Newfoundland Regiment at Beaumont Hamel

Below is a list of the Newfoundland Regiment soldiers killed at Beaumont Hamel on July 1, 1916. There are many more; those killed in the lead-up to the battle, those who died of their wounds, casualties in other regiments that also went over the top. A list that included all those would be massive. Far shorter would be the list of those who survived.

"In defence unyielding, in attack unflinching, steady unto death" caribou monument image p 130 Book of Remembrance
Nfld Book of Remembrance pg 130

801 men of the Newfoundland Regiment went into the battle. Figures vary, but about 255 were killed in action, 386 were wounded and 91 were missing. Only 68 were able to answer roll call the next day. About an 80% casualty rate.

The Allied assault on Beaumont Hamel was supposed to start June 29th. Weather and other factors delayed it to July 1st. An artillery barrage at 6:25 AM, and infantry assaults starting an hour later. The Newfoundland Regiment was the third wave, starting at 9:15. It was all over in half an hour.

It was the start of the Battle of the Somme: The Big Push, The July Drive, “the heaviest single-day combat losses in the history of the British Army” (Legion Magazine Sept 2011). The Battle of the Somme lasted four and a half months, advanced the Allies’ front line 10 kms. There were over 620,000 Allied casualties and 465,000 German.

When I looked for the names of those killed that day, I couldn’t find a list. So I began piecing one together from online sources listing all World War I casualties. The Newfoundland Book of Remembrance, RNR WWI Nominal Roll and WWI graves listings.

I did find specific Beaumont Hamel lists eventually  – of the dead, wounded and survivors. Once I started googling individual names, I found more lists and profiles of soldiers. So I didn’t need to make my own. But I had noticed things that gave me pause, made these young men, their families and neighbours real to me. Addresses on the same forget-me-nots Newfoundland Regiment soldiers killed street, next of kin names turning up more than once. I checked my genealogy database and online ones. And I added the scraps of information to my list.

Here’s what I have. And forget-me-nots that a Facebook friend happened to post just after I’d been reminded that it is the flower of remembrance for the Royal Newfoundland Regiment. It is the lapel flower worn to remember Beaumont Hamel since the first anniversary 99 years ago.

Killed In Action at Beaumont Hamel

ptes-stanley-and-george-abbot-PANL-heritage.nf.ca_first-world-war_articles_beaumont-hamelPte. ABBOTT, George 1242 RNR, d July 1st 1916, age 22
Next of kin: Henry and Emily Abbott. Address: Battery Road, St. John’s

Pte. ABBOTT, Stanley 283 RNR, d July 1st 1916, age 21
Next of kin: Henry and Emily Abbott Address: Battery Road, St. John’s

George and Stanley were brothers. A neighbour or maybe cousin, Pte. Fred Abbott #3483, was killed in action Aug. 16, 1917 near Steenbeek. He too lived on Battery Road, son of Walter and Jane Abbott.

Pte. ANDERSON, Israel 1069 RNR, d July 1st 1916, age 20
Son of Joseph and Jessie [MacNeil] Anderson, Mouse Island. Buried Y Ravine Cemetery, Somme

Pte. ANDREWS, Joseph 1119 RNR, d July 1st 1916, age 27
Next of kin: Mrs. Catherine Andrews. Address: St. John’s

Pte. ANTLE, Gilbert 1899 RNR, d July 1st 1916, age 21
Next of kin: Thomas and Mary Antle. Address: Botwood, Twillingate

Pte. ATWILL, James 1914 RNR, d July 1st 1916, age 26
Son of Samuel and Charlotte Atwill. Resting place: Ancre (Sp. Mem. 37)

Cpt. AYRE, Bernard Pitts, Norfolk Regiment, British Expeditionary Force, d July 1st 1916

When the war began, Bernard was attending Cambridge University in England. He decided to join up there. Son of Robert Chesley Ayre and Lydia Gertrude Pitts of St. John’s. They had only one other child, Eric. See below for his name. (Brothers in Arms)

L/Cpl. AYRE, Edward Alphonsus 1009 RNR, d July 1st 1916, age 19
Son of Edward and Selina Ayre of Isle Aux Morte. Buried Y Ravine

Known as Ted. Family name also spelled Hare. Edward Sr. was son of Samuel Hare and Juia Gillam. His mother was born Selina Wells. The family moved to Sydney, Cape Breton soon after the war.

