Sapper Franklin traveled with
the main body of the Columbia Detachment on board the Thames City.
|As a Sapper Franklin's Regimental Pay per Diem
would have been 1s. 2 1/2d. plus Working Pay per Diem of 1s.
Meade took up the challenge, made by
Captain Luard, to have amateur theatricals on board - and did so, in
Theatre Royal, "Thames City"
The manager of the above Theatre has the honor to
announce to the inhabitants of this "City" that he has, with
considerable difficulty and immense expense, succeeded in securing the
valuable services of the following histrionic artists, viz:
Charles Sinnett, Charles Derham, James Turnbull,
George Eaton, Henry J. Benney, James H. Elliot, John Meade, William
Franklin, James Digby, James B Launders
The Theatre has undergone considerable
alterations, and every attention has been paid to the comfort and
convenience of the audience. The Scenery, Dresses and Properties are
entirely new, and of a first class description. On Wednesday, the 24th
inst., will be produced for the first time at this Theatre that
laughable and interesting Farce by G. Almar, entitled,
"CROSSING THE LINE"
or "Crowded House"
"Wouverman Von Broom", (A Boat Builder), C.
"Wouter Von Broom", (A Pilot), C. Sinnett
"Bluffenburg", (A Workman), G. Eaton
"Caukenburg", (A Sailor), J.H.Elliot
"Von Brent", (A Lawyer), J. Turnbull
"Estelle de Burgh", (Ward of Wouverman), H.J.Benney
"Pomona Vondertviller", (An Oyster Girl), J. Meade
Leader of Orchestra - William Haynes
During the evening several Songs and Dances will
Doors open at 6:30 p.m., performance to commence at 7 o'clock
Alfred R. Howse, Manager.
--20th November, 1858
From The Emigrant
Soldier's Gazette and Cape Horn Chronicle.
It appears that Franklin,
though not in the play was part of the evening's performance and made an
impression on two old members of the Detachment even in 1909.
"Yes, Hughie, wasn't Franklin funny
when he sang 'My Pretty Maid,' when one side of him was the maid and
the other the man...?"
-- REMINISCENT OF PIONEERS, Daily Columbian,
Wednesday, October 13th, 1909
Franklin landed in
British Columbia on the 12th April 1859.
As it appears that Franklin
worked as a printer in New Westminster AFTER 1863, it is probable that he
also worked as one in the RE Printing Office in the Camp from 1859 to
Franklin remained in the
Colony when the Detachment was disbanded in 1863.
During the dry Summer of
1864, disaster struck Franklin.
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.
In 1865, Franklin joined the
newly formed New Westminster Rifle Corps and was a member of the shooting
1865 Rifle Match between the NWVRC
an as-of-yet unidentified Royal Navy Vessel
NWVRC Members standing from
Left to Right:
Ensign A.T. Bushby
Captain C.J. Prichard; Lt. A. N. Birch;
Ensign R. Wolfenden
J. C. Brown (late RE);
C. Good; I. Fisher; J. T. Scott; G. Williams
W. A. Franklin
(late RE); J. Butler; Joseph Burr
grandfather of actor Ramond Burr).
Colonel, Governor Seymour
Photograph courtesy of
New Westminster Historical Photo Database
(Though their identification of the above photo differs from
According to Frances
Woodward, Franklin worked as a printer in the Government Printing Office,
New Westminster and Victoria until 1876.
In 1877, Franklin
worked as an expressman.
From at least 1887 until his
death (between Nov 1900 and Nov 1907) a "landing waiter customs".