161st Battalion Diary – December 20, 1915

Enlistments – December 20, 1915

Seven men enlisted on December 20, 1915 in the 161st Huron Battalion. One of these six men did not return home at war’s end.

654023, CORNWALL, (Pte.) William Francis, “A” Company enlisted at Wroxeter. His next of kin was Mrs. Sarah J. Cornwall of Wroxeter. Further information from the 1916 Huron Overseas roll indicated that William Cornwall acquired prior military duty in service with the 2nd Regiment.

654037, FOX, (L. Sgt.) Robert Edward Stuart, “A” Company enlisted in Brussels. His next of kin was James Fox of Brussels, ON.

654056, KIRK, (Pte.) James Vincent, “B” Company enlisted in Goderich. He may have been with “B” Company at Camp Borden in the summer and fall of 1916 but he has not yet been identified in the WWI photo of Goderich’s Own. The name of his next of kin on the 1916 overseas roll was Mrs. Jessie Ball, Perry Barr, Birmingham, England.

654066, MARTIN, (Cpl.) Herbert William, “C” Company enlisted at Clinton. His next of kin was Mrs. Ellen J. Martin, 642, 11th Ave. E., Vancouver, British Columbia. Further information from the 1916 Overseas Roll indicated that Cpl. H.W. Martin served with the 99th Regiment.

654084, RILEY, (Pte.) Francis Bolton, “B” Company enlisted at Goderich where he lived before and after the war. His next of kin was Mrs. L. Riley of Goderich and his country of birth was listed as England. Prior to WWI, Pte. F.B. Riley had been a member of the 33rd Hurons. Wile serving with the 161st in Ontario and overseas, Private Frank Riley’s army job was cooking. He was pictured with Goderich’s Own, in a cook’s uniform, kneeling in the 2nd row, fifth from the left.

654109, WALLER, (Pte.) Harry, “A” Company enlisted in Wroxeter. His next of kin was Mrs. K.M. Waller of Wroxeter and his country of birth was England. Harry Waller had former military experience with the Imperial Forces.

Harry Waller was member of the 161st “A” Company detachment in Wroxeter and was pictured with Wrox. Own standing in the back row, ninth from the left. This WWI photo was featured in the Wingham Advance-Times November 11th edition in 1979.

654004, BALL, (Pte.) James Fidas enlisted in Brussels, On with the 161st Battalion on December 20, 1915. His next of kin was his son, James Ball Jr. who was a farmer in Wroxeter, as was Pte. James F. Ball.

James Fidas Ball was born on November 1, 1870 in  Fermanagh, Ireland and had immigrated to Canada. He was a 46 year old farmer and a widower with over 25 years of military training, 23 years with the 33rd Huron regiment and 2 years with the #28 Perth regiment. He was 5’ 11” tall with a dark complexion, brown eyes and dark hair. Upon enlistment he had a scar at the root of his nose. He was Church of England in faith.

On March 6, 1916, Pte. James Ball was transferred to the provincial school of instruction in  Clinton, Ontario. Due to exposure to damp weather, Pte. J. F. Ball was sent to hospital due to constant aching in his shoulders and legs, as well as pain when moving. At hospital, it was determined that he did not have a heart lesion.

Pte. Ball did not go overseas with the 161st Huron Battalion due to the hospitalization and difficulties he experience. He was deemed medically unfit for service in the fall of 1916 and honourably discharged on December 14, 1916. It was noted in his records that he displayed very good conduct and had been given a Long Service decoration through the Canadian Auxiliary Forces as well as a War Service Badge (#6091, “C” Class).