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Saturday, 16 March 2019

Remembering Private Lewis Seaboyer Bezanson—Died of Sickness March 16, 1921

Lewis Seaboyer Bezanson was born at Goldboro, Guysborough County, on March 4, 1897, the younger of Charity Hope (Giffin) and Obediah “Obed” Bezanson’s two children. Lewis’s older sibling, Vivian Hope, died at the Victoria General Hospital, Halifax, on September 17, 1913, from the effects of a perforated ulcer. She was 19 years old at the time of her passing. Three years later, Lewis enrolled in Acadia University’s Bachelor of Arts program. He had just completed his sophomore year of studies when he was conscripted into military service at Camp Aldershot, NS, on May 23, 1918.

Pte. Lewis Bezanson's headstone, Bayview Cemetery, Goldboro
Upon completing his basic training, Lewis departed for England on August 2 and reported to Camp Bramshott, where he joined the ranks of the 17th Reserve Battalion (Nova Scotia). His overseas arrival coincided with the commencement of a major Allied counter-offensive at Amiens, France, only days later. The campaign led to the signing of the November 11, 1918 Armistice, an event that ended any opportunity to serve at the front for the vast majority of conscripts.

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 .

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Remembering Private John Rood Dickson—Died of Sickness February 26, 1919

John Rood Dickson was born at Sonora, Guysborough County, on December 7, 1891, the youngest of Druscilla (Hewitt) and John Dickson’s 10 children. Born into a family with a seafaring tradition, young John found employment on the SS Strathlorne, a coastal steamer that operated out of Halifax, NS and travelled along the Halifax and Guysborough County coastline.

John Rood Dickson, SS Strathlorne
Following the outbreak of war in Europe, the capital city and its port bustled with military activity. It was not long before John was enticed into uniform, enlisting with the 64th Battalion (Maritime Provinces) at Sussex, NB, on August 20, 1915. The unit crossed the North Atlantic in early April 1916 but was disbanded within three months of setting foot in England. Prior to its dissolution, its ranks provided several reinforcement drafts for units in the field.

On June 28, 1916, John was part of a group of soldiers assigned to the 25th Battalion (Nova Scotia Rifles). He immediately crossed the English Channel and reported to the 25th’s camp at Heksken, Belgium, one month later. In early September 1916, the new arrivals travelled to the Somme region of France with their new unit and participated in the Canadian Corps’ successful September 15, 1916 attack on the village of Courcelette.

The following day, German artillery heavily shelled the 25th’s position. During the bombardment, John suffered shrapnel wounds to his chin and back, and was evacuated for medical treatment. The injuries proved minor and John rejoined the 25th’s ranks early the following month. He served with the unit in sectors near Vimy Ridge, France, throughout the winter of 1916-17 and participated in the Canadian Corps’ successful April 9, 1917 attack on Vimy Ridge.

In subsequent months, John saw combat at Hill 70, near Lens, in mid-August 1917. Hospitalized for treatment of an infection in late September 1917, he remained under medical care for two months, thus missing the 25th’s combat tour at Passchendaele, Belgium. Following his discharge from hospital, John remained at the Canadian Corps Reinforcement Centre for several months before finally returning to the 25th’s ranks near Amiens, France, on August 15, 1918.

At the time of John’s return, his 25th comrades were still “in the line,” having recently participated in a major Allied counter-attack on the German line east of Amiens. The battle marked the beginning of Canada’s “100 Days,” a series of engagements that were part of a larger Allied offensive that led to the cessation of hostilities. Before month’s end, the 25th participated in a second attack east of Arras, France.

Following a brief period of rest and training, the 25th completed a series of challenging tours near Inchy-en-Artois during the third week of September. While the unit did not participate in the Canadian Corps’ attack on Canal du Nord, west of Cambrai, in late September, its soldiers followed retreating German forces northward toward the Belgian frontier during the subsequent weeks.

On the afternoon of November 6, 1918, John and his mates returned to front line duty and led an advance across the Belgian frontier on the following day. The action proved to be the 25th’s last combat assignment of the war as the November 11, 1918 Armistice brought fighting to an end. One week later, the unit set out on foot for Bonn, Germany, as part of the “army of occupation” accepted by Germany as part of the ceasefire’s terms.

The 25th’s soldiers crossed the German border on December 3, 1918, and eight days later reached their destination. The unit remained in quarters at Bonn until January 22, 1919, at which time personnel boarded a train and departed for Belgium. The following day, its personnel entered billets at Auvelais, east of Charleroi, Belgium.

