Lawrence Byrnes

Thank you to Bruce Kettles for providing the service file


Nov 30, 1885

Born in Madoc, Ontario to William an Ellen (nee Smith) Byrnes.


Dec 15, 1915

Attested into the 155th Battalion in Madoc, Ontario 

Ø      Number 636058

Ø      Next of kin given as Nellie Johnson, sister, Stoco, Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Farmer

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Roman Catholic


Jun 14, 1916

Admitted to the military hospital, Barriefield, Ontario with an undetermined stomach ailment.


Jun 17, 1916

Discharged to duty from hospital.


Aug 29, 1916

First reported to be AWL (Absent Without Leave) then declared to be a Deserter.


Mar 16, 1917

TOS (Taken On Strength) the 2nd Battalion Reinforcing Draft in Kingston, Ontario. 

It is not clear from the file as to whether he was apprehended or if he returned voluntarily.


Mar 26, 1917

Embarked the SS Saxonia in Halifax, Nova Scotia


Apr 7, 1917

Disembarked in Liverpool, England and proceeded to Seaford.  On arrival there the draft was absorbed into the 6th Reserve Battalion.


Jun 19, 1917

Transferred to the 21st Battalion.


Jun 20, 1917

Arrived at the No. 2 CIBD (Canadian Infantry Base Depot) in Etaples, France as part of a draft of 82 reinforcements from England and TOS the 21st Battalion.


Jul 7, 1917

Left the CIBD to join the 2nd Entrenching Battalion.


Jul 8, 1917

Joined the 2nd Entrenching Battalion in Hersin as part of a draft of 53 reinforcements destined for the 21st Battalion.


Aug 20, 1917

Joined the 21st Battalion in billets in Fosse 10.


Nov 3, 1917

The 21st Battalion moved into the front line at Passchendaele North East of Crest Farm on the night of November 3/4 and were immediately attacked by a strong German force.  During the overnight fighting, Private Byrnes was killed in action.

After the fighting subsided, his body was removed and buried in the Tyne Cott Cemetery, Ypres, Belgium. 

Following the war the British War Medal and Victory Medals were sent to Mrs. Mary L. Byrnes, 121 Oak St., London, Ontario.

When it came time to issue the Memorial Cross, Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny) and Scroll, the next of kin could not be located.


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