161st Huron Battalion Enlistments – March 6, 1916

Five men enlisted in the 161st Huron Battalion on March 6, 1916.

654553, BROCKENSHIRE, (Pte.) Arva Everett, “C” Company enlisted in Exeter, Ontario. His next of kin was Silas Brockenshire of Crediton, Ontario.

In 1935, Arva Brockenshire is listed as living in London, Ontario.

654547, JEFFREY, (Pte.) William Edward, “C” Company enlisted in Exeter, Ontario. His next of kin was William George Jeffrey of Exeter, Ontario.

While serving overseas with the 58th Toronto Battalion, Private Bill Jeffrey was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal. He also won the Military Medal for bravery in the field in the Battle of Amiens, where he was wounded. When interviewed on December 26, 1981 at the Westminister Hospital, he said, “When you were in the Great War, you learned to shoot first and ask questions later.”  When commenting about being awarded the Military Medal, he replied, “You had to be all wool and a yard wide to win one of those.”

After the war, Bill Jeffrey returned to the Jeffrey Homestead in Usborne Township on the Thames Road, 1 1/4 miles south of Exeter, Ontario. W. E. Jeffrey was in Westminster Hospital in London, Ontario in 1981 and he died on May 5, 1982, a month and 23 days short of his 85th birthday.

654548, LAWSON, (L. Cpl.) Oliver George “Tip”, “Blyth’s Own” enlisted in Blyth. His next of kin was Mrs. John Lawson of Auburn, Ontario. Private Oliver G. Lawson’s brother, J. H. Lawson, was also a member of Huron 161st’s Blyth’s Own. Private Tip Lawson was photographed with the Blyth’s Own unit standing in the 2nd back row, 14th from the left.

When O. G. Lawson returned from WWI, he got a job with the Huron County Roads Department operating a snow-plow during the winter. As a bachelor, he lived in a room in the former Auburn hotel. After he died, he was laid to rest in Balls’ Cemetery where there is a monument engraved “Oliver Lawson, 1948.” He was also memorialized at Oliver Lawson on the Joynt Memorial in St. Helen’s, Ontario.

654550, PASSMORE, (Pte.) Robert Henry, “C” Company enlisted in Exeter, Ontario. His next of kin was Mrs. Thomas Passmore of R.R. 3, Exeter, Ontario. While Private Robert Passmore was overseas in France, as a member of the 47th Battalion from Westminister, British Columbia,  he was killed in the Battle of Arras in August, 1918.

Private Robert H. Passmore is memorialized on the Hensall Legion cenotaph and on Exeter’s Memorial.

654551, WHITMORE, (Pte.) Harold Michael, “Stretcher-Bearers” enlisted in Clinton. His next of kin was Franklin Whitmore of Varna, a community in Stanley Township, south of Clinton, Ontario. Private Harold Whitmore was photographed with the 161st’s Stretcher-Bearers group at Camp Borden standing in the back row, third from the left.

After WWI, the ex-Red Cross soldier moved to Hamilton, Ontario. In 1935, he was listed as living at 86 Garside Avenue, Hamilton, ON. Harold Whitmore worked as a long-time employee of Westinghouse. Harold M. Whitmore died in 1978. His brother, Ray, stayed in Clinton, Ontario.