Lucky Seven Enlist on Leap Year Day

161st Huron Battalion Diary – February 29, 1916

Enlistments – February 29, 1916

Seven men enlisted in the 161st Huron Battalion on February 29, 1916 (a leap year). One of the seven men did not return home at war’s end.

654524, DAVIDSON, (L. Cpl.) Leonard Robert, “D” Company enlisted in Hensall, Ontario. His next of kin was William Davidson of Zurich, Ontario. Private Leonard Davidson was photographed with Hensall’s Own squatting in the front row, 8th from the left.

654528, JANE, (Company Sergeant Major) Alfred Herbert, “B” Company enlisted in Goderich, Ontario, his hometown before the war. As a native of England, he had prior military experience with the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. A.H. Jane served with this unit during the South African British/Boer War of 1899-1902.

Alfred Jane immigrated to Canada from England after 1902 and established a dray service (delivery service) in Goderich. His shop/stable was located on Colborne Street, on the premises of a natural gas company site (that was present in the early 1980s). In the March 2, 1916 edition of the Goderich Signal, it was written that A.H. Jane, well-known cartage man and veteran of the South African Boer War recently enlisted with The 161st. He has made arrangements with P. J. MacEwen of the Goderich Coal Company to take care of his general dray business while on duty.” He left behind his wife and small daughter living on East St., while he went overseas to serve.

Company Sgt. Major Alfred H. Jane was photographed with Goderich’s Own at Camp Borden before the Battalion went overseas. He was standing the extreme left of the Battalion.

654522, BULLARD, (Pte.) John Eldon, “D” Company, enlisted in Seaforth, Ontario. His next of kin was John Bullard of R.R. 1, Seaforth, Ontario.

654526, HILDEBRANDT, (Pte.) Irwin Andrew, “D” Company enlisted in Hensall, Ontario. His next of kin was William Hildebrandt of Hensall, Ontario. Private Irwin Hildebrandt was photographed with Hensall’s Own kneeling in the 3rd row, 2nd from left.

654542, TAYLOR, (Pte.) Frederick Charles, “D” Company, enlisted in Seaforth, Ontario. His next of kin was Robert Scarlett of R.R. 1, Seaforth, Ontario. Frederick Taylor was born in England.

654530, TOMS, (Pte.) Malcolm Lloyd, “C” Company enlisted in Bayfield, Ontario. Malcolm Toms was one of the Toms brothers to enlist with the Huron 161st. His next of kin was John Toms of Bayfield, Ontario. Malcolm Toms had prior military duty through service with the 33rd Huron Regiment.

654521, BRANDON, (Pte.) Harold Noble, “C” Company enlisted in Bayfield, Ontario. His next of kin was his mother, Ms. Catherine Brandon of Bayfield, Ontario. Harold’s brother, Abraham “Abe” Brandon, also enlisted in the Huron 161st. Abe and Harold Brandon were photographed with their “C” Company chum, H. (Tim) Horton at Shorncliffe, England. The photograph belonged to A.C. Brandon, formerly of 193 Elizabeth St., Goderich.

Four Men Enlist in 161st Hurons

161st Huron Battalion Diary – February 28, 1916

Enlistments – February 28, 1916

Four men enlisted in the 161st Huron Battalion on February 28, 1916.

654516, CRAWFORD, (Pte.) St. Clair, “A” Company, enlisted in Wingham, his hometown prior to WWI. His next of kin was Alexander M. Crawford of Wingham.

654517, GAMBRILL, (L. Cpl.) Alfred Harrison, “C” Company, enlisted in Exeter, Ontario, his hometown before WWI. As a member of the 161st Sergeants’ Mess, Sergeant A.H. Gambrill was photographed with the group when overseas. He was standing in the top row, 10th from the left.

654529, NUNN, (Pte.) Thomas William, “C” Company, enlisted in Exeter, Ontario. His next of kin was Louis H. Nunn of Chadwell Heath, Essex, England.

