Saturday, March 13, 2021

War Bride and President of Silver Cross Mothers in Paris Ontario in 1958

Edith Wakefield (1889-1972) and Albert Dore (1894-1954)


Aquitania - Annette Fulford collection

Edith Rebecca Wakefield was born in 1889 at Folkestone, Kent, the daughter of William Matthew Wakefield and his wife Emma Elizabeth Cullen. Edith worked as a domestic servant before the war. She met British-born Canadian Expeditionary Force soldier Albert Dore and they were married in June 1916 at Folkestone, only eight months after he arrived in England.

Albert William Dore was born in 1894 at Milton, Oxford, England to Wyckliffe Albert Dore and Fanny Puffet. Albert came to Canada in April 1913 onboard the Ascania, which travelled from Southampton, England to Portland, Maine. He was headed to Toronto but ended up in Paris, Ontario working in the knitting mills.

Albert enlisted with the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles (Regimental # 109312) on 23 November 1914 at Toronto, went overseas in July 1915 and trained at Dibgate and Caesar’s Camp in Kent. They left for France from Folkestone in October 1915.

He suffered from shell shock after the Battle of the Somme in September 1916 and was in the hospital for three weeks. He complained of nervousness, headaches, shortness of breath on exertion, and excessive perspiration at night. He was also easily startled and had a slight tremor.

He was awarded the Military medal in October 1916 for bravery in the field “for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty.” The website Great War Centenary Association, Brant County, Ontario gives a full citation for receiving the medal “in carrying despatches on frequent occasions under rifle and shell fire. He carried despatches in daylight through places which were considered too dangerous to allow other ranks to use.”

"In June 1917, a shell exploded close by and he was thrown into a shell hole." He returned to England from France and spent the rest of the war in and out of hospitals suffering from dyspnoea, palpations, vertigo, fatigue and sweating on exertion.

Albert was diagnosed with Neurasthenia and was no longer fit for service. He was invalided to Canada on the hospital ship Araguaya in February 1918, landing at Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Halifax harbour was severely damaged in the explosion of a supply ship and a munitions ship in December 1917.

Edith Dore came to North America on the ship Aquitania in October 1918 with their daughter Minnie Edith, who was born earlier in the year. They were headed to Paris, Ontario. The ship travelled from Southampton, England to New York between October 21 - 28th, 1918.  

Edith and Albert had 2 sons and 4 daughters while living in Paris.

In June 1940, their eldest son Thomas enlisted in the Canadian army at Galt, Ontario and he went overseas to England with the Highland Light Infantry of Canada. Thomas died of wounds in June 1944 and is buried in Brookwood Military Cemetery in Woking, Surrey, England.

Edith Dore was the president of the Silver Cross Mothers in Paris, Ontario in 1958.

Albert died in 1954 and Edith in 1972. They are buried in the local cemetery in Paris.

 

 Sources:

Bennett, S. G. The 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles, 1914-1919, Internet Archive https://archive.org/details/mountedrifles00bennuoft/page/4/mode/1up (accessed October 4, 2020)


Albert William Dore MM, Great War Centenary Association website, Brant County, Ontario http://www.doingourbit.ca/profile/albert-dore-mm?page=4 (accessed October 4, 2020)

Albert William Dore, 4th CMR website http://www.4cmr.com/dore.htm (accessed August 4, 2020)

Albert William Dore, Personnel Records of the First World War, Regimental No 109312, RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 2604 – 2, Library and Archives Canada. https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/personnel-records/Pages/item.aspx?IdNumber=360825 (accessed August 1, 2020)

Thomas William Dore, Service No A/37579, Canadian Virtual War Memorial (CVWM) https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/memorials/canadian-virtual-war-memorial/detail/2762464?Thomas%20William%20Dore (accessed August 1, 2020)

 

Chilliwack Progress, August 27, 1958, 20 https://theprogress.newspapers.com/ (accessed August 4, 2020)

London Gazette, 29805, page 10488, 27 October 1916 https://www.thegazette.co.uk/awards-and-accreditation (accessed August 4, 2020)

 

(c) Annette Fulford, March 2021

 

Friday, March 5, 2021

Red Cross Nurses Are Brides Today at Double Wedding Here

 

Romance Indeed in this Happy Ceremony - Grooms Returned Soldiers - Met on Train on Way to City.

