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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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Frederick William Barnes was born in Birtle, Manitoba in 1895. Barnes enlisted in Winnipeg, Manitoba in January, 1916 with the 61st University Battalion and later served with "C" Coy. 8th Bn., Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regiment), and was awarded the Miltary Medal. He was killed August 31, 1918 at the age of 22. The collection consists of one letter written to his sister in August, 1918.

Joseph Barnes was born in Nottinghamshire, England in February, 1892. Barnes emmigrated to Canada prior to war and enlisted in Toronto, Ontario on November 11, 1914. He served overseas with the 19th Battalion until his discharge in February, 1919. Barnes was wounded in 1917, and was also awarded the Military Medal. The collection currently consists of his paybook, photographs and postcards, letters, and other miscellaneous items connected to his service.

Private John Barnett was born in Barnstorm, Yorkshire, England on November 24, 1894, to parents Waters Hardy and Matilda Elizabeth Barnett. His older brother Thomas had immigrated to Canada in 1910, and John joined him in early 1914 as a farmer in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Prior to his enlistment John had served in England with the 5th (Territorial Force) Battalion, Alexandra Princess of Wales's Own (Yorkshire Regiment). On December 28, 1914, he enlisted at Saskatoon with the 9th Canadian Mounted Rifles. He arrived in England in early December of 1915, and proceeded to France on January 29, 1916 to serve with the 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles (C.M.R.).

On June 2, 1916 Barnett was wounded at Ypres, and captured by the Germans as a Prisoner of War. Suffering from shrapnel wounds to his hand and arm, he was reported as a P.O.W. from Wahn, Germany, and confirmed to be at the Aachen hospital camp in July of 1916. From Aachen he was transferred to the P.O.W. camp at Stendal on September 6, 1916, then later that month moved to Quedlinburg on September 29, where he remained until being repatriated to England on January 2, 1919. Following his return to Canada he was demobilized on May 19, 2019.

The letter in the collection was written by John to his mother in Bridlington, England, in December of 1918, in anticipation of his imminent release; the telegram was sent shortly after confirming he was on his way back to England. The newspaper clipping has a photo of John alongside his older brother Sergeant Thomas Hardy Barnett, also of the 1st C.M.R., and his younger brother Sergeant William Allison, MM, of the British Expeditionary Force. More information about John’s brothers can be found in the Collection of Sergeant Thomas Hardy Barnett.

External link:
Pte. John Barnett’s Service Record (Serv/Reg# 114538) can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada.

Corporal Thomas Hardy Barnett was born in Nafferton, Yorkshire, England, on August 20, 1892, to parents Waters Hardy & Matilda Elizabeth Barnett. He immigrated to Canada in 1910. At the time of his enlistment he was working as a sailor. He enlisted with the 9th Canadian Mounted Rifles (C.M.R.) Regiment in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, on December 30, 1914.

Shortly after arriving in England in December of 1915 Barnett spent several weeks with the Royal Canadian Dragoons before joining “A” Canadian Mobile Veterinary Section (C.M.V.S.), Canadian Calvary Brigade, and proceeding to France in early April of 1916. He remained with the C.M.V.S. until February of 1919 when he was transferred to the Fort Gary Horse. Following his return to Canada he was demobilized on June 2, 1919.

The Thomas Barnett Collection was donated together with the collection of his younger brother Private John Barnett who like Thomas had immigrated to Canada prior to the war. John enlisted at Saskatoon into the 9th C.M.R. in late December of 1914.

Also donated were materials relating to the service of their brother Sergeant William Allison Barnett, MM. The oldest of the three brothers, William had remained in England and prior to the war was a member of the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, East Yorkshire Volunteer Rifles. During the War he served with the Machine Gun Corps, 150th Company. He was killed during the Battle of the Somme on September 15, 1916, and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France. He was posthumously awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field. The “Other” section below under “Collection Contents” has been reserved for materials specific to Sgt. William Barnett.

External links for Cpl. Thomas Hardy Barnett:
Cpl. Thomas Barnett’s Service Record (Serv/Reg# 114506) can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada.

