John Jane was born in 1833
and had a trade of Surveyor in the Corps of Sapper and Miners.
Jane was not originally a
member of the Columbia Detachment. He came our to British Columbia as a
member of the North American Boundary Commission in 1858.
After completing his service
with the Boundary Commission, Jane decided to transfer over to the
Columbia Detachment in order to, when the Detachment completed its
service, to be eligible to receive the free Crown Land Grant available to
all members who remained in the Colony.
In December of 1861, Colonel
Hawkins, Chief Commissioner of the Boundary Commission made arrangements
with Colonel Moody of the Columbia Detachment to secure places for the RE
who wished to Transfer.
Her Majesty's Boundary Commission
Colville, Washington Territory
December 11th 1861.
I have the honor to enclose
the copy of a letter I have addressed to His Excellency Governor
Douglas respecting the privlige of a per grant of 30 acres of
agricultural land in British Columbia, offered to Some of the
Non-Commissioned officers and Sappers of the Detachment of Royal
Engineers attached to the Boundary Commission, to whom I am
authorized to grant per discharge if they wish to become settlers
in that Colony.
The accompanying letter will,
I think, fully explain to you the circumstances of the case; and I
hope you will not object to interest yourself in the welfare of
discharged men of the Corps although they have not been serving
under your command, for doing which your position affords great
As said in my letter to the
Governor, it is probable that I shall not be able to do more than
discharge the men before I leave the country; and it is further
probable that at that time the regulations relating to the grant
of land may not be sufficiently mature for immediate application.
I have the honour to be etc.
Lieut. Colonel, RE
Corporal Jane appears to have
transferred to the Columbia Detachment from the Boundary Commission in April or May of 1862.
Corporal Jane remained in the
Colony when the Detachment disbanded in November of 1863.
According to Frances
Woodward, Jane worked under Walter Moberley in the Selkirks, in 1864. He
surveyed roads, ranches and mining properties throughout the Interior.
In early 1865, Jane was
constable at Derby.
In May 1865,Jane became
constable Fort Shepard.
From 1866 to 1867, Jane was
chief constable and Postmaster at Fort Shepard.
In 1872, Jane again went to
work for Walter Moberly as part of 'S' party. It was there that he met
with one of the members of the Detachment --Serjeant Robert Rylatt-- who
remembered him in his Journal.
|19 October 1872 -
...I was informed that there were (no letters) for me. I brooded
over this for some time while preparing to leave and finally asked
Rheume again, "Are you quite sure there was not a letter for me?". He said he was quite sure, he heard all the names called. Presently
I said, "Rheume, this is becoming unbearable. If I had left a
healthy wife I should have felt bad enough, but I must do
something. He then said, Jane has joined us, he knows you,
and gave me a message for you. Jane was an old Sapper, and a
fine straightforward man - John Jane being his full name. He
was a surveyor, an officer in Mohons Party and in that capacity had
joined us. Asking Rheume for his message, he handed me a slip of
paper upon which were written the following words, "Dear Rylatt, the
papers state your wife has passed the stream of time. Don't be too
cut up, dear fellow."
30 October 1872 - I came across a
Victoria Colonist paper containing the announcement of my wife's
death; it bore the date of 31st July 1872 and ran as follows: "Mrs.
Rylatt, wife of Mr. R. M. Rylatt, formerly of the Royal Engineers,
and now engaged on the Canadian Pacific Survey, died at new
Westminster, on Wednesday morning last, after a lingering illness.
The funeral took place on Thursday, Rev. Russ officiating."
13 May 1873 - The task was a difficult one but I was ably
seconded by my packers, who were men well up to their duties and as
I turned into the Blankets between Jane and Rheume, who would
have me sleep with them last night, we were like schoolboys I felt.
I felt regret at having to turn my back upon such comrades.
-- From the Journal of Serjeant Rylatt
On March 24, 1874, Jane
received Crown Grant for Lot 118, Group 2, New Westminster District, 154
acres (150-acre military grant).
In 1880, Jane opened a
general store at Savona.
On the 9th October, 1889,
Jane married Miss Harriet McNeill, daughter of Capt. Wm. McNeill, H.B.C.,
In 1893, Jane was appointed
Justice of the Peace.
Jane died in Kamloops in
Corporal with the Boundary Commission, Jane's Regimental Pay per
Diem would have been 2s. 2 1/2d. plus Working Pay per Diem of
1s. to 4s.