Three Enlist Today – March 30, 2016

Enlistments – March 30, 1916

Three men enlisted with the 161st Huron Battalion on March 30, 1916. One man did not return home.

654730, CHESNEY, (Pte.) Hector David, “D” Company, enlisted in Clinton on March 30, 1916. His next of kin was Ms. Jean Chesney of Seaforth, ON. H.D. Chesney was photographed with Seaforth’s Own.

Private Hector D. Chesney survived WWI and returned to Seaforth. In 1976, Hector Chesney talked with historian Sandy MacDonald about the Boer War and told him that “Frank Williams was a veteran of the South African war. In fact, he used to work as a labourer, digging ditches for my Dad.” Hector David Chesney was a life-long member of the Branch 156 Royal Canadian Legion in Seaforth.

654711, DAY, (Pte.) Louis Edgar, “C” Company, enlisted in Exeter on March 30, 1916. His next of kin was Louis Day of Exeter, ON.

Private Louis Edgar Day survived WWI. L.E. Day returned to Exeter to live and was still there in 1935 when N.W. Miller compiled his nominal roll for the 161st Huron Battalion Reunion. Louis E. Day died on August 5, 1975 at the age of 86.

654714, McNAUGHTON, (Pte.) William Middleton, enlisted in Clinton on March 30, 1916. His next of kin was John McNaughton of Varna, ON. While Private Bill M. McNaughton trained with the Battalion, he was a member of the Stretcher-bearers’ unit. He was photographed with the Red Cross Soliders of the 161st Huron Overseas Battalion kneeling in the front row, 2nd from the left. This photo appeared in the April 1980 edition of the Clinton News-Record.

While serving overseas in France, Private Bill McNaughton was awarded the Military Medal, which was given out for bravery in the field. Private William Middleton did not survive WWI. He was fatally wounded during the Battle for Arras in late August 1918.

Huron County War News – March 30, 1916

Under the heading “161st Battalion Notes” in the Brussels Post, they reported that “the recruits added to the roll of Brussels Company during the past week were: Ed McLeod, Leslie Perrie, Clifford Rowland, William Ward, Robert Lawson, Wilfrid Thomson and W.J. Henderson.

Later in the paper, it was noted that Robert Lawson, a “well-known resident of the 8th line” of Morris Township “decided that it was his duty to show his loyalty to the old flag and his patriotism to the Land of the Maple by shouldering a rifle and going to the defence of the Empire. He is arranging for the working of his 100 acre farm and taken his place in the ranks of Brussels Company. This is a fine example of sacrifice and service and is most commendable and stimulating. There are a hundred young men in Morris who could get away easier if as enthusiastic as “Bob.”

Huron County Soldiers

A reception was held for an enlisted soldier, Pte. W.H. Cook, who enlisted with the 71st Battalion. He came to the home of John Barr, on the 4th line of Morris Township, from Stratford, where he had been training, to say goodbye to his sister, Miss Florence Cook, a housekeeper for Mr. Barr. Pte. W.H. Cook was presented with a wrist watch by his sister and the evening was spent in song, story, instrumental music and dancing. It concluded with a tasty lunch. Pte. Cook sang the 71st Battalion song and the party ended with all singing the National Anthem and the exchange of good wishes for Pte. Cook as he does his duty at the “front in the interests of humanity.”

At the Belgrave Presbyterian Church, an evening was held to present bibles to 12 area young men who were on the Honor Roll of the Presbyterian Church and “now wearing the King’s colors.” It was put on by the Young Peoples’ Guild of Knox Church.

A memorial service was held Duff’s Church in Walton on March 26 for Pte. Cleve McDonald. The service was largely attended, with Rev. Mr. Lundy giving a sermon based on the scripture from II Timothy – “Endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”

Richard Cornish Enlisted in WWI Twice

161st Battalion Enlistments – March 29, 1916

Three men enlisted in the 161st Huron Battalion on March 29, 1916. One soldier did not survive the Battle of Paschendaele.

654702, CORNISH, (Pte.) Richard Hardwick, “C” Company, was a native of Wales in the United Kingdom and was living in Elimville in Usborne Township when he enlisted in Exeter on March 29, 1916. His next of kin was John Cornish of Elimville.

