4 More Recruits – More Info Needed

Enlistment – May 27, 1916

Four men enlisted with the 161st Huron Battalion on May 27, 1916. More information is needed about their military service in WWI and after.

654865, BOYLE, (Pte.) Edgar Bernard, “C” Company, enlisted at Exeter on May 27, 1916. His next of kin was Mrs. Alice Boyle of R.R. 1, Clandeboye, ON. In the bandman’s A. Rollison’s photo collection, there was a photo featuring Private Edgar Boyle standing with Lieutenant William P. Grieve at Witley Camp, England, holding a team of mules.

751752, CHILVERS, (Pte.) Harry Williams, enlisted in London, ON on May 27, 1916. His next of kin was Mrs. Julie Chilvers of Heacham in Norfolk County, England, which was also the nation of his birth..

It appears that Private Harry Chilvers was already in uniform and transferred into the 161st Huron Battalion from another unit.

654867, DEEM, (Pte.) Harold Arthur, “A” Company, enlisted in Wingham on May 27, 1916. His next of kin was Mrs. Martha Deem of Wingham, ON. He was originally from England. His brother, Syd Deem also enlisted during WWI. Private Harold A. Deem worked with W.J. Boyce of Wingham as a master plumber, before enlisting in the 161st Huron Battalion.

While overseas, he served with the 49th Edmonton regiment, with his brother, Private Syd Deem, according to his sister, Miss E. Deem of Stratford.

On September 30, 1918 during the battle of Cambrai, Private Harold Deem was seriously wounded by flying shrapnel. Two pieces of shrapnel entered his left side, another entered his neck close to his jugular vein and he received a gunshot wound in his right leg. His sister noted that “he was left for dead” but later turned up an English hospital, the Basingstoke Hospital, according to War Memorial to Huron County’s Heroes and Heroines, At the time of that printing (1919), he was said to have lost the use of his left arm, through paralysis.

Private Harold Arthur Deem recovered from his injuries and eventually returned to Canada. He died on December 12, 1962 in Toronto at the Sunnybrook Military Hospital.

654868, FRENCH, (Pte.) Alexander Charles, “C” Company, enlisted in Clinton, ON on May 27, 1916. His next of kin was Dennis French of Sarnia, ON. Private Alexander French was listed on the 1916 Overseas roll as being born in Ireland.

Little is known of Private A.C. French’s military experience. Fellow veteran, Fred McClymont of Clinton, remembered that “there was a soldier in “C” Company named French who came from the Muncey Reserve near Sarnia…He did not survive WWI army duty but I don’t know any other details.”

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