Ballymena Canadians: L - M
Canadian War Diaries: Available from Library and Archives of Canada - http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/Pages/war-diaries.aspx
4933 Private George Lamont, Canadian Army Service Corps (CASC), living on enlistment at 311, Colony Street, Winnipeg and working as a clerk, was actually from Broughshane, Co Antrim, and his wife Martha and children still lived there. George and Martha and their son, 2 year old Frankie, lived in Upper Broughshane at the time of the 1901 census, and the family, then including surviving children Frankie (12), Katherine (9) and Martha (or 'Meta'), and George’s step mother Mary Ann (76) , lived in Broughshane town in 1911. Another child, Aggie (5) had been born by the time of his attestation in June 1916. On both census documents George was listed as a car driver.
George Lamont was born on the 8 July 1876 and was relatively old, 39 years and 10 months old, at the time of his enlistment. He was 5’ 5 ½” tall, of slight build, and he had blue eyes and brown hair.
George Lamont arrived in England on the SS Laconia on the 6 October 1916, and he went to the CASC Training Depot at Witley. He earned a good conduct award in 1918, though none of his service was outside England. He appears to have had medical problems that kept him from the fighting zone, but he served to the end of the war and he was discharged then from the army as ‘medically unfit for general service’ in 1919. He left Glasgow on the 20th November and arrived at Halifax Nova Scotia on the 30th November 1919. It is not known whether his family joined him there or if he returned to Ireland.
George Lamont's Will from his Pay Book
410343 Private Alexander Laverty, 38th Battalion, was married to Bessie and the couple lived at 74, Moscow Avenue, Toronto (later 171, First Ave, Toronto and elsewhere), but he was a Ballymena man, his mother, Mrs E Laverty, residing at Hillmount/Dunminning, Cullybackey.
The 1911 Irish census records Arthur (38) and Elizabeth (39) and eight children: William (16), Samuel (15), Arthur (14), James (12), Alexander (10) Mary (8), Sarah (6) and Robert (4). The 1911 census records Arthur (50 and a wash mill worker) and Elizabeth (50) and five children: James (23), Mary Elizabeth (19), Sarah (17), Robert (14) and Jenie sic (9). The couple say in 1911 that they had had 11 children of whom 9 were still alive.
Alexander Laverty, a carpenter, had been born on the 12th April 1892, and he was 22 years and 11 months old when he enlisted on the 10 March 1915. He was 5' 7" tall and had blue eyes and brown hair.
He left Canada on the 29 May 1916 aboard the SS Grampian and landed at Plymouth on the 9 June. He finished training and went overseas and was at Le Havre on the 14 August 1916. His tenure in the army was short. He was wounded by gunfire on the 17/18th September in the right shoulder, right leg (buttock) and scalp and arrived via 11 Canadian Field Ambulance, 9 Casualty Clearing Station and 5 Army Train at 12 General Hospital, Rouen next day. He died there of his wounds on the 22 December 1916. Ironically the records of the 38th Battalion, then in the Ypres Salient at Kemmil, state that from the 15 to the 19 September it was 'quiet on both sides'.
Arthur Laverty's Will
3034123 Private James Lynn of 64 Carlaw Avenue, Toronto was drafted on 18 March 1918 under the Military Service Act of 1917. He was sent to the 1st Central Ontario Regiment, 1st Depot Battalion.
He was born in Ballymena on the 5 October 1893 and was a single man, a butcher by trade. He was 24 ½ years old, stood 5’ 6” tall and he had brown eyes and light brown hair. He nominated his mother Martha as his next of kin and gave the same Carlaw Avenue address for her.
He left Halifax, Canada aboard the HMT Valacia on the 16 August 1918 and disembarked at Liverpool. He was taken on strength by the 12th Reserve Battalion at Witley and was then transferred to the 20th Battalion for active service on the 28 August 1918. He was in France next day.
The war ended on the 11 November 1918 and he wasn’t needed thereafter. He was returned to Canada on the SS Caronia and was discharged from the CEF on the 24 May 1919 at Toronto.
