Joseph Latronica Enlists in 161st

Enlistments – June 28, 1916

One man enlisted with the 161st Huron Battalion on June 28, 1916 and survived the war.

654882, LATRONICA, (Pte.) Joseph, “A” Company, enlisted on June 28, 1916 in London, ON. His next of kin was his wife, Margaret Latronica from Wingham, ON.

Prior to enlisting, Joseph Latronica was a moulder for the Western Foundry in Wingham, ON. Joseph Latronica was born in April 28, 1872 in Sloansea, Wales, England. Private Latronica had 12 years military experience in England with Imperial Forces prior to enlistment.

At 44, he was 5’, 6.5” tall with ruddy complexion, blue eyes and dark hair and was Methodist. According to the 1911 census, he and his wife, Margaret E. Watcher, daughter of John and Elizabeth Westlake Watcher lived in Wingham with his son, William John (b. 1909)

When Private Joseph Latronica arrived in England, he was transferred to “the 1st Canadian Battalion, where “he saw a lot of heavy firing and although not actually engaged in it, he was almost constantly on the firing line.”

While bringing up supplies to the front line with a team of horses he was driving, the horses were killed by a big shell. A piece of the shell struck him on the head. Although he was picked up and assumed dead, he was alive and soon transferred to a hospital. After a few days, he returned to duty and stayed on the job until the end of the war.

By war’s end, Private Joseph Latronica was made corporal.

His wife, Mrs. Latronica, had forty-nine relatives who were all on the firing line,” according to the book, War Memorial of Huron County’s Heroes and Heroines, published in 1919.

Joseph Latronica survived WWI and by 1935 was living at R.R. 1, Wingham, ON. He died in 1939 and was buried in the Bluevale Cemetery.

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