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Sunday, 31 December 2017

Guysborough County Enlistments—October to December 1917

A total of 21 individuals with connections to Guysborough County, Nova Scotia enlisted for military service during the months of October, November and December 1917.

OCTOBER 1917:

1. George Washington Horton (2100866) was born at Canso, Guysborough County on December 27, 1888, the oldest of Hiram C. and Henrietta Elizabeth “Hattie” (Worth) Horton’s 11 children. George enlisted with No. 10 Halifax Siege Battery at Sydney, NS on October 1, 1917. He departed for England aboard SS Megantic on November 24 and arrived overseas two weeks later.

On April 2, 1918, George crossed to France as a Canadian Siege Artillery reinforcement and was assigned to the 2nd Brigade, Canadian Garrison Artillery, as a “Gunner” on June 18. While serving in the field on August 28, George suffered a contusion to his back, the result of an accident described in his service file:

“Shells were being unloaded from a Lorry. Shrapnel burst overhead. The men sought cover. Horton ducked under the end of the Lorry. At the same time the Lorry Driver flopped to the floor of the Lorry, letting a shell which was in his hands roll out at the end of the Lorry. It hit Gnr. Horton. Accidental injury.”

Hospitalized at Wimereux, France the following day, George was discharged to duty on December 1 and returned to England at month’s end. He departed for Canada aboard SS Belgic on March 2 and was discharged at Halifax on March 22, 1919.

George subsequently returned to Sydney, NS, where he married Ruth Witherell Cesale, a native of Mulgrave, Guysborough County, in a ceremony held on August 20, 1920. During his time overseas, George had assigned $15.00 of his monthly pay to Ruth. The couple eventually relocated to Vancouver, BC. George passed away at Shaughnessy Hospital, Vancouver on April 21, 1964. Ruth remained in the city, where she passed away on April 9, 1990. The couple had no children.

George’s younger brother, Arthur Stanford Horton, was killed in action at Regina Trench, near Courcelette France, on October 2, 1916. Bantry Publishing’s “First World War Honour Roll of Guysborough County, Volume I: 1915 - 1917” contains a detailed description of Arthur’s military service.


2. Arthur Borden Roberts (2303880) was born at Canso, Guysborough County on April 30, 1892. According to 1901 and 1911 census records, Arthur was William and Sarah (Price) Roberts’ only child. On April 28, 1915, Arthur married Helen Mae Wallace in a ceremony held in the bride’s home community of Shubenacadie, Hants County. The couple took up residence at Stellarton, where Arthur worked as a machinist, possibly in the local Intercolonial Railway yard.

On October 1, 1917, Arthur attested for overseas service with the Nova Scotia Forestry and Construction Draft at Windsor, NS. Arthur and Helen had a two-month old daughter, Margaret, at the time of his enlistment. Following her husband’s departure, Helen returned to her home community, where she remained throughout Arthur’s overseas service.

Promoted to the rank of Sergeant on the day following his enlistment, Arthur departed for overseas on November 6, 1917 and landed in England two weeks later. Shortly after arriving overseas, he reverted to the rank of Sapper and was assigned to the 85th Engine Crew Company, Canadian Railway Troops (CRT), on November 27. Two weeks later, Arthur crossed the English Channel to France, where he served with his new unit throughout the winter of 1917-18 and into the summer months.

On August 26, Arthur was transferred to the 1st Bridging Company, Canadian Railway Troops, a new unit established in France for service in the eastern Mediterranean. According to its war diary: “An urgent request [had] been received… for a Canadian Bridging Company in Palestine, in view of the special experience of Canadians in this kind of work.” The unit obtained its personnel from various CRT units in France.

A total of five Officers and 244 “other ranks” (OR) departed for Palestine on September 20. Initially promoted to Lance Corporal shortly after his transfer, Arthur advanced to the full rank of Corporal prior to the unit’s departure for Palestine. He and his comrades arrived in Egypt at month’s end and completed preparations for service in the area.

Unfortunately, illness disrupted much of Arthur’s Mediterranean service. On October 25, he was admitted to the hospital ship Assaye, suffering from “PUO,” or “fever of unknown origin.” He was soon diagnosed with malaria and remained under medical care until early December. Briefly discharged to a convalescent camp, Arthur was admitted to No. 21 General Hospital, Alexandria, with tonsillitis on December 7. He was subsequently diagnosed with diphtheria and remained under care until early February 1919.

Arthur rejoined his unit at mid-month, only to depart for England on February 27. Three weeks later, 1st Bridging Company landed in England. Arthur departed for Canada aboard SS Minnekahda on May 14 and arrived at Halifax nine days later. He was formally discharged from military service at Halifax on July 3, 1919.