On February 3, 1919, John reported to No. 20 Casualty Clearing Station, Charleroi, for treatment of bronchial pneumonia. While initially reported as “dangerously ill,” John appeared to recover after a week under care. By February 20, however, his condition worsened and his name was once again placed on the “dangerously ill” list.

Private John Rood Dickson lingered for six days before passing away from bronchial pneumonia on February 26, 1919. He was laid to rest in Charleroi Communal Cemetery, Charleroi, Belgium. John’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 .

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Remembering Sgt. Perry Judson Giffen—Died of Sickness February 19, 1937

Perry Judson Giffen was born at Goldboro, Guysborough County, on June 21, 1895, the sixth of Theodosia (Bezanson) and Obed Chute Giffen’s seven sons. Sometime before 1911, the family relocated to Halifax, where Perry attended Halifax Grammar School and Halifax County Academy. During his time at the two institutions, he developed an interest in journalism and also served with the Halifax Academy Corps, a cadet militia unit.

Sgt. Perry Judson Giffen
On March 14, 1916, Perry enlisted with the 219th Battalion at Halifax, NS. One of four infantry units that constituted the Nova Scotia Highland Brigade, the 219th spent the summer months at Camp Aldershot, training alongside its three Brigade mates—the 85th (Nova Scotia Highlanders), 185th (Cape Breton Highlanders) and 193rd Battalions. On August 4, Perry was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.

The Highland Brigade departed for England on October 12, 1916, and arrived at Liverpool, England, six days later. Significant casualties incurred during the Canadian Corps’ autumn 1916 service at the Somme resulted in military authorities dissolving two Brigade units—the 193rd and 219th Battalions—before year’s end. As a result, Perry was transferred to the 26th Battalion (New Brunswick) on January 13, 1917.

The following day, Perry crossed the English Channel to France and joined the 26th’s ranks near Bully Grenay, France, several days later. On the morning of April 9, 1917, the 26th participated in the initial stage of the Canadian Corps’ attack on Vimy Ridge, securing its objectives within 30 minutes. The 25th Battalion (Nova Scotia Rifles)—one of the unit’s 5th Brigade mates—passed through its lines shortly afterward and successfully capturing the day’s final objective, a German position known as “Turko Graben.”

The 26th reported light casualties during the assault and served regular rotations in sectors near Lens throughout the spring and early summer of 1917. At 4:25 a.m. August 15, 1917, the battalion advanced in support positions during the opening stage of the Canadian Corps’ attack on Hill 70, near Lens. Later in the morning, its soldiers passed through their Brigade comrades’ lines and pressed onward toward Norman Trench, the day’s final objective.

While the unit successfully secured the position, it endured considerable enemy fire during the advance and repelled three German counter-attacks before day’s end. Personnel remained in the line until the night of August 16/17, its Hill 70 casualties significant enough to require Officers to reorganize its Companies into three platoons, rather than the conventional four, “until reinforcements arrive.”

Sgt. Perry Giffen was one of the first day’s casualties, a piece of shrapnel from an artillery shell striking the front of his right shoulder and exiting below his scapula [shoulder blade]. He remained on the battlefield for almost two days as artillery fire and German counter-attacks made it impossible for stretcher bearers fo evacuate the wounded. On August 19, Percy was finally admitted to No. 23 Casualty Clearing Station, where staff cleaned and dressed his wound. He was then evacuated by ambulance train to No. 4 General Hospital, Camiers, France.

A subsequent medical examination determined that Perry had suffered a compound fracture at the head of his humerus [upper arm bone] and scapula. After two surgeries and a lengthy recovery period, Perry was invalided to England in late September and admitted to 2nd General Hospital, Moston, Manchester. Following Perry’s transfer to the Canadian Convalescent Home, Bearwood Park, Wokingham, on November 23, staff began a rigorous program of physical therapy designed to restore his shoulder, arm and hand movement.

As his injuries eliminated any possibility of returning to France, Perry was transferred to No. 5 Canadian General Hospital, Kirkdale, Liverpool, in early February 1918, the first step on the journey home. During his time under medical care, Perry met Kathleen Mailing, a native of Oxford, England. On March 2, military authorities granted Perry “permission to marry” and the couple were wed shortly afterward. Before month’s end, Perry departed from Liverpool, England, aboard HS Llandovery Castle and arrived at Halifax, NS, on April 9. His bride followed him to Canada shortly afterward.

