Day After Boxing Day – 5 Enlist

161st Battalion Diary – December 27, 1915

Enlistments – December 27, 1915

Five men enlisted on December 27, 1915 in the 161st Huron Battalion.

654145, DICK, (C.Q,M.S.) Thomas Henry, “D” Company enlisted at Seaforth. His next of kin was John Dick of Seaforth, ON. Company Quarter-Master (CQMS) Thomas Dick had prior military experience with the 33rd Huron Regiment.

654031, FARRANT, (Pte.) James Harold, “C” Company enlisted in Clinton. Private James Farrant was a native of England, but lived at R.R. 2, Clinton at time of enlistment. His next of kin was Henry Samuel Farrant.

654039, GOSLEIGH, (Pte.) Alexander James, “C” Company, joined the 161st’s C Company at Clinton. His next of kin was Thirza Gosleigh of Clinton, ON.

654134, PIERCE, (Pte.) Harry Edward, bandsman, enlisted in Seaforth. His next of kin was George A. Sills, Seaforth, ON. The United States was his country of birth.

F. Sills wrote that “Private H. Pierce was born and raised in Chicago, however after a disastrous fire, the Pierce family was left homeless. Mr. F. Sills (Sr.) being a maternal uncle, adopted one of his nephews, Harry, and gave the boy a home in Seaforth. As a youth, Harry clerked in  Pickard’s Dry Goods Store in Seaforth.  When the 161st was established, he enlisted with it. After his overseas army duty, Harry returned  to his pre-Great War occupation, clerking in a Seaforth store.”

While serving with the 161st, at camps in Canada and overseas, Private H. E. Pierce was a member of the unit’s brass band. He was pictured with the band at Camp Borden with his instrument, the snare drum, standing at the extreme right.

654108, VANSTONE, (Pte.) William Lloyd, “B” Company joined the 161st detachment at Goderich. His next of kin was Mrs. Minnie Vanstone of Berlin (Kitchener), ON. Private William L. Vanstone was pictured with Goderich’s Own kneeling in the second row, eleventh from the left. (Identified by 161ster A.C. Ward of Windsor, ON)

December 25, 1915 – WWI Didn’t Stop for Christmas

161st Battalion Diary – December 25, 1915

Enlistments – December 25, 1915

One man enlisted on December 25, 1915 in the 161st Huron Battalion.

654017, CONSIGNEY, (Pte.) Charles, “D” Company who joined the 161st detachment at Seaforth. His next of kin was Charles Consigney, Seaforth.

Seaforth correspondent and 161st newsletter subscriber, F. Sills, when writing in November 1980 included the name of Private C. “Sonny” Consigney as a member a group of 161sters pictured in a Seaforth’s Own photo. This WWI photograph hangs in the Seaforth Legion Hall.

Huron Homefront – December 25, 1915

Enlisted Huron Residents

Robert W. Masters, who enlisted in Toronto a few weeks ago, was expecting to leave for England in a draft of troops before the end of December.

10 Men Enlist for 161st on Dec. 24, 1916

161st Huron Battalion Diary – December 24, 1915

Commissions – December 24, 1915

On December 24, 1915, two officers were added to the strength of the 161st Huron Battalion.

CptCVanstoneVANSTONE, (Captain) Charles Garfield was commissioned in Wingham. His next of kin was Mrs. Grace C. Vanstone of 446 Indian Road, Toronto, ON.

Prior to WWI, Capt. Charles G. Vanstone served with the 33rd Huron Regiment.

He was pictured with the 161st officers in Clinton, seated in the third row at the extreme right.

GRIEVE, (Lieutenant) William Pearson was commissioned in Clinton. His next of kin was Dr. John Grieve of Seaforth. Lt. William P. Grieve had prior military duty with the 33rd Hurons.

Lieut. William Grieve was pictured with the 161st officers at Clinton in the top row to the extreme right. While overseas in England, Lieut. William Grieve was pictured with his mount, Jim and this snap, which originated from 161st bandsman, A. Rollinson’s photo album, was included in the original manuscript of Huron Overseas.

Enlistments – December 24, 1915

On December 24, 1915, eight enlisted men were added to the strength of the 161st Huron Battalion.

654043, HERMAN, (Pte.) William Thomas, Bandsman, enlisted in Clinton, his hometown before and after the war. His next of kin was Mrs. Ellen Herman of Clinton.

While a member of the 161st military brass band, Private Tom Herman played the baritone horn at training centres in Ontario and overseas. He was pictured with the 161st band at Camp Borden.