External links for Sgt. William Allison Barnett, MM:
No service record is available of Sgt. William Barnett’s service with the British Expeditionary Force.
Burial information is available at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
The awarding of Barnett’s Military Medal was published in the London Gazette on November 15, 1916.

Clair Barrey was born in Cayuga, Ontario in March, 1894.  He enlisted in Dunnville, Ontario in February, 1916 with the 114th Battalion, known as Brock's Rangers.  Barrey was serving overseas with the 7th Battalion when he was wounded in August, 1917 at Hill 70, resulting in the amputation of much of his right leg.  The collection currently consists of one photograph of Barrey, as well as two letters home which were subsequently reprinted in the local newspaper, The Dunnville Chronicle.

This collection consists of three letters from the Cape Breton region from WWI which are part of the collections of the Beaton Institute, University College of Cape Breton. To Lieutenant James Murphy from his mother, April 2, 1917.  James Murphy was born in Cape Breton (Margaree) in 1893 and worked in coal mine at an early age until he enrolled at St. Francis Xavier to complete his high school education. During his first year at college war broke out and he was selected to go to the Royal Military College where he obtained his commission as Lieutenant. His army career began in 1916, serving at Somme and Vimy Ridge, where he was wounded and received the Military Cross. After the war Murphy moved to the United States and settled in Detroit. He died in 1972.   To Gerald Liscombe from his mother, Mrs. Edward Liscombe, January 17, 1919.   From Alex Morrison to his mother, Bessie Morrison, August 26, 1917.   Alex C. Morrison Alex Morrison was born in Sydney in 1897 and enlisted with the Cape Breton Highlanders 185th Battalion in 1916 and later transferred to the 25th Battalion in 1918. He fought in the battle of Amiens for which he was decorated with the Military Medal. He died in Sydney in 1998 at the age of 100. From Lieutenant Percy Willmot to his sister Dorothy, November 1, 1917

Reverend William Beattie was born in Fergus, Ontario in April, 1873. After his graduation from college in 1900 he moved to Cobourg, Ontario where he was the minister in the Presbyterian Church. Beattie enlisted in September, 1914 and sailed with the first contingent to France as the Chaplain to the First Canadian Brigade, and then later served as the Senior Chaplain of the Second Division. Beattie was created a Commander of St. Michael and St. George in recognition of "...his most conspicuous gallantry and distinguished conduct at the gas attack at St. Julien and through all the subsequent severe fighting of the period. Working unremittingly, with complete disregard to danger, he assisted in collecting wounded on many fields of action."   He later returned to Ottawa in 1918 to organize the Chaplain Service of Canada and was at that time promoted to the rank of Colonel. The collection currently consists of thirty-four letters and two photographs. There are however other Beattie letters in the Cobourg World collection in the Special Items section, as he also sent letters back to the local newspaper for publication.

Private Robert Gilmore Beatty (known as “Gilmore”) was born in Orangeville, Ontario, on March 15th, 1897. He enlisted in Toronto with the 204th Battalion on April 4th, 1916.

He shipped overseas on the S.S. Saxonia in April of 1917. His time in France was spent with a variety of units, primarily with the 164th Battalion. He survived the war with no major injuries and was demobilized on May 5th, 1919.

Links:
Pte. Gilmore Beatty’s Service Record (Reg/Ser# 237458) is available online through Library and Archives Canada.

The Pte. Gilmore Beatty letters are part of the Gladys Hornibrook Collection. Living in the small village of Sundridge, near North Bay, Ontario, Gladys was only thirteen years old when World War One began. While the majority of her correspondence was with her uncles in overseas service, the letters, photos, and other memorabilia that she saved from the war years included two “pen-pal” letters received from Pte. Beatty. While they were stationed in France one of Gilmore's fellow soldiers put an advertisement in the Canadian "Family Herald" seeking a pen-pal. Overwhelmed by the response, he shared the letters with other interested soldiers and Gilmore was given one from Gladys.

John Jackson Beck was born in Sheffield, England in June, 1882. Prior to the war Beck worked as an architect in England, Toronto, and New York before serving with the 32nd Siege Battery. Beck was a prolific writer, writing several hundered letters betweeen 1915 and his demobilization in April, 1919.

