Montreal Standard

4 November 1905, page 6

Tombs of Prominent Canadians

Colonel John Dyde, CMG ADC

There were few better known officers of the Canadian militia than Colonel Dyde, who was connected with the force in various commands for over 60 years.  He was a tall, erect and strong man.  He had a very dignified bearing at all times, and was seen at his best when riding with his staff at the head of the Montreal garrison.  He was a great favorite with General Sir Fenwick Williams, Sir James Lindsay, Lord Wolsely, Lord Paulet and the regular officers of the garrison during the British occupation.  He gave the greatest assurance to Lord Wolseley during the ‘Trent Affair” in securing proper quarters for the officers and men coming out from England.  His Lordship was at that time Colonel and Deputy Quarter-Master General on the headquarters’ staff.

The deceased officer was the son of the late John Dyde, a merchant of London, and was born in 1795, at Altona in the Duchy of Holstein, Denmark.  The terrible French Revolution was at its worst when Colonel Dyde came into the world.  The French troops were, at his birth, in possession of Altona, so that accident caused him to be born under the French flag.  Both his parents were English.

To reach her husband in Paris, where he was prisoner, like many more of his countrymen, his mother disguised herself as a sailor, and with her infant concealed in a clothes basket, reached Paris, where she was permitted to see her husband, who was very soon afterwards released along with all other British subjects, as Great Britain was then threatening to teach the leaders of the Revolution a lesson for interfering with British subjects.

About the year 1810, Mr Dyde and his family sailed from London for New York, and three years later removed to Boston, while in 1814 the family came to Montreal.  A tall, strong lad of nineteen, young Dyde at once joined one of the militia companies embodied for the war of 1812-14 against the United States.  He soon became Sergeant Major, Ensign and Adjutant.  On the conclusion of the war, he joined the North-West company of fur traders as a clerk, and travelled across the prairies as far as the Rocky Mountains, coming in contact with the most warlike tribes of Indians.  He returned to Montreal in 1819, married, and began business in the West India trade.  He made several voyages south, and was twice shipwrecked and once given up by his wife and family as lost, as no word had been received from him for nearly a year.  However, he reached New York in 1829, and at once came on to Montreal.

He was, a few years later, appointed inspector of ashes at Quebec and manager of the Towboat company.   He was given a commission of Lieutenant and Adjutant in the Quebec Garrison Artillery in 1833.