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Upon reaching the West, the Queen's Own Regiment was assigned to Colonel Otter's command and marched from Swift Current to Battleford to relieve the besieged fort. Days later they participated in the Battle of Cut Knife Hill, a fierce seven hour engagement which turned into a near disaster for Otter's men. It is frequently assumed today that Lloyd was a chaplain to the Queen's Own but that was not the case. He was a private soldier and as such very much involved in the action. In fact, the Illustrated War News of 1885 carried an article lavishing praise on Lloyd and his friend E. C. Acheson 2 for their role in attempting to cover the retreat of two members of the Battleford volunteers who were caught under heavy enemy fire in Cut Knife Creek. During this action, a quick shot by Lloyd saved the life of his companion but at the last moment Lloyd was himself shot in the back and in turn had to be rescued by other members of the Regiment.3 He was awarded a medal for bravery under fire.
 

Lloyd was hospitalized at Fort Battleford and then invalided to Winnipeg via ambulance and recovered from his wounds. He was ordained as a Deacon in Winnipeg on July 12, 1885 in St. George's Church by Archbishop MacRay on behalf of the Bishop of Toronto. After returning to Toronto, Lloyd was ordained to the priesthood. Also, he married Marion Tuppen, formerly of Brighton, England. The couple would have five children - three sons; Exton, who died while practicing law at Humboldt, Saskatchewan; Arthur, who was killed just after the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917 while serving with the 28th Saskatchewan Regiment; Percy, who served as a Lieutenant Colonel during World War II with the Sec­ond Canadian Division; and two daughters; Gladys (Malaher) of Esquimalt, B.C. and Alice (Elder) of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.4

Lloyd served for five years in the Diocese of Toronto. Among his duties was the chaplaincy of his old regiment, the Queen's Own. Then Lloyd was selected rector St. Paul’s at Rothesay, just outside of Saint John, New Brunswick, and Headmaster of Rothesay Collegiate, an all boys school serving the Anglican Diocese of Frederickton.5 He also completed a Master of Arts at the University of New Brunswick, a rare aca­demic achievement in those days.


(He would later receive an Honourary Doctor of Divinity from each of: Wycliffe College, Toronto; St. John's College, Winnipeg; and Emmanuel College, Saskatoon; as well as an Honourary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Saskatchewan on October 4, 1929.)

In 1898, Lloyd suffered what he described as "a severe breakdown" and was sent to the West Indies and later Florida to recover his health. He returned to Toronto and accepted a posting offered by a former Toronto colleague, Canon Hurst, to return to England to work with the Colonial and Continental Church Soci­ety (C.C.C.S.). Among his duties was the promotion of British support, with money and personnel, for missions in Western Canada.6

Thinking that he and his wife and their family of young chil­dren were now settled in England and that their contribution would consist of publicizing and promoting the needs and opportunities in Canada he describes himself as reluctant to join the settlement party bound for the Saskatchewan Valley. His even­tual decision to do just that was aided by the fact that the C.C.C.S. agreed to support him with a stipend for three years if he went with the so-called "Barr Colonists" as their Chaplain.


The Barr Colony expedition was one of the largest and most epic group settlements in Canadian history. More than 3,000 were attracted to the idea and Lloyd, his wife, and their five children were with “the main party” on the S.S. Lake Manitoba when they left Liverpool on March 31, 1903.  The sea crossing, the five “colonist” trains, the arrival of almost 2,000 in the village of Saskatoon, the end of rail.  Then the settlers scrambled to buy oxen, horses, and wagons to transport themselves and their plentiful baggage another 300 kilometres to the centre of the prospective colony - Headquarters Camp - which would become the eventual City of Lloydminster.

