George Mark Hill (Maracle) signature

George Mark Maracle (who enlisted under the name Hill) was killed on this day in 1917 in the trenches near Bois de la Ville during the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

His body was not recovered. He is remembered on the Vimy memorial and in Deseronto. A letter of condolence was sent to his mother, Annie Maracle, in Point Anne on June 14th, 1917.

Deseronto memorial

Orval Johns signature

Orval Johns enlisted in Toronto on this day in 1917. He stated that he was born in Deseronto on June 6th, 1894 and he named his mother, Sarah Johns, as his next of kin. He was living at 48 Duncan Street in Toronto when he signed up and was working as a sawyer. Charles and Sarah John (note different spelling of the surname) were living in Tyendinaga in 1901 and in Prince Edward County in 1911 and 1921. They were both Mohawks: Sarah’s maiden name was Smart.

Johns had originally signed up on April 10th, 1916 with the 216th (Bantams) Battalion (regimental number 273404), but was discharged as medically unfit on June 27th, due to having flat feet. In 1917 he enlisted again, this time joining the Canadian Forestry Corps. He was five feet tall, with a dark complexion, brown eyes and black hair. His service record shows that he arrived in Liverpool on May 14th, 1917. He crossed the Channel to France on June 17th and served there until 1919. Orval returned to Canada on the RMS Empress of Britain in March 1919. He was demobilized on April 1st, 1919 in Toronto.

Photograph of David Green

Image courtesy of

On this day in 1917, David Green died of wounds received when he was serving with the 1st Battalion at the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

Green was buried in the Lapugnoy Military Cemetery in France.

Image courtesy of

He is also remembered on the Deseronto war memorial.

Deseronto memorial

Frank Bardy's signatureOn this day in 1917 Frank Bardy was killed by shell fire at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, while serving with the 27th Battalion.

Frank Bardy casualty report

War Graves Registers: Circumstances of Death; Record Group Number: RG 150, 1992-93/314; Volume Number: 149, courtesy of Library and Archives Canada

Frank’s grave was reported to be at Roclincourt, but it was not marked. He is remembered on the Vimy memorial.


Thomas Peter Wims signature

Wims & Co. store, DeserontoOn this day 100 years ago, Thomas Peter Wims signed up in Montreal. He was born in Deseronto on July 31st, 1894, the son of Patrick Wims and Jessie (née Kerr). The Wims ran a store in Deseronto in the 1890s, which Herbert Osborne photographed in around 1895. By 1901 the family had moved to Campbellford and they were living in Belleville at the time of the 1911 census. When he enlisted, Thomas was living at 17, Rue Labardie, Montreal, and working as a stenographer.

Wims joined the Canadian Field Artillery with the regimental number 1251853. He was five feet five and a half inches tall, with a fair complexion, grey eyes and dark brown hair.

Edith May Allison signature

On this day in 1917 Edith May Allison enlisted as a nursing sister in Calgary. She was born on May 14th, 1878 (she said 1881 on her form) in Tyendinaga Township, the daughter of Jonathan G. Allison and Sarah Edith (née Prentice). She was listed as a nurse in Tyendinaga in the 1901 census and was still in Tyendinaga in 1911. By 1916 she had moved and was living at the hospital in Coronation, Alberta.

Edith’s service record tells us that she was five feet seven inches tall and weighed 150 pounds when she signed up to join the Canadian Army Medical Corps. She arrived in England in May 1917 and initially served in hospitals in Brighton, Sussex. She was then posted to No. 2 Canadian Stationary Hospital in Outreau, France between June 1918 and March 1919. [War diaries for this hospital are at Library and Archives Canada.]

Edith sailed back to Canada on the SS Lapland in April 1919. She continued to work for the Corps as a nurse in Ottawa after the war, and was transferred to Colonel Belcher Hospital in Calgary on June 1st, 1919. This hospital opened in 1919 for veterans of the war.

Edith was the Matron-in-Charge of the hospital until she died there on July 10th, 1933. Her death was determined to be as a result of her war service.

Edith May Allison circumstances of casualty

Canada, War Graves Registers (Circumstances of Casualty), 1914-1948, courtesy of Library and Archives Canada

Died at Col. Belcher Hospital, Calgary, Alta.

Cause – Myocarditis, etc.
Death was due to service, authority BPC.d.15-8-33

Edith’s gravestone, from ‘Great War 100 Reads’

Edith was buried in the Deseronto Cemetery, near her father, Jonathan Allison. Her mother died three years later and was also buried there.

Lewis Gordon Wilson signature

Lewis Gordon Watson, an accountant, signed up in Winnipeg on this day in 1917. He was born in Deseronto on September 25th, 1898, the son of James William Gordon Watson and Mona (née Lewis). In 1901 the family were living in Picton and by 1911 they had moved to Brandon, Manitoba.

Watson joined the 76th Depot Battery of the Canadian Field Artillery with the regimental number 1250294. He was five feet nine inches tall, with a dark complexion, grey eyes and brown hair.

L. Gordon Watson survived the war and married Margaret Caroline Denison in Toronto on September 18th, 1923. In 1925 he moved to Ohio, where, according to his obituary, he married Rachel Milligan on February 2nd, 1929, in Springfield. The couple had two children. Watson died in Wooster, Ohio on June 19th, 1994. There is a grave marker for the Watsons in the cemetery at Hamilton, Ontario.