Assigned to the Hospital Section upon disembarking, Perry underwent surgery to remove a fragment of “necrosed bone” from the head of his humerus in early June. While physiotherapy restored his wrist movement, he had limited shoulder and elbow movement, and the “grasp of [his] rt. hand [was] reduced [by] one half.” As the effects of his war injury were deemed “permanent,” a Medical Board recommended Perry’s discharge as “medically unfit.”

On October 5, 1918, Perry was officially discharged from military service at Halifax. His time in uniform, however, was not over. Perry immediately enlisted with the Royal Canadian Navy’s Intelligence Staff and served with its Halifax office until late May 1919, at which time he was admitted to local hospital with appendicitis. Following surgery and recovery, Perry was discharged from the Navy on June 25, 1919.

Upon returning to civilian life, Perry briefly worked as a “confectioner” before joining the staff of the Halifax Herald. He and Kathleen welcomed their first child—Perry James—in 1920. A daughter, Betty, joined the family several years later. While Perry initially worked as a journalist, he soon moved into the newspaper’s advertising department, where he found “his life’s work.” He quickly rose to the position of advertising manager and assistant business manager with the Herald.

Employment opportunities subsequently took Perry and his family to Hamilton and Toronto. In 1928, he joined the Southam News organization and accepted a position as business manager of the Edmonton Journal. The following year, Perry was elected one of Southam’s directors. The Giffens returned to Ontario in 1935, when Perry accepted a position as managing editor of the Peterborough Examiner. The following summer, he found time to return to Nova Scotia to visit family.

While his war wound limited his right arm’s mobility and caused occasional discomfort, no major problems occurred until several months after the family relocated to Peterborough. Hospitalized for two months for treatment of an infection in his wounded shoulder, Perry appeared to make a complete recovery. In early February 1937, however, he once again fell ill and was admitted to Nicholls Hospital, Peterborough, on February 12.

By that time, Perry had developed “caries”—significant bone decay—in his right shoulder, a condition that produced multiple abscesses and resulted in septicaemia. Six days after his admission, doctors performed surgery, removing large pockets of pus at both the shoulder and elbow joints. Despite the surgical intervention, Sgt. Perry Judson Giffen died in hospital from complications attributed to his First World War injury on February 19, 1937. He was laid to rest in Little Lake Cemetery, Peterborough, ON.

Military authorities subsequently confirmed that Perry’s death was “due to military service” and approved the provision of a Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone for his final resting place. Perry’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 .

Monday, 4 February 2019

Remembering Private Joseph Ernest Worth—Died of Sickness February 4, 1919

Joseph Ernest Worth was born at Ogden, Guysborough County, on October 29, 1896, the second of Katherine Ann “Kellie” (McCallum) and Edward King Worth’s 11 children. Sometime after 1911, Ernie relocated to Pictou County, where he obtained employment at the Trenton steel mill.

Pte. Joseph Ernest Worth's Headstone
On May 9, 1917, Ernie enlisted with the Nova Scotia Forestry Draft at Truro, NS. The draft’s recruits departed Halifax, NS, aboard SS Justicia on June 17, 1917, and arrived at Liverpool, England, after a 10-day voyage. Upon disembarking, Ernie and his comrades reported to the Canadian Forestry Corps (CFC) Headquarters, Sunningdale, England.

As the summer passed, the new arrivals were assigned to existing CFC units in the United Kingdom and France. On August 11, 1917, Ernie was transferred to the CFC’s No. 72 Company. The following day, he crossed the English Channel to Bordeaux, France. Two months prior to the unit’s arrival on the continent, other CFC units had commenced work in a large pine forest and wetland south of the French city.

By summer’s end, a total of seven CFC Companies were operating in No. 12 District (Bordeaux Group), enduring extremely hot conditions. In mid-September, Ernie was hospitalized for treatment of an unspecified ailment. While discharged on October 6, he returned to hospital four days later with a “slight” case of bronchitis. On November 8, Ernie returned to work alongside his No. 72 mates and experienced no further health issues during his time in France.

The CFC’s Bordeaux operations continued throughout the first 10 months of 1918. While timber harvesting activities ceased shortly after the signing of the November 11, 1918 Armistice, processing operations continued into the following month. On December 19, 1918, No. 12 District began evacuating its personnel to the United Kingdom as its Bordeaux operations gradually ceased. During the first month of 1919, equipment was dismantled and the remaining CFC soldiers departed the area.