654048, HOFFMAN, (Pte.) James Alexander, “A” Company enlisted in Wroxeter, his hometown before and after WWI. His next of kin was Mrs. Elizabeth Hoffman of Wroxeter.

Private James A. Hoffman was pictured with Wroxeter’s Own, kneeling in the middle row, sixth from the left.

654053, JOHNSTON, (Pte.) John Aitken, “A” Company enlisted at Brussels. His next of kin was George Johnston of R.R. 2, Bluevale, ON.

Mrs. Gordon Simmons of Wingham was a surviving sister of John A. Johnston.

654062, MINER, (Pte.) John Walter, “C” Company, enlisted at Clinton. His next of kin was Mrs. Myrtle Miner of Clinton, ON. He acquired prior military duty with the 7th Regiment.

654089, SHIELS, (Pte.) Melvin Robert, “A” Company, enlisted in Brussels. His next of kin was Mrs. James Parish of Brussels, ON. Private M. Shiels was pictured with “A” Company in a 1967 reprint of the photo for a 50th Vimy Ridge anniversary feature in the Wingham Advance Times.

654090, SINCLAIR, (Corporal) Ronald Mansfield, “A” Company, enlisted in Brussels. His next of kin was Mrs. Irene A. Sinclair of Brussels, ON. Further information from the 1916 Overseas Roll indicates that Cpl. Ronald Sinclair had prior military experience with the 6th Regiment at Guelph.

654103, THIBIDEAU, (Pte.) Steven Howard, “A” Company, enlisted at Brussels. His next of kin was Gilbert Thibideau of Brussels, ON.

654105 PteThosThompson654105, THOMPSON, (Pte.) Thomas, “A” Company, enlisted in Wroxeter. His next of kin was Mrs. Elizabeth Thompson of Wroxeter, ON. As a native of Scotland, Private Tom Thompson was a member of the 161st detachment at Wroxeter and was pictured with Wroxeter’s Own standing in the back row, at the extreme right.

161st Battalion Commissions Another Officer

161st Battalion Diary – December 23, 1915

Commissions – December 23, 1915

One officer was commissioned on December 23, 1915 in the 161st Huron Battalion.

Lieut WF ScottSCOTT, (Lieutenant) Walter Frank was commissioned on December 23, 1915. He was pictured as a member of Blyth’s Own, standing in the back row, eighth from the left. His next of kin was Peter Scott, Brussels. Walter Frank Scott had prior military experience with the 33rd Regiment. At Clinton, where he received his commission, he was pictured in the Spring of 1916 with the 161st officers, seated in the front row, fourth from the left.

Prior to WWI, Walter Scott was a public school teacher.

Enlistments – December 23, 1915

Two men enlisted on December 23, 1915 in the 161st Huron Battalion. One of these two men did not return home at war’s end.

654025, CRAMER, (Pte.) John, “C” Company, enlisted in Clinton. His next of kin was John Cramer of Paris, Ontario. Private John Cramer served previously with a Canadian militia unit.

654166, RUFFELL, (Pte.) Clifford William, “D” Company enlisted in Seaforth. His next of kin was Mrs. E. Ruffell of March Cottage, Sussex, England.

161st Battalion – Another officer commissioned

161st Battalion Diary – December 22, 1915

Commissions – December 22, 1915

One officer was commissioned on December 22, 1915 in the 161st Huron Battalion.

Lieut RA WalterWALTER, (Lieutenant) Royland Allen who, after the 161st was authorized, returned from Osgoode Hall (law school) in Toronto to Huron County to receive his Lieutenancy on December 22, 1915. His next of kin on the 1916 overseas roll was William Walter of R.R. 4 Goderich. Prior to WWI, Lt. Roy Walter had served with the 33rd Hurons.

Even before enrolling at the University of Toronto, the Colborne Township boy was a prominent athlete, not only in track and field events but in team sports. He is featured in several pre-WWI hockey and baseball team photos in Goderich, which are part of the collection of the Huron County Museum in Goderich.

Enlistments – December 22, 1915

Two men enlisted on December 22, 1915 in the 161st Huron Battalion.

654006, BARKLEY, (L. Cpl.) William Reynold, “A” Company enlisted at Brussels. His next of kin was George Barkley of Brussels.

654093, SNELL, (Pte.) Stanley John, “B” Company became a member of the 161st Hurons in Clinton. His next of kin was William Snell of Blyth.

Private Stanley Snell was one of two Snell brothers enlisted with the 161st “B” Company. He was photographed with Blyth’s Own kneeling in the third row, sixth from the left. The photograph was published in the 1967 East Wawanosh Centennial History.

