The O'Leary Collection—Medals of The Royal Canadian Regiment

733548 Cpl Maynard B. Rosencrants

69th Annapolis Regiment
3rd (Special Service) Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment
112th Canadian Overseas Battalion

By: Capt (ret'd) Michael M. O'Leary, CD, The RCR

Maynard Burton Rosencrants was born in Greenland, Annapolis County, N.S., on 11 Sep 1880. Rosencrants' family can be found in the 1881 Canadian Census. Led by parents John (44), a farmer, and Elizabeth (nee Townsend) (44), the family is recorded with eight children at home ranging in age from 20 to one years of age. Maynard is identified as the youngest. (Four other children had died before this census was taken.) In the 1891 census, Elizabeth (54), widowed in 1889 and remarried to Robert Redicraft (67), is shown with two children still at home, Satirra (Sarah) (17) and Maynard (11).

Rosencrants appears in the paylist for "No. 9 Company, 69th Battalion, 1st Annapolis Regiment" of the Canadian Militia in 1896. The paylist is for the Company's attendance at the Brigade Camp conducted at Aldershot from 8 to 19 Sep 1896. Earning 50 cents per day as a private in the Militia, Rosencrants was paid $6.00 for his attendance at the training camp.

The '69th "Annapolis" Battalion of Infantry' was authorized in 1869 as 'The First Regiment of Annapolis County Volunteers.' The regiment was redesignated the '69th The 1st Regiment of Annapolis County' in 1869. An 1898 amalgamation with 'The 72nd or Second Annapolis Battalion of Volunteer Militia' formed the '69th "Annapolis" Battalion of Infantry'. The unit changed names again in 1900, becoming the '69th Annapolis Regiment,' and in 1920 to become 'The Annapolis Regiment.' In 1936, after amalgamation with 'The Lunenburg Regiment,' it would become 'The West Nova Scotia Regiment.'

Over the next four years, Rosencrants' name appeared in the 69th Battalion's paylists for Brigade Camps:

The absence of Rosencrants from the 1900 Brigade camp was due to the fact that he had enrolled for two years of full-time service.

On 1 Apr 1900, Militia General Order No. 28 announced the creation of a provisional battalion to garrison Halifax. The Order called for "the formation of a provisional battalion from the Active Militia (the Permanent Corps, Cavalry, and Field Artillery, and the Active Militia of the City of Halifax, which is already allotted to the defence of Halifax in the Imperial Defence Scheme excepted), is authorised to replace temporarily, the 1st Battalion Prince of Wales Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians), at Halifax, N.S." This new unit was designated "the 3rd (Special Service) Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment." It had an authorised strength of 1014, all ranks. The battalion of Leinsters they relieved were on their way to the war in South Africa by May 1900.

The April 1900 paysheet for "H" Company of the 3rd (Special Service) Battalion includes Maynard Rosencrants. The paysheet shows that he was paid for 40 days by the end of April, indicating an enlistment date of 21 March 1900. Rosencrantz' signature is "his mark," displaying a degree of illiteracy and calling into question whether the signatures on the previous Brigade Camp paysheets were his own.

Assigned the regimental number 858, Rosencrants was paid 50 cents per day as a private in the Special Service battalion. This was subject to various deductions. In his first months of service, Rosencrants paid five cents per day, $1.55, for messing. He also had the following regimental charges recorded against his pay: 35 cents for washing, 4 cents for a haircut, 75 cents tailor's bill, and 25 cents for marking kit.

The messing charge was dropped after the first month in garrison, but other charges continued. In the June 1900 paysheet, Rosencrants was charged the following: 45 cents washing, 10 cents Library, 4 cents hair-cutting, 50 cents tailoring, $1.75 "boot bill." These charges left him receiving cash payments totaling $12.61 for the month.

In July 1900, Rosencrants was faced with a sizeable deduction from his pay. He was charged $7.15 for Regimental Necessaries. That month he received cash payments of only $7.23 on pay parades.

The Clothing Regulations for The Militia (1905) list the following to be provided to a soldier as necessaries. Apparently, as a serving soldier of the Militia, this was not considered his initial issue, and therefore he had to pay for some or all of them with stoppages from his pay.

Messing charges at five cents per man per day reappeared on the battalion's paylists at the end of September 1900 and were being paid in full for the month on the October 1900 paysheet. In Nov 1900, Rosencrants spent some time in the garrison hospital, receiving a deduction of $1.14 for Hospital charges.

