Private Cyril Ernest Hopper was born in Artemesia Township, Ontario, on September 26, 1893, to parents William Cottel and Ellen (née Shute) Hopper. Prior to his enlistment in WWI, he worked on the family farm outside of Eugenia Falls, Ont.
Hopper enlisted with the 147th (Grey) Battalion in Owen Sound, Ont., on January 6, 1916. Shipping for England onboard the S.S. Olympic in November of 1916, he trained as a machine gunner before proceeding to France the following May to join the 5th Canadian Machine Gun Company (which became part of the 2nd Battalion, Canadian Machine Gun Corps on March 21, 1918). He he fought in the Battle for Hill 70 in August of 1917, and the following year in the Battle of Amiens in August of 1918.
Following the Armistice in November of 1918, Hopper spent his final months in Belgium, Germany, and France, before returning to England and finally home to Canada. He was demobilized on May 25, 1919.
The diary in the collection was kept by Hopper for recording dates and places during his years in service. The photos mainly depict camp life with fellow soldiers; many of the postcards are German in origin. Also included is Hopper’s calligraphic Honourable Discharge certificate from the C.M.G.C.
Note on year of birth: while given as 1894 in his military service record, other government records have it as 1893 (e.g. see census records, 1901).
Pte. Ernest Hopper’s service record (Serv/Reg# 838524) can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada.