William Alexander Palmer
21st Battalion CEF



Apr 25, 1889

Born at London Ontario


Jun 18, 1915

Attested into the 8th CMR at Lindsay Ontario 

      Number 113471

      Next of kin given as Mrs Johanna Palmer (mother) of 245 Lakeshore Boulevard, Cleveland Ohio, USA

      Previous occupation given as Florist

      No previous military experience given

      Medical shows that he is slightly flat footed

      Religion given as Methodist

      Assigned to “B” Squadron


Oct 1, 1915

Pay Assignment made out to Miss Ilah McQueen, Gananaque Ontario


Oct 8, 1915

Embarked the RMS Missanabie at Montreal Quebec



Oct 19, 1915

Disembarked at Plymouth England


Nov 5, 1915

Shown as L/Cpl on Muster Parade at Bramshott Camp


Nov 30, 1915

Admitted to Bramshott Hospital with Syphilis


Dec 6, 1915

Transferred to Connaught Military Hospital, Bramshott with Syphilis 

      Placed on the Syphilis Register at Aldershot

      Primary sore recorded as appearing on December 1, 1915


Jan 1, 1916

Pay Assignment cancelled


Jan 4, 1916

Discharged from hospital having completed the 1st course of treatment and showing no active signs of VD


Jan 25, 1916

AWL (Absent Without Permission) from 12 midnight January 24 until Roll Call January 25. 

      Forfeits one day’s pay ($1.15)


Feb 3, 1916

Transferred to the 39th Battalion at West Sandling Camp


Feb 9, 1916

Admitted to Cherry Hinton Military Hospital at Cambridge with Venereal Disease


May 4, 1916

Discharged to unit with next course of treatment due the end of July


Jun 6, 1916

Medical Board at West Sandling Camp records that he has received 4 shots for his VD and that he will be fit for duty after 4 weeks of Physical Training


Jul 24, 1916

On Command to 1st CCD (Canadian Casualty Depot) for 4 weeks PT (Physical Training)


Jul 25, 1916

SOS (Struck Off Strength) on transfer to CCAC (Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre), Folkstone


Aug 25, 1916

Reverts to Permanent Grade of Pte for “Breaking out of ranks and neglecting to obey an order”


Sep 6, 1916

Medical Board at Monks Horton notes his record of Syphilis.  Declared him fit for duty with no symptoms evident


Sep 8, 1916

Ceases to be shown On Command to CCD


Sep 9, 1916

TOS (Taken On Strength) 39th Battalion from CCAC for full duty


Oct 6, 1916

Medical Board at West Sandling Camp notes his flat feet and declares him fit for duty


Oct 27, 1916

SOS to the 21st Battalion


Nov 3, 1916

Arrived at CBD (Canadian Base Depot) in France and TOS the 21st Battalion


Nov 18, 1916

Left for the 2nd Entrenching Battalion


Nov 21, 1916

Arrived at 2nd Entrenching Battalion


Dec 12, 1916

Joined the 21st Battalion in the field


Feb 17, 1917             Died of wounds at No 42 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station)


Aubigny Communal Cemetery
Aubigny en Artois France



The medals card indicates that none of his medals, Death Plaque, Scroll or Memorial Cross were issued because next of kin could not be located.




During the Remembrance Day ceremonies in 2008, Veteran's Affairs Canada conducted a vigil each night for the week leading up to November 11.  This vigil consisted of projecting the names of every Canadian soldier who is listed with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission on various buildings and monuments across Canada, and in London England.  The photo below shows William Palmer's name being projected on the outside wall of Canada House in London England.



For the 7 nights leading up to November 11, 2010, the names of all Canadian soldiers were projected onto the Belgian War Memorial in Ypres.  At the same time, the same names were being broadcast via the internet to schools across Belgium and Canada.  The image above shows the opening ceremonies at the Belgian War Memorial on November 4, 2010. 

Below on the left is the name of William Palmer being projected on that wall.  Below right shows the name being broadcast to the schools.  Each name appeared for 25 seconds and each night 9,700 names were shown.


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