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.

Advertisements