654520, PENROSE, (Pte.) Thomas William, “A” Company, enlisted in Wingham, Ontario. His next of kin was Reverend James William Penrose of Whitechurch, Ontario. Private Tom Penrose was photographed with the Wingham/Brussels/Wroxeter Boys of the Huron 161st Battalion, that appeared in the April 6th, 1967 edition of the Wingham Advance-Times.

 

Ethel Man Enlists in Brussels

161st Huron Battalion Diary – February 26, 1916

Enlistments – February 26, 1916

One man enlisted in the 161st Huron Battalion on February 26, 1916.

654534, MacCALLUM, (Pte.) James enlisted in Brussels, Ontario on February 26, 1916, was declared fit on February 29, 1916 in Brussels and was certified by the Battalion leader, Lieut. Col. Combe on March 2, 1916. His next of kin was his mother, Mrs. Martha MacCullum of Ethel, ON. At the time of enlistment, he lived in Ethel, ON.

He was born on August 15, 1892 in Grey Township, Huron County, ON, making him 24 at the time of his enlistment. He was a single Methodist farmer with no militia experience who was 5’ 5 3/4” in height with a dark complexion, brown eyes and black hair.

3 More Men Enlist in 161st

161st Huron Battalion Diary – February 25, 1916

Enlistments – February 25, 1916

Three men enlisted in the 161st Huron Battalion on February 25, 1916.

654508, CUDMORE, (Pte.) Lorne, “C” Company, enlisted in Clinton, Ontario. His next of kin was Mrs. Louisa Cudmore of Exeter, Ontario.

654505, LATTIMORE, (Pte.) Edgar Lloyd, “D” Company, enlisted in Hensall, Ontario. His next of kin was Mrs. Mary Lattimore of R.R. 2, Hensall, Ontario.

654507, McDONALD, (Pte.) Albert Henry, “B” Company, enlisted in Goderich, Ontario. Private Albert H. McDonald was a member of “B” Company’s drum and bugle corps and was photographed with the Goderich’s Own group in the front row, 5th from the left.

No Enlistments…Lots of News

161st Huron Battalion Diary – February 24, 1916

There were no enlistments on February 24, 1916.

Huron Homefront – February 24, 1916

161st Huron Battalion News

William and Harry Westlake, from Belmore area, joined the 161st in Wroxeter. Their joining brought the number of boys in the Westlake family in khaki to 5. The Brussels Post reported, “Surely they are doing their duty to their country.”

Belgrave news in the Brussels Post reported that Mr. Fay has moved his wife and family to Wingham, where he will train with the soldiers.

In the Morris column of the Brussels Post, it was noted that “Mrs. Champion and her family moved from the 5th line of Morris to the town of Brussels, ON. She has 3 sons that are members of the Brussels Company of the 161st Battalion.”

Enlisted Huron Residents – The Brussels Post reported that, “Among the young men in the West offering their services to the Empire’s cause is Harold McCall, son of George and Mrs. McCall on the 8th line (of Morris Township). He has enlisted with the 89th Battalion, now located at Calgary and is in training there. It is several years since Mac (Harold McCall) went West, where he did well but he gave up a good position to don the uniform of the King. Old friends here hope that as he does his duty he will be protected from harm.”

Fallen Soldiers – On a sad note, the Brussels Post carried the following article in the Jamestown column. “General regret is expressed over the demise of Pte. Archie C. Wright, son of Frank C. And Margaret Wright, of this locality..the sad event took place last Monday at the Military hospital of Toronto. Deceased had come from Kyleville, Saskatchewan, and was a member of the Ammunition Column, Canadian Field Artillery. He took a trouble in his head known as mastoid abscesses and was operated on twice without avail. The funeral was held Wednesday in the Brussels cemetery, the members of the Brussels Company (of the 161st Hurons) meeting the procession at the boundary of the town and escorting the remains to its last resting place. Deceased was unmarried and a fine young man aged 25 years, 3 months and 21 days old. His mother and two brothers were at Toronto when he answered the Roll Call. The bereaved will be sharers in the sympathy of the public. Mr. Wright had been 6 weeks in Toronto. A contingent of Wroxeter soldiers also attended the funeral.

