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.

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