William Claude Brewer, MM



Sep 1, 1895

Born at Walthmastow England


Mar 23, 1915

Shown on pay card for the 49th Regiment, Hastings Rifles


Apr 19, 1915

Shown as being transferred to the 39th Battalion


May 12, 1915

Attested into the 39th Battalion at Belleville Ontario 

Ø      Number 412157

o       Number was initially A12157 but at a later date the “A” was substituted with a “4”

Ø      Next of kin given as Mrs Eli Lent (friend) of 106 Alexander St, Toronto Ontario

o       Later shown as Mrs A Simpson (mother) of 32 Cameron St, Galt Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Office Clerk

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Church of England

o       Later recorded as Methodist

Ø      Assigned to the Headquarters Company


Jun17, 1915

Embarked the SS Missanabie at Montreal Quebec


Note that the ship did not sail until June 24th


Jul 4, 1915

Disembarked at Plymouth England 

In England the Battalion was designated as a Reserve Battalion and became known as the 39th Reserve Battalion


Jan 31, 1916

Admitted to Moore Barracks Hospital at Shorncliffe with Tonsillitis and developed Influenza while in hospital


Feb 12, 1916

Discharged from hospital


May 7, 1916

Admitted to Westcliffe Eye and Ear Hospital at Folkestone diagnosed with Error of Refraction (blurred vision) and pain in eyes


Jun 17, 1916

Discharged from hospital


Dec 14, 1916

Admitted to Westcliffe Eye and Ear Hospital with Choroiditis (an inflammation in the eye)


Jan 4, 1917

Discharged from hospital and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 6th Reserve Battalion 

On this date the 39th Reserve Battalion was broken up and the troops were posted to other Reserve Battalions


Apr 21, 1917

Assigned to a draft of men proceeding to France


Apr 22, 1917

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


Apr 24, 1917

Left CBD to join unit


May 12, 1917

Awarded the Good Conduct Badge


May 21, 1917

Joined the 21st Battalion in the field and assigned to “D” Company 

There is no explanation in the file as to why he took a month to join the battalion.  I would assume that he spent this time at the 2nd Entrenching Battalion. 

The battalion was in the Support Trenches near Aux Rietz.  He arrived with a draft of 149 Other Ranks to bring the Companies up to strength after the losses at Vimy Ridge


Aug 29, 1917

Sent to 1st Army Rest Camp


Sep 10, 1917

Returned to Battalion from rest camp


Oct 8, 1917

Admitted to No 4 CFA (Canadian Field Ambulance) diagnosed with PUO (Pyrexia of Unknown Origin), more commonly known as Trench Fever.  Transferred same day to No 5 CFA


Oct 11, 1917

Discharged from CFA


Dec 1, 1917

Attached to 182nd Company, Royal Engineers for duty


Dec 5, 1917

The award of the Military Medal is announced in 2nd Division Routine Orders


Dec 21, 1917

Returned to battalion from duty with 182nd Company


Jan 8, 1918

Granted 14 days leave


Jan 24, 1918

Rejoined battalion from leave


Feb 23, 1918         Awarded the Military Medal per London Gazette #30340


Citation reads:

For conspicuous bravery. On the morning of 3rd Nov this stretcher bearer went out into "No Man's Land" under heavy fire from snipers and brought in one of our wounded who had both legs broken.  Throughout the tour he worked with untiring energy among the wounded under heavy shell fire all the time.  He also rendered great service to his Company Commander by voluntarily acting as his runner.

AFW 3121  15.11.17


Apr 22, 1918

Admitted to No 5 CFA diagnosed with PUO again


Apr 24, 1918

Transferred to No 26 General Hospital at Etaples


May 5, 1918

Invalided to England aboard the Hospital Ship Brighton


Posted to EORD (Eastern Ontario Regimental Depot) while in hospital 

Admitted to Graylingwell War Hospital at Chichester


May 8, 1918

Transferred to the Military Convalescent Hospital at Epsom


Jul 10, 1918

Discharged from hospital and placed On Command to 3rd CCD (Canadian Convalescent Depot) 

Granted leave with Subsistence


Jul 22, 1918

Returned from leave


Sep 26, 1918

Discharged from 3rd CCD and TOS 6th Reserve Battalion at Seaford and assigned to “B” Company 

Next of kin shown as Mrs A Simpson, 32 Cameron St Galt Ontario


Dec 11, 1918

On Command to CCC (Canadian Concentration Camp) at Kimmel Park pending return to Canada


Dec 21, 1918

Embarked the SS Carmania at Liverpool


TOS No 2 District Depot at Toronto Ontario


Dec 30, 1918

Disembarked at Halifax Nova Scotia and proceeded to Toronto Ontario 

Posted to the Casualty Company at the Exhibition Camp


Jan 2, 1919

Granted leave until January 20, 1919


Jan 27, 1919

Medical Board at the Exhibition Camp, Toronto Ontario notes: 

Ø      Suffers from Neurasthenia (extreme anxiety and fatigue)

Ø      Also suffers from burns to chest and back from a Mustard Gas attack he claims to have been exposed to in 1917

o       I double checked the medical and casualty forms to look for this and could only find 2 incidents where he was hospitalized and there was no mention of gas exposure or of burns.  There is a note that he was treated for this by the Battalion Medical Officer

Ø      Suffers from insomnia and wakens at the slightest sound

Ø      Recommends that he be treated as an out-patient for 6 months

Ø      Placed in Category D3 (discharged from hospital and capable of sedentary work only)


Feb 3, 1919

Discharged from the CEF at Toronto Ontario 

Ø      Discharged with 91 days pay and allowances

Ø      To receive medical treatment as an out-patient under the ISC (Invalided Soldiers Commission)

Ø      Proposed residence on discharge – 106 Alexander St Toronto Ontario

Ø      Special qualifications for employment listed as Farmer


Nov 27, 1922

British War Medal and Victory Medal sent to 78 Buena Vista W, Highland Park, Wayne Indiana, USA


Nov 4, 1961

Deceased at Detroit Michigan 

Return to Tribute list