Following his discharge, Arthur rejoined his wife and daughter at Shunebacadie. While a document in his service file suggests that Arthur spent some time in Trois Rivières, QC in early 1921—perhaps related to his employment—other available information indicates that the couple remained at Shubenacadie. No further information is available on Arthur’s later life or death.


3. Clarence Abner Mills (2649511) was born at Sonora, Guysborough County on July 4, 1895, the third of Charles and Druscilla (Green) Mills’ seven children. Clarence was employed as a munitions worker in New Glasgow when he enlisted with the Canadian Army Service Corps at Halifax, NS on October 2, 1917. He was assigned to the local Military District No. 6 CASC Service Company, where he served as a “Driver.”

While Clarence was transferred to the 1st Depot Battalion, Nova Scotia Regiment, on April 23, 1918, he remained in Halifax throughout his military service and was discharged on “compassionate grounds” on January 16, 1919. His service file provides no explanation for this comment on his discharge certificate.

Clarence subsequently relocated to the United States, eventually settling at Worcester, MA. According to the 1940 United States census, he was married to “Gertrude M.,” a Canadian, and employed as a manager of a local bowling alley. There were no children in the household at that time. No information is available on Clarence’s death and final resting place.


4. Stanley Weston Sutherland (3105231) was born at Country Harbour Guysborough County on March 25, 1892, the ninth of Robert Henry and Elizabeth Jane “Libby” (McKeen) Sutherland’s 12 children. Stanley was living at Brockton, MA and working as a plasterer with Lambert & Hurley, Boston, MA at the time of the United States’ April 1917 entry into the First World War.

Pte. Stanley Sutherland
While Stanley registered for the US military draft at Brockton, MA on June 5, 1917, he subsequently decided to return to Canada for service. On October 8, 1917, he completed his military enlistment documents under the terms of the Military Service Act (1917) at Toronto, ON. Stanley subsequently served in France and Belgium as a “sapper” with the 7th Battalion, Canadian Engineers. Further details on his military service are not presently available.

Following his military discharge, Stanley eventually returned to Nova Scotia, where he married Lois Jean Hudson, a native of Cross Roads Country Harbour, on June 8, 1923. The couple raised a family of three children—two daughters and one son—at Country Harbour. Stanley Weston Sutherland passed away on October 11, 1982 and was laid to rest in Evergreen Cemetery, Country Harbour.

Pte. Stanley Sutherland (standing row, eighth from right).
Stanley’s younger brother, Harry Lee, also enlisted for military service at Saint John, NB on April 4, 1918 but fell ill shortly afterward. Harry died of pneumonia in Saint John Military Hospital on May 22, 1918. Bantry Publishing’s “First World War Honour Roll of Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, Volume II: 1918 - 1937” contains a detailed summary of Harry’s story.


5. John Thomas Meagher (2163444) was born on December 1, 1899, the oldest child of John and Elizabeth (McDonald) Meagher, Canso, Guysborough County. Elizabeth passed away from tuberculosis sometime after the 1911 Canadian census. According to provincial death records, a “John J. Meagher,” widower and fisherman, died of “phthisis” [pulmonary tuberculosis] at Canso on April 8, 1915 at the age of 46 years.

With both parents deceased, John attested for service with No, 8 Siege Battery Reinforcement Draft at Halifax, NS on October 10, 1917. Though not yet 18 years old, John gave his birth year as 1898 at the time of his enlistment. He departed Halifax aboard SS Metagama on December 4 and arrived in England 10 days later.

Admitted to military hospital on February 2, 1918 with acute bronchitis, John was discharged after two and a half weeks. He remained in England throughout the spring and early summer of 1918 and finally proceeded to the Canadian Artillery Base Depot in France on August 17, 1918. John was assigned to the 3rd Canadian Brigade’s 9th Siege Battery, Canadian Field Artillery, on September 4 and joined the unit in the field two days later. He served in the forward area throughout the remainder of the war, returning to England on April 25 1919.

On May 31, 1919, John departed for Canada aboard SS Adriatic and arrived at Halifax eight days later. He was formally discharged from military service on June 15, 1919. A medical examination performed prior to his discharge indicated that he suffered from “defective vision,” but otherwise noted no health concerns.

Following his discharge, John returned to Canso, where he resided with an aunt, Margaret (Mrs. John) Grady, to whom he had assigned a portion of his military pay during his overseas service. For several years, he worked as a cable operator at the Commercial Cable Company, Hazel, Hill, but departed for the United States sometime before 1930. He initially lived at Brooklyn, NY and later relocated to Massachusetts. Available records make no reference to marriage and indicate that John Thomas Meagher passed away in Massachusetts in October 1962.


