|Pte. Lewis Bezanson's headstone, Bayview Cemetery, Goldboro|
Lewis remained in England throughout the winter of 1918-19. On March 3, 1919, he was assigned to the Khaki College’s central campus, Ripon, Yorkshire. A joint project of the Canadian YMCA and Chaplaincy services, the College boasted a faculty of more than 70 lecturers and offered courses at virtually all educational levels. While details of Lewis’s role at the College are unknown, given his pre-service role as a student, he most likely participated in on of its programs.
Lewis remained at Khaki College until May 26, when he returned to the Canadian Corps Depot, Ripon, Six weeks later, he departed for Canada aboard HMTS Winfredian and arrived at Halifax on July 28. Five days later, Lewis was officially discharged from military service and returned home to Goldboro. Several weeks later, he returned to Acadia University and resumed his program of studies.
Sometime during the 1919-20 academic year, Lewis was diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis and admitted to Kentville Sanatorium. For almost one year, he remained under the institution’s care. His health slowly worsening, Lewis returned to his Goldboro home in late February 1921. Dr. John James “J. J.” McRitchie, the area’s family physician and a former medical officer, oversaw his care.
Private Lewis Seaboyer Bezanson passed away at home at 2:00 a.m. March 16, 1921. Dr. McRitchie identified the cause of death to “tuberculosis, pulmonary” contracted “during war service overseas.” Military officials subsequently concurred with his assessment and offered to provide an Imperial War Graves headstone for Lewis’s final resting place in Bayview Cemetery, Goldboro. His parents, Obed and Charity, declined the offer and erected a private memorial at his gravesite.
Lewis’s story is one of 64 profiles contained in Bantry Publishing’s First World War Honour Roll of Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, Volume II: 1918 - 1937, available for purchase online at bantrypublishing.ca .