"City Employee will Fight for Kaiser"


potrait of Philip Pocock

100 Years ago on the day that Great Britain declared war on Germany, Otto Becker, an employee of the London Public Utilities Commission, left London and arrived in Niagara Falls, New York on August 5th, 1914 where he met his father, Alfonso. 

He was blind in his left eye, had $300 on his person and listed his occupation as electrical engineer.

He was a reservist in the German army and had been making preparations to return to Germany.

Mr. Becker said his relations with the other employees were not pleasant owing to the anti--German feeling in Canada.  Philip Pocock, chairman of the PUC, reported that Becker's position was not being held for him and that he would not be given further employment should he return.  The photograph above is that of Pocock.   

Mr. Becker was born in 1886 in Trier, Germany and had left Liverpool, England and arrived at Quebec City on June 11th, 1913 aboard the Steamship Canada. 

His final destination was Regina, Saskatchewan and he listed his occupation as clerk.  The fact that Mr. Becker was an employee of the hydro department created considerable talk throughout London.


potrait of Philip Pocock

London, Canada Coronation Souvenir Commemmoraing the Historic Ceremonies Attending the Inauguration of the Reign of Her Most Gracious Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, June 2nd, 1953, p. 44.