6. Allan Ellsworth Pride (2649514) was born at Sonora, Guysborough County on September 3, 1895, the fourth of Captain Arthur Stinson and Margaret Ann “Maggie” (Dickson) Pride’s six children. Allan was working as a steel worker in New Glasgow when he travelled to Halifax and enlisted with the Canadian Army Service Corps (CASC) on October 11, 1917.

Allan served with No. 6 Company, CASC, at Halifax for the duration of the war. On November 6, 1918, while still enlisted, he married Helen May Fox, a native of Halifax. Following Allan’s discharge, the couple took up residence in the city. After Helen May’s untimely death on an unknown date, Allan married Flora Bell Cross, a native of Tancook Island, on May 20, 1925. Allan was employed as an “optician” at the time of his second marriage. According to available records, Allan Ellsworth passed away at an unspecified location on April 30, 1966.


7. Cecil James Cohoon (2303943) was born at Canso, Guysborough County on September 4, 1896, the youngest of Levi and Catherine Ann “Cassie” (Cavanaugh) Cohoon’s four children. Cecil attested with the Nova Scotia Forestry and Construction Draft at Windsor, NS on October 20, 1917 and departed for England one month later.

Cecil James Cohoon in later life.
Shortly after arriving overseas, Cecil fell ill. Admitted to Windlesham Court Hospital, Sunningdale, on December 30, he was diagnosed with “acute pericarditis.” Cecil remained under medical care for several months, during which time military authorities determined that his heart was enlarged and that he was suffering from VDH (valvular disease of the heart). On June 26, 1918, Cecil was invalided to Canada, where two months later he was discharged as “medically unfit.”

Cecil returned to Canso and resumed work as a fisherman. On November 4, 1920, he married Rose Amanda Eustace. The couple raised a family of nine children in their Canso home. Cecil James Cohoon passed away at Camp Hill Hospital, Halifax, NS on January 3, 1951 and was laid to rest in Canso, NS.


8. Asa Harrington “Harry” Lumsden (1263873) was born at Canso, Guysborough County on November 2, 1887, the fourth of James Robert and Annie Rebecca (McLellan) Lumsden’s seven children. Harry’s younger brother, Percy, enlisted with the 48th Battalion at Victoria, BC on March 1, 1915. The unit was re-designated the 3rd Pioneer Battalion in January 1916 and crossed the English Channel to France in early March, Tragically, Percy was killed by artillery fire near Ypres, Belgium on April 16, 1916.

Pte. Asa Harrington "Harry" Lumsden
A second younger brother, Clarence Basil “Bill,” enlisted with the 25th Battalion at Halifax, NS on February 11, 1915. Bill volunteered for stretcher bearer duty while the unit was in England and subsequently earned the Military Medal for bravery in mid-June 1916 while evacuating wounded soldiers during fighting at Hill 60, near Ypres, Belgium. On October 1, 1916, while retrieving wounded soldiers from the battlefield at Thiepval Ridge, France, a machine gun bullet struck Bill in the left elbow. He was quickly evacuated to 4th General Hospital, Camiers, where surgeons amputated his left arm above the elbow joint. Bill was invalided to England in mid-October and returned Canada in mid-February 1917. He was officially discharged from military service on July 31, 1917.

Considering his brothers’ fate and his age, Harry’s decision to enlist was perhaps somewhat surprising. He had a secure job as labor foreman at A. N. Whitman’s, Canso, but was determined to serve his country. On October 23, 1917, Harry attested with the Nova Scotia Forestry and Construction Draft at Windsor, NS. He departed from Halifax aboard SS Canada on November 9 and landed at Liverpool, England 10 days later.

On December 24, Harry was transferred to the 21st Reserve Infantry Battalion. He spent the winter with the unit before receiving a transfer to the 10th Battalion (Calgary Highlanders) on April 7, 1918. The following day, he became the third member of his family to set foot in France during the war. Harry joined his new unit in the field on April 16 and served in the forward area throughout the summer of 1918.

In early August, the Canadian Corps participated in a major Allied counter-offensive, commencing at Amiens on August 8 and continuing at Arras on August 28. The 10th Battalion saw action in both battles and was in the line at Canal du Nord, near Cambrai, on September 27 for its third major engagement in less than two months. The following day, Harry was wounded in the ankle and invalided to England.