December 21, 1915

161st Battalion Diary – December 21, 1915

Commissions – December 21, 1915

Two officers were commissioned on December 21, 1915 in the 161st Huron Battalion.

CLUFF, (Lieut.) Francis Nicholas’ next of kin was Noble Cluff of Seaforth. Prior to WWI, Lieut. Frank Cluff served with the Huron 33rd.

Lt. F.N. Cluff  was photographed with the 161st officers at Clinton, seated in the front row, third from the left.

REID, (Lt.) Dalton LeRoy received his army officer’s commission on December 21, 1915. His next of kin was Mrs. J.F. Reid of Seaforth, ON.

Prior to WWI, Lieut. D.L. Reid had served with the 33rd Hurons. He was pictured with the 161st officers in Clinton seated in the front row, second from the left.

Enlistments – December 21, 1915

On December 21, 1915 there was only one enlistment with the 161st Huron Battalion.

654024, COX, (Pte.) Richard Frederick, “A” Company enlisted in Brussels. His next of kin was Richard Cox of Brussels.

December 20, 1915

161st Battalion Diary – December 20, 1915

Enlistments – December 20, 1915

Seven men enlisted on December 20, 1915 in the 161st Huron Battalion. One of these six men did not return home at war’s end.

654023, CORNWALL, (Pte.) William Francis, “A” Company enlisted at Wroxeter. His next of kin was Mrs. Sarah J. Cornwall of Wroxeter. Further information from the 1916 Huron Overseas roll indicated that William Cornwall acquired prior military duty in service with the 2nd Regiment.

654037, FOX, (L. Sgt.) Robert Edward Stuart, “A” Company enlisted in Brussels. His next of kin was James Fox of Brussels, ON.

654056, KIRK, (Pte.) James Vincent, “B” Company enlisted in Goderich. He may have been with “B” Company at Camp Borden in the summer and fall of 1916 but he has not yet been identified in the WWI photo of Goderich’s Own. The name of his next of kin on the 1916 overseas roll was Mrs. Jessie Ball, Perry Barr, Birmingham, England.

654066, MARTIN, (Cpl.) Herbert William, “C” Company enlisted at Clinton. His next of kin was Mrs. Ellen J. Martin, 642, 11th Ave. E., Vancouver, British Columbia. Further information from the 1916 Overseas Roll indicated that Cpl. H.W. Martin served with the 99th Regiment.

654084, RILEY, (Pte.) Francis Bolton, “B” Company enlisted at Goderich where he lived before and after the war. His next of kin was Mrs. L. Riley of Goderich and his country of birth was listed as England. Prior to WWI, Pte. F.B. Riley had been a member of the 33rd Hurons. Wile serving with the 161st in Ontario and overseas, Private Frank Riley’s army job was cooking. He was pictured with Goderich’s Own, in a cook’s uniform, kneeling in the 2nd row, fifth from the left.

654109, WALLER, (Pte.) Harry, “A” Company enlisted in Wroxeter. His next of kin was Mrs. K.M. Waller of Wroxeter and his country of birth was England. Harry Waller had former military experience with the Imperial Forces.

Harry Waller was member of the 161st “A” Company detachment in Wroxeter and was pictured with Wrox. Own standing in the back row, ninth from the left. This WWI photo was featured in the Wingham Advance-Times November 11th edition in 1979.

654004, BALL, (Pte.) James Fidas enlisted in Brussels, On with the 161st Battalion on December 20, 1915. His next of kin was his son, James Ball Jr. who was a farmer in Wroxeter, as was Pte. James F. Ball.

James Fidas Ball was born on November 1, 1870 in  Fermanagh, Ireland and had immigrated to Canada. He was a 46 year old farmer and a widower with over 25 years of military training, 23 years with the 33rd Huron regiment and 2 years with the #28 Perth regiment. He was 5’ 11” tall with a dark complexion, brown eyes and dark hair. Upon enlistment he had a scar at the root of his nose. He was Church of England in faith.

On March 6, 1916, Pte. James Ball was transferred to the provincial school of instruction in  Clinton, Ontario. Due to exposure to damp weather, Pte. J. F. Ball was sent to hospital due to constant aching in his shoulders and legs, as well as pain when moving. At hospital, it was determined that he did not have a heart lesion.

Pte. Ball did not go overseas with the 161st Huron Battalion due to the hospitalization and difficulties he experience. He was deemed medically unfit for service in the fall of 1916 and honourably discharged on December 14, 1916. It was noted in his records that he displayed very good conduct and had been given a Long Service decoration through the Canadian Auxiliary Forces as well as a War Service Badge (#6091, “C” Class).