161st Battalion Diary – December 8, 1915

Enlistments – December 8, 1915

Four men enlisted on December 8, 1915 in the 161st Huron Battalion. Two of these four men did not return from WWI.

654009, BROWN, (Pte.) Samuel Henry, “C” Company enlisted in Clinton on December 8, 1915. His next of kin was John Brown of Clinton, ON. Prior to enlistment Samuel Brown worked as a laborer in Clinton, ON, which was also where he was born on March 1, 1891. He was 5’ 9” with a dark complexion, brown eyes and brown hair. He was Baptist/Congregationalist in faith.

Private S.H. Brown had prior military experience as a member of a Canadian militia unit

654100, STRAITON, (Sgt.) John Watson, Signals Section enlisted in his hometown of Goderich, ON on December 6, 1915, but his attestation papers were certified on December 8, 1915. His next of kin was  his father, John Straiton, Goderich, ON. Prior to enlistment he worked as a book keeper in Goderich. He was born on December 21, 1894 in Middlesex County. He was 5’ 10” with a medium complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. He was Presbyterian in faith.

Sgt. J.W. Straiton had three years of prior military service with the 33rd Hurons. Soon after his enlistment he was transferred to Clinton where he became a signals instructor. When the Battalion went overseas, Sgt. J.W. Straiton was a member of the 161st’s Sargeants’ Mess and was photographed with them, in the top row, ninth from the left.

654102, TAYLOR, (Pte.) James Thomas, “C” Company enlisted in Clinton on December 8, 1915. His next of kin was his brother, George R. Taylor of Clinton. Prior to the enlistment James Taylor was a laborer in Clinton, where he lived. He was born in Clinton, ON on August 12, 1871. He had no prior military experience. At age 44, he stood 5’ 5.5” tall with a fair complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. He was Church of England in faith.

654115, WESTCOTT, (Pte.) Charles Clarence Victor “D” Company enlisted at Seaforth, his hometown prior to WWI on December 8, 1915. His next of kin was his mother, Mrs. Annie Westcott of Seaforth. Charles Westcott was a bookkeeper prior to enlistment. He had no former military experience. He was born in Seaforth, ON on July 30, 1895. He stood 5’ 3.5” tall, had a fair complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. His attestation papers noted that he had a 1.5” diameter wide circular scar over his left breast and a 3/8” mole on the back of his left thigh. He was Methodist in faith.