A real romance, in fact, two romances, culminated in a double wedding in the solemn quietude of Trinity church this afternoon when James Steadman of Calgary became the husband of Dorothy Tucker of Reigate, England and George Kerr of Moose Jaw wedded Ethel E. Masters of London, Eng. The grooms are returned soldiers and the brides returned nurses, all four having seen strenuous services in the late war from its earliest stages.


Tunisian -  Annette Fulford collection


I posted an article back in 2019 about the young women who travelled to Canada after the war to be married to former Canadian Expeditionary Force soldiers.

The brides from the article were Ethel Emily Masters, age 22 and Dorothy Tucker,  age 31. They arrived together on the Tunisian after the war, which landed at St. John, New Brunswick on February 10, 1919. The ceremony was held at the Trinity Church in St. John, the following day.

Ethel Emily Masters was born in 1896 in Lewisham, London, England to Hugh Edmond Masters, a Law Clerk, and his wife Ann Elizabeth Muckle. She married British-born, George Kerr, a Commercial traveller who was born in Dudley, Worcestershire, England in March 1885. He came to Canada on the ship Victorian in October 1912 and was headed to his brother living at Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

George Kerr travelled to England and enlisted in the 43rd Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) in Birmingham in July 1915. This is usual. Most British-born men returned home to enlist in the British Expeditionary Force or joined the CEF in Canada. Was he travelling at the time or visiting his brother Walter who lived in Birmingham?

He was wounded on March 31, 1916, just three months after he arrived on the Western Front. George was struck by eight pieces of shrapnel which included his left leg and ankle causing a fracture of his tibia and fibula. He was also hit in his elbow, buttock and his chest causing fractures to two ribs. 

After repairs were done on his leg, his damaged leg was 3/4 of an inch shorter than his right leg and he was having difficulty walking. In December 1916 infection spread in his leg. He spent many months in hospital with a variety of additional issues before being invalided to Canada for further medical treatment on the Missanabie in October 1917.

The second bride Dorothy Tucker was born 1887 in Hackney, London, to George Nathanial Goldsmith Tucker, a Printer, Publisher and Editor and his wife Emily Jane Williams. Dorothy worked as a nurse before the war but I haven't located where she was during the war when she met James.

James Steedman was born in Japan in 1883 to Scottish parents. The family returned to Scotland circa 1887 and James came to Canada circa 1907 destined for Winnipeg, Manitoba where he would find work with the Canadian Pacific Railway as a Land Inspector.

James enlisted with the 56th Battalion in Calgary in 1915 and while overseas was transferred to the 49th Battalion. He was wounded in June 1916, a gunshot wound to the arm and returned home on the Andania in January 1917.

The ladies were roommates on the ship and they both indicated on the passenger manifest that they were going to Canada “to be married.” The manifest pages even have details of their intended husbands and where they lived. The men met on the train and discovered that they were both travelling to New Brunswick to meet their sweethearts and get married.

I’ve love to know where the women were working during the war and if these couples remained friends. If you have any further info on them, please contact me at wwiwarbrides@shaw.ca

(c) Annette Fulford, March 2021

George Kerr, Personnel Records of the First World War: Regimental No. 421122, RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 5115 - 46, Library and Archives Canada (accessed March 5, 2021)

James Steedman, Personnel Records of the First World War: Regimental No. 447218, RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 9252 - 15, Library and Archives Canada (accessed March 5, 2021)


Monday, February 8, 2021

A Soldier's Family In Quarantine at Grosse Isle in 1919


While researching passenger lists at Library and Archives Canada, I've come across some very interesting information about the war brides and their families. The most recent was a whole family being sent into quarantine at Grosse Isle in August 1919 when they arrived in Canada on the Metagama.