Harry remained in hospital for six weeks before being discharged to the Canadian Convalescent Depot on November 11, 1918. He rejoined the 21st Reserve Battalion’s ranks in mid-January 1919 and departed for Canada aboard HMT Princess Juliana on February 8, 1919. Harry was officially discharged from military service at Halifax on March 8 and returned home to Canso.

Harry resumed his position at A. N. Whitman for several years, but eventually opened his own grocery, confectionary and meat store in the community, in partnership with a friend. On September 29, 1927, Harry married Verna Lewis. He was later appointed to the office of Postmaster, a position he held until his untimely death from complications related to a stroke on April 24, 1948. Harry and Verna had no children.


9. Charles Hadden Spurgeon Sinclair (2303932) was born at Goshen, Guysborough County on April 23, 1893, the seventh of William and Mary (Polson) Sinclair’s 10 children and one of four brothers who enlisted for military service during the First World War. Charlie, as he was known to family, his brother William “Bill,” and a cousin, John Huntley Sinclair, were working in ore mines near Lowell, Arizona in June 1917 when they registered for the United States military draft. Rather than serve with American units, the trio chose to return to Canada and voluntarily enlist.

Left to right: Sinclair brothers James "Jimmy," Peter, Bill & Charlie.
While Bill headed west to British Columbia, Charlie Sinclair travelled to Nova Scotia, where he attested with the Nova Scotia Construction and Forestry Depot at Windsor on October 16, 1917. He departed from Halifax aboard SS Canada on November 9 and landed at Liverpool, England 10 days later. While Charlie initially reported to the Canadian Forestry Corps (CFC) Headquarters at Sunningdale, he never served with a CFC unit.

On December 21, Charlie was transferred to the 21st Reserve Infantry Battalion and commenced training for service in France. On April 7, 1918, Charlie was assigned to the 49th Battalion. Initially recruited in Edmonton, AB, the 49th had arrived in France with the 3rd Canadian Division’s 7th Brigade in October 1915 and served alongside the Royal Canadian Regiment (RCR), Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) and 42nd Battalion (Royal Highlanders of Canada, Montreal, QC) for the duration of the war.

The day following his transfer, Charlie crossed the English Channel to France and joined the 49th in the forward area on April 16. In early August, the Canadian Corps participated in a major attack on the German line east of Amiens, the beginning of a major Allied counter-offensive. The 49th’s soldiers participated in the August 8 attack and remained in the field for four days as units made significant gains.

Before month’s end, the battalion participated in a second major attack east of Arras. Once again, the 49th participated in the opening stage launched on August 26 and remained in the line for four days. After several days’ rest, the 49th returned to the forward area near Vis-en-Artois on the night of September 4 and re-entered the front trenches the following night. Its soldiers endured heavy artillery fire throughout the next several days.

On September 8, Charlie was admitted to a casualty clearing station for treatment of a shrapnel wound to his right arm. Two days later, he was evacuated to Étaples, where he was admitted to No. 26 General Hospital. His injuries proved to be slight and Charlie was discharged to a nearby Convalescent Depot on September 12. Five days later, he proceeded to St. Martin’s Rest Camp. On September 25, Charlie reported to the Canadian Corps Reinforcement Centre, where he waited less than a week before receiving orders to return to his unit.

Charlie rejoined the 49th in the field on October 3 and served with the battalion for the duration of the war. One month after the November 11 Armistice, he fell ill and was hospitalized at Étaples with influenza on December 13. Discharged on Christmas Eve 1918, Charlie returned to England on January 13, 1919 and reported to the Alberta Regimental Depot, Bramshott. He departed for Canada aboard HMT Celtic on March 10 and landed at Halifax after a six-day passage. Charlie Sinclair was formally discharged from military service on March 30, 1919.

Following his return to civilian life, Charlie married Violet Hodgson and eventually settled at Portage La Prairie, MB, where he worked as a lineman. The couple raised a family of two sons, Huntley and Vernon. No information is presently available on Charlie’s passing.

Charlie's youngest brother, James Murray Sinclair, served overseas with the 85th Battalion from July 1917 until late October 1918, when he was hospitalized near Valenciennes, France for treatment of tonsillitis. Invalided to England, his health worsened and James returned to Canada. He eventually died of tuberculosis at Halifax on August 14, 1919. Bantry Publishing’s “First World War Honour Roll of Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, Volume II: 1918 - 1937” contains a detailed summary of James' story.


10. John Huntley Sinclair (2303933) was born at South River Lake, Guysborough County on August 5, 1889, the eighth of Andrew and Christina “Christy” (Stewart) Sinclair’s nine children and one of three brothers who enlisted for military service during the First World War. Huntley was working with two cousins in ore mines near Lowell, Arizona when he registered for the United States military draft in June 1917.

