George Walter Adams was born in England in 1896. He emigrated to Canada where he lived with his widowed mother in Toronto. He enlisted in Toronto in October, 1916, and served overseas with the 7th Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops. The collection consists of thirteen letters and his diary entries during the war.
These collections contains any material relating to Canada from 1914 to 1918 from either the home front or the battlefront. External links in collection descriptions are either to online attestation papers at Library and Archives Canada or casualty and burial information at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
The letter written by Sister A. Adamson was donated with the Private Arthur Shannon Collection. Very little is known about the provenance of the Adamson letter, the individuals or circumstances referenced within it, or of the writer herself, beyond the fact that she was working as a Nursing Sister at the 12th Casualty Clearing Station of the British Expeditionary Force on the date the letter was written, November 4th, 1917.
George L. Adkins was born in England in 1889 and emigated to Canada prior to the war. He enlisted in March, 1915 in Edmonton, Alberta. The collection consists of four letters. Two of the letters are from George to his future wife written in 1915, and one to his mother written in 1916. In addition there is a letter written to George in 1928 from I.W. Anderson, who had been with Adkins in France, which recounts some of their experiences, and a letter to Louise after George's death.
James Orian Aitken was born in Treherne, Manitoba in August, 1895. He was working as a school teacher when he enlisted in November, 1916 in Winnipeg, Manitoba with the 76th Battalion. The collection currently consists of one photograph.
John Henry Anderson was born in Malakwa, British Columbia, Canada in January, 1892. He enlisted at Vernon, British Columbia on July 14, 1915 and served with the 7th Bn. Canadian Infantry (British Columbia Regiment). Anderson was part of the attack at Vimy Ridge and died between April 8th and April 10th, 1917. The collection consists of two letters from Anderson, two letters of condolence following his death, and several photographs. For Anderson's complete service file, click here.
Alfred Herbert John Andrews was born in Qu'appelle Saskatchewan on October 28, 1888. Andrews was a lawyer at the time of the war, and enlisted in September, 1914. The collection consists of an extended narrative diary which Herbert Andrews wrote in 1923, based on the diary he had kept from his enlistment in 1914 to the end of the war. The diary was found in his desk following his death in 1935.
Private William (“Billy”) Appleby was born in Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, to parents William and Sarah Appleby on May 12, 1885. He was living in Ladysmith at the time of his enlistment with the 103rd Battalion in Victoria, British Columbia, on January 27, 1916.
He shipped for England on board the S.S. Olympic in July of 1916, and proceeded to France on October 6, 1916, where he served with the 29th Battalion (aka “Tobin’s Tigers”), Canadian Infantry.
Appleby was killed in action at Vimy Ridge during an advance on April 9, 1917. He was buried at Bois-Carre British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.
Appleby’s name is listed on the Ladysmith Cenotaph along with forty other soldiers who were born, lived, or worked in Ladysmith, B.C., and who died during the First World War. Seven of these soldiers, including Appleby, had wartime letters published by The Ladysmith Chronicle newspaper (see links below).
Pte. William Appleby’s Service Record (Serv/Reg #706843) can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada.
Burial information is available at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
A memorial page honouring Appleby can be visited online at the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.
His name is inscribed on the Ladysmith Cenotaph, Rotary Memorial Peace Garden, Ladysmith, B.C.
A collection of WWI soldiers' letters published in The Ladysmith Chronicle was undertaken by the Ladysmith & District Historical Society through their work with the Ladysmith Archives.
Appleby’s younger brother Private Herbert Appleby was killed serving with the 7th Battalion at Ypres on June 3, 1916. Pte. Herbert Appleby’s Service Record (Serv/Reg #428109).
Charles Thomas Armstrong, the brother of Alex Armstrong of Cumberland, British Columbia, served with the 6th Field Ambulance, Australian Army Medical Corps. Armstrong died November 24, 1915 of wounds received at Gallipoli age 34. The collection currently consists of more than sixty images from his album.
Roy Clarence Armstrong was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in February, 1898 and worked as clerk before enlisting in Winnipeg in March, 1916. Armstrong served overseas with the 78th Bn. Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regiment) until his death in October, 1917 in the battle for Passchendaele. The collection consists of more than sixty letters, as well as numerous photographs, postcards, and other items.
Sarah Ellen Arnold worked at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, England during the war. While there she kept a journal in which she asked the patients to write. After the war Sarah married John Harold Bridgeman, one of the Canadian soldiers she had nursed.
Edwin Charles Askew was born in London, England in October, 1885 and emigrated to Canada sometime prior to the war. He settled in Winnipeg, Manitoba where he enlisted on December 28, 1915. Askew was sent overseas but remained in England until 1918 due to illness. The collection consists of one photograph, two postcards, and one document relating to the soldier settlement scheme following the war.
Neville Ayrton Astbury was born in Northop, Flintshire, Wales in April, 1889. He was a bank clerk at the time of his enlistment in Edmonton, Alberta in June, 1915. Astbury served overseas with the 49th Battalion until his death in September, 1916. The collection currently consists of two letters, two newspaper clippings, and three photographs. The materials here were kindly provided by the Northop Parish Memorials Project.
Thomas James Aston was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, USA in February 1889. Aston enlisted in Toronto, Ontario in July, 1915 and served overseas until his discharge in 1919. The collection currently consists of miscellaneous pages from his paybook.
Sidney Bainbridge was born in Carlisle, England in April, 1893. At some point he emigrated to Canada and was a student at the University of Alberta before he enlisted in Montreal in December, 1915. Bainbridge served overseas with the PPCLI. The collection consists of two letters written by Bainbridge in 1916.
Gavin Gibson Baird was a Canadian pilot who served with the Royal Flying Corps, 148 Squadron, in France. The collection consists of several photographs from 1918 and thirteen letters written in 1929. The letters were written to entertain his fourteen year old nephew who had broken his leg. According to the family Baird wrote the letters based on the content of his diaries he had kept while with the RFC.
James Stevenson Balfour was born in Regina, Saskatchewan in 1894 and later attended The University of Saskatchewan. He enlisted in April, 1915 and found himself in France in July, 1915, where he served until wounded in June, 1916. He recovered, returned to duty, and in 1917 joined the Royal Flying Corps as an observer. He later trained as a pilot and had qualified as a flying instructor when the war ended. The collection consists of thirty-five extended letters, twenty photographs and one post card.
Hebert (Bert) Franklin Ball was born in February, 1889 in Omaha, Nebraska and grew up in Alberta where his family was homesteading. Herbert enlisted in Edmonton, Alberta in January, 1915 with the 51st Battalion, and later served overseas with the 38th Battalion. Ball was killed November 18, 1916. The collection currently consists of two photographs, one clipping, and ten letters.
Ralph Gooding Ball was born in Hilldale, Alberta in September, 1900. Ball lied about his age and enlisted in Victoria, British Columbia in September, 1916. He was discharged on compassionate grounds in January, 1918 at the request of his parents after the deaths of his two brothers, Herbert and Samuel. The collection currently consists of two letters, one photograph, and one clipping.
Samuel Warren Ball was born in Deer Mound, Alberta in February, 1897. Ball enlisted in Edmonton, Alberta in February, 1915, one month after his brother Herbert. Ball served overseas with the 38th Battalion until his death on June 26, 1917. The collection currently consists of two photographs, two clippings, and eight letters.