Before the 161st Huron Battalion was ever organized, Richard H. Cornish was overseas and back during WWI. R.H. Cornish first joined the 71st Oxford County Battalion and went overseas with them. In 1915, he was rejected for active duty because he was too young and too small. When he returned to Canada, he joined up with the 161st Huron Battalion with his older stepbrother, Jack Cornish, and before he had chance to do his bit, he was required to take Signals training. He was photographed with the 161st Signallers standing in the back row, 2nd from the left. While serving overseas in France with the 47th Battalion from Westminster, British Columbia, Private Richard H. Cornish served as a motorcycle dispatch rider.

After WWI, Dick Cornish moved to Goderich, where he established a radio sales and service shop on the corner of Kingston and Shoppers Square. Later he moved it to West Street, site of a restaurant in the 1980s. Richard was a prominent founding member of the Goderich Kinsman Club and also was a member of the British Empire Service League (BESL). In 1940, with fellow 161st veterans, George James and Ted Pooley, Dick attended the British Empire Service League dinner and convention in Montreal at the Mount Royal Hotel. In September 1976, Richard Hartwick Cornish displayed his collection of 161st memorabilia to historian Sandy MacDonald. The collection included the dinner menu card from the 1940 BESL Dinner, 5 foot long photo of the 161st Battalion taken at Hillcrest Camp in London, ON, a bayonet used for close-up and hand-to-hand enemy encounters, and a lapel button with 161st 1935, Clinton, ON printed on it, from the September 1935 reunion of the 161st Huron Battalion veterans.

654704, LEITH, (Pte.) George David, Bandsman, enlisted in Blyth on March 29, 1916, his hometown before and after the war. Private George Leith was photographed with the 161st Brass Band at Camp Borden standing in the middle row, in the alto horn section, 7th from the left.

Private George David Leith survived WWI. In 1935, N.W. Miller’s nominal roll listed G.D. Leith as living in Blyth, ON.

654713, McCLINCHEY, (Pte.) Wesley, Blyth’s Own, enlisted at the 161st Huron Battalion’s headquarters in Clinton, ON on March 29, 1916. He was later attached to the battalion’s Blyth division. Private Wes McClinchey was photographed with Blyth’s Own in the 2nd back row, 2nd from the left.

Private Wesley McClinchey did not survive WWI. While serving with the 58th Battalion in France, he was killed at Passchendaele on October 26, 1917.

Only Two Men Enlist on March 28

Huron Battalion Enlistments – March 28, 1916

Two men enlisted in the 161st Huron Battalion on March 28, 1916. Both survived.

654703, CRAWFORD, (Pte.) Roy Edward, “B” Company, enlisted in Blyth on March 28, 1916. His next of kin was George Crawford of Blyth, ON. Private Roy E. Crawford had prior military experience with the 33rd Huron Regiment.

Although Roy Edward Crawford’s heart was weakened by the constant fire from artillery he experienced and an attack of trench fever, he survived WWI.

Upon returning from overseas, Roy enrolled for further training with the Huron/Middlesex militia. In the early 1920s, after completing military summer exercises at Wolseley Barracks in London, ON, Roy Edward Crawford was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.

When Roy Crawford died on September 4, 1923 at his home in Blyth, a military funeral was held. His pall-bearers were members of the Huron/Middlesex militia and they fired a salute as he was lowered into his grave. His grave was engraved  Lt. R. E. Crawford.

654695, HURDON, (Pte.) Nicholas Eric, “C” Company, enlisted in Exeter on March 28, 1916. His next of kin was Nicholas Dyer Hurdon of Exeter.

Private Nicholas Hurdon survived WWI. By 1935 Nicholas Hurdon was living at 6339 Hurlbut Ave in Detroit, Michigan, USA.

Seven Enlist on March 27

Huron 161st Enlistments – March 27, 1916

Seven men enlisted in the 161st Huron Battalion on March 27, 1916. One man did not return home.

654719, CURRELL, (Pte.) Lloyd William, “C” Company, enlisted in Goderich on March 27, 1916 with “B” Company, although he “was immediately transferred to the battalion’s headquarters in Clinton” where “C” Company was located. Despite the transfer, he joined his “B” Company comrades in the photograph of Goderich’s Own at Camp Borden in the summer of 1916. He can be found kneeling in the 2nd front row. Private Lloyd Currell was from the Saltford area.

While overseas, Private Lloyd W. Currell served with the 47th Westminster Battalion in France and “received my baptism of fire at Arras (August 1918).”

