A number of Kington men served with Canadian divisions during the First World War.
Shortly after the British declaration of war in August 1914, Canada offered an initial contingent of 25,000 for service overseas. A second contingent was offered in the autumn of 1914. The 1st Canadian Division was formed from units of the first contingent in January 1915, and was fighting in France the following month. In September 1915, the Canadian Corps was formed, incorporating the 1st and 2nd Canadian Divisions, and the Canadian Cavalry Brigade. Further contingents and reinforcement drafts continued to be sent overseas. At the time of the Armistice in November 1918, the Canadian Corps had expanded to include four infantry divisions and corps units. Other Canadian units, including some artillery batteries, engineering companies, and railway and forestry troops, served directly under British command in France and Belgium. Still other units, responsible for administrative support, training, forestry and medical care, served in England. The Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF), as the army raised during the First World War was designated, grew in the course of the conflict to 619,636, of whom 424,589 served in Europe.
The Canadian records of serving men in the First World War are gradually being digitized and some information is already on line, mainly the signing on documentation, the attestations that the men gave when they enlisted. This documentation includes dates of birth, where born (which enables us to verify the individuals) and their occupations. Further records of their service are not yet available on line. We have been able so far to trace some information about the following men. How they came to be in Canada, or to serve with the Canadian divisions if not enlisting in Canada, is not at this stage known.
Reginald Maddison Barton, according to the LHS Roll of Honour, served with the Royal Army Medical Corps, Canadian contingent. However, tracing him in the Canadian records has proved problematic. Born in 1896 in Bolton in Lancashire, he attended Lady Hawkins’ School between 1909 and 1910. His father was a Church of England evangelical preacher, and the family appears to have lived only briefly in Kington in 1909-10, at 48 Bridge Street. Reginald became a scholar at Keble College in Oxford after the war, and went on to become a missionary in India.
Claude Temple Boulton, served in the Canadian contingent. He was born in 1896 in Chiswick, London. Claude enlisted 3rd December 1915 in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. He gave his occupation as a farm hand. He died in December 1974 in Oxford. He had attended Lady Hawkins’ School, living in 1911 at 25 Church Street. There appears to be an interesting story here, as he and a brother (Thomas Cyril) who also attended Lady Hawkins’ School and served in the Royal Berkshire Regiment, are not recorded as living with their parents, but with a housekeeper. In 1901, the brothers are recorded as living with their parents at a family farm, Waldron, at Framfield in Sussex. What brought these brothers to Kington to school?
Edward James Edwards was born in June 1885, the son of John and Sarah Mary. In 1901, the family was living at Barton Farm, which is the address Edward gave for his father when he joined up in Canada in March 1915. On his joining up papers, he gave his address in Canada as Outren, in Saskatchewan, and his occupation as a farmer. His regimental number was 925050.
Arthur C Pollard, was a pupil teacher at Lady Hawkins’ School in 1907. He signed the attestation for the overseas expeditionary force from Canada in November 1914, when his occupation was recorded as a surveyor. He was born in 1893, the son of Henry, who was living at Next End, Lyonshall in 1911, where he was recorded as a Butler. Arthur noted on his attestation that he had served for 4 years in the 1st Battalion of the Herefordshire Regiment – therefore had experience as a territorial, and six months in the 50th Highlanders of Canada. On the Lady Hawkins’ roll, he is noted as a Lieutenant.
There is also a C. A. Evans on the Lady Hawkins’ Roll of Honour, who is noted as serving with the Canadian contingent. It has not been possible so far to trace him.