161st Battalion Diary – December 9, 1915

Enlistments – December 9, 1915

On December 9, 1915, the following four men enlisted in the 161st Huron Battalion.

654033, FEARON, (Pte) Arthur, “D” Company enlisted with D Company in Seaforth on December 9, 1915. His next of kin was his uncle, Thomas Cronin of Clinton, ON. Arthur Fearon was born on October 18, 1895 in Detroit, Michigan, United States. Prior to the war, he worked as a farmer in the Seaforth area and had no prior military experience. He stood 5’ 7.5” tall with a dark complexion, grey eyes and black hair. He was Roman Catholic in faith.

654055, KERR, (Pte) William John, Bandsman joined the 161st Huron Battalion on December 9, 1915 at his hometown of Seaforth, where he lived before and after WWI. His next of kin was his father, William John Kerr Sr. of Seaforth, ON. Prior to enlistment he worked as a furniture fitter #51 and had no prior military experience. William John Kerr was born in Seaforth on November 11, 1892. He stood 5’ 6.5” with a dark complexion, blueish grey eyes and dark brown hair. It was noted in his attestation papers that he had a scar half an inch long on the left side of his neck, just an inch below his lower jaw. Bill Kerr also had the ends of both second toes congenitally flattened. He was Presbyterian in faith.

Private Bill Kerr was photographed with The Military Musicians at Camp Borden standing in the back row, seventh from the left. He was a trombonist in the Battalion’s brass band.

654059, MANN, (Sgt.) Richard Charles, “A” Company enlisted in Wingham on December 9, 1915, where he was employed as a glove cutter for Gurvey’s Gloveworks prior to the outbreak of WWI. Richard Charles Mann was born on August 19, 1894 in London, England and he went back to England with the 161st Huron Battalion. His next of kin was his father, Richard Charles Mann of Wingham, ON. Dick Mann stood 5’ 7.5” and had a fair complexion, blue eyes and dark hair. He was Church of England in faith.

Sgt. R.C. Mann acquired three years of prior military duty with the 33rd Hurons before he enlisted in WWI. While serving overseas, Sgt. Dick Mann was photographed in the third row, third from the left at Witley Camp in England where photographer A.P. Taylor took the photo in December of 1917.

654082, RANCE, (Sgt.) Charles Henry, “B” Company enlisted at Goderich with B Company on December 9, 1915. Before enlisting Sgt. C.H. Rance was employed at Sharman’s Shoe Store in Goderich as a shoemaker. He continued with this trade while in the army. Charles Rance’s next of kin was his wife, Ester Amelia Rance of Goderich, ON. Charles Henry Rance was born on January 11, 1884 in Maidenhead, England. He stood 5’ 2” tall and had a dark complexion, brown eyes and black hair. He was Church of England in faith.

Sgt. Charles H. Rance has prior military experience as a member of the 31st and 32nd bands.

Huron Homefront – December 9, 1915

161st Huron News

William Holt, a former resident of Jamestown, is “one of the latest persons to enlist in the new Huron County Battalion. He signed up in Wingham and was to commence his duties in the next week,” according to the Brussels Post of Dec, 9, 1915. (He did not enlist with the 161st, his name has not yet surfaced in the attestation papers of the Battalion.)

War Front News & Letters

Harvey Knox, formerly of the 5th line of Morris, went with the first contingent to France. Due to injury from German shrapnel his leg had to be amputated. Harvey recovered and expected to spend Christmas with his mother in Tuxford, Saskatchewan.

Community War Efforts

In Walton, a very large crowd gathered on Tuesday at the Red Cross sewing meeting and supper in the A.O.U.W Hall. Almost $400 was raised in two months.

The Walton’s Women’s Institute and Red Cross Auxiliary raised $135 in November from hosting teas, the Leadbury School concert and donations from S.S. #9 and Mrs. Watts. A shipment of hospital supplies and socks forwarded to Red Cross headquarters in Toronto was valued at $45. And a $100 cheque was sent to Hyman Hall, London, ON. Five Christmas boxes, valued at $3.00 each, were sent to Walton boys currently at the Front – Mr. Taylor, Mr. Cunningham, Mr. Dennison, Mr. McLeod and Mr. McDonald. The two organizations also collected second hand clothing for French relief.

In Belgrave, the Patriotic Society met at the manse Monday evening. They decided to send $100 to Shorncliffe Hospital in England.