After the war, Lloyd Currell enrolled in the Stratford Central Business College and upon graduation worked briefly for Ontario Hydro’s Toronto head office. He also became an active member of the Huron/Middlesex Militia Regiment. During the late 1920s, he owned and operated a Clinton grocery store and sat as councillor on Clinton Town Council. He later moved to Oshawa in 1935, first taking a job as an executive secretary with Duplate Canada Ltd., and later for Oshawa Safety Glass Company. After moving, he transferred to the 34th Ontario County Regiment and trained with them. After taking courses at Wolseley Barracks in London, he qualified for officer’s rank when he re-enlisted for army duty at the outbreak of WWII.

During WWII, L.W. Currell took an officer’s post with the 11th Canadian Armoured Regiments (tank division) and served on the European battlefields until the end of the war, by which time he had earned the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. He was awarded the Efficiency Decoration while he was commanding officer of the 11th Armoured Regiment.

After WWII, Lloyd Currell took an accounting course at the Shaw Business College in Toronto and obtained his Chartered Public Accountant’s certification. Lloyd Currell was profiled the 1963 edition of Who’s Who , an annual Canadian business publication.  He visited Europe in October 1979 with his grandson to tour some of the European cities and landmarks where he had been in service with the Westminister British Columbia Regiment.

Lloyd Currell died in April 19, 1980 at his home in Agincourt, ON and was interred in the Maitland Cemetery in Goderich, ON. He was commemorated as L.W. Currell on the Honour Roll in the Victoria Street United Church in Goderich, ON.

654688, HALLAM, (Pte.) George, “B” Company, enlisted in Blyth on March 27, 1916. He recalled that “When I first went to Auburn to sign up, the doctor there, Doctor Weir, looked me over and said, “You’re too young yet, young fellow. Come back in a few months and I’ll take a look at you again.” On George Hallam’s second trip, this time to the Blyth enlistment office, Dr. John Weir examined him again and Hallam passed his army medical. Private G. Hallam was photographed with Blyth’s Own squatted in the front row, at the extreme left.

While serving in France with the 18th Battalion, Private George Hallam was wounded by a gunshot to his arm on August 30, 1918. That wound resulted in a scar that George Hallam had for the rest of his life.

After WWI, George Hallam moved to Detroit and worked as a drayman. He met and married his wife, Ethel Jewell in Detroit. They were married in September 1929 in Colborne Township. They later returned from the U.S. to live at the Hallam homestead in West Wawanosh Township, near Auburn. George was one of the ten veterans of the 161st Huron Battalion that rode on the 161st Reunion Float on July 9, 1977 in Goderich’s Sesquicentennial celebrations. George Hallam died in November 1980.

654687, EATON, (Pte) George, “D” Company, enlisted in Seaforth on March 27, 1916. His next of kin was Ms. Iva Eaton of R.R. 1, Seaforth, ON. George Eaton was born in England before immigrating to Canada. Private G. Eaton was photographed with Seaforth’s Own.

Private George Eaton survived WWI and returned to live in the Seaforth area, according to N.W. Miller’s 1935 nominal roll.

654676, HUNT, (Pte.) Roy, “B” Company, enlisted in Goderich on March 27, 1916. His next of kin was Charles Hunt from Goderich, ON. Private Roy Hunt was involved with the 33rd Huron Regiment prior to WWI. Private R. Hunt was photographed with Goderich’s Own. He served as “B” Company’s bugler.

Private Roy Hunt did not survive the war. He was killed in action at Arras on September 3, 1918. As a graduate of Goderich Collegiate, he is commemorated on the WWI Honor Roll of GDCI as well as on the Royal Canadian Cenotaph 109 in Goderich as R. Hunt.

654689, MASON, (Pte.) Walter Henry, “Blyth’s Own,” enlisted in Blyth on March 27, 1916. His next of kin was John Mason of Blyth, ON.  Walter H. Mason was a native of Egmondville who graduated from Seaforth Collegiate. Private Walter Mason was photographed with Blyth’s Own, squatted in the front row,  5th from the left.

Private Walter Mason survived WWI and worked as a railway postal clerk and later as a teacher in northern Ontario. Walter Henry Mason died on July 6, 1960 in Lindsay, ON, according to an obituary in the Goderich Signal-Star in July 1960.

654698, THOMPSON, (Pte.) Wilfred Clarence, “A” Company, enlisted in Brussels on March 27, 1916. His next of kin was William Thompson of R.R. 1, Ethel, ON.