Rather than serve with American forces, he accompanied one cousin, Charlie Sinclair, back home, where the pair enlisted with the Nova Scotia Construction and Forestry Depot at Windsor, NS on October 16, 1917. Their consecutive attestation numbers indicate that they stood in line together on the day of their enlistment, and their military service throughout the war followed the same paths.

On November 9, Huntley departed Halifax aboard HMT Canada and landed at Liverpool, England 10 days later. While he initially reported to the Canadian Forestry Corps’ Sunningdale Headquarters, Huntley accompanied his cousin, Charlie, to the 21st Reserve Battalion on December 24 and commenced training for infantry service in France.

The cousins were assigned to the 49th Battalion (Edmonton, AB) on April 7, 1918 and crossed the English Channel to France the following day. After a brief wait at the Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp, Huntley accompanied Charlie to the forward area, joining the 49th’s ranks on April 14. Huntley served with the unit throughout the remainder of the war, participating in the major engagements of the Canadian Corps’ “100 Days”at Amiens, Arras and Cambrai. On October 1, he was received a promotion to the rank of Corporal.

Before month’s end, Huntley “proceeded on course to 1st Army Sniping School” and thus was not in the line for the final two weeks of fighting. He rejoined the 49th on November 12 and remained on the continent until February 8, 1919, at which time the battalion returned to England. One month later, Huntley departed for Canada aboard SS Adriatic and was formally discharged at Halifax on March 15, 1919.

Sometime after his return to Canada, Huntley married Florence Koehler, a native of Patterson, NJ. The couple eventually settled in Vancouver, BC, where they had at least one son, Ralph Leonard. Huntley Sinclair passed away at Shaughnessy Hospital, Vancouver, on February 13, 1965.


11. John Edward Worth (2303945) was born at Ogden, Guysborough County on May 7, 1895, the oldest of Edward King and Katherine Ann “Kelly” (McCallum) Worth’s 11 children. John was residing at New Glasgow when he enlisted with the Nova Scotia Railway Construction & Forestry Draft at Windsor, NS on October 20, 1917. No further details are available on his military service, although military records currently available online refer to his rank as “Sapper,” suggesting service with a Canadian Railway Troops or Canadian Engineer unit.

Following his discharge, John returned to Pictou County, where he worked in the local coal mines. On May 22, 1928, he married Mary Agnes MacDougall, a native of Bridgeville, Pictou County, in a ceremony held at Trenton, NS. No further information is available on John’s later life.

John’s younger brother, Joseph Ernest, also enlisted with the Canadian Forestry Corps and served in the Bordeaux region of France with No. 72 Company, CFC. After returning to England in January 1919, Ernie fell ill and passed away from a combination of influenza and pneumonia at Eastbourne, England on February 4, 1919. Bantry Publishing’s “First World War Honour Roll of Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, Volume II: 1918 - 1937” contains a detailed description of Ernie Worth’s overseas service.


12. Cecil Otis Boyd (2303957) was born at Canso, Guysborough County on June 26, 1884, the second of Isaiah Hatfield and Sarah Jane (Gregory) Boyd’s four children. As a young man, Cecil worked as a cable operator with the Commercial Cable Company, Hazel Hill. His father Isaiah, a stone mason by trade and a native of Argyle, Yarmouth County, passed away at Canso on March 20, 1910, while his widowed mother, Sarah Jane, died at Canso on January 8, 1916.

On October 23, 1917, Cecil enlisted for military service with the Nova Scotia Railway Construction and Forestry Draft at Windsor, NS. He departed from Halifax aboard SS Canada on November 9 and landed at Liverpool, England 10 days later. Cecil reported to the Canadian Railway Troops Depot, Purfleet, England, where the new arrivals underwent a thorough medical examination. According to a report contained in his service file, Cecil was “thin [and] slightly anaemic” and had “never done manual labour.” Doctors also reported “considerable tachycardia.”

As a result, officials determined that Cecil was “fit for Base Duty” only and he remained at Purfleet throughout the duration of his overseas service. On December 12, 1918, Cecil departed for Canada aboard HMTS Corsican. He arrived at Halifax on Christmas Day 1918 and was formally discharged from military service on January 18, 1919.