In March 1901, Rosencrants received only 22 days pay on the "H" Coy paysheet. He does not appear on any other company's pay list and the reason for his discharge from the 3rd Battalion at that time is not recorded.

Rosencrants does, however, show up with the 69th Annapolis Regiment at the Brigade Camp conducted at Aldershot from 3 to 14 Sep 1901. Interestingly, on this paylist, we find Rosencrants has made his mark—"X"—where his signature would be placed. This was witnessed and counter-signed by the Company Commander, Captain A.A. Nicholl.

Returning to Halifax in the fall of 1901, Rosencrants reappears in the October 1901 paysheet for "H" Company with a new regimental number, 1483. He received the full month's pay and paid the full month's messing charges. His regimental charges were 62 cents washing, 5 cents Library, 4 cents hair cutting, $1.50 tailor's bill, 25 cents boot bill, 5 cents Recreation Fund, and 25 cents Barracks Damages. Most of the company paid the 25 cents' Barracks Damages charge, some soldiers paid less.

In November 1901, a new charge appeared on the paysheet, though not all soldiers paid into it. The new charge was $2.25 for "Regimental Boxes," possibly for personalized barrack boxes.

In March 1902, Rosencrants had another hospital visit with 45 cents Hospital charges. The last pay sheet he appears on is the one for October, 1902. The full month's pay is shown but no detailed breakdown is recorded. On October, 1902, the 3rd (Special Service) battalion, The RCR, was relieved of its duties in Halifax by the arrival of the 5th Battalion, Royal Garrison Regiment. This unit, formed in 1902 for the purpose of taking over the garrison at Halifax, would be disbanded in 1906, after having returned the Halifax garrison role to the expanded Permanent Force battalion of The Royal Canadian Regiment in 1905.

The end of the pay sheets for the 3rd (Special Service) Battalion in October, 1902, marked the disbandment of the unit. Published in the Canada Gazette dated 25 Oct 1902, General Order No. 107 stated "The Royal Canadian Regiment, 3rd (Special Service) Battalion: This Battalion being no longer required for garrison duty at Halifax, N.S., is disbanded."

The following year, Rosencrants attended his last Brigade Camp with the 69th Regiment. Like previous camps, this one was conducted at Aldershot, N.S., and was held between 15 and 26 Sep 1903.

The 1911 Canadian census for Bear River, N.S., includes Rosencrants and his young family. Maynard (32) and Rosie (23) have two daughters, Irene (5) and Florence (2). The census record shows that Rosencrants is a farm labourer. He also works for half the year as a lumberman. Working 60-hour weeks, in 1910 he earned $60 at his employment on a farm, and another $200 in the lumber trade.

Rosencrants attested for service in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (C.E.F.) with the 112th Overseas Battalion at Digby, N.S., on 12 Jan 1916. A 35-year-old stevedore, Rosencrants gave his birth year as 1878, adding two years to his age. He was described on his attestation paper as 5 feet 6 1/2 inches tall, weighing 156 pounds, with a 36-inch chest, a dark complexion, brown eyes, and dark hair. His religious denomination was Baptist. Rosencrants identified his wife, Rosy (sic) Rosencrants, as his next of kin. On attesting with the 112th Battalion, Rosencrants declared two years previous service with The RCR at Halifax. He was given the C.E.F. service number 733548.

The 112th Battalion (Nova Scotia), CEF, was recruited throughout Nova Scotia and was mobilized at Windsor, N.S. The battalion was authorized on 22 Dec 1915 and embarked for Great Britain on 23 Jul 1916. It provided reinforcements for the Canadian Corps in the field until 7 Jan 1917, at which time its remaining personnel were absorbed by the 26th Reserve Battalion, C.E.F.

On 16 Feb 1916, Rosencrants' past service experience was recognized when he was promoted to Corporal. There is no indications of how long this new rank lasted, but by the time the unit sailed for England he was included in the Sailing List as a Private.

Commencing March, 1916, Rosie Rosencrants received $20 monthly Separation Allowance. Adding to this in August 1916, Rosencrants established a monthly Pay Assignment of $20 to be sent to his wife. As a Private in the C.E.F., Rosencrants was paid $1.00 per day plus an additional ten cents daily field allowance. His pay assignment represented about two-thirds of his monthly pay.

