161st Battalion Enlistments – March 21, 1916

On March 21, 1916, thirty-one men enlisted in the 161st Huron Battalion. At least ten men did not return home.

654599, ANGER, (Pte.) James Alvin, “Wroxeter’s Own” enlisted in Wroxeter, ON with the “A” Company detachment. Private James A. Anger’s next of kin was William Anger of Gorrie, ON. Private Jim A. Anger’s brother, George, also signed up for the 161st Huron Battalion.

Private Jim Anger was photographed with Wroxeter’s Own Boys, standing in the back row, 5th from the left. Privates Jim and George Anger were also photographed in a “Flags of Freedom” pose at Bramshott Military Studios in England while they were on leave in 1917.

After the war, Jim Anger helped with the logging, with his other brothers, in the family’s logging/sawmill operations in Howick Township.

654625, BOWRA, (Pte.) Fred William, “B” Company enlisted in Goderich, his hometown before and after WWI. Private Fred William Bowra had previous military experience with the Royal Sussex Regiment and served in South Africa for several months during the Boer War. He and his family emigrated to Canada in 1911. He was awarded the Queen’s South African Medal for service in the Boer War. It was one of many medals he was awarded.

After his discharge on March 28, 1919, F.W. Bowra worked in the Goderich harbour with Western Canada Flour Mills. Later Fred Bowra worked at the Salt Works at their evaporator plant on Maitland Road. Fred W. Bowra died on November 21, 1964. His participation in WWI was commemorated on the Goderich Anglican Church’s WWI Honor Roll.

654601, BRUNNER, (L. Cpl.) Charles Edward, “C” Company enlisted in Clinton, ON. Lance Corporal Charles Brunner’s next of kin was Mrs. John Brunner of Seaforth, ON.

Charles E. Brunner survived the war and was living in Thamesville in Kent County near Chatham, ON in 1935.

654685, BUTLER, (Pte.) John Robert enlisted in Blyth, ON. Private John Butler’s next of kin was Mrs. Robert Tunney of Westfield, in East Wawanosh Township.

John Butler survived WWI and worked as an employee at the Clinton Knitting Mill. By 1935, he was living in Clinton, ON. John R. Butler died on August 22, 1953.

654603, CHISHOLM, (Pte.) John Reginald, “A” Company enlisted in Wingham, ON. Private John Chisholm’s next of kin was Ms. Lily Chisholm of 23 Conduit St., Toronto, ON.

Pte. John “Reggie” Chisholm served with the 161st Signallers while training in Canada and was photographed in a photo of the Signallers’ group standing in the back row, 3rd from the left. While overseas, Pte. John R. Chisholm was reported wounded at Arras, France in the August 30, 1918 edition of the Goderich Star. Private Chisholm recovered from his injury and returned to Canada after WWI.

By 1935, J.R. Chisholm was living in Toronto, ON. John R. Chisholm died on August 20, 1981.

654626, CULBERT, (Pte.) Wilson, “C” Company enlisted in Exeter, ON. Private Wilson Culbert’s next of kin was John Culbert of Centralia, ON. Private W. Culbert’s brother, Gordon C. Culbert, was also a member of the 161st’s “C” Company.

Private Wilson Culbert did not survive the war. His service was remembered on the Village of Exeter’s Great War Memorial to fallen WWI soldiers.

654712, DOBBS, (Pte.) Charles Jonathon, “C” Company enlisted in Exeter. Private Charles Dobbs’ next of kin was F.A. Dobbs of R.R.1, Centralia, ON.

Private Charles J. Dobbs survived WWI and returned to Canada. He died on April 29, 1931.

654592, EARLE, (L. Cpl.) John Henry, “D” Company enlisted in Seaforth. Lance Corporal John Earle’s next of kin was Edward Earle of Killena, Ireland. He was Irish by birth.

Lance Corporal John H. Earle survived the war and returned to Canada. In 1935, he was living in Seaforth, ON.

654604, GREALIS, (Pte.) Frank Clifford, “C” Company enlisted in Clinton, ON, his hometown prior to WWI. Private Frank Grealis’ next of kin was his parents,  Edward and Marget Grealis of Clinton.

Private Frank C. Grealis did not survive WWI. He was fatally wounded August 28, 1918 at the Battle of Arras. He was injured during an attack on Bois du Vert, France on August 27, 1918 while fighting with the 58th Canadian Battalion, 2nd Central Ontario Regiment. At the time, he was 20 years and 7 months old. These details were inscribed on a Grealis monument in the Clinton cemetery.