171504 Lance Corporal Robert John Lynn of 64 Carlaw Avenue, Toronto was the son of William and Martha Lynn and he was the brother of 3034123 James (above). He was born on the 10 October 1891 in Ballymena and was a 23 year old single labourer at the time of his enlistment in August 1915. He was 5’ 8” tall and he had grey eyes and fair hair.
He joined the 10th Royal Grenadiers but left Halifax, Nova Scotia with the 83rd Overseas Battalion aboard the SS Olympic on the 24 April 1916 and he served with the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles after the 6 June 1916. He was wounded in action on the 17 October 1916, the slight gunshot wound to a right hand finger keeping him from duty until the 16 November 1917. He stayed with the unit until returned to Canada from Liverpool on the SS Carmania in March 1919. He was demobilized on the 20 March 1919 and died on the 13 May 1924.
201640 Sergeant Robert Magill was a single man when he enlisted in the 95th (OS) Battalion on the 15 November 1915, though he later married Helena and the couple had various addresses in Toronto. He was then 25 years and 11 months old, his birthday the 24 December 1889. He was 5’ 9” tall and had brown eyes and dark brown hair. He was an Anglican and described himself as a motor cycle mechanic. He was living at 122 Sherbourne Street, Toronto. He gave his mother’s name as his next of kin. She was Mrs Margaret Magill, 11 Hope Street, Ballymena.
1911 census shows the family at 11 Hope Street, a short row of houses
that now ends against the wall of the War Memorial Park. His mother
Margaret was then 47 and she said she had been married for 25 years and
had had seven children, six of whom were still alive. All six are
listed: Margaret (24), Robert (22 and a plumber), Sarah (20), Henry
(18), William (13) and Ellen (11).
In 1901 they lived at High Street, Ballymena. Henry and Margaret were then 38 years old, and all seven of the children Margaret said were born are listed: Maggie B (13 and a linen worker), Robert (12 & a messenger boy in a plumbing business), Sarah B (10), Henry (7), William B (2), Ellen B (infant) and Minnie B (4 – later died).
Robert Magill sailed from Halifax on the SS Olympic and arrived in England on the 8 June 1916. He went to the 3rd Battalion (Infantry) but due to a right knee problem in France was transferred almost immediately to the Canadian Corps Supply Column and attached to the HQ. He served with them until returned to England on the 18 May 1919 and subsequently returned to Canada from Liverpool aboard the SS Royal George. He was demobilized in Toronto and lived there until his death in March 1960.
259664 Corporal Samuel Magill, 1st Depot Battalion, Saskatoon Regiment, was drafted under the Military Service Act, 1917. He joined the force in Regina, Saskatoon on 1st May 1918, and he appears to have served only in Canada. He was eventually discharged officially on the 20th December 1918.
Samuel Magill came originally from Galgorm Road, Ballymena. His family are found in the 1901 and 1911 Irish census returns. In 1911 Samuel’s father, an agricultural labourer, was 67 and his wife Agnes was 65. The pair said they had been married for 41 years and that they had had nine children of whom seven were still alive. The children named in 1911 are as follows: James (34), Wallace (29 and a postman), Rose (26) and William (8 - grandson). In 1901 Samuel and Agnes listed the following offspring: James (23, a gardener and domestic servant), Samuel (21 and a baker), Wallace (18 and a solicitor’s clerk), Rose (15, a machinist in shoe manufacturing) and Robert (13).
Samuel Magill gave his address as Box 422, North Battleford, Saskatoon and said he was a carpenter. He was at attestation 34 years and 11 months old, his stated birthday being 17 June 1884. He was 5’ 9” tall and he had brown eyes and dark hair.
25615 Lance Corporal Samuel Mann served
in the 14th Battalion (Royal Montreal Regiment) of the CEF and must
have been, given that he enlisted on the 21st September 1914 at
Valcartier Camp, among the first to enlist in a unit set up that
September. He was then a single man, a carpenter by trade, and he said
he was born on the 10 March 1894. He was on enlistment 22 years and six
months old, stood 5’ 6 ½“ tall, and he had brown eyes and brown hair.