Annette Fulford collection


The passenger list shows a military dependent with three children who were taken to the quarantine station near Quebec. This piqued my interest. Who were they and why were they taken there? 


Metagama Passenger List, August 1919, Library and Archives Canada


Initially, I searched for baby Jack and found his entry in the Grosse Ile Quarantine Station database at Library and Archives Canada but his twin is listed as a female named Florence and her entry could not be found. I searched for just the surname Glover and it gave me five entries for the surname in the results. Database info shows the whole family was taken there on August 12, 1919, a day before the ship landed at the Port of Quebec.


Library and Archives Canada

The information contained in the database indicated that the children had chickenpox and that they were released 10 days later on August 22. One of the twins listed on the passenger list as a girl was actually a boy named Lawrence.

On further investigation I learned that the parents were Alfred Cecil Glover, Reg no. 117067 and his war bride Nora Augusta Prowse. They were married in Kent in 1916 and were travelling to Canada with their three sons: Stanley, age three, and twins Lawrence and Jack, age nine months. The couple lived in Lethbridge after the war.

Nora and Alfred had six sons before the death of Alfred in 1936 at age 46 in Edmonton. Nora died in Calgary in 1958 at age 63.

(c) Annette Fulford, February 2021

Friday, February 5, 2021

Canadian First Contingent Soldier Marries in England in December 1914

One of the earliest marriages of a First World War soldier I've researched is the marriage of Canadian Expeditionary Force soldier Victor Albert Baker, Regimental #16508, to Bertha Van Den Bosch, a Belgian refugee living in London, England. Victor joined the 7th Battalion in Vancouver in September 1914 and went over with the First Contingent in October 1914. 

Their marriage took place on December 2, 1914, at Linden Grove Church, Nunhead, Camberwell, London, about 1 1/2 months after arriving in the UK.


London, England, Non-conformist Registers, 1694-1931. Ancestry.com


Hull Daily Mail - 4th December 1914

Romance of the War - Belgian refugee wedded to a Canadian A romance of the war is reported from Nunhead, where at the Lindengrove Church on Wednesday, Victor Albert Baker was married to Bertha Van Den Bosch. Baker left his employment as an engine driver on the Canadian Pacific Railway to join the Canadian contingent as a private. Miss Van Den Bosch was a refugee who had found shelter in a hostel attached to the church.

A cousin was responsible for the introduction, and although neither spoke the other's language, an occasional meeting during seven weeks ended in matrimony. The bridegroom and his father who is training with him, wore khaki at the ceremony and the only honeymoon was a visit to a neighbouring picture palace. The marriage was hastened as the bridegroom is expecting his orders for the front.

The Mayoress of Camberwell attended the wedding breakfast at which one of the guests offered the bride and groom a little ...... advice: "If you don't learn each other's language you will be the happiest man and wife in the world".

 The bride is to go to the home of the husband's parents in Canada to await his return from the war.


Bertha did travel to Canada. She arrived at St. John, New Brunswick on the Missanabie in March 1918 and was headed to Montreal where she gave birth to her first child in Verdun, Montreal in May. Her husband returned to Canada in 1919 and they lived in Moose Jaw in 1921. 

They must have learned to communicate as they had three sons and two daughters. Victor died in 1967 at age 76 and Bertha in 1996 at the age of 102. They are buried together at the Rosedale Cemetery in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and their gravestone reads, "Together Forever".


Victor Albert Baker, Regimental No 16508. Personnel Records of the First World War, RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 378 - 30, Library and Archives Canada. (accessed February 5, 2021).

