How the 161st Started

Maj. NormanTookeSinclair

Major NT Sinclair

Huron 33rd Regiment became  the 161st Huron Battalion. The old Huron 33rd military regiment was transformed by a military order on December 2, 1915 into a new battalion destined for the battlegrounds of Europe. The militia unit, turned battalion, was named the 161st Huron Battalion with Colonel H.B. Combe, the old regimental Colonel in command.

Enlisting and enrolling continued and in a few short weeks the ranks were fairly well filled and drilling began.

Wingham’s new armouries had only been completed at that time and they were utilized as a drilling and training centre for a part of the battalion. The section under the command of
Captain Sinclair – later promoted to Major, was continued in Wingham for 3-4 months. The same method was used at Clinton and Goderich until these units were assembled at Clinton, the battalion headquarters, where further drilling and instructions were carried on.

Commander, Major Norman Tooke Sinclair was photographed with the 161st Huron Battalion army officers in Clinton. Prior to the war, N.T. Sinclair was a manager with The Western Foundry in Wingham, ON. Major Norman Sinclair’s military career included service with the 33rd Hurons, prior to WWI.

A single photo of Major N. Sinclair on page 29 of the Huron War Memorial book featured a caption that read “He later joined the Imperial Army, reverting to a Lieutenant’s pay to do so.” In Miller’s 1935 nominal roll, Neil Sinclair was listed as living in Winnipeg, Manitoba, c/o Harris Abbatoir.

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