|On this wheel are three names who are not top commanders: a Colonel McDonald, a Captain Stuart, and Allan Rae.
So you look through Boer War records and see if one of these names gets a hit.
You start with the oddest name first, Allan Rae, on the assumption that it already narrows the field of possible candidates. There are far too many McDonalds and Stuarts in Ontario to sort through.
It turns out that Allan Rae, who was originally from Kingston, Ontario, went to the Boer War, under Colonel Otter (both names right) but signed up from distant London, Ontario. Hmmh... odd...
When you check his Boer War Attestation Paper, lo and behold, the recruiting officer who signs him up is a Captain DEW Stuart (name right) who went to South Africa as an officer under Colonel Otter.
But Allan would not have signed up in London, if he had lived in Kingston, several hundred kms away. Did he live in London. No clue in his Boer War papers.
So you check if he has World War I Attestation Papers as well. Numerous Boer War volunteers eagerly signed up for World War I, a dozen years later, figuring to relive the Boer War highlight of their lives. Bad move...
Allan does have papers, and - Eureka! - they list his place of residence as Glencoe, Ontario, which is only a short drive from London... So he must have lived there during the Boer War, and accounts for why he signed up in London, in 1899.
Then it turns out that Captains DEW Stuart was a lawyer living in Glencoe.
So they both went from Glencoe to London to sign up for the Boer War, in the Royal Canadian Regiment, under Colonel Otter, whose name is on the same wheel.
It is almost a certainty then, that the women of Glencoe, Ontario, stitched this quilt in honour, and support, of their two local heroes who went off to fight for Queen and Country. And on the same wheel that honoured the Queen and the top military commanders of the age.
In fact a lot of the family names that are listed on the quilt were still common in Glencoe in the 1950s, including one family of Blooms...
There are 210 names on the quilt, the vast majority being women, and young girls.
There are some 30 men.
The quilt may originally have been for display.
But once the mass butchery of World War I began it wiped out the significance of the quaint adventure of two local boys in a little war in Africa, from which they returned quite safe and sound.
With the unending lists of the dead, and the steady stream of returning blind, armless, and legless men, the quilt lost its meaning.
Whoever had it, used it for warmth instead.
It shows that it was quite well used, for a period of time, till someone put it away for safe keeping.
It is a fine memorial to a time when passionate Canadians insisted on sending the first ever military contingents to fight in an overseas war.