Private Wilfred Thompson survived WWI. In 1935, N.W. Miller listed W.C. Thompson as living at Londesborough, ON.

654699, VICKERS, (Pte.) Arthur, “B” Company, enlisted in Goderich on March 27, 1916. His next of kin was Samuel Vickers, R.R. 4, Goderich, ON. Arthur Vickers was born in England, before immigrating to Canada.

According to the November 8, 1917 edition of the Goderich Signal, Private Art Vickers “returned Sunday November 4, 1917 to his residence on Albert Street. He was stricken with pneumonia at Witley Camp, England. After nine months in hospital, he was returned to Canada for treatment.”

After the war, Art Vickers worked for at the Western Canada Flour Mill in Goderich. In 1935, he was residing at 353 Delaware Ave., Toronto. He later moved to the Saint Catherines area, where he become a local manager of a movie theatre. He died in October 1964 and was interred at the Queen’s Lawn Cemetery in Grimsby, ON.

Men Enlist in Exeter, Blyth & Clinton

161st Battalion Enlistments – March 26, 1918

On March 26, 1916, 4 men enlisted in the 161st Huron Battalion, all of whom made it home to Canada after the war.

654684, APPLETON, (Pte.) Thomas Winnifred, “C” Company, enlisted in Exeter on March 25, 1916, his hometown before and after WWI.

After WWI, Thomas Appleton returned to Canada. Thomas W. Appleton died on January 8, 1929.

654701, COLCLOUGH, (Pte.) Douglas Oscar, “B” Company, enlisted in Blyth on March 25, 1916, his hometown in 1916. Private Douglas Colclough was photographed with Blyth’s Own standing in the 2nd back row, 6th from the left.  D. O. Cloclough was often called Doc, due to the initials of his name, according to his nephew, Bruce Colclough.

After the war, Doug Colclough was listed as living in Waterford, ON, a community in Norfolk County.

654710, COWAN, (Pte.) John Alexander, “B” Company, enlisted in Blyth on March 25, 1916. His next of kin was Isaac Cowan of the same village.

After WWI, Private John Cowan returned to Blyth and became a village police constable. J.A. Cowan then moved to Exeter where he continued to work in policing. John A. Cowan died on October 29, 1967 at the age of 71.

654715, SMITH, (Pte.) John Franklin, “C” Company, enlisted in Clinton on March 25, 1916, his hometown prior to WWI.

When John Smith returned from WWI, he moved to R.R. 1, Varna, ON and was living there in 1935. When John F. Smith died on November 16, 1955, his obituary in the Goderich Signal-Star read, “ John f. Smith had served overseas during WWI with the 2nd Canadian Pioneer Battalion. Following his return the ex-Pioneer trooper joined the work force of the Canadian National Railways. For the greater part of his post-WWI railway career, he was stationed at Brigden, Lambton County. At the time of his death, the retired CNR employee was a resident of Brucefield, ON.”

New Enlistments from Hensall to Wingham

161st Battalion Enlistments – March 25, 1916

On March 25, 1916, 8 men enlisted in the 161st Huron Battalion, 2 of whom did not return home.

654672, CLARK, (Pte.) David Garnet, “D” Company, enlisted in Hensall on March 25, 1916, where he resided before WWI.

654686, CLARK, (Pte.) Peter, “C” Company, enlisted in Bayfield on March 25, 1916, where he lived before and after the war. Private Peter Clark was native of England who had immigrated to Canada in 1912.

654722, McKAY, (Pte.) Hugh R., “C” Company, enlisted in Bayfield on March 25, 1916, his hometown before and after the war.

654692, NOBLE, (Pte.) Clarence Jarrett, “C” Company, enlisted in Clinton on March 25, 1916, his hometown prior to WWI.

654690, PARLMER, (Pte.) Earl Ross, “C” Company, enlisted in Clinton on March 25, 1916. His address on the 1916 Overseas Roll was Hensall, ON.

654697, SAVAGE, (Pte.) George Henry, “A” Company, enlisted in Wroxeter on March 25, 1916.

Private George Savage’s entry in the War Memorial of Huron County’s Heroes and Heroines, printed by the Wingham Advance in 1919 states “Private G.H. Savage went overseas in 1916 and was attached to the Signalling Corps in England. He was later transferred to the Machine Gun Corps. and crossed to France in 1917.

