On this day in 1915, James Joseph Farrell joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force in Deseronto with the regimental number 49662. Farrell was born on May 8th, 1895 in Lonsdale, the son of Patrick Farrell and Ellen Bauman. The Farrell family lived in Deseronto (in Maple Street) from 1901, when Joseph’s father was a lumber labourer, to 1921, when he was a night watchman.
When he enlisted, Joseph Farrell was five feet, nine and a quarter inches tall, with a fair complexion, blue eyes and dark hair. His service record shows that he was initially with the Remount Depot Squadron at Hautot, France, where he arrived in July 1915. This squadron was responsible for obtaining and training horses for use by the army. He also served in the Canadian Forestry Corps and in the Canadian Machine Gun Corps in France. He spent several weeks in hospital over the course of the war with venereal disease and on July 34d, 1917 he was accidentally injured in the leg while operating a saw mill. A report on the file notes that he was “in no way to blame”.
Farrell left England for Canada on May 14th, 1919 and was demobilized in Toronto on May 25th. After the war, he married Dora Wartman on June 13th 1921 in Toronto.