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Friday, 16 September 2016

Guysborough Enlistments - September 16, 2016

Two Guysborough County natives enlisted with Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) units on September 16, 1916:


1. John Joseph Backus, born at Goldenville, Guysborough County on December 25, 1876, son of Joseph and Annie (Williams) Backus, Goldenville, enlisted with No. 2 Construction Company at Montreal, QC. John listed two daughters—Gertrude, age 24 years, and Maud, age 26 years—on his enlistment papers, and was employed as a “teamster and veterinary” at the time of his attestation.


John departed for England with No. 2 Construction aboard SS Southland on March 28, 1917, arriving at Liverpool ten days later. He proceeded to France on May 17, 1917, serving with Canadian Forestry Corps units in the Jura District, near the French border with Switzerland, until December 30, 1917, at which time John proceeded to the Al├ženon District with a party of No. 2 Construction soldiers.

Returning to England with No. 2 Construction on December 14, 1918, he departed for Canada aboard SS Aquitania on January 18, 1919, arriving at Halifax six days later. John was formally discharged from military service on February 19, 1919 and returned to the Goldenville area.

Widowed following the war, John married Lizza Janette Ash, a native of Boylston, on December 6, 1922. No further information is available on his later life.


2. James Joseph Shields was born on May 21, 1880 at Half Island Cove, Guysborough County, the son of John and Mary (Rhynold) Shields. He enlisted with the 246th Battalion—the Nova Scotia Highland Brigade’s reinforcement unit—at Canso on September 15, 1916. He was married to Lottie Hurst, a native of Canso, at the time of his enlistment. No further information is currently available on his military service.


Following his return to Nova Scotia, James returned to the Guysborough area. Stricken with tuberculosis several years later, he passed away at Canso on November 5, 1931. His wife, Lottie, died at Canso on September 27, 1939.

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