161st Battalion Enlistments – March 4, 1916

Ten men enlisted in the 161st Huron Battalion on March 4, 1916, one man did not return from the battlefields.

654568, BOYCE, (Pte.) Frank Harold, “C” Company, enlisted in Bayfield. His next of kin was James Boyce of Varna, Ontario, a community in Stanley Township. Private Frank Boyce was a member of the 58th Toronto Battalion while in France. Private F. H. Boyce fought in the Battles of Vimy Ridge, Lens and Passchendaele in 1917 and in the Battles of Amiens, Arras, Cambrai, Valenciennes and Mons in 1918.

When Frank Boyce returned home to Varna, he farmed. He participated as one of 10 veterans from the 161st Huron Battalion reunion float in the Jubilee 3 parade during Goderich’s sesquicentennial celebrations, that was organized by Sandy McDonald and Archie Watt of Hullett Township.

Frank H. Boyce died on January 24, 1982 at Victoria Hospital in London, Ontario in his 86th year. He was interred at the Bayfield cemetery.

654537, FISHER, (Pte.) Abraham Leslie, “C” Company, enlisted in Clinton, Ontario. His next of kin was Seth Fisher of Edgerton, Ontario. Abraham Fisher’s brother, Robert P. Fisher, was also enlisted with the “C” Company of the Huron 161st.

Private Abraham Fisher did not survive WWI.

654545, FOSTER, (Pte.) Thomas Charles, “Hensall’s Own,” enlisted in Hensall, Ontario. His next of kin was Ms. Maria Foster of Brixton, London, England. Private Thomas Foster was born in England. In the photo of Hensall’s Own, Private Thomas C. Foster was photographed kneeling in the 3rd row, 7th from the left.

654546, GARTON, (Pte.) Edward, “A” Company, enlisted in Brussels, Ontario. His next of kin was Ms. Ed. Garton of Brussels, Ontario.

Private Edward Garton returned from WWI to Brussels, Ontario. In September 1931, he became a charter member of the Brussels branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. Ed Garton was photographed with 5 other WWI Legion members in a 1966 Brussels Post newspaper. The photograph was reprinted in the September 2, 1981 issue of the Brussels Post in connection with the Legion’s 50th anniversary.

654549, MEAHAN, (Pte.) Anthony “Tony”, “A” Company, enlisted March 4, 1916 in Wroxeter, Ontario. Private Anthony Meahan (also spelled Mehen) was born in the United States and lived in Howick Township as a farmer in the Wroxeter area prior to WWI. His mother, Elizabeth Meahan of Wroxeter was listed as his next-of-kin. Anthony Meahan was born on December 24, 1894 in Saginaw, Michigan to Antony (1858-1923) and Elizabeth Batters (1869-1929) and baptized in the Roman Catholic Church. Tony Meahan grew up in Turnberry Township on Concession C, Lot 12 with his siblings Margaret (1889), John (1891), George (1892), Alfred Hope (1896), Luella “Ellie” (1898), Joseph H. (1900), Harriett (1902), Alice V. (1908-) and Wilfred C. (1909).

654538, JEFFERSON, (Pte.) John Roy, “A” Company, enlisted in Wingham, Ontario. His next of kin was John Jefferson of Auburn, Ontario.

In 1935, John R. Jefferson lived in Monroe, a Perth County community near Mitchell, Ontario, according to N.W. Miller’s nominal roll.

654539, SIMS, (Pte.) Samuel William, “C” Company, enlisted in Exeter, Ontario. His next of kin was Jonah Sims of Crediton East, Ontario.

654540, SMITH, (Pte.) Robert, “D” Company, enlisted in Seaforth, his hometown before and after WWI. Robert Smith was photographed with Seaforth’s Own.

654543, THOMPSON, (Pte.) Joseph Samuel, “A” Company, enlisted in Wingham, Ontario. His next of kin was S. Thompson of Belgrave, Ontario.  Joe Thompson’s brother, Ernie Thompson, also enlisted with the Huron 161st Battalion.

654544, BALLANTYNE, (Pte.) Wesley enlisted on March 4, 1916 in Brussels with the 161st Huron Battalion. He was born March 1, 1894 in Turnberry Township and worked as a farm labourer before the war around Walton. His next of kin was listed as his cousin, Arnold Bain of Wingham, Ontario. Wesley Ballantyne was the adopted son of Joseph and Mary Whitfield of Lot 30, Concession 13 of Grey Township. His step siblings were Blanche, Della and Orville Ballantyne.

Wesley Ballantyne transferred to the 4th Pioneers on May 15, 1916.