Historical record corrected after nearly 70 years

August 10, 2012 by Sharon Adams


Mary Greyeyes and First World War veteran Harry Ball. PHOTO: LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA PA-129070

It’s an iconic photo: a young native woman being blessed by a chief in full headdress.

A set-up.  Like the famous Times Square kiss.  Though touted at the time as that of an Indian princess being blessed by her father and chief, in fact the two subjects had never met before posing for the photo. The man had been paid $20 for posing in a get-up scavenged from many sources; the young woman got a new uniform and a lunch out of the deal.

It took nearly 70 years to set the record straight—all thanks to the perseverance of the daughter-in-law of the of the young private—not a princess—of the Canadian Women’s Army Corp.

The soldier was Mary Reid, Mary Greyeyes as was, who’d joined up on a Cree reservation north of Saskatoon, Sask. Although used as a poster child on several occasions, during which she got to meet the Queen Mother, King George VI and the future queen and then princess Elizabeth, Reid faced discrimination in barracks.

It’s a fascinating story, lovingly told by her daughter-in-law Melanie Fahlman Reid, an instructor at Capilano University. The sidebar on the three captions for the photo is equally fascinating.

On the web, the caption reads “Mary Greyeyes being blessed by her native Chief prior to leaving for service in the CWAC.”





Last Post


Member Benefits Package




A MAN ALONE by Peter Court. The wartime experiences of Robert (Bob) Robinson as a British soldier in India and Burma in World War II included facing mutiny in his platoon. A Canadian citizen since 1954, he has taken part in many Remembrance Day marches in West Vancouver. Cost: £12.95, Postage £4. Order from: www.woodfieldpublishing.co.uk. Woodfield Publishing Limited, Bognor Regis PO 21 5EL England.




November 3-16, 2014. Join us as we follow the young Canadians in the First Division from their landing in Sicily, through the battles for the Moro River, Ortona, and the Liri Valley, on to the Gothic Line, finishing near Ravenna at the Savio, Lamone and Senio Rivers. Note: tour revolves around participation in the Remembrance Day Ceremony, Moro River Cemetery on November 11.  Contact Ellison Travel & Tours 800-265-7022 or vacations@ettravel.com.  Visit www.ettravel.com/escorted for tour details.



2014 HMCS/CFB CORNWALLIS REUNION August 22-August 25, 2014

The Cornwallis Reunion is open to all who served and trained in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia between 1942-1994. We welcome members of the military, former members of HMCS Acadia and civilian employees who assisted in the upkeep and operation of the base. For more information, please see our website at www.abcc.ca or call Toll Free: 1-888-830-4466.