood at almost 13,000.
Other methods of transportation were becoming popular and by 1927 a municipal airport was necessary and one was established in Lambeth.
In 1938 the Salvation Army Life Saving Guards, which were under the leadership of Oney Flowers here at the Citadel, became affiliated with the Girl Guides of Canada.
There was peat excitement during this decade when Canada received its first visit from a reigning monarch. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth came to the country in June 1939 and were in London on June 7. Among the estimated 300,000 citizens and visitors who came out to welcome them, was the Citadel band who were to play at the corner of Grosvenor and Waterloo Streets. As the band was preparing to march to their playing spot from the Citadel on Clarence Street, a car pulled up and an unknown American SA Colonel got out and stood behind the D.C. for the march. He was wearing a straw hat. Army tunic, grey trousers, and brown shoes, much to the consternation of the bandmaster, Hugh McGregor, who was a real stickler for proper uniform. No one ever found out who the Colonel was.
War was declared on September 3, 1939 and London again became an active military centre. As during WW I, the Western fairgrounds were taken over for use by the soldiers. Unlike before, the actual fair was suspended and not held again until after the end of the war.
The Citadel band was used for church services at Wolseley Barracks many times and several bandsmen joined the Army Service Corps Band (Reserve), which was conducted by Hugh McGregor, Wally Needham and then Glen Shepherd.
On one occasion the band went to play to soldiers who were departing for overseas. The bandmaster asked if anyone had any requests. Someone did "Roll Out the Barrel" - somehow the band were able to fulfill this request and played with their usual finesse.
Among the officers from this decade were Maj. Ellen Bird and Adj. Ethel Hart, Major and Mrs. Calvert, and Major and Mrs. Raymer who were the parents of Mrs. Brig. Marsland.
On December 21, 1941, the corps' first Christmas candlelight service was held with the band and songsters providing the music.
The 60th anniversary celebrations were highlighted by the unveiling of a memorial stone in Market Square, marking the spot where Jack Addie and Joe Ludgate held their first meetings, This stone has since been moved to the inside of the Royal Bank building.
A diversion from the depression came to Londoners in 1934 in the form of a kidnapping. Local businessman John Labatt III was held for $150,000.00 ransom, however he was released after 3 days without the ransom being paid.
Another diversion of a completely different nature occurred in April 1937 when the Thames River overflowed its banks, submerging some 500 acres, mostly in West London. There was only one fatality but property damage was estimated at almost $900,000.00 between the city and private citizens.
During the war years, the London Citadel Corps in general, and the band in particular were augmented by soldiers, sailors and airmen from other countries, as well as other towns in Canada.
In 1944 the bandmaster, Hugh McGregor, moved to Brantford and Glen Shepherd took over the leadership of the Citadel band.
The end of the war in August 1945 was the cause of much rejoicing, however, for three families here at the Citadel, the celebrations were tempered by the fact that their loved ones did not return. Bandsmen Ray Law and Eric Hames were lulled in action and Ted Andrewes died while in the forces.
In 1945 the Citadel lost one of it's most prominent soldiers when Commissioner Edgar Hoe was promoted to Glory.
The Corps was continuing it's tradition of evangelistic campaigns each year, always with good results. In 1945 the campaign was conducted by Adj. and Mrs. William Ross.
The morning service on New Year's Sunday, 1950 was conducted by the newly appointed Divisional Commanders, Lt. Col. and Mrs. Keith, and was broadcast in its entirety on C.F.P.L. radio.
The corps received many visits from other musical sections in the Army world including Earlscourt Band, Kitchener Band and Danforth Songsters. In 1952 London was visited by the International Staff Band under the leadership of Col. Duggan and Bandmaster Bernard Adams.
The 70th anniversary celebrations were conducted by Commissioner and Mrs. Dalziel. The march of witness was rained out but a service was held at the Armouries featuring the massed bands of Hamilton Citadel, Kitchener Citadel and London Citadel.
Just as after the first World War, a building boom took place in London after the Second World War. There was a great move to the suburbs and the car population increased accordingly. This led to the installation of the first parking meters in London in 1948.
Public transit now consisted of gas powered buses, since the last street cars had been phased out during the war and the steel rails ripped up to be used in the war effort.
There were changes to the commercial face of London also. The long standing London department store, Smallman & Ingram was sold to Simpson's, and grocery chains such as A & P, Loblaws, and Dominion began to make their presence felt, causing many independent grocery stores to close.
Heavy industry moved into London when the General Motors Diesel Division opened in London in 1950.