He said his military experience was limited to service in the Ulster
Samuel Mann came from Ballymena and gave his father John’s address as 14, High Street, Ballymena. The 1911 Irish census shows John, 57 and sexton of a local church, and Marria (sic) (56) and lists three of their children: Maggie, a spinner, was 22, Lizzie, a doffer (one who unloaded filled bobbins in a spinning mill, from the verb 'to doff'.), was 15, and Maria was 13; John, an infant grandson, and Lizzie Lamont (60), a lodger, are also named. The couple state that they had been married for 32 years by 1911. Twelve children were born and eight were still alive.
In the 1901 Irish census return they were shown as living in Queen Street, Harryville. John (46), a labourer, and Marria (44) list eight of their children alive at this time: Jane (20), Robert (18 and a tailor), Agnes (16) and a mill worker, Archie (14) and a boot cutter, Samuel (12), Maggie (9), Lizzie (4) and Marria (2).
800045 Private James Maybin of 7, Mark Street, Toronto enlisted in the CEF on the 2 February 1916 and went initially to the 134th Overseas Battalion before transferring to the 15th Battalion (48th Highlanders of Canada) on the 11 October 1916. He was born on the 20 January 1886, a single man, and worked as a teamster. The 30 year old was 5’ 6 ½ “ tall and had brown eyes and dark hair.
James Maybin came from Liminary (Ballyclurg), Ballymena and his father Richard was a farmer. The 1911 Irish census records Richard (57) and his wife Maggie (57 – The name appears to be a transcription error. Annie is correct, and she was dead by the time James joined the CEF in 1916.) The couple said they had been married some 33 years in 1911 and that they had had nine children; they had all survived. Six are listed: Maggie (32), Robert (27), Francis (25), Samuel (23), Annie (21) and Mary (17).
The 1901 Irish census lists the entire family (Mabin rather than Maybin spelling is used). Richard and Annie, both 47, listed their offspring as follows: Maggie (24), Jane (22), Joseph (21), James (19), Robert (17), Frank (16), Samuel (15), Annie (13) and Mary (8). Robert and Frank were said to be hardware apprentices.
James sailed from Halifax on 8 August 1916 aboard the SS Scotian and disembarked in Liverpool. He went to France on the 10 October 1916 and was with the 15th Battalion after the 11 October. He did not, leave excepted, return from duty in France and Flanders until the 23 March 1919. He returned to Canada on the SS Baltic from Liverpool and was discharged from the CEF on the 10 May 1919. He went back to 7, Mark Street, Toronto.
106392 Private Richard Maybin (Meban on headstone & census), 1 Canadian Mounted Rifles was born on the 16 January 1889 and was originally a farmer, though he appears to have been working as a locomotive fireman at the time of his enlistment at Saskatoon on the 28 December 1914. He was then 24 ½ years old and stood 5’ 6” tall, and he had grey eyes and black hair.
Meban or Maybin was from Co. Antrim, from the village of Broughshane. His mother Margaret was already a widow at the time of the 1901 census. She was a farmer and listed the following children, though whether they were the entire family is unknown: Maggie (24), Mary (22), John (20), Joseph (18) Agness sic (16) and Richard (12). In 1911 she stated she was 64, a widow and still farming. She listed three offspring: Mary (30), John (28) and Richard (21); all were single and it must have been shortly after this date that Richard went to seek his fortune in Canada.
Richard left Canada aboard the SS Megantic and reached England on 6 June 1915. His unit was in France on the 22 September 1915. The 1st CMR was with others manning the 3rd Division front east of Ypres (modern Ieper) in Belgium. An Allied advance was planned and troops moved forward, but the Germans struck on 2 June 1916 before the Allied plan could unfold.
The following Battle of Mount Sorrel involved fighting over this significant hill and the adjacent Hill 61 and Hill 62 (Tor Top). These overlooked Ypres and the Menin Road and offered an opportunity for the Ypres Salient to be captured. It saw the Germans launch the heaviest artillery barrage until then seen in the Great War; mines were also exploded below some allied trenches. This was followed by a huge infantry attack. The barrage devastated the forward Canadian positions. German infantry then took Canadian positions at Mount Sorrel and on the two surrounding hills. A hastily organized counterattack on 3 June failed. Three days later, the Germans captured the village of Hooge. Ypres was at their mercy but the opportunity was not taken, and having lost the first two phases of the battle, the Canadians eventually achieved victory in the final operation.