On 5 Jul 1916, Rosencrants completed a form for Particulars of Family for a soldier of the C.E.F. On the form he noted his wife's full name as Rosie Ellen Rosencrants. He also recorded the names and ages of two daughters; Irene E. (10) and Florence (7). Rosencrants' father was noted as deceased, and his mother, by then Elizabeth Shaw, was living at Central Grove, Digby Co. N.S.

Rosencrants and the 112th Battalion sailed from Halifax aboard the S.S. Olympic on 23 Jul 1916. The unit disembarked in England on 31 Jul 1916 and went to Oxney Camp, near Bordon. Rosencrants was appointed Acting Corporal effective the date of arrival in England. This time, we do know how long he kept his Corporals' chevrons, as he reverted to the rank of Private on 1 Nov 1916 "owing to over establishment."

On 10 Dec 1916, Rosencrants was admitted to the Canadian Military Hospital, Bramshott. Initially recorded as "N.Y.D.," i.e., not yet diagnosed, his case notes describe the condition that would characterize his remaining time overseas:

"Previous History: For the last eight years has been troubled with rheumatism. Last winter was in bed for four weeks and two years ago was in bed for five months with rheumatism. V.D. negative.

"Onset present Attacks: For last two months has been around but not doing anything. Complained of pains in muscles of legs and left chest muscles. Has had pain in knee and ankle joints. About three months ago a small swelling started in left inguinal region and did not give him much trouble until about two months ago. It gradually got larger until at present it is about size of half an egg and very painful.

"Present Condition: Nothing marked on examination of legs. Complaining of pains on pressing around knee joints. Adenitis of left inguinal glands. Painful on pressure. Heart and lungs normal."

Rosencrants was admitted to Ontario Military Hospital, Orpington, Kent, on 30 Dec 1916 suffering from myalgia. His case noted include:

"Gives history of rheumatism for past eight or nine years. Enlisted in Dec 1915, came to England Aug 1916. Been complaining of pain in legs, feet, and all joints ever since arriving in England. Been in hospital since Dec 9, at Bramshott and remained there til coming here Dec 29."

With the winding down of the 112th Battalion as an overseas unit and the absorption of its soldiers into the existing reinforcement system, Rosencrants was transferred to the 26th Reserve Battalion, Bramshott, on 2 Feb 1917. Remaining in hospital, this transfer was on paper as his parent unit changed.

On 20 Feb 1917, Rosecrants was transferred to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Woodcote Park, Epsom, with myalgia. His case notes stated: "Very large right limb and hip. 38 years of age and cannot stand this climate. Had rheumatism in Canada before enlisting."

Rosencrants appeared before a Medical Board at Epsom on 13 Apr 1917. The Board's assessment of the degree of his disability from myalgia was sufficient to merit a recommendation that he be invalided to Canada. On 18 Apr 1917, this recommendation was approved by the Office of Assistant Director of Medical Services, Canadians, for the London Area.

On 13 Apr 1917, a subsequent Medical Board report noted "should never have been enlisted." The history of his case was recorded as:

"In 1914 he was working in a lumber yard when seized with first attack of myalgia and was confined to bed about five months and unable to work for eight months. Enlisted Dec 1915 and came overseas in July 1916 and was seized with another attack of (rheumatism) myalgia in August 1916 and was sent to Bramshott hospital after spending two months in hut in 112th Bn. doing nothing, remained in Bramshott Hospital one month and then transferred to Orpington Hospital for two months, then to M.C.H. Epsom."

Rosencrants sailed from Liverpool for Canada on 11 Jun 1917 aboard the hospital ship H.M.S. Araguaya. The Araguaya was a British hospital ship leased by the Royal Canadian Navy and manned by the Royal Canadian Navy Medical Service. On sailing for Canada, Rosencrants was discharged from hospital to the 26th Res. Bn. and simultaneously struck off the strength of the 26th Res. Bn. on discharge to Canada.

After arriving in Halifax, Rosencrants was examined by a Medical Board on 24 Jun 1917. Recording his previous civilian occupation as lumberman and his disability as myalgia, the Board report noted:

"Condition, in detail, which prevents the Soldier from earning a full livelihood: Patient complains of soreness in muscles all over the body, especially in the legs. Very weak and debilitated. Cannot work nor walk very far. Wet weather affects him more than dry.