654708, STOKES, (Pte.) Frederick William, “B” Company, enlisted in Goderich on March 25, 1916. Prior to WWI, Frederick Stokes worked as a finisher in the Goderich Organ Factory, formerly located on the corner of East Street and Cambria Road, where a funeral home was later located.

654709, WIGHTMAN, (L. Cpl.) Charles Ivan, “B” Company, enlisted in Blyth on March 25, 1916. His address prior to the war was Belgrave, ON. Lance Corporal Ivan Wightman was photographed with Blyth’s Own in the 2nd back row, 5th from the left.E

Eight New Recruits for the 161st

161st Huron Battalion Enlistments – March 24, 1916

Of the 8 enlistments in the 161st Huron Battalion on March 24, 3 did not return home.

654661, BLACKWELL, (Pte.) David Benjamin, “D” Company, enlisted in Hensall. His next of kin was George Blackwell of R.R. 2, Hensall, ON. Private David Blackwell was photographed with Hensall’s Own standing in the back row, 7th from the left.

Private David B. Blackwell did not survive WWI. He was killed in action, according to N.W. Miller’s 1935 nominal roll.

654673, ELLIOTT, (Pte.) William Theodore, “D” Company, enlisted in Seaforth. His next of kin was William Elliott of R.R. 1, Dublin, ON.

Private William Elliott returned after WWI and lived at R.R. 4, Walton, ON.

654675, HENDERSON, (Pte.) William John, “A” Company enlisted in Brussels. His next of kin was Mrs. John Ellis of Brussels, ON.

Private William Henderson returned from WWI and was living in London, ON. in 1935.

654678, MILLS, (Pte.) William Charles, “A” Company, enlisted in Wingham, but was later transferred to “D” Company in Seaforth. His next of kin was John Mills of R.R. 3, Auburn, ON. According to him, “Before joining up, before WWI, I used to work for a ditching machine contractor. … We put in water-line at your (Sandy MacDonald’s) Grandfather Neil’s general store at Kintail … around 1914 or 15.”

During the war, Private William Mills “was a sniper …while I was overseas, in France, that was my job …. sniping.” Towards the end of the war, Private Charlie Mills was hit and wounded in the foot by an enemy sniper. According to him, “I was invalided back to Canada on a hospital ship … the late Doctor Harold Taylor … who was one of our Goderich doctors after WWI … was my doctor during the trip back from England.”

Charlie Mills became a carpenter after the war and lived on Bruce Street in Goderich, ON. William Charles Mills died on September 4, 1979. At the time of his death, he was a lifetime member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 109 in Goderich, ON.

654706, OKE, (Pte.) Edmund Alban, “C” Company enlisted in Exeter. His next of kin was William Oke of R.R. 1, Hensall, ON.

During fighting in Fresnoy, France, Private Edmund Oke was wounded on June 14, 1917.

After the war, E.A. Oke was living in Last Lake, Alberta in 1935.

654728, PAPST, (Sgt.) Charles Ross, “D” Company, enlisted in Seaforth. On the 1916 overseas roll, his address was listed as Georgetown, a town on the CNR line west of Toronto.

When Sergeant Charles Papst returned after the war, he was living at 50 Admiral Road in Toronto in 1935.

654679, RUSH, (Pte.) William Charles, “A” Company, enlisted in Wingham. Private William Rush was a native of Bermondsey, London, Eng.

When Private William C. Rush returned from WWI, he lived in Kingsville, in Essex County, Ontario in 1935.

654683, UNDERWOOD, (Pte.) William Alexander, “A” Company, enlisted in Wroxeter. He was originally from Gorrie, ON.

According to 161st Battalion members, George Anger, George Inglis and Jim Vittie, Private Bill Underwood did not go overseas with the 161st Huron Battalion. “Bill took sick while he was training with us at Carling Heights Camp at London, ON. His mother arrived at military headquarters in London a few days later and removed her ailing son from the army.” Private Bill Underwood did eventually go overseas, just not with the 161st.

Private William A. Underwood did not survive WWI. He was killed in action on September 22, 1918 at Cambrai.

654677, LAWSON, (Pte.) Robert, “A” Company, enlisted in Brussels. His next of kin was John Lawson of R.R. 2, Blyth, ON.

Private Robert Lawson did not survive WWI. He is commemorated on the Royal Canadian Cenotaph 218 in Brussels as R. Lawson and is named on the Great War Memorial plaque to fallen soldiers of the Blyth area in the Blyth Memorial Hall.