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Thursday, 31 December 2015

Harry's 85th Diary

I'm pleased to announce the launch of a new blog, Harry's 85th Diary, containing the personal entries of Henry Harris "Harry" Murray. A native of Stellarton, NS, Harry enlisted with the 85th Battalion on September 29, 1915. At the time, he was a member of the renowned Stellarton Band, which had affiliated with the 78th Regiment Pictou Highlanders, a local militia unit, in 1905.

The entire band, less two members, joined the 85th's ranks and formed the nucleus of its bank. Harry kept a diary of his daily activities from January 1 to March 22, 1916. The entries provide a glimpse into a soldier's training experiences prior to departing for England. It also outlines the band's activities, particularly its participation in a March 1916 recruiting tour of the mainland.

85th Battalion Band, Halifax Armouries (no date)
One Guysborough County native, Truman Bishop Davidson of Isaac's Harbour, 223064,was a member of the 85th's illustrious band. Truman is among the 72 individuals profiled in my recent book, First World War Honour Roll of Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, Volume I: 1915 - 1917. He died of sickness at Rouen, France on August 1, 1917.

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