Edward Claud Coles




Aug 14, 1892

Born at Beith, Ayrshire, Scotland


May 12, 1917

Attested into the 4th Divisional Signal Company, Canadian Engineers, at Calgary Alberta 

Ø      Number 2265961

Ø      Current address given as 107-4th Ave. E., Calgary Alberta

Ø      Next of kin given as RSM Frank Coles (father) of 30th Cavalry Reserve, Colchester England

Ø      Previous occupation given as Stenographer (graduate of Garbutt Business College with Honours)

Ø      Previous military experience given as 2 years 7 months with Lord Strathcona’s Horse, Winnipeg, and currently a member of the 4th Field Troop, Canadian Engineers, Calgary Alberta

Ø      Stated to be single

Ø      Religion given as Salvationist 

Mother, Mrs Ellen Coles, was stated to be living in Salmon Arm, British Columbia


Aug 31, 1917

Will made out at Signal Training Depot, Ottawa, leaving estate to Miss Belle Watson (fiancé) of 2119, 5th Street, Suite 1, Calgary Alberta


Nov 24, 1917

Embarked the SS Megantic at Halifax Nova Scotia


Dec 7, 1917

Disembarked at Liverpool England


Dec 8, 1917

TOS (Taken On Strength) the CETD (Canadian Engineers Training Depot) at Seaford


Dec 19, 1917

TOS the 7th Reserve Battalion at Seaford


Feb 15, 1918

TOS 6th Reserve Battalion at Seaford


Apr 11, 1918

Proceeded to France with a draft for the PPCLI (Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry)


Apr 12, 1918

Arrived at 3rd CBD (Canadian Base Depot) and TOS the PPCLI


Apr 15, 1918

Arrived at CCRC (Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp)


May 6, 1918

Address for father changed to Sgt Major, 5th Cavalry Reserve Regiment, Aliwal Barracks, Tidworth, Wiltshire, England


Jun 5, 1918

SOS (Struck Off Strength) to the 21st Battalion


Jun 6, 1918

TOS 21st Battalion


Jun 8, 1918

Joined the 21st Battalion in the field 

The following is from the 21st Battalion War Diary:

 A draft of twenty Other Ranks arrived from the 3rd Divisional Wing, CCRC.  These Other Ranks had been despatched from England as reinforcements for Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.” 


Aug 8, 1918

Wounded with 2 gun shot wounds to right arm and admitted to No 1 CFA (Canadian Field Ambulance) then transferred to the CCS (Casualty Clearing Station)


Aug 9, 1918

Transferred to the No 11 Stationary Hospital


Aug 10, 1918

Invalided to England aboard the Hospital Ship Guildford Castle


Posted to the EORD (Eastern Ontario Regimental Depot)


Aug 12, 1918

Admitted to Graylingwell Hospital, Chichester


Aug 19, 1918

Transferred to No 11 Canadian General Hospital, Moore Barracks with Mania Depression and insanity associated with injury 

Ø      Confused and maniacal on admission

Ø      Along with gun shot wounds to arm, he suffered a concussion from an exploding shell

Ø      He thought “the Matron was the Queen and that he had won the Victoria Cross”

Ø      He also thinks he is “Jesus Christ” and studying Pelmanism

Ø      Constantly claps his hands

Ø      Verbigeration (obsessive repetition of meaningless words and phrases) is present that lasts for a couple of hours at a time and is a discomfort to other patients


Sep 19, 1918

Transferred to Notts County War Hospital, Radcliffe on Trent 

Ø      Patient is noisy, sleepless and incoherent

Ø      He is easily excited and violent and must be sedated


Oct 17, 1918

Transferred to Lord Derby War Hospital, Warrington for mental observation 

Ø      Patient is sleepless and suffers from headaches

Ø      Claims he fell off a horse in 1912 and was dazed

Ø      Knows that he is not well mentally

Ø      Has a sexual complex about his condition

Ø      No signs of organic nervous disease


Nov 26, 1918

Invalided to Canada aboard the Hospital Ship Araguaya



Dec 4, 1918

Received a slight scalp wound from another patient.  A report of the incident recorded the following: 

Ø      “Pte Coles is a mental case.  He is very noisy and talkative and annoys the other patients.  Pte Nicholls who is also a mental patient and is excitable.  He admits striking Pte Coles on the head with a spittoon cover causing a superficial scalp wound.”

Ø      This wound required one suture

Ø      The report is signed by the Officer Commanding the troops aboard the Hospital Ship Araguaya


Dec 7, 1918

Disembarked at Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada


Dec 9, 1918

Address for father changed to Salmon Arm, British Columbia Canada 

Admitted to Military Hospital at Cobourg Ontario with Dementia 

Ø      Dec 18, 1918 – patient shows less maniacal symptoms

Ø      Jan 3, 1919 – patient is not so maniacal and not so resistful to treatment

Ø      He denies any of his relatives were insane, but there is a report that great aunt and great uncle were insane

Ø      Jan 6, 1919 – Boarded for discharge to custody of SCR (Soldier’s Civil Re-Establishment)


Jan 6, 1919

Medical Board at Cobourg Ontario notes: 

Ø      Disability noted as Dementia

Ø      Gun shot wounds are healed with no disability

Ø      Suffers from hallucinations

Ø      Talks continuously with extreme incoherence

Ø      Not oriented as to time and place

Ø      Has shown some improvement since admission at Cobourg Hospital

Ø      Condition is considered permanent and progressive

Ø      To be treated with Hydrotherapy, medication, rest and extra nourishment

Ø      Recommended discharge as Medically Unfit and be passed on to SCR for custodial care

Ø      Soldier could not sign the report due to mental condition


Jan 21, 1919

Discharged from the CEF at Kingston Ontario as Medically Unfit 

Ø      Discharged as Medically Unfit and in order that further treatment may be carried on by the SCR

Ø      War Service Badge Class “A” issued, number 316806 as well as a Class “B”, number c68989

Ø      Proposed address on discharge – Ontario Military Hospital, Cobourg Ontario


Jun 26, 1919

Discharged from hospital to SCR for confinement and custodial care


Oct 17, 1919

SOS the SCR and applied for War Service Gratuity


Nov 14, 1919

War Service Gratuity of $350.00 approved.


Dec 15, 1922

British War Medal and Victory Medal sent to Ontario Military Hospital at Cobourg Ontario


Nov 16, 1929

Replacement medals sent to RR #2 Salmon Arm, British Columbia


Dec 5, 1956


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