654606, HASKINS, (Pte.) Sterling, “Wroxeter’s Own” enlisted in Wroxeter, ON. Private Sterling Haskins’ next of kin was his father, Albert Haskins of R.R. 1, Clifford, ON. Sterling Haskins was a farmer from R.R. 1, Clifford who was born in Walkerton, ON on May 2, 1894. At 22, he was 5’ 8” tall with a fair complexion, blue eyes, fair hair and was a Presbyterian. He had a scar at the base of his left index finger at enlistment.

Private S. Haskins was photographed in the back row, 2nd from the left in the Wroxeter’s Own photo.

Sterling Haskins survived WWI and was an expert woodworker. A comrade of his from the 161st Battalion, William Westlake, had some his work that included a couple of table lamps he bought from him. In 1935, S. Haskins was living in Mansfield in Simcoe County, ON.

654607 INGLIS, (Pte.) George, “Wroxeter’s Own” enlisted in Wroxeter, ON. Private George Inglis’ next of kin was his mother, Mrs. Charles McElwain of R.R. 1, Clifford, ON. Pte. George Inglis was photographed with Wroxeter’s Own standing in the back row, 7th from the left. At 18, he was 5’ 9” tall with a dark complexion, dark eyes, dark hair and was a Presbyterian. He had a scar on left great toe at enlistment. He was born in February 1898 in Howick Townshiop, ON.

When overseas, Private G. Inglis was one of the first men to be drafted in mid-December 1916 to the 58th Infantry Battalion of the Central Ontario Regiment. He was also advanced in rank to Corporal. While fighting with the 58th Regiment, Corporal George Inglis was awarded the Military Medal for valour.

After WWI, George Inglis returned to Howick Township and farmed. He was an active member in Branch 307 of the Royal Canadian Legion (Wroxeter/Howick branch) and served as a life member and former president of this Legion branch. George Inglis was one of the ten 161st veterans to ride on the 161 Reunion Float in Goderich’s 150 year celebration parade on July 9, 1977. He was subscriber to the 161st newsletter and lived at R.R. 1, Clifford, ON during the 1980s.

654594, JOHNS, (Pte.) Norman Wellington, “C” Company enlisted in Exeter, ON. Private Norman Johns’ next of kin was William Johns of Centralia, ON.

Norman Johns did not survive WWI. He was killed in action at Passchendaele on October 26, 1917. His duty to country was rememebers on the Village of Exeter’s Great War Memorial to fallen WWI soldiers.

654614, McARTHUR, (Pte.) Elliott Ray, “Hensall’s Own” enlisted in Hensall, ON, his hometown before and after the war. Private Elliott McArthur was photographed with Hensall’s Own standing in the 2nd back row, 16th from the left.

During the Battle of Arras, Private Elliott R. McArthur was wounded on August 30, 1918.

Elliott Ray McArthur died on January 20, 1960.

654615, McBRIDE, (Pte.) George Henry, “Hensall’s Own” enlisted in Hensall, ON. Private George McBride’s next of kin was Sam McBride of Zurich, ON. Private G.H. McBride was photographed with Hensall’s Own standing in the 2nd back row, 2nd from the left.

In mid December 1916, Private George McBride was among 200 161st Battalion members drafted to the 58th Battalion for active duty. Private George H. McBride did not survive WWI. He was killed in action on April 9, 1917 at Vimy Ridge.

He was remembered as G. McBride on the Royal Canadian Legion Cenotaph 468 in Hensall, ON.

654637, McCLUSKEY, (L. Cpl.) Harvey Peterson, “B” Company enlisted in Goderich, ON, his hometown before WWI. Lance Corporal Harvey McCluskey’s next of kin was James McCluskey of Goderich, ON.

He was photographed with Goderich’s Own seated in the 3rd row, 5th from the left. Harvey P. McCluskey was only 17 and fresh out of high school when he enlisted. He served as a signaller for the 161st Huron Battalion and was photographed with them in the middle row at the extreme left.

In August 1918, the Goderich Signal reported that he received a serious gun wound to his abdomen. A telegram to his parents, Mr./Mrs. James McCluskey of Saint Andrews Street, Goderich, informed them of this fact. The next day, they received another telegram telling them their son, Private Harvey McCluskey, had died of wounds received on the battlefield near Rouen, France.  Private Harvey P. McCluskey had been in the trenches since February 1918.

He was remembered on Goderich Collegiate Institute Honour Roll and on the Royal Canadian Legion Cenotaph 109 in Goderich, ON.