The Battle of Mount Sorrel cost the Canadians 8,000 -11000 casualties, depending on how casualty is defined. Units like the 1st, 3rd and 4th CMR (The 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles at Armagh Wood was nearly wiped out — 89 per cent of the regiment's men were killed or injured. Of the 702 soldiers in the regiment who defended against the German attack, only 76 were unhurt by the end of the battle) had huge losses, among them Richard Meban. He was initially reported as missing in action on the 2/5 June, but later said to have been killed in action. His body was never found, his record saying only that he was lost in the ‘attack south east of Maple Copse’, and, having no known grave, he is listed on the Ypres Memorial (Menin Gate). The Canadian monument at Sanctuary Wood states only, ‘Here at Mount Sorrel and in the line from Hooge to St Eloi, the Canadian Corps fought in the defence of Ypres April-August 1916’ and it does little to convey the horror that unfolded around its position in 1916.
Richard Meban’s effects were returned to his mother in Broughshane, among them his bagpipes (The Canadian CMR units, 48th Highlanders of Canada, had a pipe band and Richard was a piper.) The instrument lay forgotten in an attic for many years but was recently rediscovered. The pipes were restored by Harold Bennett, Dungannon. The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association Northern Ireland Branch, subsequently decided to participate in a Living Memory project to mark the Battle of the Somme Centenary, and held a Slow Air/Lament Pipe Tune Composer’s Competition in July 2016. It agreed that the tune should be named in memory of Private Richard Meban (Maybin). The winning tune was composed by Iain Bell, Dumfries, Scotland and was played in 1st Broughshane Presbyterian Church on 2 November 2016 by Ian Burrows on the pipes that belonged to Private Meban. A framed copy of the tune was presented to George McMullan, Clerk of Session, 1st Broughshane Presbyterian Church.
War Diary: 44th Battalion activity at the time of McAleese's first wounding
9th March: Situation normal during day. Trench maintenance observed. Weather wet and snowy. Snow at night. Casualties - 1 OR (Other Rank,ordinary soldier) wounded. ...
10th March: Snow early in morning. Battalion employed at trench maintenance. Our trench mortars active at intervals. Enemy retaliation with HE (high explosive shells) on supports. ... Casualties - nil. ...
The shrapnel from one of the
shells reported struck him on the right side. One piece appears to have
passed though his thigh without breaking any bones and it left a hole
that turned septic. Other bits of metal scarred his lower back above
the hip and marked his arm. The wound was severe and he went to No 7
Stationary Hospital, Le Havre; there shrapnel, a ‘foreign body’, was
removed and he was sent via HS Brighton to England. He was to pass
through the Red Cross Weir Hospital at Balham, London and 3rd General
Hospital, Wandsworth, London before going to the Canadian Convalescent
Hospital at Bromley, Kent and to Kendal for rest. He wasn’t fully
discharged until the 8 June 1917.
was wounded accidentally a second time on the 7 January 1918. His unit
were at the Chateau de la Haie (or de la Haye), Villers au Bois and
were engaged in the practice throwing of live grenades. One exploded
prematurely, the incident noted in the diary (See above), and he was again wounded
on the right leg, this time on the lower limb and ankle. It was a severe
wound. He passed through the No. 6 Field Ambulance Depot and 18 Casualty
Clearing Station before reaching 13 General Hospital, Boulogne on the
10th January. He was moved aboard the HS St Denis to England for
treatment. He stayed at the Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Westcote
Park, Epsom until the 31 July 1918.
He was discharged in England from
the CEF on 3 April 1919 and stated that he was going, presumably to work
as a farm labourer, to Mr Currie, Bratsell Farm, near Battle, Sussex.
He gave his future address as that of his wife Louise, 14, St Paul’s
Road, St Leonards, Sussex.
He died 17 January 1961.
1816 Private Samuel McCartney enlisted in Toronto in the 17th Battalion, CEF (Nova Scotia Highlanders) on the 24 September 1914 and was transferred on the 16 December 1914 to Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.