Community War Efforts

Recruiting plans were underway in Bluevale this week, according to the Brussels Post. It wrote, “A recruiting meeting under the auspices of the Huron County War Auxiliary is to be held in the Foresters’ Hall on Thursday night of this week. Rev. Hibbert, Wingham and Chaplain Parnaby of the Huron Battalion are among those expected to take part, in addition to a returned soldier, who promised to speak. A meeting was held in the Foresters’ Hall last Friday night to make arrangements for preparing a return of all the men of military age in this polling division of Turnberry who are fit for military service, in accordance with the policy which has been inaugurated throughout the County. William Mines presided and a committee of which Robert Shaw was the convener, was appointed to take charge of the work. Committee met Monday night and completed the list.”

In Walton, according to the Brussels Post, “a fine Patriotic recruiting meeting will be held in the A.O.U.W. Hall, Walton, next Tuesday afternoon, with the Women’s meeting. Nurse Neelin, Seaforth and a returned soldier from the war and others will speak. Let everybody come and hear the message from the trenches.”

In Belgrave, the Brussels Post reported “A recruiting meeting will be held in the Hall (Belgrave) here this Thursday night. Rev. D. Perrie, Wingham and returned soldiers will address the meeting. Suitable musical numbers will be given. Come and do your “bit.”

Men Busy Enlisting in Exeter area

161st Huron Battalion Diary – February 23, 1916

Enlistments – February 23, 1916

Five men enlisted in the 161st Huron Battalion on February 23, 1916.

654503, CAMERON, (Pte.) Charles, “C” Company, enlisted in Exeter. His next of kin was Mrs. Margaret Cameron of North Cottage, North Street in Alexandria, Dumbarton, Scotland. Scotland was Charles Cameron’s country of birth.

654404, HARNESS, (Pte.) Walter Henry, “C” Company, enlisted in Exeter, his hometown before. His next of kin was Ms. Elizabeth Harness of Exeter, Ontario. Walter H. Harness was one of three brothers, Elmore Harness and Bert Harness, who enlisted in the Canadian army during WWI.

654498, McELROY, (Pte.) Leslie McCall, “B” Company, enlisted in Blyth, Ontario. His next of kin was W.H. McElroy of Blyth, Ontario.

654506, MALLETT, (Pte.) William John, Bandsman, enlisted in Exeter, Ontario. While training with the Huron 161st, Private William J. Mallett was a member of the Battalion’s brass band. He was photographed with the 161st Brass Band at Camp Borden as the snare drummer, standing at the left.

654499, McNAMARA, (Pte.) Charles, “D” Company, enlisted in Seaforth, his hometown prior to WWI. His next of kin was Charles McNamara of Seaforth, Ontario.

Eleven More Men Join 161st Hurons

161st Huron Battalion Diary – February 22, 1916

Enlistments – February 22, 1916

Eleven men enlisted in the 161st Huron Battalion on February 22, 1916. Three of the eleven men did not return home at war’s end.

654523, CASEMORE, (Pte.) Alexander B., “A” Company, enlisted on February 22, 1916 in Clinton. His next of kin was his father, Jeremiah Casemore of Whitechurch, ON, a small community on Hwy 86, five miles northwest of Wingham. Prior to the war, Alexander Casemore was a telegraph operator in Wingham, Ontario.

Alex Casemore was born on June 19, 1894 in Morris Township to Jeremiah Casemore (b. 1864) and Margaret (b. 1871) as the oldest son. His siblings were William R. (1896), George (1898), Marion June (1900), Ernest (1902), Carl H. (1904), Victor T. (1906), Verna (1908) and Chester (1911). His brother, William Roy (651773) enlisted on February 19, 1916 in Lucknow, Ontario with the 160th Bruce Battalion.

