Cameron Donald Brant

Rank: 
Lieutenant
Unit at enlistment: 
4th Battalion
Force: 
C.E.F.
Volunteered or conscripted: 
Volunteered
Survived the war: 
No
Date of death: 
April 24th, 1915
Cemetery: 
Menin Gate Memorial - Ypres, Belgium - Panel 18.24.26.30.
Commemorated at: 
New Credit United Church, Six Nations Memorial Plaque
Birth country: 
Canada
Birth county: 
Brant
Birth city: 
Six Nations, Ontario
Address at enlistment: 
31 Spring Street, Hamilton, Ontario
Next of kin address: 
31 Spring Street, Hamilton, Ontario
Trade or calling: 
Metal worker
Religious denominations: 
Church of England
Marital status: 
Married
Age at enlistment: 
27

Letters and documents

Circumstances of Casualty: Killed in Action.
Location of Unit at Time of Casualty: Brielen.

BX April 26, 1915

A Coincidence 

The long arm of coincidence seems to have been working in the recent fighting at Langemarck. Lieutenant Cameron Donald Brant, descendant of the famous Chief Joseph Brant, is reported to have been killed in the engagement. Thus, the first Brant County man, of the first Canadian contingent, to fall in action is a direct descendant of the Six Nations’ Indian Chief, after whom the county and city were named.

Figured in Despatches

Lieutenant Cameron D. Brant, who is reported killed, had figured in the despatches previously, through his daring and ability at scouting he having a number of times gone through adventures that read like the scouting adventures of his forefathers when they fought the Huron’s, French and the American colonists. 

Lieut. Cameron D. Brant was a descendant of Chief Joseph Brant, after whom this city, Brant’s Ford as it used to be, was named. The young chief came from the Six Nations reserve joining the active service contingent from the 38th Haldimand Regiment, in which section of the militia he held a lieutenant’s certificate. He held his rank when he joined the active service contingent, which was joined to the 4th Infantry Battalion, which included the Dufferin Rifles, the Haldimand Rifles, the 25th Brant Dragoons and others. 

On March 19 the following dispatch for Lieut. Brant was received by The Toronto Globe from its special correspondent, William Marchington, then in London, England:

March 19: A letter from the senior officer of his battalion refers to the gallantry of Lieut. Cameron D. Brant, a descendant of the Indian Chief, Joseph Brant. Young Chief Brant has figured in several exploits which won the admiration of the chief officers. The boys will follow him anywhere says the letter. 

Lieut. Cameron D. Brant was a resident of Tuscarora Township, where he resided with his wife, formerly Miss Flossie Phillips, a lady of Caucasian extraction, they having been married on July 4, 1911. At the time of his death he was 29 years of age.

Lieut. Brant was descended from Chief Joseph Brant both on his father’s and his mother’s sides. His father was a grandson of Joseph Brant and his mother, a Lewis, the Lewis family having the rights to the Brant title.

BX April 27, 1915

In a letter to a brother officer of the 37th Haldimand Rifles, Major E.T. Kelly, who is reported among the injured had this to say of Lieutenant Cameron Brant who was killed in action: 

“Lieut. Brant is with me. He is a splendid officer, and stands very high in the battalion.”

BX April 30, 1915

How Mrs. Brant Received the News of Her Husband’s Death – Wife of Gallant Descendant of Joseph Brant Had Just Returned After Mailing Letter to Him – Wife of Pte. Montour, Since Wounded, Broke the News

HAMILTON, Ont., April 30 – A very sad story is told in connection with the arrival of the news of the death of Lieut. Cameron Brant, whose widow resides at 31 Spring Street. A sister-in-law of Mrs. Brant, Mrs. Frank Montour, resides with her at the address, as her husband is also fighting in France. Mrs. Thomas Emmerson, whose brother, Eddie Duncan, is with the “Fighting Eleventh” Battery, resides next door. On Sunday last, when the telegram was received announcing the death of Lieut. Brant, Mrs. Brant and Mrs. Montour had just returned from uptown. They had been to the post office mailing letters to their husbands. The telegram was given to Mrs. Montour, who read it and was dazed at the news of her brother’s death, but at the same time she decided to hold the news from his wife. She called to Mrs. Emmerson and when she was showing the telegram to the latter; Mrs. Brant came on the scene. She was laughing and took the telegram, because the others tried to keep it from her. When she read the awful news she was prostrated with grief. On Monday morning she received a number of letters from her husband.
 
The Mrs. Brant referred to in the dispatch above is the wife of Lieut. Cameron Brant, a direct descendant of Chief Joseph Brant, who was killed in action, while Mrs. Montour is the wife of Pte. Nathan F. Montour, another descendant of the Brant Family, who was reported in yesterday’s Expositor as having been wounded during the recent fighting.

BX May 1, 1915

Late Lieutenant Cameron Donald Brant Was Indian Chief – One of Most Popular Officers with the First Contingent of Canadians

Lieutenant Cameron D. Brant, who was killed in the fighting at Langemarck, was a great grandson of the loyal and celebrated Captain Joseph Brant (Thay-en-dan-egea) leader of the Mohawks in the Revolutionary War, and chief of the Six Nations when they left the United States and came to Canada. Lieut. Brant himself was a chief of the Six Nations, of which the Mohawks are the principal tribe, and lived in Hamilton, Ontario. He was formerly a lieutenant in the 37th Haldimand Rifles, joining the active service contingent of the 4th Battalion at Cayuga, together with a number of his Indian friends. Quiet and unobtrusive, he was recognized in the battalion as a man who knew how to handle his men. 