Another flood of the Thames River in April 1947 led to the formation of the Upper Thames Valley Conservation Authority which would later be responsible for the construction of the Fanshawe Dam.
In 1956 the new Territorial Headquarters building opened in Toronto, together with the Bramwell Booth Temple.
In January 1958 the London Citadel Corps received a new flag, presented by Mr. and Mrs. Archie Andrewes in memory of their son Ted who died during the War. This flag was presented during meetings conducted by the Chief Secretary, Col. and Mrs. Clarence Wiseman.
The four city corps united in April 1958 to hold 10 days of evening meetings led by Col. Rich and 14 cadets from the training college in Toronto.
The Duet Club at the Citadel (a group for couples) led a weekend at the corps, with meetings conducted by Brig. and Mrs. Thomas Murray, former corps officers. The executive of the Duet Club at this time consisted of Rody and Jean McLeod, Bert and Girlie Thompson, and Bill and Jean Grey.
One of the last pioneer members of the corps died in 1958. Mrs. Smallman was associated with Jack Addie and Joe Ludgate when she was a teenager and they were just starting the work of the Army in London. Mrs. Smallman was the grandmother of Mrs. Grace Murphy.
A series of meetings were held over Easter 1959 by Sr. Major Pindred, including 2 services on Good Friday and a programme presented by the Songsters under the leadership of Songster Leader Ed Judge.
In 1959 the Citadel underwent more renovations when new seating and lighting was added.
London got its own television station when CFPL-TV went on the air at 6:00 p.m. on November 28, 1953.
In 1953 the Fanshawe Dam was completed to offer London protection from floods. With the completion of the Dam, came the creation of Lake Fanshawe with park and boating facilities.
In 1955 London celebrated the 100th anniversary of its incorporation as a city.
In 1957 Highway 401 opened from London to Woodstock and all the way to Toronto by 1960.
The University expanded greatly after the War. King's College opened in 1955 and the Faculty of Law started to take students in 1959.
There were other familiar landmarks in London which date from this decade. The new wing at Victoria Hospital, the Dearness Home, Marian Villa, the Salvation Army Children's Village, and the C.N.I.B. centre on Ridout Street.
The London and Port Stanley Railway discontinued passenger service in 1957, due mainly to the increase in the number of cars, owned by the general population.
Storybook Gardens in Springbank Park opened in 1958.
In 1961 London grew by over 42,000 acres overnight with the annexation of parts of Westminster and London Townships.
The corps officers in the early sixties, Major and Mrs. Gordon Holmes, became the first corps officers to welcome a new baby into their home, when their son Philip was born.
The welcome meeting for Captain and Mrs. Fred Watkin in 1965 was held without the participation of the band, whose instruments were in the process of being converted to low pitch. The band was now under the leadership of Bram Gregson, who took over at the end of 1964.
Later that same year it was decided that the evening meetings would begin at 6:30 p.m. instead of 7:00 p.m.
In 1966 the "New Building Committee" was formed, and in June 1967 at a special meeting of the entire corps it was decided to purchase land on Richmond Street north of Cheapside for the building of the new Citadel.
This land was sold again when the existing neighbours protested, believing that the Salvation Army would attract drunkards and other undesirables to the neighbourhood. Some people in the corps also felt that the new Citadel should be located in a newer area of the city where there would be young families with children.
The corps then purchased the land here on Springbank Drive.
The Salvation Army took part in the Canadian Centennial celebrations in 1967. There was an army float in the parade on July 1, 1967 and the Citadel band participated.
The building on Clarence Street was sold in November 1970 and meetings were held in Woodland Heights Public School on Springbank Drive. The new citadel was officially opened by Commissioner Clarence Wiseman on September 4, 1971. The total cost of the land, building, landscaping, paving, furniture and equipment was $514,799,00.
Canada officially got a new flag on February 15, 1965 and the Centennial celebrations in 1967 were highlighted by the opening of Centennial Hall on Wellington Street. The first concert there was a production of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.
London's new airport in the former hamlet of Crumlin in London Township opened in 1965 at a cost of more than $1.56 million dollars.
The 90th anniversary celebrations were held in September 1972 and were highlighted by the unveiling of a stained glass window at Wesley Knox United Church on Askin Street, commemorating the first time Jack Addie and Joe Ludgate met at a revival meeting in the church.
In September 1975 many families from the London Citadel corps went on a weekend retreat to Echo Grove Camp in Michigan.
The officer's quarters at the corner of Ridout and McKenzie were sold in 1976 and a new house purchased on Nottinghill Crescent, which was much closer to the corps.
That summer the band undertook a 2 week tour of England, which was a great success in spite of the oppressive heat in England that year.
