From: "The Storied Province of Quebec Past and Present"
Ed. Col. William Wood, Dominion Publishing Company, Limited, Toronto 1931
As a consulting engineer, Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Bickerdike, D.S.O., has rendered a valuable service to his fellow men in the City of Montreal and the Province of Quebec.He was born in the City of Montreal on September 30, 1869, son of Robert Bickerdike and Helen Thompson Reid, both of this city.
He received his early education in the common schools of Montreal, and later attended Montreal Business College. For his higher learning he became a student at McGill University, from which he received, in 1891, the degree of Bachelor of Arts and Sciences, and, in 1895, that of Master of Arts in Engineering. In the meantime, he had acquired a considerable practical experience, having been, in 1889 and 1890, instrument man on what is now the Canadian Pacific Railways short line, from Montreal to Ottawa. In 1891 he became assistant in charge of the McGill University Observatory, and in 1892 he acted as assistant engineer with the Canadian Pacific on the Atlantic and North-Western Railway, as well as assistant engineer with the extension of the Drummond County Railway. In 1894 he was demonstrator of surveying at McGill College, and in 1895 and1896, assistant engineer of the Montreal Harbour Works. From 1897 to 1904 he was with the Department of Public Works on the St. Lawrence River, from Montreal to Quebec, and from 1904 to 1908, with the Department of Marine, St.Lawrence River above Montreal. From 1909 to 1910 he was assistant engineer with the National Transcontinental Railway; in 1911 and 1912, with J.H. Hunter, Montreal, as consulting engineer; in 1913 and 1914, engaged in the construction of a plant at Fort William for the Canada Starch Company; and in 1919, with the same company, engaged in alterations and additions to its plants at Cardinal, Ontario, and Fort William, Ontario. It was in 1921 that he began his private practice as consulting engineer, in which he was successful from the very onset.
Along with his regular professional work, Lieutenant-Colonel Bickerdike has been a leader in different organizations, as well as in military affairs. He is a member of the Engineering Institute of Canada and the Institution of Civil Engineers of Quebec, which he joined in 1904. He was made a provisional lieutenant in the Eighty-sixth Regiment, was qualified at Quebec, and was orderly officer at Three Rivers Camp in 1904. In the winter of 1905 and 1906, he resigned his commission on leaving the district in which he had worked. Then, in 1914, when the World War began, he joined the Fifty-eighth Regiment of Westmount Rifles, at the time of its organization, and became actively employed in recruiting work for the Twenty-third Battalion and the Sixtieth Battalion. He was qualified as captain and field officer at Halifax, and joined the Eighty-seventh Battalion as Lieutenant at the time of its formation. In June 1916, he took a draft of reinforcements from the Eighty-seventh Battalion to Poperinghe, but was returned to England. In August, 1916, he went to France as Captain of the Eighty-seventh, which was with the Fourth Division and saw service in the Ypres salient. He was present at the batttles of Somme, Vimy Ridge, Lens-Avion, Hill No. 70, Passchendaele, Amiens, Arras, Cambrai and Valenciennes-Mons; was wounded seriously at the Somme and slightly at Cambrai. He was twice mentioned in dispatches for his bravery and splendid conduct in action, and in 1917 was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. He also was given the Bar to the Distinguished Service Order for Cambrai; was promoted major on February 21, 1917 and was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel on March 8, 1919. He returned to Canada in command of the Eighty-seventh Battalion, and on its demobilization on June 12, 1919, was transferred to the Royal Montreal Regiment. In July, 1920, he was transferred to the Reserve of Officers.
Lieutenant-Colonel Bickerdike’s social affiliations are with the Engineers’ Club; the Lachine Rowing Club; and the Montreal A.A.A. His political alignment is with the Liberal party, whose policies and principles he supports. And his religious faith is that of the Anglican Church.
His residence is situated at No. 4384 Harvard Avenue, Lachine, Quebec;
and his place of business is at No. 437 Notre Dame Street, West, Montreal.
*Researching Robert Bickerdike.............Malcolm Paterson (1st cousin twice removed)