On January 18, 1919, Ernie returned to England with the last group of No 72 Company personnel. One week later, he began to experience a “head-ache, sore chest, dry cough, [and] pain in [his limbs”—the same symptoms that had apparently occurred shortly after he arrived in France. Admitted to No. 14 Canadian General Hospital, Eastbourne, on January 29, medical staff determined that he was suffering from a combination of “Influenza and Pneumonia.”

Two days after Ernie’s admission, doctors noted “suppressed” breathing in the lower lobe of one lung. The condition spread to his second lung within 24 hours and staff soon noticed blood in his sputum. Ernie’s respiratory function quickly declined and he passed away at 3:00 a.m. February 4, 1919. Medical staff attributed his death to a combination of influenza and pneumonia. Private Joseph Ernest Worth was laid to rest in Seaford Cemetery, Seaford, East Sussex, UK.

Seaford Cemetery, Seaford, East Sussex, UK
Ernie’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 .

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Remembering Private Abram Arthur Munro—Died of Sickness January 30, 1935

Abram Arthur Munro was born at Whitehead, Guysborough County, on February 22, 1892, the second of Elizabeth “Lizzie” (Greencorn) and Arthur MacPherson Munro’s seven children and the couple’s eldest son. Lizzie passed away on November 27, 1905, leaving Arthur to provide for a large family.
Pte. Abram Arthur Munro's headstone, Mount Hope Cemetery, Toronto, ON
At a young age, Abram went to work in the local fishery alongside his father. Further tragedy struck the family on October 8, 1915, when a house fire claimed the lives of Abram’s father, Arthur, and two of his younger brothers. The following spring, military recruiters visited the Canso area, seeking recruits for the 193rd Battalion. Abram answered the call, enlisting with the unit on April 1, 1916.

Following a summer of training at Camp Aldershot, near Kentville, NS, Abram departed Halifax aboard SS Olympic on October 12, 1916. On board the vessel were the Nova Scotia Highland Brigade’s four infantry units—the 85th (Nova Scotia Highlanders), 185th (Cape Breton Highlanders), 193rd and 219th Battalions.

Shortly after the Brigade arrived in England, two of its units—the 193rd and 219th Battalions—were dissolved and their members assigned to other units. On January 23, 1917, Abram was assigned to the 17th Reserve Battalion, the unit responsible for reinforcing Nova Scotian units at the front.  Three months later, he was assigned to the 85th Battalion and crossed the English Channel to France.

Abram joined the 85th in the forward area on April 26, 1917. Throughout the spring and early summer, he served a regular rotation with his new unit. While slightly wounded in the trenches on June 17, Abram remained at duty. A second incident that occurred two months later, however, proved to be much more serious.

On August 5, 1917, Abram was admitted to No. 5 Field Ambulance, having been “hit by [a] fragment of high explosive shell.” The following day, he was transported to No. 6 Casualty Clearing Station with serious wounds to his lower left arm and thigh. Damage to Abram’s arm was so severe that surgeons amputated the limb two inches below his left elbow. A subsequent x-ray revealed a “shrapnel fracture” at the upper end of his femur, with “multiple fine shrapnel about the site of injury.”

Abram was evacuated by ambulance train to No. 4 General Hospital, Camiers, on August 10 and remained a patient at the facility for almost two and a half months. On October 28, he was invalided to England and admitted to 1st Southern General Hospital, Dudley Road, Birmingham. “Foreign bodies” and a bone fragment still remained at the tip of Abram’s left femur, reducing his ability to place weight on the leg.

Throughout the winter of 1917-18, Abram gradually achieved limited use of his injured leg and made sufficient progress to warrant a transfer to Granville Special Hospital, Buxton, on May 30, 1918. While “ambulatory with crutches,” Abram had limited joint movement at the hip, knee and ankle, and only slight toe movement. On July 8, he was transferred to No. 5 Canadian General Hospital, Kirkdale, Liverpool, in anticipation of a return voyage to Canada, but did not depart for home until September 20, 1918.

Upon arriving at Halifax 11 days later, Abram travelled by train to Toronto, where he was admitted to Whitby Military Hospital on October 5. In subsequent weeks, staff focused on fitting Abram with an artificial arm. As a result of his fractured femur, his left leg was three inches shorter than the right, necessitating the use of a “cork lift” in his left boot.

On December 4, 1918, Abram was transferred to Base Hospital, Toronto. One month later—January 2, 1919—he married Gladys Evelyn (Leach) Jackson, a 23-year-old widow and native of Leamington, ON. Abram’s marriage license listed his occupation at the time as “tailor (retired soldier).”