On the way to Salisbury, the “Chief” was asked by some of his brother officers to instruct them in the mysteries of an Indian war dance. After many rehearsals the dance was perfected to the highest degree possible to the white men and then to the accompaniment of drums, many war whoops, and weird, dreamy singing, the officers, led by Lieut. Brant, nightly performed their celebrated dance on the deck of the transport. 

At the front, Lieut. Brant maintained the family reputation for bravery, combined with natural Indian cunning and recklessness. Praise from commanding officers and admiration from his men were called forth by the manly characteristics exemplified by this Red Man from Canada while under fire in the trenches. William Marchington, the war correspondent, writing from London says of Brant:

A letter from the senior officer of his battalion refers to the gallantry of Lieut. C.D. Brant, a descendant of the Indian Chief Brant. Young Chief Brant has figured in several exploits, which won the admiration of his chief officers. “The boys will follow him anywhere,” Says the letter.

BX May 6, 1915

Resolution of Condolence – One Passed to relatives of Lieutenant Cameron D. Brant by Council of Six Nation Indians

The Six Nations’ Indians Council met yesterday, and passed a resolution of condolence to the family of the late Lieut. Cameron Donald Brant, killed in the battle of Ypres. He was a descendant of Chief Joseph Brant, and has many relatives on the reserve.

BX May 7, 1915

Memorial to Lieut. Brant – City and County Will Forward Suitable Letter to Council of Six Nations

A splendidly drawn-up letter of sympathy, and recognition of services has been drawn up here and signed by representatives of officialdom of Brant County and will be forwarded to the members of the Six Nations Indians council, over the death of Lieutenan Cameron Donald Brant, a descendent of the famous fighter, Chief Joseph Brant, who was the first Brant man, not a reservist, to fall in the defense of King and Country in the present war. The letter will be signed by Mayor Spence, Warden Cook and other prominent city and county officials. It follows: 

Brantford May 1, 1915

To the Chiefs of the Six Nations Indians in Council, and the near relatives of the late Lieut. C.D. Brant:
 
We in common with the rest of our province have been deeply touched by the falling in battle of Lieut. Cameron D. Brant, the direct lineal descendant of your illustrious chief, whose name is so highly esteemed and honored throughout our country. In his fall, and in the fall of others with him, we recognize the willing sacrifice of our Indian compatriots in the defense of rights and liberties dear to every British heart.

We desire to express our appreciation of the splendid contribution the Indians have made and will continue to make to the fighting forces of our Empire.

Be assured that such nobility of purpose and sacrifice of life will go far to further cement the many units of our citizenship into one great united front in defense of King and Country.

We wish through you to extend sympathy to other homes in like manner saddened, and to commend all who may be called upon to suffer, to the loving care of the Great Spirit, Our Father in Heaven.

Signed by the Warden of the county, His Honor Judge Hardy, county members of parliament, militia, sheriff, mayor of the city, president of Ministerial Alliance, president of Patriotic and War Relief Association, president of Social Service League, press representatives, and a representative from the Women’s societies of North and South Brant and the City of Brantford.

BX August 16, 1915

Splendid Officer

A letter has been received by Rev. G.A. Woodside from Rev. William Beattie, chaplain of the 1st Brigade, C.E.F., paying a deep tribute to Lieut. Cameron Donald Brant, of the reserve, who was killed at the front. In part the letter says: 

“He was a splendid officer and so full of energy and resourcefulness. He was beloved by all. His death, coming at the time it did, robbed the battalion of an officer we could very ill spare. I would like if you would make known to his relatives the very high regard we all held him and our proud admiration of his fearless conduct on that and all other occasions.”

BX March 20, 1915

Worthy Son of a Worthy Sire

Lieutenant Cameron Donald Brant, descendant of the famous Chief Joseph Brant, after whom the city of Brantford (Brant’s Ford) is named, is marinating the family reputation for bravery, combined with cunning and recklessness. Lieut. Cameron Brant has figured in several exploits at the front which have brought him much praise from commanding officers and admiration from his men.

Young Chief Brant, who comes from the Six Nations’ reserve, being a lieutenant in the 37th Haldimand Rifles, joined the latter’s active service contingent at Cayuga, together with a number of his Indian friends. He was formerly a lieutenant in the 37th Rifles and held his rank in the active service company, which is attached to the 4th Infantry Battalion, which includes the Haldimand Rifles, the Dufferin Rifles and the 25th Brant Dragoons among others.

The following dispatch was received by The Toronto Globe from its special staff correspondent, William Marchington, who is in London:

LONDON, March 19. A letter from the senior officer of his battalion refers to the gallantry of Lieut. Cameron Donald Brant, a descendant of the Indian Chief Brant. Young Chief Brant has figured in several exploits which won the admiration of the chief officers. The boys will follow him anywhere says the letter.