Remembering the First World War Vets

The morning of November eleventh arrived with the feel of snow in the air and a chilly wind blowing. But this didn’t stop Gram from wanting to attend the Armistice Day Service. She dug out her winter coat, wool hat, fur lined gloves, scarf and overshoes and was set to go.

Even though wet snow was falling by the time we arrived at the cenotaph, a large crowd had assembled, waiting for the veterans and others to march down the hill.

As the eleventh hour approached, the roadway traffic was stopped and complete silence soon fell over the gathering. A Legion representative spoke, “Hold in Honour all those who went from Hampton Parish to serve in the Great War, 1914 - 1918.” The drum roll was sounded after the reading of each name: “Arthur Adams, Henry D. Belding, R. W. Otty Barnes, John J. Bloomfield, Rev. Edwin Creed, George E. DeMille, George N. Dickson Otty, Charles Duffy, Egbert H. Frost, William A. Hegan, Hugh L. Kenney, Edward J. McCarron, Freeman J. McManus, George R. Perkins, Percy L. Robertson, Horatio R. Smith, and Robert P. Weaver.”

On the drive home in Gramp’s car that had no heater, Cliff and I sat in the back seat, huddled under the blanket, rubbing our chilled toes as we had not heeded Gram’s advice to wear winter boots. I kept thinking about the seventeen Hampton Parish men who had probably spent many a cold night in a far off country dreaming of family and the warm fire that would be burning in the hearth when they returned home but regretfully they didn’t make it back.  I wondered if they were young or old and did they have family?

I asked Gram what she knew about these men and the others who went to war.

She thought and then replied, “More than a half million Canadians wore the uniform in the Great War of 1914 to 1918.  They loved and were loved. They left family members at home who prayed for their safety while dreading the possible arrival of the letter edged in black.”

I noticed a tiny tear roll down her cheek as she continued speaking, “ Each death left a vacant chair,  filled with memories for a family.”

With the help of the Attestation Papers of the Soldiers of the First World War database on the National Archives of Canada at, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission at and the Canadian Virtual War Memorial at, I have found information about the 17 men whose name were read that day.

Arthur Adams was born on 25 Jun 1887 and stated he had been a soldier for 7 years. His next of kin was Mrs. James Adams, Hampton. His death occurred on 29 Apr 1915.

Henry Dibblee Belding was the son of Henry John and Annie Present Belding. He was 21 when he died on 09 Apr 1917.

Robert W. Otty Barnes, a Bank Teller in Hampton, was the son of Albert A. Barnes. He was 23 years old at the time of his death on 16 Jan 1917.

John James Bloomfield was born in Ipswich, Suffolk, England, the son of George and Jessie Bloomfield. He was 19 when he died on 12 Jun 1918.

The Rev. Edwin Haine Creed, son of the late William and Annie Haine Creed, was a native of West Pennard, Somerset, England. He was the minister of the Methodist Church at Hampton and was a  widower when he enlisted. He died at age 42 on 26 Dec 1916.

George E. DeMille, son of Edward R. and Alice T. DeMille, of Hampton was 22 when he joined the services.

George Nugent Dickson Otty was the son of George 0. and Emily Dickson Otty of Hampton and a graduate of McGill University. He died on 06 Mar 1916.

Charles Duffy, son of Edwin Duffy, Nauwigewauk, was listed as a woodsman of Davidson, Saskatchewan when he signed up. He and Robert P. Weaver were two of the men who lost their lives defending Ypres Salient.

The Menin Gate Memorial situated at the eastern side of the town of Ypres (now Ieper) in the Province of West Flanders bears the names of the 55,000 men who made the supreme sacrifice during this defence. The inscription reads, “ Here are recorded names of officers and men who fell in Ypres Salient but to whom the fortune of war denied the known and honoured burial given to their comrades in death.”  These men are remembered in a simple ceremony that takes place every evening at 8:00 p.m. All traffic through the gateway in either direction is halted, and two buglers sound the Last Post.

Egbert H. Frost was the son of Edwin Frost of Hampton Village.

When William A. Hegan filled out his attestation papers, he stated his wife was May Hegan of Hampton.

Hugh Leo Kenney, the son of James and Mary Ann Kenney was a driver during the war. He lost his life at aged 24 on 21 Dec 1918.

Edward J. McCarron was born in Sussex. He was a Telegrapher in Winnipeg when he enlisted on 11 Jan 1916. Eight months later he died. His mother was Mrs. Katherine McCarron of Hampton.

Freeman J. McManus was the son of Alexander and Jennie A. McManus of Hampton.

George R. Perkins was born in Hampton on 01 Jul 1894. He listed his religion as Church of England.
Percy Leonard Robertson was the son of Thomas A. and Lizzie M. Robertson of Robertson.

Horatio Roy Smith was born in Smithtown and listed himself as a blacksmith when he filled out the forms. He was killed at age 32 on 26 Sep 1916. He was awarded  the Croix de Guerre for acts of bravery in the face of the enemy as well as the Military Medal, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Today the internet and research depositories provide through databases, diaries, letters and regiment histories an opportunity to learn about the lives of the men who went to war.

If you are seeking information on a veteran of the First World War, I suggest you visit the Soldiers of the First World War database on the National Archives of Canada at, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission at and the Canadian Virtual War Memorial at

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Query 1120
MacDonald: Donald MacDonald, of Hardwicke, New Brunswick married Grace MacDonald. He died in the early1900's at Hardwicke in Northumberland County.  He had one son James who also died at Hardwicke in 1940 and there were a number of daughters.
Ralph J MacDonald, Box 34, Borden, PE, COB 1XO. E-mail
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