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WWI

These collections contains any material relating to Canada from 1914 to 1918 from either the home front or the battlefront. External links in collection descriptions are either to online attestation papers at Library and Archives Canada or casualty and burial information at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

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Sergeant George Walter Adams was born in East Finchley, England, on September 25, 1896, to parents Walter and Emily Adams. Prior to enlistment he lived with his widowed mother in Toronto, Ontario, where he worked as a clerk.

He enlisted with the #2 Canadian Army Service Corps Training Depot, in Toronto on October 27, 1916. Adams was transferred to the 257th Battalion the following January, shipping with them to England on board the SS Missanabie  February 16‑27,  and then on to France on March 29, 1917. (The 257th Battalion was redesignated as the 7th Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops, on March 8, 1917.) He remained with the 7th Bn. C.R.T. until his demobilization on March 21, 1919.

The Adams Collection contains letters written to George by his mother Emily Adams in the period following the cessation of hostilities with the Armistice of November of 1918, and prior to his return to Canada in March of 1919. Also included are transcriptions of the diaries he kept throughout the war years.

External link:
Sgt. George W. Adams’ service record (Serv/Reg# 513165) can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada.

 

[Editor’s note: Collection reviewed/updated November 2022. The collection description has been expanded; the daily diary entries have been consolidated into a more user-friendly yearly format.]

The letter written by Sister A. Adamson was donated with the Private Arthur Shannon Collection. Very little is known about the provenance of the Adamson letter, the individuals or circumstances referenced within it, or of the writer herself, beyond the fact that she was working as a Nursing Sister at the 12th Casualty Clearing Station of the British Expeditionary Force on the date the letter was written, November 4th, 1917.

Pte. George Leslie Adkins was born to mother Alice Mary Adkins on March 4, 1889 in Banbury, England.  He enlisted with the 49th Battalion, C.E.F in Edmonton, Alberta on March 25, 1915 and sailed overseas with his battalion from Montreal on June 4, 1915 on board the S.S. Metagama.  Adkins arrived in England on June 14, 1915 and then embarked for France on October 9, 1915, where he remained with the 49th Battalion until the end of the war.  He returned to Canada, sailing from Liverpool, England on March 8, 1919 and was discharged in Edmonton, Alberta later in March.

External Links:

Pte. George Leslie Adkins’s Service Record (Serv/Reg #433085) can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada.

The letter of August 27, 1928 which described his brother Martin’s death, was written by Inar William Anderson DCM, who had served with Martin and George in the 49th Battalion.

Lieutenant Inar William Anderson Service Record can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada.

The Service Record for George’s brother Pte. Martin Adkins, who was killed June 27, 1916 can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada.

Burial information for Martin Adkins is available at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Driver James Orian Aitken was born in Treherne, Manitoba on August 21, 1895, the son of widowed father Robert Aitken.  Working as a school teacher in Baldur, Manitoba, he enlisted with the 76th Battery Canadian Field Artillery in Winnipeg, Manitoba on November 27, 1917 and proceeded to England on the S.S Canada, arriving there April 22, 1917.  Whle overseas Aitken served with the 4th C.D.A.C.  At the end of the war, Aitken returned to Canada aboard the S.S. Aquitainia, embarking from South Hampton, England on May 18, 1919 and arriving in Halifax May 25, 1919.  He then proceeded to Montreal, Quebec where he was demobilizes later that month.

External link:

Driver James Orian Aitken's Service Record ((Serv/Reg #1250186) can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada.

[The materials in this collection are currently being processed and uploaded. Some items may be incomplete or inaccessible at this time.]

Corporal John Henry Anderson was born January 20,1892, in Duluth, Minnesota, United States, to parents Augustus and Albertina Anderson. In I898 the family moved from the United States to Canada. While working as a brakeman on the Canadian Pacific Railway, John Henry Anderson enlisted with the 54th Battalion in Vernon, British Columbia on May 28, 1915.

Anderson proceeded overseas to England with the 54th Battalion, and was then sent to France on January 5, 1916, where he was attached to the 7th Battalion. He was killed in action during the battle for Vimy Ridge on April 9, 1917.  His body was never found and he is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial in France.

External links:
Cpl. John Henry Anderson’s service record (Serv/Reg# 442007) can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada.
Burial information is available at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
memorial page honouring John Henry Anderson can be visited online at the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.

Alfred Herbert John Andrews was born in Qu'appelle Saskatchewan on October 28, 1888. Andrews was a lawyer at the time of the war, and enlisted in September, 1914. The collection consists of an extended narrative diary which Herbert Andrews wrote in 1923, based on the diary he had kept from his enlistment in 1914 to the end of the war. The diary was found in his desk following his death in 1935.

Private William (“Billy”) Appleby was born in Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, to parents William and Sarah Appleby on May 12, 1885. He was living in Ladysmith at the time of his enlistment with the 103rd Battalion in Victoria, British Columbia, on January 27, 1916.

He shipped for England on board the S.S. Olympic in July of 1916, and proceeded to France on October 6, 1916, where he served with the 29th Battalion (aka “Tobin’s Tigers”), Canadian Infantry.

Appleby was killed in action at Vimy Ridge during an advance on April 9, 1917. He was buried at Bois-Carre British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.

Appleby’s name is listed on the Ladysmith Cenotaph along with forty other soldiers who were born, lived, or worked in Ladysmith, B.C., and who died during the First World War. Seven of these soldiers, including Appleby, had wartime letters published by The Ladysmith Chronicle newspaper (see links below).

