May 18, 2016
Hugo Burghart Rathbun, a civil engineer, enlisted on this day in 1916 in Kingston. He was born in Deseronto on June 28th, 1890, the son of Herbert Rathbun and Agnes (née Bell). He was named after Herbert’s father, the founder of the Rathbun Company in Deseronto. By 1897 the family were living in Belleville: Herbert died there on April 4th of tuberculosis.
Hugo had served in the Ammunition Column of the 9th Brigade and he joined the 50th Battery of the Canadian Field Artillery as a lieutenant.
Rathbun survived the war and was back at 28 Campbell Street in Belleville in 1921, living with his mother (who had married again and was again a widow) and his sister Helen. The household also contained a cook and a servant. Hugo was working as a salesman.
Hugo died in Belleville General Hospital on February 15th, 1930, after suffering convulsions caused by chronic nephritis, a kidney disease. He was buried in the Belleville cemetery.
May 18, 2016
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On this day in 1916 contractor Robert William Frayne enlisted. His first attestation paper has not survived, but he enlisted again on May 8th, 1919 and stated that he had previously served in the Royal Canadian Garrison Artillery between May 18th, 1916 and October 15th, 1918. He said that he was born in Deseronto on July 23rd, 1877. He was living in Victoria, British Columbia when he signed up and had previously been living in Nanaimo, at the time of the 1911 census, with his wife Lily and two small children.
On his second enlistment, Frayne was given the regimental number 1286139. He was five feet nine inches tall, with grey eyes, a dark complexion and black hair. His service record shows that he joined the Canadian Army Service Corps and served with them until September 30th, when he was demobilized in Victoria. In the 1921 census he was back with his wife and three children in Fernwood Drive, Victoria, working as a driver. He died in North Vancouver on December 24th, 1959.
May 16, 2016
On this day in 1916 Robert John Luffman signed up in Barrie. He was born in Deseronto on December 2nd, 1895, the son of Jason Luffman and Catherine Dennee. Jason died in 1899 and Catherine married John Eggleton Brown in 1901. By 1911 Robert was living in Midland, Ontario with his grandparents, Robert and Annie Luffman.
Robert joined the 157th Battalion with the regimental number 644861. He was five feet four and three quarter inches tall, with a ruddy complexion, brown eyes and light brown hair.
Luffman survived the war and in 1921 was back with his grandparents in Midland, working as a tailor. He married Agnes Alma Pearson in Midland on 15 November 1921. He died in Midland on October 1, 1940 of heart failure and dropsy (oedema), which was determined to have been caused by his service in the army.
May 15, 2016
Ernest Russell Brant signed up in Cobourg on this day in 1916. He was born in Tyendinaga on March 15th, 1891, the son of Josiah Brant and Elizabeth (née Moses), who were both Mohawks. His eldest brother, Charles Arthur Brant had enlisted in Saskatchewan in March.
Ernest joined the 139th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force with the regimental number 815004. He was five feet eight inches tall, with a dark complexion, brown eyes and black hair. His service record shows that he was transferred to the 28th Battalion in January 1917 and served in France with that unit.
Brant received a gunshot wound to the back of his head on August 21st, 1917 at the Battle of Hill 70 and was sent to England to recover. After it had healed, he had an operation on his eye to remove a growth (pterygium). He rejoined the 28th Battalion in France in April 1918.
May 13, 2016
Edward George Rathbun Rogers, a bank clerk, signed up in Kingston on this day in 1916. He was born in Deseronto on September 13th, 1894, the son of Frank J. Rogers (manager of the Bank of Montreal in Deseronto between 1893 and 1896) and Ann (née Read). His name was Edward George Fitzgerald Rogers when his birth was registered. Frank died in 1897 and Ann in 1908. Edward gave his next of kin as his eldest sister, Frances Aileen Rogers.
Rogers joined the 50th (Queen’s) Battery with the regimental number 318990. He was five feet eight and a half inches tall, with a fair complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. He signed up again on February 28th, 1917, this time joining the 72nd (Queen’s) Battery.
Edward survived the war and married Edith Pearl Moffat in Toronto on September 22nd, 1924.
May 1, 2016
On this day in 1916 Albert Wright signed up in Deseronto. He was born in Deseronto on April 29th, 1878, the son of John Wright and Sophia (née Allan). Sophia had died in October 1915.
Albert joined the 155th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force with the regimental number 637114. He was five feet eight inches tall, with a dark complexion, blue eyes and brown hair.
Wright survived the war and in 1921 was back in Deseronto, living with his father and his older brother William.
April 28, 2016
Nelson Maracle signed up in Simcoe, Ontario on this day in 1916. He stated that he was born in Deseronto on March 3rd, 1888 and he gave his next of kin as his wife, Clare. They were living in Vanessa when he enlisted. He had previously served in the 49th Regiment.
Nelson joined the 133rd Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force with the regimental number 797660. He was five feet six inches tall, with a dark complexion, brown eyes and black hair. His service record shows that he was struck off the strength of the battalion on July 8th, 1916 for being illegally absent.
S.O.S. 8-7-16. Illegally Absent. Sentenced to one year in jail for A.W.L. [Absent Without Leave]
Maracle was taken on the strength of the Canadian Mounted Rifles on December 11th, 1916 and was finally discharged on February 10th, 1917, as a deserter.