Matthew Brant signature

On this day in 1915, Matthew Brant signed up in Kingston. He had been born in Deseronto on March 25th, 1891, the son of Cornelius Brant and Catherine (née Maracle), members of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte.

Brant joined the 59th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force with the regimental number 455599. When he enlisted, he was described as five feet seven inches tall, with a fair complexion, brown eyes and dark brown hair. His service record shows that he left Halifax for England on April 5th, 1916. In August 1916 he was treated for gonorrhea and he joined the 21st Battalion in France on October 14th, 1916. On August 14th, 1917 he was wounded in the left ankle by a shell: a fragment of the shell was removed from his ankle and he recovered in hospital in England, being discharged in October. He spent the rest of the war in England in a reserve battalion.

Matthew Brant arrived back in Canada on April 20th, 1919 and was demobilized at Kingston four days later.

Harold Dean Powless signature

On this day in 1915, Harold Dean Powless signed up in Toronto, where he was a piano worker. Powless was born in Deseronto on November 5th, 1898, the son of David John Powless and his wife, Louisa (née Maracle), both Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte. Louisa died in 1907 and the family were living in Toronto by 1910, when Harold’s father married an English widow called Rose Hannah Mepham (née Hawkins). When Harold enlisted, they were living at 56 Humbert Street, Toronto.

Harold was described as five feet four and a half inches tall, with a fair complexion, grey eyes and black hair. He was transferred to the 58th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, with the regimental number 453787. He claimed to be 18, but was actually 17 when he signed up.

Harold survived the war and married Florence May Mason in Luton, England in late 1918. The couple arrived in Canada on board the SS Scotian on August 3rd, 1919.

SS Scotian

SS Scotian, courtesy of the Waugh Family site

By November 1920, Harold was back in Toronto and, along with other returned soldiers, was looking for work, as this extract from the Toronto Star shows. At this time he was living at 6 Ravina Crescent with his wife.

Job-seeking advertisement from Harold Dean Powless

Image courtesy of the Canadian Great War Project.

Harold and Florence had two children and eventually settled in Oshawa, where Harold worked as a carpenter. Harold died there in 1968 and Florence died in 1991.

Vincent Carnahan's signature

On this day in 1915, Vincent Carnahan enlisted in Belleville. He was born in Deseronto on December 11th, 1897, the son of William Henry Carnahan and Sarah (née Doran). He was described on his attestation paper as five feet five inches tall, with a dark complexion, hazel eyes and dark brown hair. He joined the 34th Battery of the Canadian Field Artillery with the regimental number 300341.

Carnahan’s service record shows that he arrived in England on the SS Missinabie on December 29th, 1915. He joined the 3rd Division’s Trench Mortar Battery on the Western Front on April 27th, 1916. On June 3rd he was reported missing after an attack at the Battle of Mount Sorrel near Ypres in Belgium. He had been injured when his trench mortar had been destroyed, dislocating his left ankle and damaging his knee. He was then taken prisoner and on July 12th he was reported to be in a prisoner of war camp at Duisburg. On October 3rd he was transferred to another camp at Friedrichsfeld.

After 23 months as a POW, Vincent was repatriated to England in May 1918 and admitted to hospital. He was unable to straighten his left leg as a result of damage to his hamstring. He spent several months in various hospitals in England and in the summer of 1918 he got married to Violet Packer in Lambeth, England. Carnahan was sent back to Canada in October 1918 for further treatment and was discharged as medically unfit for further service on April 2nd, 1919 in Kingston. Violet travelled from Liverpool to Canada on the SS Grampian in June 1919, listed as a military dependent.

Vincent left Canada for the United States on March 24th, 1920, arriving in Detroit. He was not travelling with Violet, and it is not clear what happened to her after the war.

Arthur Rosendale's signature

On this day in 1915 Arthur Rosendale signed up in Kingston. He was born in Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, England, the son of Frederick Rosendale and Elizbeth (née Dellar) on April 17th, 1887 (he said 1886 when he enlisted). Arthur arrived in Canada in July 1913 on the SS Virginian. On October 29th, 1914 he married Ellen Charlotte Glenny in Deseronto. She was also English and had arrived in Canada on the SS Canada in February 1913 , in a party travelling under the auspices of the Women’s Domestic Guild of Canada.

Arthur Rosendale was a plumber and when he enlisted was described as having a fair complexion, grey eyes and light brown hair. He was five feet nine and a half inches tall. He joined the 5th Battery of the Canadian Field Artillery with a regimental number of 300284.

Ernest Brennan's signature

On this day in 1915 Ernest Brennan signed up in Kingston. He was born in Deseronto on July 9th, 1896, the son of Frank Brennan and Annie (née Hogan). He had attended Deseronto High School and was working as a chauffeur when he enlisted. His younger brother, Clarence, had signed up in May. Ernest was five feet seven and a half inches tall, with a dark complexion, blue eyes and dark brown hair.

He joined the 5th battery of the Canadian Field Artillery with a regimental number of 300283. His service record shows that he was treated for a sprained ankle in May 1916. Brennan served in the 3rd Ammunition Sub-Park of the Canadian Army Service Corps in France from July 1916. He went on leave to England in November 1917 and was admitted to hospital suffering from sciatica and myalgia, with pains in his lower back and legs. He was discharged in March 1918, classed as B3 (fit for sedentary work abroad), but then had a further three months in hospital in the spring and summer of 1918 being treated for gonorrhea.

Brennan left Scotland on the SS Saturnia on July 1919 and was demobilized in Kingston on August 8th. He was living with his parents in Green Street, Deseronto in 1921, when he and his father were both working as cheese makers. He married Mary Loreto Doré on June 21, 1921 in Deseronto. Information from public family trees suggests that he died in Kemptville, Ontario, on February 11th, 1966.

Joseph Amos Green signatureOn this day in 1915, Joseph Amos Green enlisted in Toronto. His mother was Margaret Green, a Mohawk, and in 1891 he was living with her in Deseronto, aged seven. By the time of the 1911 census he was married (to another Margaret) and living in Gananoque, working as a sailor. His mother died in 1912 in Brant Street, Deseronto. By the time Amos Green enlisted, he and his wife had two children, Margaret and Mary.

When he enlisted, Green was five feet eight and a half inches tall, with a dark complexion, light brown eyes and black hair. He joined the 83rd Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force with the regimental number 171101. His occupation was tent maker and he was living at 87 Wilton Avenue in Toronto.

Green’s service record shows that he sailed from Montreal on the SS Corsican on September 25th, 1915, arriving in England on October 5th. He was later transferred to the 39th Reserve Battalion and the 26th Battalion.

Horace Thompson's signature

Horace Alexander Thompson signed up at Camp Barriefield on this day in 1915. He had been born on April 14, 1896 in Deseronto, the son of Elizabeth (née McCormack) and David Thompson.

On enlisting, Thompson gave his occupation as student. He was five feet five and three-quarter inches tall, with a light complexion, blue eyes and brown hair.  His regimental number was 510085.

Thompson survived the war and is found living with his parents at the time of the 1921 census in Thomas Street, Deseronto, working as a mechanic. John Boyd, Thompson’s grandson, tells us that he worked for Bell Canada and worked in Chicago for a time and that he served in the Second World War. He retired to Green Point, Prince Edward County and later lived in Ottawa, where he died in around 1971.

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