654639, McDOUGALL, (Pte.) Austin Joseph, “B” Company enlisted in Goderich, ON, his hometown before WWI. Private Austin McDougall’s next of kin was Ms. Mary McDougall of Goderich, ON. William McDougall, Austin’s brother, also served with the 161st Huron Battalion.

Private Austin J. McDougall did not survive WWI. He was killed in Arras, France on September 2, 1918. He is remembered on the Royal Canadian Legion Cenotaph 109 in Goderich, ON.

654640, McDOUGALL, (Pte.) William, “B” Company joined the 161st Huron Battalion in Goderich, the same day as his brother, Private Austin Joseph McDougall. Private William McDougall’s next of kin was also Ms. Mary McDougall of Goderich, ON.

654632, MEDD, (Pte.) John Roy, “B” Company enlisted in Goderich, ON. John Medd was employed at the Goderich branch of a Canadian chartered bank when he enlisted. Private John Medd’s next of kin was John H. Medd of Fergus, ON. In a photograph of Goderich’s Own was Private J.R. Medd in the back row (No. 32).

While overseas, Private John Medd served with the 47th Infantry Battalion of the Western Ontario Regiment. While in Europe, Private John Medd was awarded the Military Medal.

When John R. Medd returned from the war, he moved to Fermington in Michigan, USA and was employed as an accountant with the Fermington Company. While employed with a rubber firm in Fermington, Michigan, he died suddenly of a heart attack in 1943, his 48th year.

654634, MOHRING, (Pte.) Roy, “B” Company enlisted in Goderich, his hometown before and after the war. Private Roy Mohring’s next of kin was Mrs. B. Mohring of Goderich, ON. Private R. Mohring was photographed with Goderich’s Own in the lower row at the extreme right.

Private Roy Mohring served with the Canadian Railway Battalion while in France.

Roy Mohring died on June 3, 1939 at the age of 51 years old. He was remembered on the Honor Roll for WWI soldiers in the St. George Anglican Church in Goderich. His gravestone in the Colborne Township cemetery is engraved “Sapper Roy Mohring, C.R.T., C.E.F.”

654696, MOORE, (Pte.) Robert James, “B” Company enlisted in Dungannon, ON. Private Robert Moore’s next of kin was Ms. Lena Moore, Dungannon, ON. His country of birth was England. Private Bob Moore was photographed with Goderich’s Own in the second front row (Soldier #17). He was a harness-maker in Dungannon, ON prior to his enlistment.

654644, NICHOLSON, (Pte.) Charles Thomas, “B” Company enlisted in Goderich, ON. Private Charles Nicholson’s next of kin was Ms. Grace Nicholson of Goderich. Private C.T. Nicholson’s home prior to the war was in Colborne Township near Carlow.

While overseas in France, Private Charles T. Nicholson survived the April 1917 Battle for Vimy Ridge.

When Charles Nicholson returned home from the war, he moved to Port Huron Michigan, where he was still residing in 1935. He was employed at the Bryant Engineering Company. He died in May 1965 and the Goderich Signal Star ran a copy of his obituary. His service was remembered on the WWI Honour Roll in the Victoria Street Methodist Church in Goderich, ON.

654645, PENNINGTON, (Pte.) Charles, “B” Company enlisted in Goderich, ON. Private Charles Pennington’s next of kin was Mrs. E. Pennington of Goderich, ON. Charles Pennington was photographed with Goderich’s Own seated in the 3rd row, 9th from the left.

According to his son, Rob Pennington, “while overseas in France, Charles was a member of the 58th Battalion.” While fighting he was wounded by shrapnel at the Battle of Paschendaele in October 1917.

After recovering and returning to Canada, Charles Pennington was employed as a grain trimmer at the Goderich Elevators. He died on January 13, 1952. He was 61 at the time of his death, according to his Great War Veteran’s military gravestone in Maitland Cemetery’s Pinder Section.

654617, PERRIE, (Pte.) Leslie William, “A” Company enlisted in Brussels, ON. Private Leslie Perrie’s next of kin was William Perrie of Cranbrook, ON. Private L. Perrie was photographed with fellow Battalion member, Russ Knight and Will Sholdice, seated at the right in a photo on p. 81 of Huron Overseas that was taken at a military photo studio in Folkestone, England (s/e coast) while they were on furlough in 1916.

Private Les Perrie survived WWI and was living in Edmonton, Alberta in 1935.

654618, RENWICK, (Pte.) Francis Melville, “Wroxeter’s Own” enlisted in Wroxeter, ON. His next of kin was Walter Renwick of R.R. 1, Clifford, ON. Private Francis Renwick was photographed with Wroxeter’s Own reclining on his left elbow in front of a squatted row.

