161st Huron Battalion Diary – December 10, 1915

Commissions – December 10, 1915

Six officers were commissioned on December 10, 1915 in the 161st Huron Battalion. One did not return the Huron County.


Major H CampbellCAMPBELL, (Major) Herbert
was commissioned as Major Herbert Campbell on December 10, 1915 in Wingham, ON. Herbert Campbell served with the 33rd Hurons prior to WWI, one year as a private and one year as a corporal. His next of kin was his wife, Florence Edna Campbell of Wingham, ON. Prior to enlistment, he worked as the Electrical Superintendent in Wingham, ON. He was born on March 21, 1882 in the Township of East Wawanosh in Huron County, ON and baptized Presbyterian.

His photograph was included in the Huron County War Memorial booklet on page 5 and he was also photographed in the group of 161st Huron Battalion officers in Clinton, ON in the spring of 1916, when the various detachments gathered there for a mobilization exercise. Major Herbert Campbell was the Commander of “B” Company.

Maj. NormanTookeSinclairSINCLAIR, (Major) Norman Tooke was commissioned as a major on December 10, 1915 at Wingham, Ontario. His next of kin was his wife, Mrs. J.I Sinclair of Wingham. Norman Sinclair was an accountant/manager with The Western Foundry in Wingham, ON prior to enlistment. He and his wife were Methodist by faith. N.T. Sinclair was born in Cannington, ON on January 26, 1886.

Major N.T. Sinclair’s prior military experience included 3 years with the 2nd Queen’s Own, 1 1/2 years with the 3rd Victoria Rifles, 1 1/2 years with the 5th Royal Highlanders and 5 1/2 years with the 33rd Huron Regiment.

Major Norman Tooke Sinclair was  featured on page 5 of the Huron War Memorial booklet. A single photo of Major N. Sinclair featured a caption that read “He later joined the Imperial Army, reverting to a Lieutenant’s pay to do so.” He was also photographed with the 161st Huron Battalion army officers in Clinton prior to departure for training.

HALL, (Lieut.) Charles Spooner, was commissioned on December 10, 1915 in Hensall, ON. He was attached to “D” Company (Hensall’s Own). Charles Spooner Hall was born on December 17, 1891 in Clinton, ON. Prior to enlistment he was a bank clerk and lived at R.R. 2 Seaforth, ON. His next of kin was his father, Francis Bernard Hall of R.R. 2, Seaforth, ON. He had prior military experience with the 33rd Huron Regiment and was a volunteer with the 13th Regiment in Hamilton, ON for a year.

Lieut. C. Spooner was photographed with the 161st Huron Battalion detachment in Hensall, seated in the centre row between 161st officer, Wm. Wilson (on his right) and Capt. H.C. Town (on his left).

HOLMES, (Lieut.) Dudley Elwood, of Wingham, was commissioned on December 10, 1915 in Wingham, ON. Dudley Elwood Holmes was born on August 26, 1895 in Goderich, ON. He attended the Church of England. His next of kin was his father,  Dudley Holmes of Wingham, ON. At time of enlistment, he was a student at law, who had acquired prior military experience while training with the 33rd Huron Regiment.

Lt. D.E. Holmes was photographed with the 161st Officers at Clinton in the Spring of 1916.

Lieut HarryClarenceMcLeanMcLEAN, (Lieut.) Harry Clarence was commissioned as a Lieutenant of A Company in Wingham on December 10 in Wingham, ON. Harry Clarence McLean was born on March 20, 1888 in Wingham, ON. Prior to the war, Harry “Hal” McLean worked as a bookkeeper for his father and was involved in many Wingham sports, like hockey and lacrosse. His father and next of kin, John Alexander McLean, owned a lumber and coal business in Wingham and was an initial investor in the Western Foundry. Hal McLean was Presbyterian by faith.

Lieutenant Hal McLean had prior military experience with the 33rd Huron Regiment.

Lieut WB WilsonWILSON, (Lieut.) William Bell, was commissioned on December 10, 1915 in Hensall, ON and was one of Hensall’s Own 161st Huron officers. His next of kin was his father, John McD. Wilson of Hensall, ON. Prior to his appointment to the 161st detachment, Lt. William Wilson was the manager of a chartered bank in Hensall. William Bell Wilson was born on June 30, 1895 in Hay Township, Huron County, ON. He was Methodist by faith.

He was photographed with Hensall’s Own seated in the centre row, eighth from the left. Lieutenant William Bell Wilson had prior military service with the 33rd Huron Regiment.

Enlistments – December 10, 1915

Seven men enlisted in the 161st Huron Battalion on December 10, 1915.

654019, COUNTER, (B.Q.M.S) Morley, “C” Company enlisted in his hometown of Clinton, ON on December 10, 1915. His next of kin was his father, William R. Counter of Clinton, ON. Prior to enlistment, Morley Counter was a shipping clerk and lived in Clinton, ON. He was born November 1, 1891 in Seaforth, ON. Morley Counter was 5’ 10” with a fair complexion, grey eyes and black hair. He was Church of England in faith.

Prior to the Great War, he had served one year with a Canadian militia. His previous army duty enabled him to qualify for the rank of Battalion Quarter-Master Sergeant, a job which involved supply and distribution of guns, ammunition, uniforms and other military equipment.

654035, FORBES, (Sgt.) Allastair MacIntosh, “A” Company enlisted in  Wingham, ON on December 10, 1915. His next of kin was his mother, Mrs. Annie Forbes of Haywood Lanarkshire, Scotland. Prior to enlistment Allastair Forbes was a glove cutter at the Gurney Glove Works in Wingham, ON, where he lived. Allastair MacIntosh Forbes was born on November 22, 1891 in Perth, County of Perth, Canada. He had no prior military experience. A.M. Forbes was 5’ 7.5” in height and had a dark complexion, blue eyes and black hair. He was Presbyterian in faith.

Overseas, Sgt. A.M. Forbes was a member of The 161st Sergeants’ Mess. He was photographed with them at Witley Camp, England in December 1917 standing in the second row, fifth from the left.

654036, FORD, (Cpl.) Frederick Orval, “C” Company was a member of the 161st Sgts. Mess and is pictured at Witley Camp in December 1917 seated in the fourth row at the extreme left.

654088, SCOTT, (L. Cpl.) Goldsmith Thompson was a member of the 161st Battalion’s brass band. He was the brass horn player standing in the back row, second from the left in the WWI Camp Borden photograph. (He was identified by 161st bandsman B. Mundy of Woodstock, who referred to him as Tom Scott). Lance Corporal  Tom Scott enlisted at Seaforth, his hometown before and after the Great War.

654106, THUEL, (Pte.) Ernest Roy, “A” Company enlisted in Brussels, his home village before and after WWI.

654107, TUCKER, (Pte.) Frederick, “D” Company enlisted in Exeter. He was a native of Exmouth, Devon County, England.

654118, WILLIAMS (Pte.), Albert Charles, “A” Company joined the 161st at Wingham, his hometown. The name and address of his next of kin was Harry G. Williams, Wingham.