On this day in 1916 Bert Leaf, a teamster, signed up in Deseronto. He claimed to have been born in Ottawa on March 31st, 1887, although when he married Mabel Pearson in Napanee in 1904, he gave his place of birth as Watertown, New York and could not give the names of his parents. Bert and Mabel had four children by the time he joined the army.
Bert joined the 155th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force with the regimental number 636773. He was five feet three and a quarter inches tall, with a fair complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. His service file shows that he sailed from Halifax on October 17th, 1916 on the SS Northland.
On April 22nd 1917 Leaf joined the 21st Battalion in France. In 1918 he spent time in hospital suffering from syphilis and scabies. He returned to duty in June and was reported missing after seeing action on August 26th. Four days later, he was reported as being safely back with his unit. He left England for Canada in September 1919 and was demobilized on September 17th in Kingston.
A note on his service file states that Bert Leaf died on July 3rd, 1954.