Herbert Stanier Beckton was born in Cannington Manor, Saskatchewan in June, 1892. He later moved to British Columbia and served with the 88th Victoria Fusiliers. Beckton enlisted in February, 1915 while overseas. The collection consists of an undated memoir, one letter, and five photographs.

Lt.-Col Lewis Herbert Beer was born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island in December, 1873. Beer enlisted initially in October, 1914 and then received his commission as Lt.-Col. in 1916. The collection consists of a portion of his diary from May to August, 1917.

William Henry Bell was born in Chatham, Ontario in 1897 and moved to Innisfree, Alberta to farm with his family. Bell enlisted at Vegreville, Alberta in February, 1916 with the 151st Battalion. He was killed at Vimy Ridge, April 10, 1917. The collection consists of twenty letters and one poem.

Andrew Byron Bennett was born in Spencerville, Ontario in July, 1890.  Bennett enlisted with the 202nd Battalion in Edmonton, Alberta in July, 1916 and served overseas in France with the 31st Battalion.  The collection currently consists of one letter written by Bennett.

George Byron Bennett was born in July, 1897 in Spencerville, Ontario. Bennett joined the CEF in early 1918 and was sent overseas to England in 1918. The collection currently consists of two letters written by Bennett.

James Howard Bennett was born in Spencerville, Ontario in 1894, enlisted in February, 1916, and served overseas in France. The collection consists of more than three dozen letters covering the period 1916 to 1918.

James Simeon Bicknell was born in Birmingham, England in August, 1888. Bicknell emigrated to Canada sometime before the war, residing in Calgary. He enlisted in December, 1914 in Calgary, Alberta and served overseas with the 50th Battalion. The collection currently consist of his paybook, a notebook, and his discharge certificate.

George Morton Bird was from Port Alberni, British Columbia. He enlisted in 1915 and went overseas in the spring of 1916 with the 62nd Battalion. Bird was killed in France on May 6, 1917 at the age of 26. The collection consists of more than fifty letters written by Bird.

Herbert Percy Blake was born in Victoria, British Columbia in January, 1886. He enlisted at Vernon, British Columbia on October 5, 1915 and served overseas in France. He was killed in action February 27, 1917. The collection consists of two letters written in 1917.

John Nuttall Bland was born in Lancashire, England in April, 1880. Sometime before World War One he emigrated to St. Catharines, Ontario where he enlisted in May, 1916. The collection consists of one photograph of Bland taken in 1916.

Lieutenant Herbert Beaumont Boggs was born in Victoria, British Columbia, on July 28th, 1892, the second of four children of Beaumont & Mary Louise (née Richardson) Boggs. Prior to the war, in September of 1912, Herbert had joined Victoria’s newly formed Militia Regiment the 88th Fusiliers.

When the Great War broke out he enlisted with the 7th Battalion (1st British Columbia) at Valcartier, Québec, on September 18th, 1914. Shipping for England on board the S.S. Virginian as part of the First Canadian Contingent in October of 1914, Boggs proceeded to France in February of 1915, serving as Lieutenant with the 7th Canadian Infantry Battalion.

Lieutenant Boggs was 22 years old when he was killed while in action in Ploegsteert, Belgium, on February 26, 1915. He was buried in the Ploegsteert Churchyard cemetery. Boggs was one of the first officers from British Columbia to be killed in World War One. Both he and Lieutenant Duncan Bell-Irving died on the same day (see Bell-Irving links below).

The Boggs Collection contains twelve letters written by Lieut. Boggs to his mother and his younger sisters Mary & Dorothy in Victoria, B.C., and to Miss Mansell of London, England, as well as a letter that had been written by his mother and mailed to France just prior to his death. Also included are approximately 50 letters of condolence. While the writing of condolence letters to the families of soldiers killed overseas assumed a terrible familiarity as the war progressed and casualties mounted, at the time of Lieut. Boggs’ death these letters would often have been the first of this kind written by these correspondents.

External links:
Lieutenant Boggs’ Service Record (Serv/Reg# unassigned) 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 Lieutenant Boggs can be visited online at the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.

Lieutenant Bell-Irving's Service Record (Serv/Reg# unassigned) can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada; burial information is available at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

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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