 

Lloyd became increasingly involved in the expedition, eventually emerg­ing as its leader and going on to be the founder of the community of Lloydminster, named in his honour. Lloyd's stay in Lloydminster was comparatively brief-just over two years. This makes even more remarkable his contribution to the community. By the time the Colonists arrived, he had clearly taken charge and played a central role in sorting out the confusion and overcoming the nega­tive effects of the unravelling of most of Isaac Montgomery Barr's schemes. In addi­tion Lloyd persuaded the Canadian government to set aside "the gore” for a town site; supervised the surveying and the generous disposition of those lots and then went even further. He himself filed for a homestead on the south west quarter with a view to donating it for a town site. He convinced three others to do like­wise so that all of Section 26, Township 50 Range 28 West of the Third Meridian was available as a town site. This was completely surveyed and being occupied by 1904. Then in a remarkable dis­play, Lloyd successfully contested the placement of the railway station when the Canadian Northern Railway finally arrived in 1905.

 

It was quite common for railway officials to avoid existing town sites and establish the new station in a new location which often meant that certain of their friends and associates profited handsomely by acquiring raw range land and then overnight having it become the down town of what everyone hoped would become a thriving metropolis. Thus it was that Canadian Northern were about to place the station almost two miles to the west of the al­ready established village of Lloydminster. Rev. Lloyd brought to bear the full weight of his unrivalled righteous indignation and con­vinced the railway officials to relocate the station on the edge of the town site. In return, as he describes in a later account, for a generous allotment of town lots. When that same summer, the Fourth Meridian was selected as the boundary line between the two new provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, it was discov­ered that while the station was in Alberta, part of the platform was in Saskatchewan.

 

Of course, Lloyd also was an active force in establishing the community's first church, St. John's Minster. It was Lloyd's vision that Lloydminster would be the central service town of the surrounding district and thus the church would be a "mother church" or "minster". Indeed, it acted in this capacity and St. John's Minster still served outlying churches, 100 years later. As well, the sheer num­bers of the Barr Colonists, and their common history, was instru­mental in Lloydminster establishing itself from the beginning as a regional service centre and for the people, from the very beginning, being conscious that the town was only part of a larger community which always included "the district". This reality is expressed in the name of many organizations which style themselves as being of "Lloydminster and District".

 

Lloyd, as an employee of the C.C.C.S., was moved from Lloydminster to Prince Albert in 1905 where as Archdeacon and General Superintendent, he worked to further the establishment of Anglican missions in Northern Saskatchewan. In late 1905, he became the principal of Emmanuel College, an institution which had degree granting status and had been incorporated as the Uni­versity of Saskatchewan. When the new Province of Saskatchewan wished to establish its own university, Lloyd co-operated and Emmanuel College was shifted to the new campus in Saskatoon in 1909. At the time, the College doubled the student body of the new University of Saskatchewan. 7

 

Lloyd was very much the model of the warrior churchman and when he took on a cause he gave it his full energy and consid­erable skills. However, he often conducted the controversy as though it was a war and he was outspoken in his attacks on "the enemy". These could be "the liquorites" who opposed the efforts of those, such as Lloyd, who wanted to prohibit the retail sale of alcohol beverages, or those who encouraged what Lloyd consid­ered the over-emphasis on recruiting immigrants from "foreign" (i.e. non-British) backgrounds. A controversy flared during World War I when, at the height of the anti-German sentiment fanned by the war effort, it was alleged that some school districts in Saskatchewan, in communities with German populations, were recruiting school teachers on the basis of whether they could speak German. This was attacked by many as "giving aid and comfort to the enemy". Lloyd, characteristically, took action. He returned to Britain in 1916 and founded the Maple Leaf Fellowship to recruit British candidates not only for the clergy but also for teaching and other professional roles in Western Canada. It was yet another contribution to his cherished cause of promoting British influence in Canada.

 

Returning from this work of again promoting British colo­nization in Western Canada, he was, on March 12, 1922, conse­crated as Bishop of the Diocese of Saskatchewan. Lloyd, as was to be expected, was an active and vigorous Bishop, supervising the Diocese at a time of continuing growth, especially in the northern areas, and continuing to speak out strongly on public issues which swirled into political controversy in Saskatchewan in the late 1920 's. He retired from his office in July of 1931 just before the Diocese was divided into two, the northern diocese retaining the name Saskatchewan while a belt across central Saskatchewan became known as the Diocese of Saskatoon. A substantial en­dowment by a donor in England, the result of Bishop Lloyd's ad­vocacy, assisted the new diocese to become established.