By early June 1919, the Toronto facility felt it had done all it could for Abram and he returned to Halifax, where he was admitted to Camp Hill Hospital. While his artificial arm was deemed “of little value,” the use of his left leg had improved sufficiently to permit walking with “the aid of a stick.”

Abram remained under medical care throughout the summer and autumn months, during which time he underwent surgery in mid-October to remove an abscess from the top of his left femur. By early December, Abram had recovered sufficiently to be assigned to the local Casualty Company. On December 27, 1919, he was formally discharged from military service and returned to Ontario, where he and his wife established residence at Pickering.

For more than a decade, Abram’s health was stable. During the spring of 1931, however, he began to experience problems with his left leg wound. By October 1934, Abram had developed osteomyelitis—a bone infection—in his left femur, “with widespread cellulitis and marked toxaemia.” Abram was admitted to Christie Street Hospital, Toronto, where surgeons drained a large abscess. Before year’s end, he underwent three additional procedures and received two blood transfusions.

Despite the medical interventions, Abram’s health continued to decline. Within 24 hours of developing “nephritis with anuria [non-passage of urine],” Abram Munro passed away on January 30, 1935 and was laid to rest in Mount Hope Cemetery, Toronto. Military authorities agreed that his death was “due to service” and provided an Imperial War Graves Commission headstone to mark Abram’s final resting place.
Mount Hope Cemetery, Toronto, ON
Abram’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 .

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Remembering Private Buckley Andrew Armsworthy—Died of Sickness January 29, 1921

Buckley Andrew Armsworthy was born at Halfway Cove, Guysborough County, on May 14, 1896, the sixth of Abigail (Cox) and Freeman Armsworthy’s seven children. The youngest of the couple’s four sons, Buckley grew into a tall lad, standing six feet one and a half inches and weighing 155 pounds at the time of his April 1, 1916 enlistment with the 193rd Battalion at Canso, NS.

Pte. Buckley Andrew Armsworthy
Buckley spent the summer months at Camp Aldershot, where the 193rd trained alongside its Nova Scotia Highland Brigade comrades—the 85th (Nova Scotia Highlanders), 185th (Cape Breton Highlanders) and 219th Battalions. The four units departed from Halifax aboard SS Olympic on October 12, 1916 and landed at Liverpool, England, six days later.

Shortly after its overseas arrival, two of the Highland Brigade’s four units—the 193rd and 219th—were disbanded and their members dispersed to other units. Buckley was part of a draft of 250 reinforcements assigned to the 42nd Battalion (Royal Highlanders of Canada) on December 5, 1916. The soldiers departed for France the following day and joined their new unit in the field on January 3, 1917.

Buckley and his inexperienced comrades immediately commenced regular tours in sectors near Arras, France. On the morning of April 9, 1917, the 42nd participated in the Canadian Corps’ attack on Vimy Ridge, its soldiers advancing up a sector of the escarpment immediately adjacent to Hill 145. While the unit gradually secured its objectives, the 11th Brigade’s failure to capture the adjacent hill subjected its left flank to devastating German fire throughout the day, inflicting significant casualties.

The situation was resolved during the early evening hours, when two Companies of the 85th Battalion (Nova Scotia Highlanders) succeeded in securing Hill 145’s western slope before nightfall. The 42nd remained in the line until the morning of April 11, incurring almost 300 casualties during its Vimy tour. Buckley came through his first combat experience without injury and served regular rotations with the 42nd in sectors beyond the captured ridge throughout the spring and early summer of 1917.

As the 42nd prepared to enter the Avion sector’s trenches on the night of July 2/3, German artillery fire struck the location where its soldiers were assembling, wounding nine “other ranks” (OR). Buckley was one of the casualties and was admitted to field ambulance for treatment of a wound to his left hand. Evacuated to No. 20 British Hospital, Camiers, France, shortly afterward, he was invalided to England on July 7 and admitted to the City of London Military Hospital, Clapton.

Buckley’s wounded hand quickly healed, resulting in a mid-August transfer to Holburn Military Hospital, Mitchum, where staff focused on massage therapy to restore finger movement. On October 30, he was discharged from medical care and reported to the 2nd Canadian Corps Depot, Bramshott.  Buckley spent the winter of 1917-18 at the camp and was assigned to the 20th Reserve Battalion—the unit that provided reinforcements for the 42nd—on February 16, 1918.