Following his discharge, Cecil returned to Canso, where he worked as a book-keeper. On November 18, 1924, he married Flora McPherson, a native of Port Morien, in a ceremony held at Glace Bay, NS. The couple had at least one child, a daughter Elfreda, who tragically died of bronchitis on January 2, 1939 at 13 years of age. Flora passed away at Aberdeen Hospital, New Glasgow, NS on March 7, 1940, the result of breast cancer. Cecil spent his remaining years at Canso, where he passed away in 1972. He was laid to rest in All Saints Anglican Cemetery, Canso, alongside his wife and daughter.


13 & 14. George Stewart Cameron (2100917) was born on February 18, 1899, at New Chester, Guysborough County, a small community located along the Ecum Secum River, near the Halifax County line. His older brother, John Duncan Cameron (2100916), was born on February 25, 1897. The siblings were the youngest of John and Lucinda (Bezanson) Cameron’s seven children. Sometime before 1911, their father passed away and the boys were taken in by their maternal uncle, James Bezanson. Their mother, Lucinda, married Garnet H. Turner, a native of Marie Joseph, at Halifax on September 12, 1912.

By 1917, the brothers had moved to Halifax, where George worked as a plumber and John as a labourer. On October 16, 1917. the pair enlisted with No. 10 Siege Battery at Halifax. They departed from Halifax aboard SS Canada on February 5, 1918 and arrived at Liverpool, England 11 days later. George and John made their way to Camp Witley, where they trained for three months before receiving a transfer to the Canadian Garrison Artillery’s Reserve Brigade on May 23, 1918. One month later, the brothers proceeded to France for service with a heavy artillery unit.

On July 9, George and John were assigned to the 2nd Brigade, Canadian Garrison Artillery and proceeded to the forward area. For unspecified reasons—perhaps their age—the brothers returned to the Canadian Corps Reinforcement Centre’s Artillery Pool on July 27 and remained there until December 30, 1918, when they were assigned to the 3rd Brigade, Canadian Garrison Artillery.

The siblings returned to England on April 2, 1919 and departed for Canada aboard HMT Mauritania one month later. George and John were discharged from military service at Halifax on May 14, 1919. Throughout their military service, both assigned a portion of their monthly pay to their mother, Lucinda.

Following his discharge, George returned to the Ecum Secum area, where he lived with his mother, Lucinda, and step-father, Garnet Turner. On October 26, 1921, he married Emma Maude Mailman, a native of Liscomb Mills. The couple raised a family of two children while George operated Cameron’s Garage at Ecum Secum. He passed away on September 22, 1989 and was laid to rest in Riverside Cemetery, Necum Teuch.

John also returned to Guysborough following his discharge and resided with his mother and step-father. On June 16, 1920, he married Alice Jean Publicover, a native of Ecum Secum, in a ceremony held at Halifax. The couple welcomed their first child, a son Allister, within a year of their marriage. John worked as a farmer and lumberman in the Ecum Secum area. He passed away on February 22, 1973 and was laid to rest in St. James Anglican Church Cemetery, New Chester, Guysborough County.


15. James Edward Tate (2303956) was born at Canso, Guysborough County on December 15, 1891, the elder of Henry Lewis and Elizabeth R. “Libbie” (Dickoff) Tate’s two sons.  Libbie passed away sometime after 1901 and Henry subsequently married Odessa Wilhelmina Simpson, a native of Manchester, Guysborough County, on September 29, 1903.

James attested with the Nova Scotia Construction and Forestry Draft at Windsor, NS on October 23, 1917. At the time of his enlistment, he gave his occupation as “blacksmith and motor work,” James’ father, Henry, was also a blacksmith by trade. No further information is available on James’ military service or later life.


16. Duncan Wendell Stewart (2303972) was born at South River Lake [Argyle], Guysborough County on December 4, 1894, the youngest of John and Christina “Christy” (Henderson) Stewart’s four children. Duncan was also a first cousin to Huntley John Sinclair (number 10 above). On October 27, 1917, Duncan enlisted with the Nova Scotia Construction and Forestry Draft at Windsor, NS. At present, no further details are available on his military service.

Following his discharge, Duncan returned to South River Lake, where he farmed. On June 26, 1923, he married Janet Esther Elsie MacIntosh, a native of Loch Katrine, in a ceremony held at Truro, NS. The couple resided at Loch Katrine. Duncan passed away at Camp Hill Hospital, Halifax on November 23, 1952 and was laid to rest in Kings United Church Cemetery, Loch Katrine, NS.


NOVEMBER 1917:

1. Uriah Furth Mason (VR 5429) was born at Isaac’s Harbour on May 25, 1886, the fourth of Patrick and Harriet C. (Clyburne) Mason’s nine children. Furth was a seaman by occupation and reportedly served aboard CS Mackay-Bennett, a Commercial Cable Company cable repair ship that recovered the majority of bodies after the April 1912 sinking of the ocean liner Titanic.

