161st Huron Battalion Colours

Presentation of 161st Huron Battalion Colours – August 31, 1916

On Thursday, August 31, 1916, the Ladies’ Aid Society of Exeter presented the 161st Huron Battalion with its colours. Mrs. Creech presented the King’s colours to the Battalion and Mrs. Johns presented the regimental colours. Those present included member of Battalion headquarters, the Brigade staff, officers commanding other Battalions and 40 guests from Huron County.

Reverend D.W. Pollins, of the Trivitt Memorial Church in Exeter made an address, to which the commanding officer of the Battalion, Lieutenant-Colonel H.R. Coombes, made a suitable reply.

The colour party consisted of Major R.S. Hayes from whom Lieutenant H. C. McLean received the King’s colours and Major W.J. Heamen from whom Lieutenant R.A. Walters received the regimental colours. Captain J.K. Fairful, chaplain of the Battalion consecrated the colours.

A march past was held with Colonel S.C. Mewburn of A.A.G District No. 2 taking the salute.

Reginald Alger Commissioned at 161st Lieutenant

Officer Commissions – August 30, 1916

On August 30, 1916, one officer was commissioned in the 161st Huron Battalion.

654403, CLUFF, (Lt.) Reginald Alger was commisioned at a Lieutenant. He enlisted on February 3, 1916. Lieutenant Reginald Alger Cluff was born on September 13, 1891 in Brussels. In 1916, he was living in Stratford in Perth County, ON. His next of kin was his father, Rev. W. T. Cluff of 108 Mornington St., Stratford, ON. Reginald Cluff’s occupation before enlistment was as a journalist. He spent one year as a private in the C.O.T.C. Canadian Militia and belonged to the 28th Perth Regiment.

By the end of WWI, Lieutenant R.A Cluff had achieved the rank of Captain.

Lieutenant R.A. Cluff survived WWI and was living in Strathroy, ON in 1935

Colours of 161st Huron Battalion Presented at Camp Borden

Battalion Events – August 29-31, 1916 – First Presentation of the Colours

“During the years of the First World War (1914-1918) there was a group of young ladies in Exeter known as the “Soldiers’ Aid Society,” namely Misses Lillian Boyle, Etta May Bowey, Valeria Bedford, Edna Bissett, Amy Dow, Stella Gilles, Lula Martin, Irene Rivers, Stella Southcott, Ida Wambold, under the leadership of Miss L. Johns, Mrs. R.M. Creech and Mrs. W.J. Heaman.

The Society raised several thousand dollars by various types of entertainment, social functions and donations to purchase yarn for socks, Red Cross supplies and materials for hospitals. They also purchased the 161st Battalion Regimental Colours at a cost of $255 from the Dominion of Regalia Co. in Toronto.

A number of the Society travelled to Camp Borden to present the Colours to the Battalion on August 29, 1916. Rev. D.W. Collins, a former rector of Trivitt Memorial Church, Exeter, spoke on behalf of the presentation committee and Captain J.K. Fairfull, Chaplain of the Battalion, consecrated the Colours.

On Thursday, August 31, 1916, the Ladies’ Aid Society of Exeter presented the 161st Huron Battalion with its colours.

Mrs. R.M. Creech presented the King’s Colours to Major R.S. Hays, received by Lieutenant M.C. McLean; Miss L. Johns presented the Regimental Colours to Major W.J. Heaman, received by Lieutenant R.A. Walters. Colonel S.C. Mewburn of Army Headquarters was present at the ceremony and presented Company Sergeant Major George James with the Long Service Medal.” (From the journal of Lieut. Cpl. J.K. Cornish, Clinton Branch 140, Royal Canadian Legion)

Mrs. Johns presented the regimental colours. Those present included member of Battalion headquarters, the Brigade staff, officers commanding other Battalions and 40 guests from Huron County.

Reverend D.W. Pollins, of the Trivitt Memorial Church in Exeter made an address, to which the commanding officer of the Battalion, Lieutenant-Colonel H.R. Coombes, made a suitable reply.

The colour party consisted of Major R.S. Hayes from whom Lieutenant H. C. McLean received the King’s colours and Major W.J. Heamen from whom Lieutenant R.A. Walters received the regimental colours. Captain J.K. Fairful, chaplain of the Battalion consecrated the colours.

A march past was held with Colonel S.C. Mewburn of A.A.G District No. 2 taking the salute.

 

News of Huron Men in Other Battalions

Huron County War News – August 17, 1916

Privates Russell and Wesley Abraham, who enlisted in Huntsville, have been home to visit their parents in the Belmore area.

Private Howard Haney has been visiting home for a couple of weeks holiday from Camp Borden.

Robert Masters, who has been at the front since July 24th , has written home saying he likes it fine so far. He is a gunner with the 30th Battery.