He was born on the 18 November 1893 and was 20 years and 10 months old at the time of joining the army. He said he was a single man and a baker by trade. He was 5’ 8½ inches tall and he had hazel coloured eyes and dark or black hair. He was a Ballymena man and gave his mother’s name and address as Ellen McCartney, 155, Antrim Road, Ballymena. He married at some point during the war and gave his wife’s name and address as Mrs Grace McCartney, 230, John St. North, Hamilton, Ontario (later 286, Robert St, Hamilton).
The 1911 census return says Ellen McCartney, Queen's Street (Queen's Street becomes the Antrim Road beyond the Toome Rd junction.), 68 and a widow, had been married 43 years and that she had seven children; this appears incorrect, as are the ages given for children.
The 1901 census says James, 60 and a railway labourer, lived at Railway Place with his wife Eliza, aged 55. Eight offspring are named: Catherine, 32 and a linen weaver, Agnes, 30 and a linen reeler, Alex, 22 and a journeyman tailor, Robert, 20 and a draper's assistant, Samuel, 17 and a print compositor, Campbell, 16 and a draper's assistant, Ellen, 14 and a linen weaver and Rose (12); a 6 year old grandson called Alex Black is also recorded. The 1911 census return records Ellen, 68 and a widow, living in Queen's Street with son Hugh, 32 and a railway porter, Alex, 30 and a master tailor, Campbell, 24 and a woollen draper's assistant, Ellen (22) and Rose, 20 and a linen weaver.Two lodgers are also named. It appears, therefore, that Eliza/Ellen had at least nine children (Catherine, Agnes, Hugh, Robert, Alex, Samuel, Campbell, Ellen and Rose), their ages a little uncertain.
Samuel sailed to England at the end of 1914 and left Southampton for France with the PPCLI on 29 April 1915. The PPCLI was one of the great fighting units of the Great War but no detail of his service with them is given. We know that he was troubled by influenza and tonsillitis during the war and that he made at least one visit to Ireland in July 1917, probably to his mother in Ballymena, because his record states ‘Period of leave is extended 48 hours. Delay in train service Dublin’. There is no record on injury in his army record but his medical file states that he was gassed in 1917 and later developed ‘pulmonary fibrosis’. This became the cause of him being certified ‘C3 - unfit for general service’ and brought about his premature demobilisation in Toronto on the 18 July 1918.
Samuel McCartney died in Northville State Hospital, Detroit, USA on the 2 December 1963, his wife Grace giving the then family address as 19230 Hershey Street, Detroit 3, Michigan, USA.
Headstone in Crebilly Cemetery, near Ballymena.
1st October 1918: Continental time comes into effect. 1½ hours ‘stand so’ (abbreviation for ‘stand to arms’, meaning ‘stand ready for action’.) from 07.00. Bombed in Camp about 21.30. 1 OR (Other Rank, ordinary soldier) killed, 17 wounded. 4 horses killed, 9 wounded. (Casualties were in ‘A’ and ‘C’ Squadrons.)
There are no casualties on the following days and it seems likely that Trooper David McClure was one of those '17 wounded' in the bombing of the camp at Caulaincourt Wood. The soldier who died would appear to be 342 Trooper J F Vowles, now buried in Roisel Communal Cemetery Extension. He is named on the Nominal Roll, 1915 and was James F (Francis) Vowles, 'A' Squadron, a painter who had been born at Aldershot, Hampshire, England and who enlisted at Valcartier on 24th September 1914. His mother Mary at the date of the Nominal Roll lived at 19A, Wotton Road, Cricklewood, London.
1911 Irish Census Return
A11155 Captain John Chambers McDowell served with the 38th Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry and the Machine Gun Corps. He was born on the 27 September 1892 at Elm Bank, Dumbarton, near Glasgow, Scotland, but the immediate family lived in Ballymena, their address being 1, Windsor Terrace, Kinhilt Street, Ballymena. John’s records mentions Maggie McDowell and Sarah McDowell, two of his sisters.
John C McDowell was 22 years and 8 months old when he enlisted on the 22 May 1915 at Niagara on the Lake. He was 5’ 10” tall and had blue eyes and fair hair. He said he was single and a Presbyterian, and put down ‘ministry’ as his occupation. He also said he had previously served in the Royal Irish Rifles.