Private Frank Renwick did not survive WWI. He was killed in action at Vimy Ridge in April 1917. On May 6, 1917, a memorial service for Francis Melville Renwick was held at the McIntosh Presbyterian Church and was crowded to the doors by his friends from all parts. Pastor Rev. N. Sinclair conducted the service.

654648, ROBERTSON, (Pte.) Edward Clarence, “B” Company enlisted in Goderich, ON, his hometown before and after WWI. Private Clarence Robertson’s next of kin was John A. Robertson of Goderich, ON. Clarence’s brother, Fred Robertson, also enlisted in the 161st Huron Battalion. Private E.C. Robertson was photographed with Goderich’s Own standing in the back row, 16th from the left.

When he returned from WWI, Edward Clarence Robertson established a jewelry store in Goderich in which he sold top grade jewels, watches and chinaware. In December, E.C. Robertson and his wife were killed in a traffic accident at the northern outskirts of London, ON.

A photo of Clarence and his brother, Fred, was featured in the April 1981 copy of the 161st newsletter. The photo was borrowed from his daughter, Mrs. Kay Fitton, of Meneset Park, Goderich.

654749, SMITH, (Pte.) Ralph Mills, “A” Company enlisted in Wroxeter, ON. Private Ralph Smith’s next of kin was his father, John Smith of Wroxeter, ON. Private R.M. Smith was photographed with Wroxeter’s Own squatted in the front row, 3rd from the left.

Private Ralph M. Smith did not survive WWI. He was killed by a gunshot wound to the head on September 4, 1918. He had only been in France a few months.

654620, VITTIE, (Pte.) James Elgin, “A” Company enlisted inWroxeter, ON. Private James Vittie’s next of kin was Thomas Vittie of Gorrie, ON. Private James E. Vittie was photographed with Wroxeter’s Own kneeling in the middle row, 2nd from the left. In the photo on p. 129 of Huron Overseas, James Vittie was photographed just after he was promoted to Sergeant, near the end of WWI.

While finishing his duty, fighting on the front lines in Belgium and France, he was member of the 58th Battalion from mid-December 1916 to mid November 1918. With the 58th Battalion, he fought in the battles of Vimy Ridge, Lens, Paschendaele in 1917 and Amiens, Arras, Cambrai, Valenciennes and Mons in 1918.

When he returned to Canada, James E. Vittie became a life member of the Wroxeter/Howick branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. Jim Vittie was one of the ten former 161st Battalion members to ride in the Goderich Jubilee 3 parade on July 9, 1977.

654598, WALKER, (Pte.) William Gordon, “C” Company enlisted in Exeter, ON. Private William Walker’s next of kin was James Walker of Centralia, ON.

Private William G. Walker did not survive WWI. He was killed in action. Private W.G. Walker’s sacrifice was remembered on the Village of Exeter’s Great War Memorial to fallen WWI soldiers.

654839, WESTON, (Pte.) David, “B” Company enlisted in Goderich, ON, his hometown before WWI. Private David Weston’s next of kin was his wife, Mrs. Emma Weston of Gibbons St., Goderich, ON. Before enlisting Dave Weston worked at the Western Canada Flour Mills. Private D. Weston was photographed with Goderich’s Own in the top row, 21st from the left.

Private David Weston did not survive WWI. While overseas, before going to battle on the front lines of France, he died of Addison’s Disease, a lung ailment, in March 1917. He was hospitalized at Bramshott Military Hospital in England at the time of his death. When he died, he left his wife, Emma, and two sons (Robert and Clayton), one of which was only six months old and only been seen twice by his father before he left for overseas. A Goderich Signal article reported that “The death of Pte. Dave Weston several weeks ago cast a gloom over the whole camp. Dave was the sort of man who could keep a squad of men in good humour under the most adverse conditions. He was always bubbling over with good humour.” His Battalion was unable to attend to his funeral because they were under “stand to” orders for immediate departure from camp.

654658, WRAY, (Pte.) Gordon, “A” Company enlisted in Wroxeter, ON. Private Gordon Wray’s next of kin was John Wray of R.R. 1, Wingham, ON. Private G. Wray was photographed with Wroxeter’s Own kneeling in the middle row, 5th from the left.

Private Gordon Wray survived WWI and was living in Wroxeter, ON in 1935.

654641, McGINN, (Pte.) Michael, “B” Company, enlisted in Goderich. His next of kin was Mrs. Mary McGinn of Goderich, ON.