While documents in his service file contain no information to suggest that he was unfit for combat duty, Buckley was transferred to the Canadian Army Medical Corps (CAMC) on June 18 and joined the staff of the Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Bromley, four days later. He served with the unit for four months, most likely as an orderly. On October 10, Buckley was transferred to No. 16 Canadian General Hospital, Orpington, Kent. Within a week, he was admitted to the facility, having experienced an “epileptiform seizure.”

The incident had occurred while on duty, subsequent medical notes indicating that Buckley had experienced his first seizure in the spring of 1917 and at least six more since that time. He also reported symptoms of dizziness and feeling faint. On the morning of October 24, 1918, Buckley experienced another seizure, prompting staff to recommend a thorough examination at an “ENT clinic.” He remained a patient until November 8, when he was assigned to the CAMC Casualty Company and awaited a decision on his fate.

Transferred to No. 5 Canadian General Hospital, Kirkdale, Liverpool, on January 5, 1919, Buckley received a thorough medical examination in preparation for his return to Canada. Nine days later, he boarded the hospital ship Essiquibo and arrived at Halifax, NS, on January 26. He immediately reported to the Hospital Section, Pine Hill, where medical staff reported a previously unreported health issue—Buckley was suffering from varicose veins on both legs, a problem that had apparently plagued him since his October 1916 overseas arrival.

When Buckley declined to have surgery to rectify the problem, medical staff concluded that the condition was “permanent” and recommended that he be discharged as “medically unfit.” On March 4, 1919, Buckley was transferred to the Halifax Casualty Company. One week later, he was formally discharged from military service and returned home.

For almost two years, there is no information available to suggest that Buckley experienced any health problems. Sometime during the winter of 1920-21, however, he developed “frontal sinusitis” and was admitted to Aberdeen Hospital, New Glasgow, NS, on January 10, 1921. While surgeons operated 11 days after his admission, the condition led to the development of a brain infection.

Pte. Armsworthy's Headstone, All Saints Anglican Church Cemetery, Canso
Buckley Andrew Armsworthy passed away at 4:00 p.m. January 29, 1921, the cause of death listed as an “abscess of [the] brain.” His remains were transported to Canso, where he was laid to rest in All Saints Anglican Church Cemetery. On December 1, 1926, the Canadian government agreed that Buckley’s death was “related to [military] service” and approved the provision of a standard military headstone for his final resting place.

Buckley'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 .

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Guysborough County’s Post-1918 First World War Fatalities

While the November 11, 1918 Armistice signed by the First World War’s major combatants brought more than four years of fighting to an end, the deaths of military personnel from causes related to military service continued for months—even years—afterward.
In the case of Guysborough County’s soldiers, four died before the end of 1918. One death—Corporal William Thomas Uloth, MM—the result of a tragic accident, while three—Privates John J. Rabbie, Lester Dean Hodgson and Martin Joseph Fogarty—were due to sickness. A brief summary of their stories has been published on this blog, on the 100th anniversary of their deaths.

Since May 2016, I have remembered each fallen Guysborough County soldier on the 100th anniversary of his/her passing. In order to acknowledge the remaining First World War fatalities in a timely fashion, I have decided to post their stories during the 2019 calendar year, on the date of each person’s passing.

While the majority of deaths occurred shortly after the war’s conclusion, the posts will cover a span of 18 years, something that is difficult to imagine. Although causes of death varied considerably, Canadian authorities acknowledged that each death was the result of a soldier’s overseas service.

During the 2019 calendar year, the following soldiers’ stories will be posted on this blog:

Armstrong, Private Buckley Andrew—d. January 29, 1921
Benight, Private George C.—d. April 28, 1923
Bezanson, Private Lewis Seaboyer—d. March 16, 1921
Bingley, Private George Ernest—d. June 3, 1927
Borden, Lieutenant-Colonel Allison Hart—d. July 19, 1932
Dickson, Private John Rood—d. February 26, 1919
Dort, Private David Luke—d. May 8, 1919
Dort, Sapper Thomas Leo—d. April 2, 1926
Giffen, Sergeant Perry Judson—d. February 19, 1937
Horton, Corporal Vernon Cecil—d. March 31, 1926
Munro, Private Abram Arthur—d. January 30, 1935
Nickerson, Private Wilfred Asa—d. June 4, 1919
Rhynold, Private John Scott—d. October 13, 1920
Sinclair, Private James Murray—d. August 14, 1919
Worth, Private Joseph Ernest—d. February 4, 1919