Edward-A-Ayre-sightsnbytes-2916-1-15
Text of card at left, click to enlarge

RMS Megantic postcard to Maud McNiven, girlfriend and sister of fellow soldier Will McNiven: “Dearest, Just a few cards of the ship we are leaving by. We left Aldershot nine o’clock last night. I am going to try and get someone from the shore to post these for me, we are not allowed ashore. I did not get a letter from you before leaving. Believe me to be yours. xxxxxx Faithfully, Ted”

Cpt. AYRE, Eric S. RNR, d July 1st 1916, age 27

Brother of Capt. Bernard P. Ayre, above. They were grandsons of Charles Robert Ayre, founder of Ayre & Sons Ltd.

2nd Lt. AYRE, Gerald W. RNR, d July 1st 1916, age 25
Next of kin: Frederick William and Mary Julia [Pitts] Ayre. Address: St. John’s. Resting place: Memorial Park

1st cousin of Wilfred and brothers Bernard and Eric. His brother Charles was also in the war and survived.

2nd Lt. AYRE, Wilfrid D. 164 RNR, d July 1st 1916, age 21
Son of Charles P. and Diana [Stevenson] Ayre, St. John’s. Resting place: Knightsbridge

1st cousin of Gerald, Eric and Bernard. HIs brother Ronald was also in the war and survived.

L/Cpl. BARBOUR, Horatio 1419 RNR, d July 1st 1916, age 26
Son of William and Amy H. Barbour of Port Rexton. Resting place: Beaumont Hamel 1

Pte. BARNES, Maxwell 1576 RNR, d July 1st 1916, age 22
Next of kin: Mrs. Sarah Ann Barnes. Resting place: Memorial Park

Pte. BARRETT, Leonard Josiah 372 RNR, d July 1st 1916, age 21
Next of kin: Mrs. Maud Barrett. Resting place: Memorial Park

Pte. BARTLETT, Joseph Patrick 629 RNR, d July 1st 1916, age 22
Next of kin: John Bartlett. Address: Maryvale, Brigus

Pte. BARTON, John 1485 RNR, d July 1st 1916, age 29
Next of kin: William and Annie Barton. Address: The Goulds, Bay Bulls Road, St. John’s West

Pte. BENNETT, William 1229 RNR, d July 1st 1916, age 31
Next of kin: William and Agnes Bennett. Address: St. John’s

Pte. BISHOP, Wilson 1597 RNR, d July 1st 1916, age 22
Son of John and Annie [Feaver] Bishop of 10 Second Avenue, Grand Falls. Resting place: Ancre

Full name Henry Wilson Bishop. His father’s parents were Edward Bishop and Elizabeth Piercey. His mother’s parents were Enos Feaver and Catherine Foote.

Pte. BOONE, Stewart Malcolm 1219 RNR, d July 1st 1916, age 20
Son of William Thomas and Sarah Jane Boone of South River, Clark’s Beach. Resting place: Ancre.

Pte. BOWMAN, Charles 938 RNR, d July 1st 1916, age 26
Next of kin: Frigaz Bowman, St. John’s. Resting place: Memorial Park

ww1-j-breen-67-1
Pte. John Breen

Pte. BREEN, John Joseph 67 RNR, d July 1st 1916, age 22
Son of Mrs. Catherine Breen, Alexander St., St. John’s and the late Jacob Breen. Resting place: Memorial Park

No marked grave. Attestation papers give his address as 18 Nunnery Hill, St. John’s. (One of The Original 500)

Pte. BRENT, David 1794 RNR, d July 1st 1916, age 23
Next of kin: Mr. and Mrs. John Brent. Address Botwood, Twillingate. Resting place: Memorial Park

Sgt. BROWN, Bertram 1382 RNR, d July 1st 1916, age 21
Next of kin: Amos and Selina Brown. Address: Grand Falls

Pte. BROWN, Edward John 545 RNR, d July 1st 1916, age 28
Next of kin: Eli and Annie Brown. Address: Harbour Grace

Pte. BURGE, Allen 624 RNR, d July 1st 1916, age 20
Next of kin: George and Mary Jane Burge. Address: Bonavista

Pte. BURKE, Garrett 1023 RNR, d July 1st 1916, age 25
Son of Silvester and Mary Ellen Burke of Tor’s Cove, Ferryland. Resting place: Knightsbridge

Pte. BURKE, Leo Michael 1170 RNR, d July 1st 1916, age 18
Son of Martin and Annie Burke of St. John’s West. Resting place: Ancre

Sgt. BURRY, Sidney George 1044 RNR, d July 1st 1916, age 31
Next of kin: Job and Matilda Burry. Address: Greenspond, Bonavista. Resting place: Memorial Park

Pte. BUTLER, Edward William 1567 RNR, d July 1st 1916, age 25
Son of John and Phoebe Butler of Fogo. Buried: Y Ravine.

