Alfred Sidney Blake


Jun 14, 1893

Born at Poole Dorset, England


Mar 18, 1915

Attested into the 21st Battalion at Lindsay Ontario 

Ø      Number 59071 (temporary number 1303)

Ø      Next of kin given as Violet Ruth Blake (wife) of 29 Winchester St, Toronto Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Storekeeper

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Salvation Army

Ø      Assigned to the Depot 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


Jun 6, 1915

Admitted to Moore Barracks Convalescent Hospital, Shorncliffe and diagnosed with Neurasthenia (A psychological disorder)


Jun 22, 1915

Medical Board at Shorncliffe notes 

Ø      Patient stated that his disability began 7 weeks ago onboard ship coming to England

Ø      Gives a history of being two months in Hospital with Neurasthenia 5 years ago.  Complains of loss of sight of right eye.  On examination no disease found and no refractive error.  After convincing him that he could see, he has been able to.  Since coming to hospital has been having a form of convulsion.  Not typical and says he is conscious.  After talking to him he stops having them for a day or two

Ø      The cause of these symptoms is deemed to be Neurasthenia (A psychological disorder)

Ø      Noted as being “a neurotic”

Ø      Recommends that he be discharged as “Permanently Unfit”


Jun 25, 1915

Embarked the SS Hesperian at Liverpool



Jul 2, 1915

Disembarked at Quebec City, Quebec and proceeded to Kingston Ontario where he was admitted to the Elmhurst Convalescent Home. 

In December he was transferred to the Muskoka Sanatorium, Gravenhurst Ontario.  While there he showed no symptoms or disability, and was discharged in March of 1916 

From July 3, 1915 to October 11, 1915 he was shown on the strength of the Quebec Discharge Depot.  From October 12, 1915 to December 31, 1915, he is shown on the strength of MD #3 at Kingston Ontario


Nov 9, 1915

A medical review recommends 3 months treatment in a Sanatorium and that he remain on full pay


Feb 24, 1916

Medical Board at the Muskoka Free Hospital report 

Ø      General health is good

Ø      No signs of Phthisis (Tuberculosis)

Ø      Now fit for 4 hours of work per day

Ø      Condition expected to last for 4 weeks


Apr 20, 1916

Medical Board at Toronto notes 

Ø      Disability shown as Pulmonary Tuberculosis

Ø      Claims trouble started at Oxford England

Ø      Has had no cough

Ø      Claims to exercise 4 hours daily

Ø      Claims to have lost sight in one eye while loading and unloading trucks with the Canadian Ordnance Corps

Ø      Claims that problem was caused by the climate while at West Sandling Camp in England

Ø      Although not detectable, there is a probability of a slight underlying Tuberculosis present

Ø      Patient states he has no disability or symptoms at present

Ø      Notes that he has spent 3 ½ months at the Gravenhurst Sanatorium

Ø      Recommends that he is ready for light military duty in Canada only


May 12, 1916

TOS the CMR Depot at Toronto Ontario 

Ø      Initially given number 225824, but this was later cancelled and he reverted to his original number, 59071

Ø      He claimed previous service of 13 months with the 21st Battalion, 2 weeks with the 45th Regiment, and 2 years with the CAMC (Canadian Army Medical Corps)


May 20, 1916

Proceedings On Discharge form filed 

Ø      Place of discharge – Toronto Ontario

Ø      Rank on discharge – Private

Ø      Discharged as being longer physically fit for War Service

Ø      Proposed residence on discharge – 39 Winchester St, Toronto Ontario 

It appears that he was never actually discharged


Aug 1, 1916

Appointed to rank of Acting Cpl


Feb 13, 1917

Promoted to Canteen Sgt


Oct 15, 1917

On the form titled Particulars of Family he records the following: 

Ø      Born at Lymington Hanse England

Ø      Wife’s name Violet Ruth Blake residing at 734 Cannon St, East Hamilton Ontario

Ø      1 daughter, Lillian Violet Helen Blake, age 3 months

Ø      Father, John Blake living at Newport Isle of Wight, England

Ø      Mother stated to be living at Oxford England

Ø      Insured by the City of Toronto


Oct 20, 1917

Embarked the SS Scandinavian at Halifax Nova Scotia as part of the 11th Draft of the CMR



Nov 1, 1917

Disembarked at Liverpool England


Nov 2, 1917

TOS (Taken On Strength) the 8th Reserve Battalion at Shorncliffe


Dec 12, 1917

Examined at St Martins Plains Hospital for tuberculosis 

No evidence of TB was found


Feb 6, 1918

Granted permission to wear one good conduct stripe


Apr 1, 1918

Appointed to Acting Lance Cpl with pay while employed with Bombing Staff at Sandling Camp


May 21, 1918

Awarded two good conduct Badges “having completed 5 years in Canadian Permanent & Expeditionary Force”


Dec 3, 1918

On Command to Rhyl pending return to Canada


Dec 15, 1918

Embarked the HMT Grampian at Liverpool



Dec 24, 1918

Disembarked at St John New Brunswick and proceeded to No 2 District Depot at Toronto Ontario and posted to the Casualty Coy at the Exhibition Camp


Dec 26, 1918

Granted leave with subsistence until January 1, 1919


Jan 21, 1919

Discharged from the CMR at Toronto Ontario 

Ø      Rank on discharge – A/L/Cpl

Ø      Proposed residence on discharge – 90 Niagara St, Hamilton Ontario


May 14, 1921

The British War Medal was sent to the General Post Office, Hamilton Ontario


Dec 19, 1975




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