(c) Annette Fulford, February 2021

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Surviving the Spanish Flu Pandemic 1918-1919

 

1st Depot Battalion, Coy 4, P.T. Quarantine Camp, July 1918;
Hugh is on the left side of the front row with no hat on. ~ Annette Fulford collection

Hugh Clark was a farmer living at Storthoaks, Saskatchewan, when he was conscripted into the Canadian Expeditionary Force in 1918.

H

ugh McKenzie Clark, Regimental # 269054, was conscripted into the army at Regina, Saskatchewan on May 23, 1918, with the 1st Depot Battalion, Saskatchewan Regiment, Company 4. His recruitment papers say that he was 22 years old, 5 ft 9 inches tall with a red complexion, brown eyes, and light brown hair. 

The 1st Depot Battalion trained at the exhibition grounds in Regina until late July. They left Canada from Montreal headed for England on board the ship Cassandra on July 28, 1918. Their ship docked at Liverpool on August 5, 1918, and they were taken to Bramshott camp in southern England. Shortly before his 23rd birthday, Hugh was transferred to the 15th Canadian Reserve Battalion.

While training at Bramshott, soldiers from the 15th Reserve Battalion began getting sick near the end of September. The unit had a sick parade on September 28 and was placed in quarantine on October 1, 1918. My grandfather entered the hospital with influenza on October 6, 1918, but was discharged eight days later on October 14, 1918. His influenza didn’t develop into a high fever with Broncho-pneumonia as some of the soldiers in his unit did.

The medical war diaries for Assistant Director of Medical Services, No. 12 Canadian General Hospital at Bramshott, show that 176 people were admitted to the hospital on the 6th and that there were seven deaths on that day. The war diary shows that over the next couple of weeks many young soldiers training at the camp were sent to the hospital and some of them died.

On October 14th, the medical director noted: “the pathological conditions of the victims from influenza are most startling – one patient showed multiple abscess of the lung – bronchial pneumonia – sero – fibrinous pleurisy and acute myocarditis.”


Among the number of young men from the 15th Reserve who died during the flu pandemic was Roy William Clark, Regimental # 269053 who was conscripted into the 1st Depot Battalion on the same day as my grandfather. Roy was 23 years old, 5 ft 10 inches tall with a brown complexion, blue eyes, and medium hair. He was a farmer who lived at Spy Hill, an hour, and a half north of where Hugh lived at Storthoaks, Saskatchewan.

Roy first noticed symptoms of influenza on September 24 and was admitted to the 12th Canadian General Hospital on September 30, 1918. He developed a high fever with a rapid pulse and difficulty breathing throughout his stay in the hospital. On his last day, the doctor indicated that his face was turning blue due to the lack of oxygen in his blood. At 2 pm, Roy in his delirious state attempted to cut his own throat but caused only superficial wounds. He finally succumbed to the flu at 3 pm on October 15, the day after my grandfather was released. Both men were farmers, who were of similar height, age, and background. What decided the fate of these two young men?

Another soldier from the 15th Reserve Battalion who survived the flu at Bramshott was Peter Longphee, Regimental # 268555, Company 5. He was also conscripted in May 1918 at Regina a few days before my grandfather on May 18, 1918. Hugh and Peter lived in neighbouring communities, so I am not sure they were friends before they enlisted or whether they became friends later. Peter was 5ft, 9 ½ inches tall with a dark complexion, grey eyes, and brown hair. He would be admitted to the 12 General Hospital on October 5, 1918. Records show that he was released on October 10, and like my grandfather, he only had a mild case of influenza. Peter would be a witness at my grandparent’s marriage in April 1919 after they transferred to Ripon camp in Yorkshire in late January 1919 to await demobilization.