Pte. BUTLER, Harry 1897 RNR, d July 1st 1916, age 20
Son of Henry Stephen and Laura May Butler of “Hillcrest” LeMarchant Road, St. John’s. Buried: Y Ravine

Pte. BUTLER, Ignatius Joseph 1442 RNR, d July 1st 1916
Next of kin: Mary C. Butler. Address: St. George’s. Buried: Memorial Park
“In June 1918 Iganatius’ mother filled in a form to request continuation of an allotment made her to following Iganatius’ death in 1916. Her husband had drowned at sea in 1900 leaving her to raise her family alone. For some time she was able to run a successful boarding house but by 1918 her health was failing. Two daughters still lived with her and one Bridie was an invalid. By the time the pension was awarded Mrs Butler had died and the pension went to Bridie.” (Lives of the First World War)

Corrie Street June 26/16

Eyes of a Shark

The week opens with Amy Barlow showing that she has learned well from amy barlow ponders approachher mother. Last week she eavesdropped on Michelle and Will and discovered that they had a sort-of fling while Steve was away. Amy soon let Michelle know that she knew and that there was a price to pay for silence. Amy wants to stay with Steve and Michelle. Michelle will make sure that happens. Otherwise, Amy makes clear, Steve will find out what Michelle was up to in his absence.

I’m sure, had it continued, Amy would add new demands. Michelle michelle-avoids-looking-at-amyknows that too. She looks at Amy and sees the future – catering to Amy’s whims whether they be toast with chocolate spread for breakfast or 20 quid here and there. Amy has blackmailed people over less.

Amy loses her advantage when Will’s furious fiancée Saskia tells Steve about the dalliance. The truth was not good for Michelle, but I think it was a lot better than her life being held hostage by a particularly cruel twelve year old.

Amy Barlow: 3 advantages

Watch the eyes in that lovely face: they are the eyes of a shark. Amy is amy-gives-warning-look-to-michellefrightening. Easily as single-minded as Tracy and better at manipulation.

First, she doesn’t let emotion cloud her actions. When she sees an opportunity for herself, she takes it. But she is not motivated by vindictiveness. It is getting what she wants or simply seeing if she can get someone to cave in, survival of the fittest. The passion of hate is not there as it often is with Tracy. For Amy, it’s just playing the game.

michelle-waitsSecond, she is still a child so she has lots of time to hone her skills. When emotions do become a motivator, she will know how to work around them. She has watched her mother. She has seen when Tracy won and when she lost, and why. She’s learned from those lessons. Already, I think, the student has surpassed the master.

And third, she is a child. That gives her a huge advantage. Her adult victims underestimate the extent of her evil, the damage she is willing would-hate-for-dad-to-knowto do. They consider her a child playing childish games. But the games are blackmail, done in dead seriousness on her part. Even adults forced to buy her stuff or shell out cash chuckle and say ‘just like your mother’. Yes, folks, she is. The same people do not see Tracy as harmless. But because Amy is young and, so far, the payouts haven’t been major, it’s seen as cute. With Michelle, Amy graduated into the big leagues.

Amy without controls

Because she’s a child, it is especially frightening to watch. She is distressed by her mother’s actions and the fact that people do not michelle-gets-the-messagelike Tracy. She does not want to grow up to be like her mother. But unless someone challenges her with what she is doing, that is exactly what she will do. Robert was the only person who saw what Amy was capable of and confronted her with some unpalatable truths about herself. And now he’s out of her life.

Pittie Myths

Muzzled Pittie wikicommonsI don’t often agree with Peter Worthington, but I did with what he wrote (March 14, 2012) about Pit Bulls and Ontario’s Breed Specific Legislation. He calls BSL a “Ku Klux Klan law”, “akin to deciding guilt based on appearance, not behaviour.”  Like him, I applaud Cons. Randy Hillier, NDP Cheri DiNova and Lib. Kim Craitor for bringing forward a private members’ bill to rescind it. No law should apply to a specific breed and dogs who look “substantially similar” to that breed.

Fashion of fear

A lot of dogs have been in fashion as “feared” dogs.  German Shepherds had their time. Someone I know found his beautiful Shepherd poisoned, most likely by a neighbour who disliked “that German police dog”. Then came Doberman Pinschers as the “feared” breed. There is reason to be fearful of them and most dogs– if you’re not on the side of the fence you belong on, as I heard the owner of an auto wrecker business once say.

But I don’t remember Shepherds or Dobes being the fashion Pit Bulls on album cover Alexis & Fido The Pitbulls 2005accessory for young men that Rottweilers and Pitties became in the past two decades. Now, it seems to me, Mastiffs and Cane Corsos have supplanted them.

These are all very powerful breeds used for herding and protecting. They are intelligent and strong-willed. You have to be their match in order for the relationship to work out well, and just wanting to be isn’t enough. I would never have a Rottie or Pit Bull. Dog trainers have told me that I don’t make myself the dog’s boss.  “You’re more a litter mate than alpha dog,” one said.

Fashion of image-making

These powerful breeds of fashion can scare me. But it’s not the dogs, it’s the owners. I don’t mean huge, tattooed drug dealers or nasty pimps. I mean teenagers who cannot have had much experience handling any dog except the family pet because they are just not old enough. The caution the Westminster dog show announcer gives about some breeds, “not for first-time dog owners”? Shep, who let you pull his ears when you were two, does not qualify you as an experienced dog owner.

Happy young Pit Bull sitting WikicommonsI also have concerns for these dogs of youthful fashion: are they being fed right, exercised enough, socialized and trained properly? You might well be concerned about the same things for their owners. However, if either of them wig out, the owner won’t be sentenced to death but the dog will.

Myth-making and Pit Bulls

A well looked after, happy Pit Bull is a joy. A neglected or abused, frightened or aggressive one is not. Just like any other dog. The reality is that there have been vicious attacks by Pit Bulls that have killed and seriously maimed people and animals. But presuming therefore that Pit Bulls are all crazed killers is itself, well, crazy.

ca 1900 photo of child with Nanny dog Pit BullLovers of the breed have tried to counteract the “fighting dog” label by pointing out the breed’s protector instincts. However, the “Nanny dog” image may be equally damaging to the poor Pittie. The photo at left has circulated the internet, and it’s lovely. And maybe back then, the Pit Bull was your first choice of baby minder. But there’s been a hundred years of selective breeding, good and bad, since then and that has an effect on all aspects of a creature.

Gross generalizations on either side are neither accurate nor fair to Pit Bulls. They deserve to be treated like other dogs without bearing the burden of vilification or sainthood. To paraphrase Tammy Wynette “after all, he’s just a dog.” So stand by him and be proud of him – for what he is, not the angel or ogre you want him to be.

From my St. Thomas Dog Blog Mar. 22, 2012. 4 comments below.

Corrie Street June 19/16

The Hardy Boys

Friday, Part 2 of Todd Grimshaw, Detective. He knows Sarah is the sarah-and-todd-on-stepskey to finding out how Callum Logan turned up, dead, under the floor in the Platt house. And there she sits, weeping.

It’s my fault, she tells him. I know he’s dead, I saw him. Hmm, saw him dead? David interrupts and takes Sarah away before Todd can find out more. Todd quickly adds two and two and nearly gets four. His conclusion is that Sarah killed sarah-sobsCallum, likely in self-defence.

It’s a rock and a hard place for him. He wants to prove his brother’s innocence and can, thanks to Sarah. But it means throwing Sarah under the bus and he doesn’t want to do that.

Todd and Billy take the case

He tells the one other non-Platt who recognizes that something is seriously off with Sarah – Billy. Confidences shared with him, a vicar, hardy-boys-billy-and-toddhave some legal or at least ethical protection. And, like Todd, Billy is willing and able to think things through analytically. He thinks back on what Sarah has told him. He thought Callum had raped, or attempted to rape, her. In light of Todd’s news he wonders, was she trying to confess to murder.

todd-says-sarah-could-not-killI like this Todd. He is taking action and thinking, not just wringing hands and pointing fingers. I like this Billy too. Like Todd, he is trying to find the truth. I hope that Sean does not see them with their heads together and add two and two and get a hissy fit of jealousy.

I also hope the Sarah weeping machine soon grinds to a halt. The where-does-that-leavescreeching, sobbing, haunted looks. Her moments of catatonic blank silence are a relief. I can see why she’s so freaked out, and I don’t think I’d be in any better shape in her situation. But it’s wearing.

