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
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
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 http://www.archives.ca/, the Commonwealth
War Graves Commission at http://www.cwgc.org/cwgcinternet/search.aspx
and the Canadian Virtual War Memorial at http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/, 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
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
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
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
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
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 http://www.archives.ca/,
the Commonwealth War Graves Commission at http://www.cwgc.org/cwgcinternet/search.aspx
and the Canadian Virtual War Memorial at http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/.