Robert Alfred Dowd
Served as Burbert Francis Dowd


Apr 13, 1880

Born in Cushing, Quebec to Robert James and Elizabeth Ann (nee Bigelow) Dowd 

His father, Robert, died in 1908 and his mother, Eliza, died in 1880


Jan 17, 1916

Attested into the 166th Battalion in Toronto, Ontario 

Ø      Number 669119

Ø      Next of kin given as Lemuel Herbert Dowd, brother, Grenville, Quebec

Ø      Previous occupation given as Cook

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Methodist 

On attesting, he gave his birth year as 1883 and stated that he was single 

The battalion trained in the Exhibition Camp, Toronto


Jul 1, 1916

The battalion moved from Toronto to Camp Borden, near Barrie, Ontario


Oct 13, 1916

Embarked the SS Olympic in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Only half of the battalion embarked the SS Olympic.  The remainder of the battalion embarked the SS Cameronia on October 17th, 4 days later.


Oct 19, 1916

Disembarked in Liverpool, England.  On arrival in England both halves of the battalion proceeded to Seaford to continue training


Jan 4, 1917

Transferred to the newly formed 12th Reserve Battalion in East Sandling to continue training


Feb 3, 1917

Appointed to rank of Acting Sergeant with pay


Feb 7, 1917

Transferred to the 21st Battalion


Feb 8, 1917

Arrived at the CBD (Canadian Base Depot) in the Rouelles Camp, Havre, France as part of a draft of 85 reinforcements from England and was TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion.  On arrival he reverted to his permanent rank of Private


Feb 15, 1917

Left the CBD and joined the 21st Battalion in the front lines west of Vimy Ridge


Mar 9, 1917

Admitted to the No. 2 CFA (Canadian Field Ambulance) with a diagnosis that reads Influenza


Mar 11, 1917

Transferred to the Rest Station at the No. 6 CFA to recuperate


Apr 7, 1917

Transferred to the No. 18 General Hospital in Camiers and the diagnosis is changed to read Myalgia


Apr 16, 1917

Invalided to England aboard the Hospital Ship Antrim

On arrival in England he was admitted to the VAD (Volunteer Aid Detachment) Racecourse Hospital in Cheltenham 

Posted to the EORD (Eastern Ontario Regimental Depot) for pay purposes while in hospital


Jun 13, 1917

Transferred to the CCH (Canadian Convalescent Hospital) in Woodcote Park, Epsom


Jul 6, 1917

Discharged to do light duties only


Aug 4, 1917

Posted to the CAMC (Canadian Army Medical Corps) Depot and attached to the CCH in Epsom for duty 

Promoted to the rank of Sergeant


Apr 4, 1918

Posted to the CAMC Depot in Shorncliffe


Apr 9, 1918

It was recommended that he be employed as a Cook in a Military Mess as he is not fit for regular army duty


Apr 22, 1918

Attached to the 1st CDD (Canadian Discharge Depot) in Buxton pending return to Canada


May 13, 1918

Embarked the SS Mauretania in Liverpool


May 20, 1918

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


May 24, 1918

Posted to the No. 2 District Depot in Toronto in the Ravina Barracks


Jun 14, 1918

Transferred to the No. 2 Special Service Company 

This transfer was later cancelled


Jul 7, 1918

Admitted to the CAMC Base Hospital, Toronto suffering from vomiting and weakness.


Jul 10, 1918

Burbert Dowd went into a convulsion and became unconscious at about 6.30 am and died at 10.15 pm.  His official cause of death as determined by a Court of Inquiry was Cardiac Failure brought on by Cerebral Arteriosclerosis.  He was buried in the Prospect Cemetery, Toronto

Following his death, the British War Medal, Victory Medal, Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny) and Scroll were sent to his brother, Lemuel H. Dowd, Calumet, Quebec 

No Memorial Cross was issued


The newspaper account suggests that he was wounded during the attack on Vimy Ridge, April 9, 1917, but as can be seen from the details above, he was already in hospital at that time

Return to Tribute list