Checking more records, I learned that John Hannibal Badger, Regiment # 268680, Company 5, was another soldier from Saskatchewan who survived the pandemic at Bramshott in October 1918, only to die from influenza at the Ripon Military Hospital in North Yorkshire in May 1919. John married while overseas. Sadly, his wife Ellen Hathaway would become a widow after only three short months. He is buried in the Stockport Borough Cemetery in Cheshire, England where his wife lived.

The 1918 flu pandemic killed millions of people worldwide during 1918/19. During the war, 300 soldiers were buried at the local church at Bramshott (St. Mary). Of those who died, over 40 were influenza victims from the 15th Reserve Battalion; many of these young men were from Saskatchewan. There were also many soldiers from the 21st Reserve Battalion who died of influenza. I wonder how many young men who are pictured here survived the flu pandemic as my grandfather did and brought home a war bride.


15th Reserve Battalion at Ripon camp - Annette Fulford collection

Do you recognize any of the young men from the 15th Reserve Battalion in these photos? If so, please email me at wwiwarbrides@shaw.ca . I have a full list of the young men who died during the flu pandemic at Bramshott camp.

(c) Annette Fulford, November 2020

Sources:

Camp Exhibition is a Model Camp in all Respects. Regina Leader-Post, July 3, 1918, 8 & 9 (accessed March 10, 2019).

Hugh McKenzie Clark, Regimental # 269054. Personnel Records of the First World War, RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 1745 – 30, Library and Archives Canada. (accessed November 16, 2000)

Peter Francis Longphee, Regimental # 268555, Personnel Records of the First World War, RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 5733A – 7, Library and Archives Canada. (accessed March 22, 2019)

Roy William Clark, Regimental # 269053, Personnel Records of the First World War, RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 1761 – 34, Library and Archives Canada. (accessed October 10, 2018)

John Hannibal Badger, Regimental #268680, Personnel Records of the First World War, RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 333 – 18, Library and Archives Canada. (accessed on October 15, 2018)

Grace Clark, photo album, photo of PT class quarantine camp for 1st Depot Battalion soldiers and 15th Reserve Battalion photo.

L.C. Giles, Liphook, Bramshott and the Canadians, (Liphook, Hants: Blackwell press for the Bramshott and Liphook Preservation Society, 1986)

War diaries - Assistant Director of Medical Services, Bramshott =1917/03/01-1918/12/31. File. RG9-III-D-3. Volume/box number: 5026. File number: 821.Copied container number: T-10912, Library and Archives Canada. (accessed February 4, 2015).

Saturday, November 16, 2019

100th Anniversary of First World War Brides' Arrival in Canada


Grace Gibson and Hugh Clark on their wedding day. Annette Fulford collection

This year marks the 100th Anniversary for the majority of war brides that came to Canada after the First World War. My grandmother travelled to Canada in September 1919 on the ship Melita.

Check out the recent story about my grandmother Grace Clark by Tamara Baluja of CBC News Vancouver: Canadian war bride's story shared by her granddaughter (Source: CBC News)

I've often wondered just how many families have letters and photographs in the family archives similar to the ones in my family. Thankfully, many have shared their family stories with me. I use these stories to tell the history of the war brides from this era.

(c) Annette Fulford, November 2019



Sunday, September 29, 2019

Remembering the First World War Brides



Grace and Hugh Clark in 1919. Annette Fulford collection

Do you have a First World War Bride in your family tree? Do you know how they met their Canadian soldier? Have you written their story for future generations to remember them by?

With each generation that passes away, information from previous generations gets lost or forgotten. That's why it's so important to write their history before there is no one left to remember them. Send their story to the museum or archive where they lived, or to the local newspaper, and pass it on to your family. Help preserve the history of these pioneering war brides. I'd love to see the day when First World War Brides are remembered alongside the war brides of the Second World War.

Check out my research on First World War Brides: Filling in history: The forgotten stories of WWI war brides by Melanie Nagy of CTV National News from January 31, 2015.

Faded Letters tell untold story  (Source: CTV National News)

(c) Annette Fulford, September 2019