A Salvation Army Mystery


Arras 1921

Ada's autograph album from her time in France includes an intriguing set of signatures. They were added to her collection in October and November 1921, in Arras, in Northern France. They were all written by very high-ranking Salvation Army officers, from territories all over the world.

At the moment, there is no evidence of any event that would warrant all of these people being in Arras at that time. The only possible clue is that the period of time included November 11th, Armistice Day.

Do YOU have any idea why they were there?
Do YOU know of any important event that happened on or around 11th November 1921?

If so, we would love to hear from you.


Examples of some of the entries:

Commissioner James Allister Smith was appointed to work in South Africa in 1890.

He worked there until 1920, when he was appointed to start Salvation Army work in Kenya. Late in 1921, his wife became seriously ill, so the family returned to London where he was promoted to Commissioner and appointed as International Representative to the General.

Book signed "Arras 15/11/21"

Allister Smith
William Dalziel

Major William R. Dalziel was Divisional Commander of the Leicester division at this time, having been engaged in war work in France from 1914 to 1917.

He became Territorial Commander, firstly of Australia, then of Canada.

"Add another chapter to the Acts of the Apostles in being an Apostle yourself

Wm. R. Dalziel
Arras, 17/10/22"

As Staff-Capt., he visited Guernsey in September 1917

Cecil Rees began his career as a Salvation Army officer in Tottenham, later serving with the Salvation Army Assurance Company and in national and divisional appointments in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

He also served for several years in the International Staff band.

"I am crucified with Christ-nevertheless I love. 'Tis not I but Christ liveth in me; the life which I now live in the flesh I have by the faith of the Son of god who loved me and gave Himself for me(Gal 2.20)

Cecil Rees, Major, Belfast, Arras 13/10/21"

Cecil Rees
Catherine Motee Sladen
Catherine Motee Sladen was the grand-daughter of the founder of the Salvation Army, and daughter of Commissioner and Mrs Frederick Booth-Tucker.

She became an officer from Simla, in India, where the family lived, in 1913.

She married Major Hugh Sladen in 1916, and in 1921, the couple were Divisional Commanders for Newport.