The tour's highlight came at a performance at the Royal Albert Hall.
In 1977 one of the older members of the corps. Col. Clinton Eacott, earned his Master of Divinity degree from the Faculty of Theology at Huron College.
One of the more prominent visitors to the corps during this decade was the well known theological author Malcolm Muggeridge, from England.
The youth sections of the corps were playing a prominent role, and the Young Peoples Band, under the leadership of John Yates undertook several "away" engagements. During 1977 they united with the Youth Bands of Brantford and Etobicoke corps for a series of 3 festivals one at each of the 3 corps. In 1978 the Y.P, band went on a weekend trip to Woodroffe Temple Corps in Ottawa.
In 1978 many corps members of various ages came together to participate in a production of the Gowans-Larsson musical "Jesus Folk". The musical was produced and directed by Howard Phillips and Paul Green. The musical was performed 3 times, once in Goderich, once in Windsor during Youth Councils, and once in London at Oakridge Secondary School.
In November 1981 the Songster Brigade undertook a 10 day tour of the west coast, both in Canada and the United States, under the leadership of Songster Leader Wayne Taylor.
In the City of London, an annual tradition began in 1974 with the first Home County Folk Festival in Victoria Park.
The Grand Theatre on Richmond Street was restored during 1977 and 1978 and has been serving Londoners since in its beautiful building.
On January 26, 1978 one of the worst blizzards in London's history struck. One foot of snow fell and after it was all over, there were 8 people dead.
The 100th Anniversary celebrations held in May 1982 were a great success. The special guests for the weekend were Commissioner and Mrs. William Goodier. The weekend began with a banquet at the Lamplighter Inn and throughout the weekend there were numerous events with all sections of the corps participating. On the Saturday night there was a presentation of the Gowans-Larsson musical "The Blood of the Lamb" by the young folk of the Ontario West division.
In 1982 the corps paid off the mortgage on its building. In 1983 the first major renovations to the Citadel were carried out. The ceiling in the gymnasium was lowered and acoustic tiles were added to try to reduce the echo effect. Other renovations since then have included the addition of classrooms off the gymnasium, the redecorating of both the Band and Songster rooms, a portable classroom behind the Junior Chapel, and a recent coat of paint on the interior hallways.
In October 1982 the whole corps was very proud when it was announced that Col. Leonard Kirby had been awarded the Order of the Founder.
A neighborhood carol service held in December 1984 at Saunders Secondary School attracted over 900 people.
Mrs. Major Joyce Birt was promoted to Glory in June 1986.
The musical sections of the corps were as active as they had always been, both in visiting other corps and hosting musical guests.
The Band went on a tour of the west coast, and the Songsters, under the leadership of Ron Gilbert, went for a weekend to New York City as the guests of the Central Corps, and the Youth Band toured Southern California.
Among the guests who visited the Citadel were: Winnipeg Bible College Singers, Sydney Congress Hall Band, Enfield Band, Mississauga Songsters, and the International Staff Songsters.
January 1990 marked the beginning of the "People Profile" feature in the weekly bulletin. This was intended to enable people to know more about the members of the Citadel, whether they were newcomers or long time members.
In May 1990 Kirby Manor was officially opened on Commissioners Road West, under the auspices of the Wonderland Non Profit Housing Corporation. The proposal for a non profit building came from Bandmaster Bram Gregson and with the support of the corps officer, Major Earle Birt, the Corporation was founded. The Board of Directors of the Corporation was made up of members of the London Citadel congregation.
The Sunday School here at the Citadel has always maintained high standards and in the last few years a very dedicated group of leaders and teachers under the leadership of Y.P.S.M. Joyce Hawkins has expanded the Sunday School through outreach and the bus ministry. The Citadel is now consistently among the top Sunday Schools for attendance in the territory.
In September 1984 a tornado tore through the White Oaks area of London and although there were many injuries and much property damage, there were no deaths.
In 1985 the Westminster Campus of Victoria Hospital opened after 30 months of construction and a cost of $73 million.
In 1989 London was visited by Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother who dedicated the "Flame of Hope" at Banting House on Adelaide Street. This flame is to burn constantly until a cure for diabetes is found.
The Salvation Army Celebrates 150 years worldwide
From July 1-5, 2015, more than 15,000 (1,000 from Canada) Salvation Army members and friends united in London, England, at the Boundless Congress to celebrate 150 years of bringing help and hope to the world’s most vulnerable.
The Salvation Army is currently active in 131 countries with a mission to meet human needs, without discrimination, be transforming influences and promote the dignity of all persons.