Albert Wright signature

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.

Nelson Maracle signature

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.

Nelson Maracle desertion

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.

William Edward Maracle signature

On this day in 1916 William Edward Maracle, a wood turner, signed up in Deseronto. He was born in Tyendinaga on November 19th, 1870, the son of James Maracle and Rachel (née Brant), who were both Mohawks. He married Julia Ann Williams, who died on April 10th, 1912 of tuberculosis. They had three sons and a daughter and the eldest two, Philip and Solomon, had already enlisted.

Eddie joined the 155th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force with the regimental number 637122. He was five feet seven inches tall, with a dark complexion, brown eyes and black hair.

His service record shows that Maracle went absent without leave before his unit left Canada. He was discharged on his return as being medically unfit (he was 46 years old, considered to be overage).

William Edward Maracle discharge

Eddie tried to enlist again, on December 15th, 1916 in Kingston, but was rejected as medically unfit. In 1921 he was living with a new wife, Mary, in Tyendinaga.

Joseph Corby signature

On this day in 1916 Joseph Corby, a sailor, signed up in Deseronto. He was born on October 10th, 1874, the son of Louis Corby (a Mohawk born in Kahnewake) and Elizabeth (né Green), who was a Mohawk of the Bay of Quinte. His two younger brothers, Jake and Harry, had already enlisted. Joseph married Mary Frances Maracle on April 1st, 1897 in Tyendinaga. By 1911 they had two sons and were living in Park Street, Deseronto. Joseph’s eldest son, Sam, enlisted in February 1915.

Joseph joined the 155th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force with the regimental number 637096. He was five feet seven and three quarter inches tall, with a dark complexion, brown eyes and black hair.

Corby’s service record shows that he was examined by a medical board on September 6th, 1916 and discharged from the army for being medically unfit.

Joseph Corby medically unfit

10. (a) Disease or disability. Over age. Bunions both feet, right eye blind.
(b) Date of origin. Prior to Enlistment
(c) Place of origin. Unknown.
(d) Cause. Unknown.

11. Present Condition. (Most Important). (To include full description of present disabling condition or conditions.) Shows marks of senility, large painfull bunions both feet, blind in right eye.

In the 1921 census, Mary Corby and her two sons were living in College Street, Deseronto. She was described as a widow.

William Harry Anderson signature

William Harry Anderson, a printer, signed up in Alameda, Saskatchewan on this day in 1916. He was born in Deseronto on April 17th, 1895, the son of Alexander Anderson and Georgina (née Asselstine). The family had moved to Alameda by the time of the 1901 census.

Harry joined the 152nd Battalion with the regimental number 925727. He was five feet seven and a half inches tall, with a fair complexion, blue eyes and fair hair. His service record shows that he was transferred to the 5th Battalion in April 1917.

Anderson was involved in the Second Battle of Passchendaele and was awarded the Military Medal.

William Harry Anderson Military Medal citation

William Harry Anderson’s Military Medal citation, courtesy of Library and Archives Canada

This man was a runner in “C” Company during the operations of the 10th November 1917 and repeatedly carried despatches to and from Company to Battn Headquarters, and over the open through the fire of snipers from VENTURE FARM and so enabling communication to the kept up with our exposed flank.

Anderson was awarded 14 days’ leave in Paris over Christmas 1917. He returned in January with gonorrhea and spent nearly two months in hospital being treated. Fifty cents a day was deducted from his pay for the month of February to go towards the cost of his treatment.1

Harry received a gunshot wound to the wrist in September 1918 and left hospital a month later. He departed England on April 26th, 1919, on board the RMS Empress of Britain. He was demobilized on May 7th, giving his home address as 152 Higgins Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba.


1 See The British Army’s fight against Venereal Disease in the ‘Heroic Age of Prostitution’ for a discussion of the authorities’ responses to the problem of sexually transmitted diseases in the First World War.

Arthur Lionel Malley in 1914

Arthur Lionel Malley signature

Arthur Lionel Malley signed up on this day in 1916 in Cobourg. He was born on December 8th, 1896, the son of William James Malley and Ada (née Moodie). He noted on his attestation form that he had attended two courses with the Royal School of Artillery. The photograph above was taken in 1914, when Arthur was a member of the Deseronto Fire Team.

Malley joined the Cobourg Heavy Battery with the regimental number 1260514. The picture below shows the fourth draft of this unit, which left for England in June 1916. Arthur was five feet ten inches tall, with a dark complexion, hazel eyes and brown hair.

Cobourg Heavy Battery Fourth Draft

Fourth Draft of the Cobourg Heavy Battery, courtesy of Cobourg Public LIbrary

Malley survived the war and married Hellen Isobel Weaver in Trenton on June 20th, 1928, when his occupation was customs clerk. He died in May 1952 and is buried in the Deseronto Cemetery alongside his parents.

Brant Brant signature

Brant Brant signed up in Belleville on this day in 1916. He was born in Shannonville on February 10th, 1893, the son of Brant Brant and Margaret (Maggie) (née Hill).

Brant joined the 155th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force with the regimental number 637076. He was five feet six and a half inches tall, with a dark complexion, brown eyes and black hair. After arriving in England in October 1916, Brant was transferred to the 2nd Battalion and joined them in France on December 9th, 1916.

His service record shows that Brant Brant was injured in the arm and leg by shrapnel wounds on May 3rd, 1917 in the Third Battle of the Scarpe. He was sent to England to recover, then returned to France in March 1918. Brant fell ill with influenza in November 1918 and was again admitted to hospital. He recovered by the end of January 1919 and was discharged from the army in March.

Brant married Dorsey Claus in Deseronto on April 27th, 1920. In 1921 the couple were living with Dorsey’s parents at 177 Pinnacle Street, Belleville, with their seven-month-old son.

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