My husband asked me how the Platts were doing this week. I told him about Sarah’s meltdown. He said, “Leslie Nielsen in Airplane. The plane is crashing and a woman sarah-on-bench-billy-and-todd is hysterical, screaming and screaming. Leslie Nielsen says ‘Let me take care of this’ and slaps her. Then you see all the other passengers lined up behind him, waiting their turn. ” Here’s the scene. And yes, Sarah kind of makes you feel like that. Get a hold of yourself.

Mary Francis Webb

Mrs. Mary Webb was a midwife, one of the best known and most respected on Newfoundland’s west coast. She was also a healer using traditional Mi’kmaq medicines. She was a craftswoman. In addition, she farmed, raised animals, fished, hunted, trapped, and cut wood. She raised children and grandchildren.

midwife mary webb obit
Page 31, newspaper unknown. Click to enlarge.

Her first language was Mi’kmaq. In school, she learned English. From her Codroy Valley neighbours, she learned Scots Gaelic. As an adult living in Bay St. George, she learned French. These were the languages of early 20th century west coast Newfoundland. Her fluency meant she could speak with clients in their own language.

A “lay midwife”, Mary Webb had no formal training or accreditation. She started as an assistant and learned by experience. There were other midwives in Bay St. George: Susan Benoit and Emily Ann Paul in Flat Bay; Minnie Blanchard, Philomena Ryan and Philomena Sheppard in St. George’s; Rose Curnew in Stephenville Crossing. Formally trained midwives worked for the Grenfell Mission (see my Tempting Providence). Mrs. Webb was noteworthy for the great distances she travelled in her work. In all seasons at all hours, she went as far south as the Codroy Valley and north to Corner Brook and the Bay of Islands.

Midwife or doctor: social change

Until the mid-20th century, women in outport Newfoundland had their babies at home. The midwife arrived shortly before a woman’s due date and she or her assistant stayed for several days after the baby’s birth. A doctor was called if necessary. Emergencies happen, of course, so the midwife might be called early and she had to deal with complications if a doctor could not get there in time.

In the 1950s and ’60s, cottage hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices opened in rural areas. More vehicles and new roads made travel to larger centres easier. Hospital births became the norm. Health care became professionalized. mary webb in kitchen, from her grandson FrankInformally-taught midwives and healers were longer central to it. Mrs. Webb was among the last generation of lay midwives in Bay St. George.

She passed on her knowledge of traditional medicines to those interested in learning. And she embodied being Mi’kmaw. Her fluency with the language and traditional skills, her pride in her heritage, her self-respect. All these things were noted by those who knew her. For those who were part of the Mi’kmaq cultural and political revitalization in the 1970s, Mrs. Webb was a reminder of who they were and what they were fighting for.

She was born in 1881 in the Codroy Valley, daughter of Ben François and Mary Young. In 1903 she married John Webb of Flat Bay in Bay St. George. He died about 1930. She remained in Flat Bay, with Norman Young as her life companion. She died June 3, 1978.

Corrie Street June 12/16

After The Toasts

wedding-aftermathThursday’s episode opens amid the wreckage of Carla and Nick’s wedding. They had got married but it didn’t last until dinner was served.

Asking for a time-out during the ceremony, Carla had confessed to Nick that she had slept with Robert. He could get over that, he said. So back to the wedding.

nicks-looks-at-carlaThen in came Tracy to tell all. Yeah yeah yeah, Nick told her, old news. He and Carla completed their vows. Tracy finished her story – about Carla providing the extra money Robert needed to buy the Bistro, and about the move to Devon being Tracy’s idea. That rattled Nick but he gamely sat at the head table for the reception.

connors-surround-carlaBut during the speeches and champagne, he couldn’t go on. He realized the enormity of never knowing if Carla was lying or not. “Tell me it’s red,” he said, holding a white napkin. He wanted to see if her eyes changed when she lied.

carla-leaves-bistroHard to imagine a wedding day could get worse, but it did. Nick said he was leaving to see about an annulment. Carla told Roy she wanted to leave, just drive and drive. Roy goes off to get his car. Cathy waylays him with an ill-timed marriage proposal. Carla tires of waiting and leaves on her own.

carla-looks-at-tracyIn her car, seeing Tracy straight ahead in the headlights. Smirking. Carla not paying attention to Roy and Tyrone both trying to park their vehicles. Carla guns the engine and puts the car in gear.

Just before she hits Tracy and the house behind, she veers off. Driving cathy-hiton the sidewalk, she hits Cathy who is coming out of Dev’s shop.

