Only Half of April 11th Recruits Return Home

Enlistments – April 11, 1916

On April 11, 1916, 2 men enlisted in the 161st Huron Battalion. One man did not return home after the war.

654744, JOHNS, (Pte.) Lawrence Earl, “C” Company, enlisted on April 11, 1916 in Exeter. His next of kin was Henry Johns of Elimville, ON in Usborne Township. In the original manuscript of Huron Overseas on page 7, Private Earl Johns was photographed with 3 other “C” Company members, Sergeant R.M. Draper, Private Almer T. Willis and an unidentified man.

Private L.E. Johns did not survive WWI. He was killed in active duty. Private Lawrence Earl Johns was commemorated on the Village of Exeter Great War Memorial as Earl Johns.

654747, WOODS, (Pte.) James Jackson, “C” Company, enlisted on April 11, 1916 in Exeter. His next of kin was Robert Woods of Elimville, ON.

According to Private James Woods in an interview with Sandy MacDonald in 1982, when he was 91, he said “While I was serving in France with the 58th (Battalion from Toronto) I was wounded to the head during the battle for Paschendaele … that was in October 1917. …My helmet was knocked off first by an exploding shell … I couldn’t find it again in all that mud … that’s how I was wounded … I didn’t have my steel helmet on when a second shell exploded nearby.”

Private James Jackson Woods survived WWI and lived outside Exeter at R.R. 3, Exeter in 1935. His birthday was June 15, 1891. James Woods was an honorary member of the Exeter Legion branch.

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