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.