161st Huron Battalion Diary – December 6, 1915

Commissions – December 6, 1915

One officer was commissioned on December 6, 1915.

HAYS, (Major) Robert Stanley,  was commissioned on December 6, 1915 at Clinton, ON. Though Robert Stanley Hays was born in Goderich on November 28, 1864, he resided in Seaforth, ON with his wife, Annie M. Hays. He worked in Seaforth as a barrister solicitor. He was a Presbyterian by faith.

He acquired prior military experience while serving as Private, Orderly Room Clerk, Paymaster Clerk, and Paymaster with rank of Major, with the 33rd Huron Regiment. Major R.S. Hayes was pictured with 161st Officers at Clinton in the second row, fourth from the left.

Enlistments – December 6, 1915

Eleven men enlisted on December 6, 1915 in the 161st Huron Battalion. One of these eleven men did not return from battle.

654003, APPLEBY, (Pte.) William James Colton – “C Company” enlisted on December 6, 1915 in his hometown of Clinton, ON. His father, James Appleby of Clinton was listed as his next of kin.

Prior to enlistment William James Colton Appleby was a clerk. He was born on October 27, 1897 in Clinton and was not married. W.J. Appleby was 5’ 5.5” tall with a fair complexion, brown eyes and brown hair. Pte. Bill Appleby became a member of the 161st Huron Battalion’s stretcher-bearers. Private Bill (Duke) Appleby was identified in a photo of the Huron 161st Battalion Stretcher-Bearers kneeling in the Battalion’s front row, 4th from the left by fellow soldier, George Walker, who lived at Holiday Home in Clinton after the war.

654026, CREE, (Sgt.) Lockhart John, “C” Company, enlisted on December 6, 1915 in Clinton. His next of kin was his wife, Mrs. Maggie Cree of Clinton, ON. Sgt. L.J. Cree was born in Houghton, Michigan on June 29, 1875 but by 1915 had lived in Clinton for 33 years

Prior to WWI, Sergeant L.C. Cree was 5’ 7.5” teamster with a fair, ruddy complexion, blue eyes and gray-brown hair. He was 40 years old and worked as a liveryman in Clinton. He supplied carriages and horses to visiting salesmen, as well as delivered goods. He was Presbyterian by faith and was photographed with members in a photo of the 161st Sergeants’ Mess in Witley Camp, England in December 1917.

654027, CRICH (C.S.M) James Onslow, “C” Company  enlisted on December 6, 1915 in Clinton, his hometown, prior to WWI. His wife, Susan Crich, was his next of kin.

James Onslow Crich was born in Clinton, ON on May 14, 1891 and worked there as a mechanic/cabinetmaker until he enlisted. Upon enlistment, he was 5’ 6.75” tall with a ruddy fair complexion, brown eyes and brown hair. He was a Weslayan Methodist by faith.

J.O. Crich was a member of the 33rd Huron Regiment and his regimental number was A1268. His 33rd Huron Regiment attestation paper is included in his WWI digital file at Library and Archives Canada, as is his service record. James Crich enlisted with the 33rd Huron Regiment on April 7, 1915 and had prior military experience with the Canadian militia.


654051 PteRolandHuffman654051, HUFFMAN, (Pte.) Roland, “A” Company
served with a Canadian militia at an October camp with volunteers before his enlistment. Roland Huffman enlisted on December 6, 1915 in Wingham, ON. His father, John Huffman of Wingham, ON was his next of kin.

Pte. Roland Huffman was born on June 25, 1895 in Wingham, where he worked as a finisher at the Western Foundry prior to the WWI. R. Huffman was 5’ 6.5” with a fair complexion, gray eyes and fair hair. He was Methodist by faith.

654065, MORGAN, (Cpl.) William Edward, enlisted on December 6, 1915 in his residence of Clinton, ON and became a member of the 161st Huron Battalion’s brass band. William E. Morgan was born in Liverpool, England on March 17, 1891 and was a farmer prior to enlistment. His mother, Charlotte Morgan of 48 Easton Ave, Eitherland, England, was his next of kin. He stood 5’ 6.5” tall with a dark complexion, brown eyes and black hair. He was of the Methodist faith.

Corporal Bill Morgan is pictured with The 161st Huron Brass Band, seated in the front row, 8th from the left. As a cornetist, he played under band conductor, William Chapman.

654072, O’DONNELL, (Pte.) Martin, “C” Company enlisted on December 6, 1915 at Clinton, his hometown, prior to WWI, where he was born January 2, 1891. Martin O’Donnell, his father, was his next of kin.

Pte. M. O’Donnell worked as a labourer and was 5’ 11” tall with a dark complexion, brown eyes and black hair. He was a Roman Catholic by faith.

654099, STICKLES, (Sgt.) Orin Andrew, “C” Company enlisted on December 6, 1915 at Clinton with C Company. His next of kin was his mother, Mrs. Henrietta McGowan of Stockdale in Northumberland County, Ontario.

Orin Andrew Stickles was a bookkeeper prior to the war and lived in Clinton, Ontario. He had been born on August 28, 1894 in Brighton, Ontario.

O. Stickles was 5’ 7.5” with a fair complexion, grey eyes and light brown hair. He was a member of the Church of England.

654034, FISHER, (Pte.) Stanley Gordon, “C” Company enlisted on December 6, 1915 in Clinton. His next of kin was his father, Geo. G. Fisher of Drayton, Ontario, a village in Wellington County.

Stanley Gordon Fisher was a banker prior to enlistment with no military experienced. Stanley Fisher was born on March 27, 1891 in Drayton, Ontario. He was 5’ 9” with a fair complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. He was a member of the Church of England.

654045, HILL, (Pte.) Edwin Byard, “C” Company enlisted with the 161st Signals Section at Clinton. His next of kin was Mrs. Maud Hill of Clinton, Ontario.

654047, HITCHIN, (Pte.) Percy, “C” Company was a native of England, working in the Clinton area of Huron County when he enlisted on December 6, 1915. His next of kin was his mother, Mrs. Ester Hitchin of 18 Colehook Road, High Street, Walthaminster, London, England.

Before joining the 161st Battalion, he worked as an operator of moving pictures (a projectionist) and lived in Clinton, ON. Percy Hitchin was 5’ 7.5” with a fair complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. He was a member of the Church of England.

654104, THOMPSON, (L. Cpl.) Frederick Greene   joined the 161st Battalion in Clinton, his hometown before and after WWI, on December 6, 1915. His next of kin was Charles W. Thompson of Clinton, ON. Frederick Greene Thompson was born in Middlesex County, Ontario on March 16, 1897 and had no prior military experience. He was 5’ 7.75” with a fair complexion, gray eyes and red hair. He was a Methodist by faith.

Before joining the war, he was enrolled in a medical course at Western Ontario University in London, ON. As a young medical student, Pte. Fred Thompson naturally was encouraged to serve with the stretcher bearers. The battalion’s junior medical officer served under the supervision of (Major) Dr. John Shaw, the 161st Battalion’s senior medical officer.

Pte. Fred G. Thompson was photographed with the 161st Overseas Stretcher Bearers, kneeling in front, third from the left.