He enlisted as an ordinary soldier and rose through the ranks, winning a military medal, before being commissioned in Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry on the 9 September 1916. His record states he served in England and France at various times with the ‘38th Battalion, Canadian Infantry, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, and 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade Machine Gun Company’. He was also an Assistant Instructor for a time at the Canadian Bombing and Trench Mortar School. (A Machine Gun Company of the Canadian Machine Gun Corps was attached to each Canadian Infantry Brigade until the formation later of Canadian Machine Gun Battalions. The 7th Canadian Machine Gun Company was attached to the 7th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Infantry Division. It was organised in France in March and April, 1916 from the MG Sections of the Infantry Battalions of the Brigade.)
He was wounded, though details are scarce. He suffered a slight wound to this right hand in December 1915, and a wound to his right shoulder in April 1916; a medical record also says he was gassed in 1915. He may have suffered injuries that are not recorded in his papers. The extract below is from the official War Diary and is dated 31st July 1917. It records an injury to Lieutenant McDowell that is not noted elsewhere.
sad news was contained in a telegram which reached his relatives who
reside at Kinhilt Street, Ballymena on Monday morning. A letter from a
nurse in the hospital received on Tuesday stated that his position
became worse and he died somewhat suddenly at 9.45 pm and that he was
such a good patient and seldom complained of pain.
McDowell enlisted in September 1914 and after training in Ireland and
England he proceeded to the front with the Ulster Division. Prior to his
enlistment he was employed in the dressing shop of the Phoenix Weaving
Factory, Ballymena and he was a popular member of the Young Conquerors
Flute Band. He was a member of Wellington Street Presbyterian Church and
was a prominent figure in the choir.
His brother Corporal John C. McDowell is serving at the front in the machine gun section of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.
3234305 Gunner John McDowell was drafted under the Military Service Act, 1917 and associated with the 2nd Depot Battalion of the 1st Central Ontario Regiment before going to the 71st Battery, Canadian Field Artillery. He was quite old, born on the 20 April 1884 and 34 years old at enlistment in Toronto on 30 April 1918. He said he was single, ‘Protestant’ and a blacksmith (Blacksmith is rendered furrier on one record, presumably a corruption of farrier). His address was 295, Jervis Street, Toronto. He said he came from Cloughmills, Co Antrim (Clothmills sic). He was 5’ 5” tall and had grey eyes and ‘medium’ hair. He gave his mother Mary of Cloughmills as his next of kin. The 1911 Irish census records 68 year old Mary McDowell, Loughill (Lough Hill), Killagan, Glarryford (near Cloughmills). She had been married for 44 years to 68 year old Daniel, an agricultural labourer, and the couple had had 10 children; 9 were still alive in 1911. The couple were Anglicans.
The 1901 census records 50 year old Mary McDowell and 50 year old Daniel, an agricultural labourer, Lough Hill, Killagan, Glarryford (near Cloughmills) and some of the family: Annie, a dressmaker, was 27; Lizzie was 22 and a housekeeper; Louisa F was 19 and a shorthand typist; John was 16 and a blacksmith; and Muie (sic – illegible. It is clear from 628920 CSM William Gage McDowell's record that John was his twin brother. The scrawl rendered Muie is probably Wullie or Willie) was 16 and a shop assistant. Annie Linton McDowell, their 3 year old granddaughter, lived with them.
John McDowell’s file shows no service outside Canada. He was in the forces from the 30 April 1918
but was discharged at Exhibition Camp, Toronto on the 20 December 1918, just
over one month after the war’s end. He went to 698, Manning Avenue, Toronto, the address of his brother William and his wife Florence.
135804 Robert McFadden, 829, Carlaw Avenue, Toronto, who had enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force on the 23 July 1915, was an Ulsterman and came originally from Broughdone, Cullybackey. He was the son of James and Esther McFadden, farmers, and brother of James McFadden – see above for family details. He too is listed on the roll of honour of the United Free Church, Cullybackey.
