Harold Willis Douglas

Aug 21, 1894

Born in Port Hope, Ontario to John Wilson and Elizabeth (nee Kennedy) Douglas


Nov 6, 1914

Attested into the 21st Battalion in Kingston, Ontario


Ø  Number 59271 (temporary number 748)

Ø  Next of kin given as J Douglas, Ridout St., Port Hope, Ontario

Ø  Previous occupation given as Barber

Ø  No previous military experience given

Ø  Religion given as Wesleyan

Ø  Posted to “G” Company

o   This was later reorganized into “D” 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


Sep 14, 1915

Embarked the St. Seiriol in Folkestone



Sep 15, 1915

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


Jul 21, 1916

Attached to the Woodcutting Party


Aug 27, 1916

Admitted to hospital sick.  On admission to hospital he ceased to be attached to the Wood Cutting Party


Aug 28, 1916

Discharged from hospital and rejoined the 21st Battalion


Sep 16, 1916

During heavy fighting on the Somme south of Courcelette, France, Private Douglas was buried by the explosion of an artillery shell.  When he was dug out by his comrades, he was unconscious and evacuated to the No. 4 CFA (Canadian Field Ambulance) for first aid before being transported to the CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) for treatment


Sep 18, 1916

Transferred to the No. 10 Canadian Field Ambulance


Sep 22, 1916

Transferred to the No. 4 Casualty Clearing Station


Sep 24, 1916

Transferred via the No. 30 AT (Ambulance Train) and admitted to the No. 13 General Hospital in Boulogne for evaluation.  He was then transferred to the No. 1 Convalescent Depot in Boulogne


Sep 30, 1916

Discharged to the Base Details in Boulogne for light duties


Oct 3, 1916

Discharged from the convalescent depot and reported to the CBD (Canadian Base Depot) in the Rouelles Camp in Havre


Oct 27, 1916

Invalided to England after his medical category was changed to “C”, meaning he was only fit for duty in England

Transferred to the CCAC (Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre)


Nov 2, 1916

Medical Board at Shoreham notes

 Ø  Patient suffers from Flat Feet and nervousness

Ø  Has improved slightly since being buried by shell but still suffers from rapid heart

Ø  Board recommends he be given temporary base duty for 4 months


Nov 5, 1916

Attached to the GDD (Garrison Duty Depot) for light duties


Mar 6, 1917

Admitted to the Canadian Military Hospital in Hastings with a diagnosis that reads Orchitis VDG (Venereal Disease Gonorrhea).  The Gonorrhea diagnosis was dropped as there was no evidence of that infection.  The Orchitis was a swelling of his testicles that was treated


Mar 21, 1917

Discharged to duty from hospital


Mar 22, 1917

Transferred to the EORD (Eastern Ontario Regimental Depot)


Apr 9, 1917

Attached to the CDD (Canadian Discharge Depot) in Buxton pending return to Canada


May 4, 1917

Granted leave to Canada at his own expense until July 13, 1917 to recuperate

Embarked the SS Grampian in Liverpool



May 14, 1917

Disembarked in Montreal, Quebec and proceeded to Kingston, Ontario

On arrival in Kingston he was admitted to the Convalescent Hospital


Jun 26, 1917

Medical Board in Kingston notes

 Ø  Man suffers from Shell Shock

Ø  Suffers from knee jerks and hand tremors

Ø  Board recommends his leave be extended by 2 months


Aug 13, 1917

Leave in Canada was extended by 2 months, to September 13.


Aug 29, 1917

Medical Board in Kingston notes

Ø  Patient suffers from Neurasthenia (Shell Shock)

Ø  A result of being buried by a shell explosion

Ø  Complains of sleeplessness and headaches

Ø  Gets short of breath when walking fast

Ø  He is very indefinite in his statements

Ø  Avoids questions giving indefinite answers

Ø  Man is of “neurotic temperment”

Ø  Board “can find no disability” and recommends he be returned to England


Nov 15, 1917

Medical Board in Kingston, Ontario notes

 Ø  Patient complains of Rheumatic pain in different joints but worse in his feet

Ø  Sleeps poorly

Ø  Tires easily and becomes short of breath on slight exertion

Ø  Board notes that “man is mentally retarded and is slow to understand”

Ø  Has tremors in fingers and has exaggerated knee jerks

Ø  Board expects his condition to last at least 6 months

Ø  Board recommends that he not be hospitalized as he can recover best at home

Ø  Board recommends he be classified “E”, meaning his unfit for any service for 6 months


Jan 27, 1918

Private Douglas embarked for England


Feb 7, 1918

TOS (Taken On Strength) the Eastern Ontario Regiment Depot and attached to the 6th Reserve Battalion in Seaford. 


Apr 18, 1918

Attached to the Canadian Discharge Depot in Buxton pending return to Canada


Jun 24, 1918

Embarked the SS Empress of Britain in Liverpool



Jul 3, 1918

Disembarked in Halifax, Nova Scotia and proceeded to Kingston, Ontario

On arrival in Kingston he was Taken On Strength Military District Depot No. 3 and granted leave until July 21, 1918


Jul 25, 1918

Medical Board in Kingston notes

 Ø  Patient suffers from VDH (Valvular Disease of the Heart) and Flat Feet

Ø  Complains of general weakness and frequent dizzy spells

Ø  Gets short of breath easily

Ø  Has frequent sharp cramping periods

Ø  Suffers from pain in his feet

Ø  Patient says that his condition worsens in hot weather

Ø  Claims he was buried by a shell in April of 1916, when in fact it happened in September of 1916

Ø  Board recommends that he be discharged from service as medically unfit


Aug 2, 1918

Discharged from the CEF in Kingston, Ontario

 Ø  Rank on discharge Private

Ø  War Service Badge Class “A” issued

Ø  Proposed residence on discharge Port Hope, Ontario

Following his discharge, the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medals were sent to him at Ridout St., Port Hope, Ontario


Oct 6, 1928

Married to the widow Lelah Verne Lafleur (nee Haviland) in Detroit, Michigan, USA


Jan 26, 1956

Harold Willis Douglas died at home in Brantford, Ontario and was buried in the Brantford Cemetery.



Return to Tribute list