Roy parks and runs to where Cathy is lying and calls for help. A dazed Carla looks at Cathy and at him. He looks at her as if she is a stranger, and one he doesn’t like.

wheel-through-concreteMeanwhile, Tyrone crashed the truck into Gail’s annex. A wheel comes to rest on the manhole cover, the one Callum’s body is under. It crashes through. Bad news for the Platts.

Tyrone was driving without shoes because they pinched his feet. He and Fiz had gone dress-shopping for the wedding at the last minute. Their fiz-in-new-dress in wreckagepurchase at an expensive shop that they should not have even entered shows that neither of them have one clue about living on a budget. Their financial woes are the least of the worries for many Street residents right now though.

Thank you, Alison King, for Carla. And thank you, Stuart Blackburn, for your producing.

Corrie Street June 5/16

Blackpool Tram

I love going to Blackpool. I’ve only ever been there with Coronation Street. It was a scary visit this Monday, with the Blackpool tram almost taking out another Bradley.

Jenny and Johnny on Blackpool pierThree Weatherfield parties went to the seaside. Tim, Kevin and young Jack went for an overnight stay. Then Jenny Bradley and Johnny Connor for the day. Then Sally and Sophie Webster to find Tim and Kev.

jack kevin and tim in restaurantWord quickly got around the factory that Tim had indeed gone on the vacation he had planned for Sally, without her. Photos of Blackpool were printed off to tease her about what she was missing.

Looking at them, Jenny thought about her father and the place he was killed in 1989. He was struck by a Blackpool tram as he chased jenny sees blackpool tramRita across the road (watch). Alan Bradley was a bad’un. Jenny had never been back to Blackpool, had never seen the spot where her father died. Time to face it, she thought, but she was scared. When she told Johnny this, he offered to go with her.

Seeing a photo of the happy threesome that Tim posted online, Sally decided it was time to reclaim her man. Off she and Sophie went, finding the guys in a restaurant.

Jack Webster runs toward tram

driver sees jackIn the hullaballoo that ensued, Jack slipped off unnoticed. Running toward the road, they saw him too late. But Jenny and Johnny were walking nearby. Jenny saw him running into the path of a tram. She ran and flung him out of the way just in time.

Websters and Metcalfes were all upset. Sally and Sophie blamed Jenny, but their yelling seemed rather pro forma. They shut up and jack and jenny safe by tram frontthanked her quickly enough after Kevin stuck up for her.

The tram drove on, after a quick wave from the driver. No passengers were gawping out the windows to see what was happening. Maybe they’re used to kids running into traffic.

When Weatherfield folk come to visit, it seems there’s always johnny leads jenny away from sallya kid who takes off (remember Simon’s 2010 adventure). Blackpool council might want to think about a by-law requiring kids to be kept on a tether. At least the kids from Weatherfield.

Rhubarb Juice

glass of rhubarb juiceLast summer, looking at my still flourishing rhubarb patch, a friend said “We used to make pies and jam and then made the rest into rhubarb juice.” Really? This had never crossed my mind. Just cook it down a bit and strain it, she said. So I did. It’s wonderful. Like pink lemonade, only better.

Cut then cook in stainless steel

Cut washed rhubarb stalks into 1″ pieces and put them in a large stainless steel stock pot. I did 16 cups of chopped rhubarb at a time. That’s about 25-30 rhubarb stalks.

rhubarb-in-potI added water to more than cover the rhubarb and cooked it on medium heat until it softened, about 30 mins. Then I added sugar, 2 cups to start. The amount depends on how sweet you want the juice. Cook the rhubarb another 20 mins until completely soft. Taste the juice and add more sugar if you like. I added about another half cup. Add sugar when the juice is hot so it will dissolve.

While it cooked, I lined a big colander with 3 layers of cheesecloth, overhanging the edges. Use stainless steel, plastic or enamel. Rhubarb will discolour, and be discoloured by, some metals.

Drain in stainless steel or plastic

rhubarb-in-cheeseclothPut the colander on the rim of a deep pot or bowl, so it has clearance to drain. Carefully pour the rhubarb and water in it. Let sit until fully drained. Skim foam off the top of the juice.

Bottle juice

juice-bottlePour the juice into clean bottles. I used 1.89 litre plastic store-bought juice bottles and filled about two and a half per batch.

It freezes well. Don’t fill the bottle right to the top so it has room to expand. You can also bottle it in sealer-lid jars. Here is how to do that. This recipe, however, is for a concentrate. So you add water when you want to drink it. Some recipes also call for zest (grated rind) of lemon or orange, added while the rhubarb is cooking.

(Got a juicer? Here’s how I made rhubarb juice with mine.)