The Lloyds moved to Esquimalt, British Columbia, and had a home on Haig Street near the shipyards. Lloyd continued to return occasionally to the prairies, speaking in Lloydminster in July 1940 at a banquet honouring the Old-timer's Association. Lloyd recounted some of the adventures of the trek of 1903 and this led to requests that he record his recollections of those momentous days. Lloyd acknowledged that this might be his last time in Lloydminster and so agreed to forward a number of articles to be published in the Lloydminster Times on a serial basis. These be­gan to appear in late July 1940 and continued until December. The last published article appeared in the same newspaper as the account of his funeral. Three other proposed articles were never completed. He died on Sunday, December 8, 1940 in Victoria.

 

His funeral, as befitted his accomplishments, was a lavish affair, held December 11, 1940 at St. John's Church in Victoria. At exactly the same time as that funeral was underway, a memorial service was conducted in Lloydminster at St. John's Minster, Canon Haynes officiating. Both services saw a wide cross section of com­munity members, ample representation by Churchmen, but also many who had known him in various capacities over the years. Perhaps the most touching tribute at the funeral in Victoria was an honour guard of veterans from the 1885 Saskatchewan Rebellion saluting their ancient comrade-in-arms and at his burial, amid the hymns, the Last Post was played as befitting a man who lived his life onward as a Christian soldier marching as to war.














End Notes


1. Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, 12 December 1940, p. 2

2. Acheson went on to become Bishop of Connecticut, and father of Dean Acheson, described by a biographer as “the Secretary of State who created the American World”.

3. Lloydminster Times, 12 December 1940, p. 1

4. Lloydminster Times, 12 December 1940, p. 1

5. Hook, Robert et al, Rothesay: An Illustrated History 1784 - 1920, Rothesay Area Heritage Trust Inc., 1984, p. 36

6. Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, 14 July 1931, p. 7

7. University of Saskatchewan Archives - click here

Newspaper illustration of George Lloyd in action at the Battle of Cutknife Hill, May 2, 1885,
rescuing E. C. Acheson

George Lloyd in 1896 at the time he was
Headmaster of Rothesay Collegiate and
Rector of St. Paul’s Anglican Churchin Rothesay, New Brunswick

Official portrait of His Grace
George Exton Lloyd
Bishop of Saskatchewan

George Exton Lloyd

Biographical Sketch by Franklin Lloyd Foster, Ph.D.

George Exton Lloyd (January 6, 1861 - December 8, 1940) was born on Epiphany Sunday in London, England. He had some divinity training at St John's College in London and, as a result of discussion with his vicar's father, a Doctor Anderson, first Bishop of Rupert's Land, he emigrated to Canada, arriving in Halifax on Good Friday, 1881. He found his way to Maynooth, Ontario, then deep in logging coun­try north-east of Peterborough. In describing the area he later commented, "The whole district was solid white pine stumps.” There was no stipend for missionary work so he took a job teach­ing school for which, he was paid "my board, of pork, potatoes and buckwheat, and $10 per month for teaching the school but nothing for preaching at the church, except an old white horse that carried me to various points where service was held in people's log shanties.” 1 According to Lloyd, Rev. Dyson Hague, of Belleville, chastised him for attempting missionary work without proper di­vinity training so Lloyd went to Wycliffe College at the University of Toronto and was scheduled to graduate in May 1885.
 

However, news of the clash at Duck Lake, Saskatchewan Territory, on March 26, 1885, which left twelve North West Mounted Police dead, was followed quickly by the news of the killing of eight men at Frog Lake and prompted the dispatch of the military to quell what would become known as the Saskatchewan Rebellion. Lloyd and many of his fellow students from the Univer­sity of Toronto enlisted in the Queen's Own Rifles and were imme­diately sent west by train. The transcontinental C.P.R. was not yet finished and Lloyd was one of those who participated in what was one of the greatest overland treks of the Canadian Armed Forces, a series of forced marches over the unfinished rail links, some of the routes crossing stretches of ice on the north shore of Lake Superior.