654482, HARVEY, (Pte.) Ernest Clayton, “C” Company, enlisted with “C” Company in Exeter, Ontario, his hometown before WWI. Ernest Harvey’s next of kin was Thomas Harvey of Exeter, Ontario.

654495, KING, (Pte.) Russell, “Blyth’s Own,” enlisted with “B” Company in Auburn, Ontario, his address before the war. He had former military experience with the 33rd Huron Regiment. He was photographed with Blyth’s Own kneeling, in the front row, first on the left.

654496, LAWSON, (Pte.) Herbert, “Blyth’s Own,” enlisted in Auburn, Ontario. Herbert Lawson’s next of kin was Mrs. John Lawson of Auburn. According to the 1916 sailing list, also enlisted with the Huron 161st were Herb Lawson’s brothers, Oliver “Tip” Lawson and Robert Lawson. Herb Lawson was photographed with Blyth’s Own standing in the back row, 4th from the left.

654480, McNAUGHT, (Pte.) Wilfred Donald, “A” Company, enlisted in Brussels, Ontario on February 19 and was approved February 22, 1916. His next of kin was his father, Raymond Alexander McNaught of Moncrieff, Ontario (in Grey Township, Huron County). It is believed that the McNaught station, a flag-stop station east of Blyth in Grey Township, was named after on of Pte. Wilfred McNaught’s ancestors.

Wilfred Donald McNaught was born in Moncrieff on November 4, 1897. At the time of enlistment, Wilfred worked as a teamster and stood 5’ 2” with a dark complexion, blue eyes and black hair. He was only 18 and a member of the Presbyterian church.

Under the title, “161st Battalion Notes”, the Brussels Post’s March 2nd column reported that Leslie Lowry, Milton Lake, Wilfred McNaught and James McCallum were among the latest recruits to enlist. It added, “They are soldierly looking lads in their uniforms.”

654510, MUSGROVE, (Pte.) Thomas Richard, “A” Company, enlisted on February 22, 1916 in Wroxeter. His next of kin was his daughter, Ina Musgrove of Gorrie. Also enlisted in the Huron 161st was Thomas Musgrove’s brother, James E. Musgrove, according to the 1916 Overseas roll. Prior to the war, Thomas Musgrove was a labourer in Gorrie. He was born on November 19, 1871 in Howick Township.

654485, RIVERS, (Pte.) Wilbert George, “C” Company, enlisted in Exeter. His next of kin was William Rivers of Exeter, Ontario. He had previously served in the 33rd Huron Regiment. His brother, Thomas “Tom” Rivers, served as a Sergeant with the Huron 161st and his other brother, who was a native of Scotland, served with Lord Lovat’s Scouts, a Scottish regiment, according to the older brother’s second wife, Helen Rivers.

654487, TAYLOR, (Pte.) Ira David, “C” Company enlisted in Exeter, Ontario. His next of kin was Ms. Charlotte Taylor of Hay, Ontario (Hay Township).

654488, WEST, (Pte.) Sydney, “C” Company enlisted in Exeter, Ontario. His next of kin was Mrs. Harriet E. West of Exeter, Ontario. His country of birth was listed as England.

654489, WILLIS, (Pte.) Almer Thomas, “C” Company, enlisted in Exeter, Ontario with his brother, John Willis. His next of kin was John Willis of R.R. 1, Exeter, Ontario. Private Almer T. Willis was photographed with fellow battalion members E. Johns, R.M. Draper and a 4th unidentified man standing behind Private Willis in a photograph. Private A.T. Willis and his brother, John N. Willis enlisted on the same day for the 161st Huron Battalion.

654502, WILLIS, (Pte.) John Norman, “C” Company, enlisted in Exeter, Ontario with his brother, Almer Willis. His next of kin was John Willis of R.R. 1, Exeter, Ontario.