"On examination, no inflammatory signs about joints. Has enlarged inguinal glands on left side. Epithochlear and cervical glands not enlarged. General condition very good otherwise."

The Board determined that Rosencrants had a 50% disability of which 15% was due to service. His condition was considered permanent, making him permanently unfit for military service. The Board recommended that Rosencrants be sent to a convalescent home for further treatment. His medical category was Diii.

On 28 Jun 1917, Rosencrants was taken on strength of the Military Hospitals Commission of Canada (M.H.C.C.) Halifax. He was then posted to Pine Hill Hospital and transferred to the Out-Patient list. Among his medical notes, Rosencrants' condition was recorded as "Very crippled on admission."

Rosencrants' Case History Sheet for Pine Hill states that his condition originated in civil life and that he had been affected by chronic rheumatism for years. Treated with massage, passive movement, and orthopaedic exercises, he was assessed as "Much improved, Boarded Cii."

His medical condition still unstable, Rosencrants was re-admitted to Pine Hill Convalescent Home with myalgia on 19 Oct 1917. He returned to the Out-Patient list (with Subsidies) on 28 Dec 1917 and was discharged from Pine Hill Convalescent Home on 26 Jan 1918.

Maynard Rosecrants was discharged from the C.E.F. on 23 Feb 1918. A Last Pay Certificate was completed to close his C.E.F. pay records. The Certificate noted Rosencrants' last unit as No. 6 Special Service Company. He received his pay and field allowance to the 23rd day of the month and $13.00 Clothing Allowance. The cessation of payment of Assigned Pay and Separation Allowance to Rosie Rosencrants was also recorded. Rosencrants' Last Pay Certificate noted the cause of discharge as "Medically unfit. Aggravated by Military Service."

On discharge from the C.E.F., Rosencrants was entitled to receive Post Discharge Pay of $175.10. After the recovery from this amount of $35.00 over-payments on his pay record, he received $140.10 paid in three installments in March, April, and May 1918. Rosencrants' Proceedings on Discharge form showed that his conduct and character while in the service had been "Good." The form also noted his receipt of a Class "B" War Service Badge.

On 29 Jun 1918, a "Medical History of an Invalid" form was completed on Rosencrants at "B" Unit Military Hospitals Commission of Canada (M.H.C.C.), Halifax, N.S. His personal description matched his enrollment documents except that he had lost 26 pounds during the period of his service and was down to 130 pounds. The form also noted his tattoos: "R.C.R. cap badge and a crown tattooed on back of left hand, tattoo marks on right forearm." The origin of Rosencrants' condition is noted as "24 Dec 1914, Canada, exposure and climatic conditions while working in a lumber yard." The Medical History form recapped the story of his condition and treatment to date and recommended his discharged as medically unfit, Category E. Category E men were those not expected to become fit. Further treatment was deemed unnecessary.

Rosencrants and his family can be found in the records of the 1921 Canadian census. Living on Gerrish St. in Windsor, N.S. the family consists of Maynard (42) and Rosie (32), and daughters Irene (15) and Florence (12). Rosencrants' employment is recorded in the census as labourer, making $306 annually.

For his service in the C.E.F., Rosencrants was entitled to receive only the British War Medal, having only served in England. His medal was despatched to him at G.P.O. R.R. #2, Bear River, N.S., on 25 Apr 1923.

Maynard Rosencrants died on 23 Mar 1965 at the Digby General Hospital. His Registration of Death records the cause of death as "rheumatism and arteriosclerosis, heart disease." gives his age as 88 years, 6 months, 12 days. Rosencrants' death record also notes that his trade was "soldier" and that the last time he had worked in that role was 1946. This suggests he may have been enrolled in the Veterans' Guard during the Second World War but is very unlikely. He would have been 61 years of age at the outbreak of the Second World War, and 67 at its end.

A family gravestone in Clementsvale Cemetery, Clemenetsvale, Annapolis Co., N.S., marks the burial place of Maynard and Rose Rosencrantz and also their daughter Irene Moro. (Erroneous entries on the website find-a-grave.com and the Canadian Great War Project identify Rosencrants as a soldier of the 42nd Canadian Infantry Battalion, a unit to which he had no connection.)

A JFK Assassination Connection

John F. Kennedy, the President of the United States, was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, on 22 Nov 1963. One of the men under investigation for his possible role in activities that may have been connected to the assassination was John Roselli (aka Filippo Sacco), a member of La Cosa Nostra, the Sicilian mafia. Allegedly, as Wikipedia records it, "Roselli had told associates that individuals he had recruited to kill Castro had been turned by the Cuban leader to assassinate President John F. Kennedy."

