Archibald "Archie" Brownlee

Thank you to Bruce Kettles for providing the service file


Nov 1, 1893

Born in Kingston, Ontario to Archibald and Letitia (nee Robertson).  His birth is registered with the given name of Archie


Jan 11, 1915

Attested into the 21st Battalion at Kingston, Ontario 

Ø      Number 59110 (temporary number 1271)

Ø      Next of kin given as Margaret Brownlee, sister, living at the corner of Union and Ontario Streets, Kingston, Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Labourer

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Presbyterian

Ø      Assigned to the Depot Company 

The original Attestation form shows his name spelled as Brownley, but was later corrected. 

Even though his attestation papers were signed on this date, he shown on the payroll of the 14th Regiment, Princess of Wales’ Own Rifles at Kingston


Mar 1, 1915

His payroll sheet was transferred on this date to the 21st Battalion


May 6, 1915

Embarked the RMS Metagama at Montreal Quebec


May 15, 1915

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


Sep 2, 1915

Transferred to “C” Company from the Depot Company


Sep 14, 1915

Embarked the St Seiriol at Folkestone


Sep 15, 1915

Disembarked at Boulogne, France and proceeded to St Omer


Feb 26, 1916

Admitted to the Divisional Rest Station at the No. 5 CFA (Canadian Field Ambulance) diagnosed with Tonsillitis and Laryngitis


Mar 5, 1916

Discharged to duty from the Rest Station


Apr 22, 1916

Admitted to the No. 9 Stationary Hospital at Havre with a diagnosis that reads NYD (Not Yet Determined).  This was later changed to read VDS (Venereal Disease Syphilis)


Jun 11, 1916

Discharged to the No. 12 Camp at Harfleur

As punishment for his VDS, he forfeited 50¢ per day he was hospitalized (April 23, 1916 to June 11, 1916), a total of 50 days


Jun 28, 1916

Left the camp at Harfleur to join the Battalion


Jun 30, 1916

Rejoined the 21st Battalion in billets in the Micmac Camp


Sep 15, 1916

During the attack on the Sugar Refinery at Courcelette he was struck by a splinter of shrapnel in the left eyelid and a wound to his left thigh when he was partially buried by a shell explosion


Sep 17, 1916

Invalided to England aboard the Hospital Ship St Patrick



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


Sep 18, 1916

Admitted to the County of Middlesex War Hospital at Napsbury with shrapnel wounds to his face and thigh.  He was also noted as suffering from Shell Shock.

Surgery was recommended to remove the shrapnel pieces, but Private Brownlee refused to allow the surgery to take place.


Oct 19, 1916

Transferred to the Military Hospital at Shorncliffe


Oct 26, 1916

Transferred to the Convalescent Hospital at Hermitage


Nov 7, 1916

Discharged from hospital


Nov 11, 1916

Reported to the CCAC from hospital


Nov 14, 1916

On Command to the CCD (Canadian Convalescent Depot) at Shoreham


Jan 24, 1917

Ceased to be On Command and posted to the 6th Reserve Battalion at East Sandling


Mar 6, 1917

Transferred to the 21st Battalion, and arrived at the CBD (Canadian Base Depot) at the Rouelles Camp, Havre, France as part of a draft of 26 Reinforcements from England.  He was then TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion.


Mar 31, 1917

Left the CBD to join the 2nd Canadian Entrenching Battalion


Apr 2, 1917

Joined the 2nd Entrenching Battalion at Hersin as part of a draft of 53 Other Ranks destined for the 21st Battalion


Apr 4, 1917

Left the 2nd Entrenching Battalion as part of a draft of 30 Reinforcements and joined the 21st Battalion in billets at Bois des Alleux.  The Battalion was engaged in the final training for the attack on Vimy Ridge


Apr 23, 1917

Private Brownlee was killed in action near the Vimy-Farbus Railway Embankment and was buried near where he fell. 

When the war ended, an attempt was made to move the battlefield burials into proper cemeteries.  Pte Brownlee’s remains could not be located and he is honoured on the Canadian National Vimy Memorial.

Following the war the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal, (these 3 are shown below) Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny) and Scroll were sent to his sister, Mrs. R. Ferguson, 29 Main St., Kingston, Ontario.

There was no Memorial Cross issued

If you know the location of the Plaque or Memorial Cross, please contact the webmaster




Pte Brownlee is commemorated on the Wall of Rembrance in Kingston, Ontario

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