On November 6, 1917, Furth enlisted with the Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve (RNCVR). He initially served at Halifax with HMCS Niobe. On May 31, 1918, he was assigned to HMCS Guelph, the vessel on which he served until February 1, 1919. During his naval service, Furth was conscripted into military service (3181288) on March 25, 1918. Officials initially reported him as a “deserter” until discovering he had joined the navy.

Furth was discharged from military service on April 12, 1919 and returned to his civilian career as a mariner. On June 11, 1924, he married Hallie Evelyn Crooks, a native of Seal Harbour, in a ceremony held at Antigonish. The couple raised a family of five children—one daughter and four sons—in their Isaac’s Harbour home. Uriah Furth Mason passed away in April 1970 and was laid to rest in Isaac’s Harbour United Baptist Church Cemetery.


2. Andrew Irvin Jack (2655643) was born at Gegogan, Guysborough County on May 21, 1894, the third of Alfred and Esther Jane (Mailman) Jack’s five children. Alfred passed away on September 12, 1912, leaving his widow to care for their three youngest children. Andrew worked in the local fishery to support the family.

Pte. Andrew Irvin Jack, 85th Battalion.
On November 7, 1917, Andrew was conscripted into the 85th Battalion Reinforcement Draft under the terms of the Military Service Act (1917). Less than a month later, he departed from Halifax aboard SS Metagama and arrived at Liverpool, England after a 10-day passage. Andrew was immediately assigned to the 17th Reserve Battalion, the unit that provided reinforcements for Nova Scotian infantry units in the field. He spent the winter of 1917-18 training in England, finally receiving orders to report for duty with the 85th Battalion on April 7, 1918.

The following day, Andrew crossed the English Channel to France and joined the 85th in the field on May 4. With the exception of a brief period in hospital for treatment of a hernia in early June, he served in the field with the 85th Battalion for the duration of the war. The unit saw action at Amiens (August 8), Arras (August 26) and Cambrai (September 27) as the Canadian Corps participated in a major counter-offensive that eventually led to the November 11, 1918 Armistice.

Andrew remained in Belgium with the 85th throughout the winter of 1918-19. The battalion returned to England on May 4, 1919 and departed for Canada aboard HMT Adriatic at month’s end. Andrew landed at Halifax on June 7 and was discharged from military service at mid-month. He returned to Gegogan, where he took up residence with his widowed mother, younger brother Walter, and sister Lizzie.

On March 30, 1924, Andrew married Margaret Florence Fernandez, a native of the Sherbrooke area. The couple eventually established residence at Sonora, where they raised a family of 11 children—six boys and five girls. Andrew Irvin Jack passed away on April 17, 1987 and was laid to rest in Riverside Cemetery, Sonora.


3. Charles William “Charlie” Marr (3233293) was born at Boylston, Guysborough County on April 16, 1896, the fourth of Lawrence M. and Mary Amanda (McPherson) Marr’s 10 children. Charlie and his younger brother, Michael James, enlisted with the Composite Battalion at Halifax, NS in March 1916, but soon had second thoughts and were “struck off strength” in mid-July. While Michael returned to Guysborough County, Charlie eventually departed for Ontario, where he was drafted into military service at Toronto on November 11, 1917, under the terms of the Military Service Act (1917).
On April 8, 1918, Charlie departed from Halifax aboard HMT Tunisian and arrived at Liverpool, England after an 11-day passage. Assigned to the 12th Reserve Battalion (Ontario) upon arrival, Charlie spent the spring and early summer in training. On August 15, he was assigned to the 75th Battalion (Mississauga, ON) and crossed the English Channel to France. Charlie joined the unit in the forward area on September 3.

Charlie arrived at the front in the midst of a major Allied counter-offensive, launched in early August near Amiens, France. Canadian units were in the midst of their second major engagement in less than a month, registering significant gains east of Arras. Following its conclusion, Canadian units spent several weeks preparing for their next major assignment—an attack on Canal du Nord, near the city of Cambrai.

On the evening of September 26, the 75th assumed its designated assembly position, in preparation for an attack scheduled for the following morning. Charlie and his comrades were in the line at 5:20 a.m. September 27 as forward units attacked Canal du Nord. The 75th and its 11th Brigade comrades advanced behind the first wave of attacking units and prepared for their assignment—an attack on Bourlon Wood scheduled for later in the morning.