But the trail that starts with Roselli and leads to the Rosecrantses begins over three decades before the killing of the President. In 1923, Roselli worked as a bootlegger in Buffalo for Michael Moro. At that time, Moro owned a night club on East (or eagle) Street in Buffalo, N.Y., and was "bootlegging and pimping." This connection between Roselli and Moro extended the investigation to the personal history and contacts of Michael Moro. Michael Moro, as it turned out, was Maynard Rosencrants' son-in-law.

Details of Moro's connection to the Rosencrants can be found in recently declassified documents related to the investigation into the assassination of President Kennedy. By the early 1930s, Moro was making summer trips to Bear River, Nova Scotia, ostensibly as a dealer in antiques (but more likely as a coordinator of bootlegging activities for his contacts in the US). During these trips he met Irene Rosencrants and the two were married about 1934. Irene lived with her husband in the Phoenix, Arizona, until about 1946 when she returned to live with her parents. Tragically, she was killed in a murder-suicide on 17 Nov 1949, in circumstances unrelated to Michael Moro's history.

On 21 Nov 1949, The Winnipeg Tribune of Winnipeg, Man., carried the following item:

"Twin Death Motive

"VICTORY, N.S., Nov. 21 (CP) R.C.M.P. said Sunday without elaboration they have "pretty well established" the motive for what they believe was a murder and suicide in this Annapolis valley village Thursday. The bodies of Mrs. Irene Morrow (sic), 44-year-old taxi operator, and Myron Selig, 37, were found in the front seat of Mrs. Morrow's car."

On 18 Jul 1966, Rosie Rosecrants and her daughter Florence, were interviewed by J. Plomp, an officer of the Digby Detachment of the R.C.M.P.'s "H" Division. The interview was conducted by the R.C.M.P. at the request of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.). The purpose of the interview was to obtain any details of Moro's activities in Nova Scotia or elsewhere, to see if the connections between Moro and Roselli (under any known alias) could be verified, and to confirm the circumstances of Irene's murder.

Although the Moros lived principally in the US, the couple, occasionally accompanied by Moro's brothers Albert and Harry, spent nearly every summer of their marriage in Bear River, N.S. Despite these visits, neither Rosie nor Florence were able to provide their RCMP interviewer with much detail on Moro's contacts or businesses. In Phoenix, Moro operated the Roosevelt Tavern, the Venice Cafe, and the Italian Gardens. For two winters, in 1938 and 1939, when she was 30 and 31 years of age, Florence had worked as a waitress in the Venice Cafe.

One FBI document noted that:

"Moro apparently made trips to Nova Scotia, Canada, as he became well acquainted with Mrs. M. Rosen-Caonts (sic), also known as "Rose" and "Rosie," who resides in Bear River, Bigby (or Digby) County, Nova Scotia, Canada.

"Moro reportedly was highly regarded by Mrs. Rosen-Caonts, and on occasion she took care of him when he was suffering from bronchial hemorrhages.

"Moro married Irene, daughter of Mrs Rosen-Caonts. Moro and Irene were divorced in the late 1940's. Shortly thereafter their divorce, Irene returned to Nova Scotia and reportedly was shot and killed "in cold blood" and her murderer was never apprehended.

"Mrs. Rosen-Caonts might have met John Roselli through Michael Moro, and she might have known Roselli as Filippo Sacco."

Rosie and Florence provided no useful information to the RCMP interviewer. They claimed little knowledge of Michael Moro's affairs or his contacts and maintained that his business in Nova Scotia was the antique trade. Despite the summers spent in Bear River, "Moro was not well-known to either of the ladies." It remains open to speculation as to how much of that was the truth and what may have been left unsaid to safeguard the memory of their daughter and sister, Irene.

Michael Moro died in Los Angeles, California, on 8 Jun 1966 at the age of 75.

John Roselli's decomposing body was found in a barrel floating in Dumfoundling Bay near Miami, Florida, on 9 Aug 1976. His death may have been related to his mob activities, or to the conspiracy theories surrounding the Kennedy assassination. His disappearance occurred shortly before he was to testify before a Senate committee investigating rogue CIA operations.

Pro Patria


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