He was born on the 7 September 1891. He was single and a carpenter in 1915. He was 5’ 6” tall and had grey eyes and fair hair, and he originally enlisted in the 74th Battalion. The 74th Battalion was authorized on 10 July 1915 and embarked for the UK on 29 March 1916. It provided reinforcements to the Canadian Corps in the field, and on 30 September 1916 its personnel were absorbed by the 50th Battalion (Calgary), the 51st Battalion (Edmonton), the 52nd Battalion (New Ontario), CEF and the 2nd Battalion, Canadian Mounted Rifles. It was disbanded on 15 September 1917.
Robert McFadden sailed from Halifax on the 29 March 1916 aboard the SS Empress of Britain with the unit as it moved to the UK and landed in Liverpool on the 9 April. He went to Bramshott Camp to complete his training and then moved to France on the 8/9 June 1916. He was with his unit, now 1 Canadian Mounted Rifles, on the 12 June.
He appears to have suffered some sort of injury in January 1917. He went to the Divisional Rest Station, Dannes-Camiers on the 3 January but was moved to No 22 General Hospital on the 18 January. He was then transferred aboard HS Brighton to England and was sent to the 3rd Northern General Hospital, Sheffield on the 23 January 1917. His medical record there says, ‘From France as GSW right hand, three weeks ago. Wound over back of meta carpo phelangeal joint of middle finger. About 1 square inch skin destroyed. Round it is an inflamed, mildly septic area, and he has had lymphnangitis, but not now. Movement of fingers painful.’ He wasn’t to transfer to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Woodcote Park, Epsom until the 4 May 1917. He remained there until discharged to the 11th June and was not back with 1 Canadian Mounted Rifles until 25 March 1918. He had in the interval been attached to the 19th and 15th Reserve Battalions. He was struck off strength with the 1 Canadian Mounted Rifles on the 12 February 1919 for return to England, ultimately Canada.
Robert McFadden was discharged from the CEF on the 28 March 1919 and said he was returning to 829, Carlaw Avenue, Toronto. He was to die at Oakville, Ontario on the 10 July 1967.
809001 Private William McIlvenna of Hanna, Alberta
Also his son Samuel, who died 19th August 1881 aged 73 yearsAnd Margaret wife of Samuel died 22nd December 1893 aged 75 years.Also Thomas Alexander McMaster died 17th April 1901 aged 59 yearsAlso his wife Mary McMaster who died 20th June 1911 aged 67 years.And their grandson Alexander McMaster who died 17th November 1910 aged 12 Years.
Image [MSC130-2564-01] courtesy of the British Columbia Postcards Collection, a digital initiative of Simon Fraser University Library.
MR. Robert Millar, Ballymoney Street, Ballymena, has received information intimating that his son, Sergt. R. W. Millar of the Canadian Mounted Rifles was wounded and is at present in St. John's Hospital in France. By the same post Mr. Millar received a letter from his son stating that he had received a bullet wound in the shoulder ... He emigrated to Canada two years ago, where he was employed by Eaton's of Toronto. He joined the Canadians in June 1915 and went to the front in January of 1916. Ballymena Observer 1916
144511 Private Robert William Millar, 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles, enlisted at Smith’s Falls, Ontario in the 77th Battalion, CEF on the 26 June 1915 and was eventually to serve in Europe with the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles. (The unit disembarked in France on 24 October 1915, where it fought as part of the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles Brigade until 31 December 1915. It was then converted to infantry and became a unit of the 8th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division. The regiment was redesignated the 4th Battalion, Canadian Mounted Rifles, CEF on 1 January 1916 and was not to be disbanded until 6 November 1920). Millar was promoted to be Acting Lance Sergeant while in England but reverted to the ranks on 16 March 1916 for overseas service.
Robert William Millar was born on the 21 April 1890 and had emigrated to Canada some time after 1912 and worked as a dry goods clerk and lived at 19, Aldwych Avenue, Toronto. He was 5’ 6” tall and he had blue eyes and brown hair. He was a Presbyterian and is listed in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-19 in the record for West Church, his entry being ‘Millar R.W., Ballymena, Sergeant, Can. Mt. Rifles’. He was the son of Robert Millar who had a grocery store at 37, Ballymoney Street, Ballymena, as shown in the Belfast and Ulster Towns Directory for 1910 – see below. 37, Ballymoney street is also the address on Robert William Millar's will.