The complete list of soldiers in the can be found in the Ladysmith and District Historical Society collection.

External links:
Pte. William Appleby’s Service Record (Serv/Reg #706843) can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada.
Burial information is available at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
memorial page honouring Appleby can be visited online at the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.
His name is inscribed on the Ladysmith Cenotaph, Rotary Memorial Peace Garden, Ladysmith, B.C.
A collection of WWI soldiers' letters published in The Ladysmith Chronicle was undertaken by the Ladysmith & District Historical Society through their work with the Ladysmith Archives.

Appleby’s younger brother Private Herbert Appleby was killed serving with the 7th Battalion at Ypres on June 3, 1916. Pte. Herbert Appleby’s Service Record (Serv/Reg #428109).

Charles Thomas Armstrong, the brother of Alex Armstrong of Cumberland, British Columbia, served with the 6th Field Ambulance, Australian Army Medical Corps. Armstrong died November 24, 1915 of wounds received at Gallipoli age 34. The collection currently consists of more than sixty images from his album.

Private Roy Clarence Armstrong was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to parents Minnie and George Armstrong, on February 22, 1898.

He was working as a clerk in Winnipeg at the tme of his enlistment with the 184th Battalion in Winnipeg on March 20, 1916.

He shipped for England aboard the H.M.T. Empress of Britain on October 31, 1916 and arrived in Liverpool, England on November 11, 1916.

Armstrong was transferred to the 78th Battalion and was killed in action during the battle for Passchendaele on October 30, 1917.  His body was never found and he is commemorated on the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium.

External links:
Roy Armstrong’s Service Record (Serv/Reg# 874936) can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada.
Burial information is available at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
A memorial page honouring Roy Armstrong can be visited online at the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.

Sarah Ellen Arnold worked at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, England during the war. While there she kept a journal in which she asked the patients to write. After the war Sarah married John Harold Bridgeman, one of the Canadian soldiers she had nursed.

Edwin Charles Askew was born in London, England in October, 1885 and emigrated to Canada sometime prior to the war. He settled in Winnipeg, Manitoba where he enlisted on December 28, 1915. Askew was sent overseas but remained in England until 1918 due to illness. The collection consists of one photograph, two postcards, and one document relating to the soldier settlement scheme following the war.

Neville Ayrton Astbury was born in Northop, Flintshire, Wales in April, 1889. He was a bank clerk at the time of his enlistment in Edmonton, Alberta in June, 1915. Astbury served overseas with the 49th Battalion until his death in September, 1916. The collection currently consists of two letters, two newspaper clippings, and three photographs. The materials here were kindly provided by the Northop Parish Memorials Project.

Thomas James Aston was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, USA in February 1889. Aston enlisted in Toronto, Ontario in July, 1915 and served overseas until his discharge in 1919. The collection currently consists of miscellaneous pages from his paybook.

Sidney Bainbridge was born in Carlisle, England in April, 1893. At some point he emigrated to Canada and was a student at the University of Alberta before he enlisted in Montreal in December, 1915. Bainbridge served overseas with the PPCLI. The collection consists of two letters written by Bainbridge in 1916.

Gavin Gibson Baird was a Canadian pilot who served with the Royal Flying Corps, 148 Squadron, in France. The collection consists of several photographs from 1918 and thirteen letters written in 1929. The letters were written to entertain his fourteen year old nephew who had broken his leg. According to the family Baird wrote the letters based on the content of his diaries he had kept while with the RFC.

Harry Baird was born in Grant Settlement, Ontario in February, 1893. Baird enlisted in July, 1915 and served overseas with the 73rd Battalion. He was killed February 4, 1917 and has no known grave. The collection consists of ten letters, one photograph, and an image of his death certificate.

James Stevenson Balfour was born in Regina, Saskatchewan in 1894 and later attended The University of Saskatchewan. He enlisted in April, 1915 and found himself in France in July, 1915, where he served until wounded in June, 1916. He recovered, returned to duty, and in 1917 joined the Royal Flying Corps as an observer. He later trained as a pilot and had qualified as a flying instructor when the war ended. The collection consists of thirty-five extended letters, twenty photographs and one post card.

Hebert (Bert) Franklin Ball was born in February, 1889 in Omaha, Nebraska and grew up in Alberta where his family was homesteading. Herbert enlisted in Edmonton, Alberta in January, 1915 with the 51st Battalion, and later served overseas with the 38th Battalion. Ball was killed November 18, 1916. The collection currently consists of two photographs, one clipping, and ten letters.

Ralph Gooding Ball was born in Hilldale, Alberta in September, 1900. Ball lied about his age and enlisted in Victoria, British Columbia in September, 1916. He was discharged on compassionate grounds in January, 1918 at the request of his parents after the deaths of his two brothers, Herbert and Samuel. The collection currently consists of two letters, one photograph, and one clipping.

Samuel Warren Ball was born in Deer Mound, Alberta in February, 1897. Ball enlisted in Edmonton, Alberta in February, 1915, one month after his brother Herbert. Ball served overseas with the 38th Battalion until his death on June 26, 1917. The collection currently consists of two photographs, two clippings, and eight letters.

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Latest Readings from World War One collections

James Moore

Reads a 09/21/1916 Letter by Drader, Eugene Robert from World War One collections. View full Letter

RH Thomson

Reads a 07/06/1917 Letter by Mayse, Amos William (Will) from World War One collections. View full Letter

RH Thomson

Reads a 07/05/1917 Letter by Mayse, Amos William (Will) from World War One collections. View full Letter