Joseph Coughlin

May 14, 1893

Born in Toronto, Ontario to James Thomas and Sarah (nee O’Sullivan) Coughlin


Feb 12, 1915

Shown on the payroll of the 14th Princess of Wales’ Own Regiment in Kingston, Ontario

Ø  Number 3063


Apr 1, 1915

Shown on the payroll of the 39th Battalion

Ø  Number 12936


Apr 15, 1915

Attested into the 21st Battalion in Kingston, Ontario


Ø  Number 59204 (temporary number 1355)

Ø  Next of kin given as Mr. James Coughlin, father, 8 Beatrice St., Toronto, Ontario

Ø  Previous occupation given as Farmer

Ø  No previous military experience given

Ø  Religion given as Roman Catholic

Ø  Posted to the Depot Company

The 21st Battalion trained in the Kingston, Ontario area through the winter of 1914-15.


May 6, 1915

Embarked the RMS Metagama in Montreal, Quebec



May 15, 1915

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


Jul 26, 1915

During training, he was climbing a fence and his leg got caught and he fell to the ground and sprained his ankle.  He was admitted to the Moore Barracks Hospital for treatment


Jul 28, 1915

Transferred from the detention hospital to the Shorncliffe Military Hospital


Jul 31, 1915

Transferred to the Military Hospital in Canterbury


Aug 11, 1915

Transferred to the Bevan Military Hospital in Sandgate


Aug 19, 1915

Discharged from hospital


Sep 14, 1915

Embarked the St. Seiriol in Folkestone



Sep 15, 1915

Disembarked in Boulogne, France and the battalion proceeded to St. Omer


Dec 13, 1915

Sentenced to 7 days Field Punishment #1 for being absent from the trench without permission.  The 21st Battalion was occupying the N & O front line trench system on the Ypres Salient near Voormezeele, Belgium


Apr 10, 1916

While the battalion was being relieved from the “P” Trench near Voormezeele, Belgium, Private Coughlin received a shrapnel wound to his left shoulder and was evacuated to a field ambulance for first aid


Apr 11, 1916

Transferred to the No. 17 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station)


Apr 12, 1916

Transferred via the No. 15 AT (Ambulance Train) and admitted to the No. 23 General Hospital in Etaples, France


Apr 27, 1916

Invalided to England aboard the Hospital Ship Stad Antwerpen


On arrival in England he was admitted to the Middlesex Hospital, Clacton on Sea

Transferred to the CCAC (Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre) for pay purposes while in hospital


May 8, 1916

Transferred to the Canadian Military Convalescent Hospital, Woodcote Park, Epsom


Jun 2, 1916

Discharged from hospital and transferred to the 39th Reserve Battalion at West Sandling


Aug 11, 1916

Medical Board at West Sandling notes

Ø  Shrapnel wound to shoulder has healed

Ø  Man complains of “lack of power” in his left arm

Ø  Board recommends 4 weeks of Physical Training


Aug 22, 1916

Reported to the Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre and attached to the 1st Canadian Command Depot


Sep 16, 1916

Transferred to the 11th Reserve Battalion in Shorncliffe


Sep 27, 1916

Transferred to the 21st Battalion


Sep 28, 1916

Arrived at the CBD (Canadian Base Depot) in the Rouelles Camp, Havre, France as part of a draft of 99 reinforcements for the front and Taken On Strength the 21st Battalion


Oct 25, 1916

After being classified as “PB” (Permanent Base), meaning that he was no longer fit for service at the front, he was returned to England


Oct 27, 1916

Taken On Strength the Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre


Nov 2, 1916

Medical Board at Shoreham notes

Ø  Man received shrapnel wound to left shoulder that has healed

Ø  Complains of pain in shoulder and is unable to carry a pack

Ø  Board recommends 4 weeks of physical training


Nov 10, 1916

Attached to the Canadian Convalescent Depot for 4 weeks of physical training


Mar 10, 1917

Transferred to the EORD (Eastern Ontario Regimental Depot)


Mar 16, 1917

Attached to the 3rd Canadian Convalescent Depot


May 24, 1917

Transferred to the 6th Reserve Battalion in Seaford


Jul 24, 1917

Admitted to the Moore Barracks Convalescent Hospital in Shorncliffe with a diagnosis that reads Dementia

He says his head has gotten very small and his body is full of water and that is why he is just a skeleton.  He is confused and says that his belt stops blood flow to his legs.  He says he would be “a fine looking man if he had braces on instead of a belt”.


Aug 7, 1917

Transferred to the Lord Derby War Hospital in Warrington and the diagnosis was changed to read Delusional Insanity

On admission he claims he has lost a lot of weight, but there is no evidence of that.  He also believes that his head has gotten smaller and there is no blood circulation in his legs.  He is very suspicious of everything.


Aug 16, 1917

Transferred to the Eastern Ontario Regimental Depot


Sep 14, 1917

Invalided to Canada aboard the Hospital Ship Araguaya, embarking in Liverpool



Sep 25, 1917

Disembarked in Quebec City, Quebec


Sep 26, 1917

Medical Board at Quebec City notes

Ø  Man complains he is inhaling fecal material and germs

Ø  Complains of poor sleep

Ø  He has delusions about his weight

Ø  Board deems his disability to be permanent and recommends he be transferred to the Asylum for the Insane in Newmarket, Ontario


Sep 29, 1917

Admitted to the Newmarket, Ontario Asylum for the Insane


Jan 31, 1918

Medical Board at the Newmarket Hospital notes

Ø  Present disease shown as Feeblemindedness

Ø  Memory is good

Ø  Shows no signs of hallucinations or delusions

Ø  Shows some slight retardation and has a quick temper

Ø  Board deems him well enough to carry on and make his own living

Ø  His disability is determined to be 30% and will improve in 6 months

Ø  Board recommends he be discharged from military service


Feb 11, 1918

Discharged from the CEF in Toronto, Ontario

Ø  Rank on discharge Private

Ø  Proposed residence on discharge 8 Beatrice St., Toronto, Ontario

Following the end of the war, the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medals were sent to him at 212 Grace St., Toronto, Ontario


Jan 19, 1920

Joseph married Marjorie Josephine Buck in Toronto, Ontario




Aug 18, 1934

Joseph Coughlin died at 3 pm in London, Ontario while trying to climb aboard a moving train at the rail crossing on Rectory Road in London.  His leg was amputated in the attempt and he died of shock and a massive loss of blood.  He was buried in the Mount Hope Cemetery in Toronto, Ontario




Dec 10, 1934

Joseph’s widow, Marjorie (aka Margaret) remarried in Toronto to Fred Elliott


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