Harold Birkett, the young man smoking the pipe, came to Canada in 1908 to farm. However, he settled in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, where he managed a boathouse.
On this beautiful B.C. afternoon in 1914, Birkett relaxes with his friends after a day of bird hunting. The catch of the day is proudly displayed on the car’s running board.
Partridges, blue grouse, quail, ducks, geese, and pheasants are still hunted in B.C. Like today’s hunters, the group favoured using shotguns, which fire many small pellets, increasing the likelihood of bringing down quarry.
Pheasants, however, are not native to British Columbia. The popular European game bird was successfully introduced to the province in 1883, and hunting seasons began as early as 1913. A provincial report on pheasant populations in the area listed their peak between 1938 and 1947, after which time the population began to decline.
Sadly, these friends would soon experience loss. Harold Birkett would be killed in France, at the Battle of the Somme, two years after this photo was taken.
Harold Birkett was Muriel Pope’s first husband. Muriel’s daughter Daphne Randall, who lives in Westbury, Wiltshire, U.K., submitted this photo. Text by Danielle Conolly.