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Monday, 9 May 2016

Canso's "Commercial Cable Company Boys"

On May 9, 1916, three young men—all telegraphists employed by the Commercial Cable Company, Hazel Hill, Guysborough County—attested for overseas service with the 193rd Battalion at Canso, NS. The fact that their attestation numbers are sequential indicates that they stood in line together as they signed their papers. Very close in age, the trio were quite likely friends who decided it was time to serve their country. Not surprisingly, two later served with signalling companies in the forward area.

Cousins, Arthur Elroy - attestation number 902474:


Arthur was born at Canso on October 5, 1897 to John and Elizabeth (Munroe) Cousins. He crossed the North Atlantic to England with the 193rd Battalion, and was transferred to the 185th Battalion (Cape Breton Highlanders) on December 29, 1916 when the 193rd was dissolved. Arthur was subsequently transferred to the 5th Canadian Divisional Signalling Company on August 17, 1917. He immediately entered a wireless training course and crossed to France on March 18, 1918. Arthur was subsequently assigned to the 1st Canadian Divisional Signalling Company, serving in France and Belgium for the remainder of the war. Arthur was discharged from military service on April 27, 1919 and subsequently relocated to the United States, taking up residence in New York City.

Goodwin, Basil Gordon - attestation number 902473:


Basil was born at Canso on May 11, 1898 to Enos and Sarah A. (Hurst) Goodwin. Basil also departed for England aboard SS Olympic on October 13 and was transferred to the 185th Battalion on December 19, 1916. Unlike his two Cable Company comrades, however, Basil’s service followed a different path. He was assigned to the 17th Reserve Battalion (Nova Scotia) on February 23, 1918 and subsequently transferred to the 25th Battalion (Nova Scotia) on March 28, 1918. Basil served in the forward area with the 25th for the duration of the war and was discharged from military service on May 25, 1919. He relocated to the Boston, MA area in the early 1920s and married, passing away at Burlington, VT on November 3, 1967.

Graham, Laurie Brine, attestation number 902475:


Laurie was born at Hazel Hill on March 28, 1897 to James and Maude (Defrancheville) Graham. He crossed to England with his two comrades and was also transferred to the 185th Battalion on December 29, 1916. He followed Arthur to the 5th Canadian Divisional Signalling Company on August 17, 1917 and subsequently completed the wireless training course. Laurie crossed the English Channel to France with Arthur on March 18, 1918 and was assigned to the 4th Divisional Signalling Company on July 1, 1918. He served in the forward area for the remainder of the war and was discharged from military service on June 8, 1919. Laurie married Hannah M. Mackenzie, a native of Margaree, Inverness County, in 1927 and the couple subsequently raised a family of three children. Laurie passed away at Antigonish, NS on February 27, 1977.

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