On this day in 1916, Gerald Cecil Burton, a fireman, signed up in Toronto. He stated that he was born in Deseronto on July 29th, 1897. At the time of enlisting his mother, Margaret, was living in Elm Street, Sudbury, Ontario.
Gerald joined the 69th Battery of the Canadian Field Artillery with the regimental number 340069. He was five feet seven and three quarter inches tall, with a fair complexion, grey-blue eyes and brown hair. He arrived in England on board the RMS Mauretania on November 30th, 1916. He got to France on March 11th, 1917, serving with the 1st Brigade of the Canadian Field Artillery. His service file notes that he was tried at a court martial on August 29th, 1917:
25.9.17 In confinement awaiting trial 31 days. Tried & convicted by F.G.C.M. [Field General Court Martial] of W.O.A.S. [while on active service] Stealing goods the property of an officer in that he in the field on or about 13 July stole a revolver & Holster the property of H. J. Rolph & sentenced to Hard Labor for 1 year 29.8.17
This sentence was commuted to 90 days of Field Punishment number 1. On March 19th, 1918 Burton was struck off the strength of his unit and sent to England when it was discovered that his true date of birth was July 29th, 1900. He left Liverpool for Canada on May 13th and was examined by a medical board in Toronto on July 11th. This board noted that he was under age (17) and was suffering from bronchitis caused by poison gas. He was discharged as medically unfit on July 25th, 1918. It is not clear what happened to him after the war.