Edward Arthur Bissell was born in Trenton, Ontario to Isabella (née Coulter) and William Bissell on July 2nd, 1882. He signed up in Camp Barriefield, Kingston on this day in 1915, under the assumed name of Edward Griswould, claiming to have been born in Deseronto in 1893 (although it appears he had always lived in Trenton). He gave his next of kin as Mrs James L. Wright of Rochester, New York – this was his older sister, Minnie, who was born in 1871.
When he enlisted, Bissell was described as five feet eight and a half inches tall, with a fair complexion, brown eyes and fair hair. He joined the 2nd Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force and was given the regimental number 455218. His service record shows that he arrived in England on November 23rd, 1915. He sprained his right ankle and damaged his knee on June 13th, 1916 at Ypres and spent four months in hospital in England. In November 1917 he was admitted to hospital again, with myalgia. He returned to the 2nd Battalion in France in January 1918.