The 75th remained in reserve while its three Brigade mates—the 54th, 87th and 102nd Battalions—successfully captured their initial objectives by mid-afternoon. The 75th’s soldiers assisted their comrades in establishing a new defensive line before nightfall. Following a day of inactivity while other units continued the advance, the 11th Brigade returned to support positions behind the front line. On the morning of September 30, the 75th’s soldiers prepared for their first combat at Cambrai.

At precisely 6:00 a.m., the unit’s soldiers advanced with artillery support and immediately encountered intense machine-gun fire that inflicted heavy casualties. While the unit successfully reached its objective—a section of the Cambrai-Douai railway cutting and an adjacent sunken road—the unit on its right flank failed to keep pace. As a result, the 75th was subjected to heavy fire on its exposed flank and eventually retreated to a secure location. Throughout the remainder of the day, the soldiers endured fierce artillery shelling.

The 75th remained in the line throughout the following day, withdrawing to a position south of Bourlon Wood on the evening of October 1. The battalion suffered significant losses during its September 30 attack—eight Officers were killed and 16 wounded, while 85 of its “other ranks” (OR) were killed and 280 wounded. Charlie Marr was one of the day’s fatalities, “killed while taking part in the attack southeast of Sancourt.” He was laid to rest in Canada Cemetery, Tilloy-lez-Cambrai, France.

Pte. Charlie Marr's headstone, Canada Cemetery.
 Bantry Publishing’s “First World War Honour Roll of Guysborough County, Volume II: 1918 - 1935” contains a detailed description of Charle’s family background and military experience.


4. Lawrence Grady (2522470) was born on February 28, 1889, the youngest of four children born to Michael and Catherine (Chisholm) Grady, St. Francis Harbour, Guysborough County. Sometime before 1911, Lawrence relocated to Montreal, where he found employment as an insurance inspector.

On November 29, 1917, Lawrence was conscripted into service with the 79th Battery, Canadian Field Artillery (CFA), under the terms of the Military Service Act (1917). He departed Canada aboard SS Saxonia on February 18, 1918 and arrived at Liverpool, England two weeks later. Assigned to the CFA’s  Reserve Brigade, Lawrence spent six months in England before proceeding to France on October 8 as part of an Artillery Reinforcement Draft. At month’s end, he was assigned to the 79th Battery, 8th Army Brigade, CFA, as a “Driver.”

Lawrence joined his unit in the field on November 1, 1918. Nine days later, he was admitted to No. 10 Canadian Field Ambulance for treatment of a shrapnel wound to his back. His wounds proved to be minor and he was vacuated to No. 1 Casualty Clearing Station before day’s end. Lawrence was discharged to duty on November 14. Four days later, he rejoined the 79th Battery in the field.

On March 2, 1919, Lawrence returned to England with his unit. Three weeks later, he boarded HMT Northland for the return voyage to Canada. Upon arriving at Halifax on April 5, he boarded a train for Montreal, where he was discharged from military service on April 7, 1919. Lawrence gave his proposed address as “29 Hutchinson St., Montreal.” No further information is available on his post-war life, although one available document suggests that Lawrence relocated to the United States, passing away at Salem MA on May 14, 1981.

DECEMBER 1917:

1. Isaac Norman Fanning (4000071) was born at Isaac’s Harbour, Guysborough County on March 16, 1891, the sixth of Isaac Henry and Emma Elizabeth (McMillan) Fanning’s seven children. Sometime after 1911, Norman relocated to Ontario, where he worked aboard Great Lakes freighters.

On December 3, 1917, Norman was conscripted into service at London, ON, under the terms of the Military Service Act (1917). At the time of his enlistment, he was working aboard SS Sarnolite, an Imperial Oil Company vessel that operated out of Sarnia, ON. Norman had completed his medical examination on October 15, at which time he received a clean bill of health. Prior to his attestation, however, he developed pleurisy and pneumonia. A note on his medical records also indicated that Norman had “flat feet.”

As a result of his health issues, on December 28, Norman received a “leave of absence without pay indefinitely.” Military authorities cancelled his leave on January 12 and Norman reported for duty with the 1st Depot Battalion, Western Ontario Regiment. Perhaps due to concerns with his health, he remained in Canada for the duration of the war and was formally discharged from military service on January 25, 1919.

Norman continued to work on Great Lakes freighters following his discharge, although it appears that he occasionally returned home to Guysborough County. On July 21, 1921, he married Cassie Blanche Sinclair, a native of Goshen. The couple subsequently raised a family of two sons, Charles and James, while Norman worked on the freighters. On February 8, 1932, Isaac Norman Fanning passed away at Isaac’s Harbour following two years of poor health. He was laid to rest in Isaac’s Harbour United Baptist Cemetery.

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