William James Airey

Thank you to Bruce Kettles for providing the service file


Nov 14, 1895

Born to James and Gertrude Airey at Lancaster England


Oct 14, 1914

Shown on the pay roll of the 42nd Lanark and Renfrew Regiment


Nov 7, 1914

Attested into the 21st Battalion at Kingston Ontario 

Ø      Number 59005 (temporary number 953)

Ø      Next of kin given as Mrs Gertrude Airey, mother, of 10 Fuller St. N., Hamilton Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Farmer

Ø      Previous military experience given as 77th Regiment for 3 years

Ø      Religion given as Church of England 

He lied about his age, claiming on Attestation to have been born November 14, 1894


Jan 23, 1915

Discharged from the CEF as a Deserter


Mar 17, 1915

TOS (Taken On Strength) from Desertion and posted to the Depot Company.


Awarded 28 Days Detention for his absence.  After being released from detention he was assigned to “B” Company


May 6, 1915

Embarked the RMS Metagama at Montreal Quebec


May 15, 1915

Disembarked at Devonport England and proceeded to the West Sandling Camp, near Hythe, Kent


Jul 8, 1915

Forfeits 1 day’s pay for absence


Jul 29, 1915

Reported to be AWL (Absent Without Leave)


Jul 30, 1915

At duty from being AWL and fined 2 day’s pay, plus restricted to ½ pay for 1 month


Aug 21, 1915

Awarded 28 days Detention for Misconduct


Sep 14, 1915

Embarked the St Seiriol at Folkestone


Sep 15, 1915

Disembarked at Boulogne France and proceeded to St Omer


Sep 25, 1915

Admitted to the Field Hospital at Dramonte with a diagnosis that reads Balanitis


Sep 28, 1915

Discharged to duty from hospital


Oct 4, 1915

Admitted to the No 26 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) with a diagnosis that reads Balanitis


Oct 5, 1915

Transferred to No 3 CCS


Oct 6, 1915

Transferred to the 23rd General Hospital at Etaples with a recurring diagnosis of Balanitis


Oct 7, 1915

Transferred to the Australian Hospital at Wimereux and Orchitis is added to the diagnosis


Oct 8, 1915

Transferred to the No 9 Stationary Hospital at Havre and the diagnosis changed to read Orchitis, then changed to read VDS (Venereal Disease Syphilis)


Oct 28, 1915

Discharged from No 9 Stationary Hospital to No 1 Camp Details at Havre 

Forfeited 50¢ per day from October 9, 1915 to October 28, 1915, (20 days) as punishment for the VDS


Nov 9, 1915

Transferred to the General CBD (Canadian Base Depot) at Havre


Nov 12, 1915

Rejoined the 21st Battalion at the front


Jun 27, 1916

Granted 7 days leave


Jul 5, 1916

Married with permission of Officer Commanding and next of kin changed to read Mrs Annie Airey (nee Walker), South View, Rathmell, Settle Yorkshire, England 

Returned to duty from leave

Sep 29, 1916

Pte Airey received serious shrapnel wounds while attacking near Regina Trench.  A single shrapnel ball passed through his arm and penetrated his chest causing extensive internal damage, including the spinal chord causing paralysis making him a quadriplegic.


Oct 1, 1916

Surgery was performed to remove the shrapnel and the wounds were noted as being very infected from the dirty conditions in the trenches.


Oct 3, 1916

Placed on the dangerously ill list at the No 10 General Hospital, Rouen


Oct 9, 1916

Invalided to England aboard the Hospital Ship St George

Posted to the CCAC (Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre) while in hospital 

On arrival in England he was admitted to the Royal Victoria Hospital at Netley


Oct 14, 1916

Pte Airey died of his wounds at 6.00 am at the Royal Victoria Hospital at Netley

St John Yealand Conyers
Churchyard Cemetery, Lancaster,
Lancashire, England

Following the war the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal and Memorial Cross were sent to his mother, Mrs G Airey, at 39 Burlington St. E., Hamilton Ontario. 

The Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny) and Scroll were sent to his father, James Airey, at the same address. 

There is no mention of a Memorial Cross being sent to his wife.


The Rathmell Yorkshire Memorial

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