Wesley Down


Nov 27, 1888

Born in St. Mary’s, Ontario


Nov 5, 1914

Attested into the 21st Battalion in Kingston, Ontario

Ø  Number 59272 (temporary number 169)

Ø  Next of kin given as Wilbert Down, brother, Frome, Ontario

Ø  Previous occupation given as Button Maker

Ø  No previous military experience given

Ø  Religion given as Wesleyan

Ø  Posted to “B” Company

o   This was later reorganized into “A” Company

The battalion carried out training in the Kingston area over 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


Apr 22, 1916

Admitted to the No. 6 CFA (Canadian Field Ambulance) with a diagnosis that reads Hernia.  He was transferred to the No. 10 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) before being boarded on the No. 15 AT (Ambulance Train)


Apr 23, 1916

Transferred to the No. 1 Convalescent Depot in Boulogne


Apr 25, 1916

Transferred to the No. 25 General Hospital in Havre, France where surgery was performed to repair the Hernia


Jun 20, 1916

Transferred to the No. 1 Convalescent Depot


Jun 27, 1916

Discharged to the base details in Boulogne


Jul 5, 1916

Transferred to the Canadian Base Depot in the Rouelles Camp, Havre


Jul 6, 1916

Transferred to the No. 3 Canadian General Base Depot


Jul 27, 1916

Forfeits all pay for 14 days for being AWL (Absent Without Leave) and Drunkenness


Aug 8, 1916

After leaving the base depot he joined the 2nd Canadian Entrenching Battalion in the Halifax Camp near Brandhoek, Belgium


Aug 11, 1916

After leaving the entrenching battalion, Private Down rejoined the 21st Battalion in the N & O trenches near Voormezeele, Belgium


Nov 6, 1916

Attached to the No. 1 Forestry Company, Royal Engineers for duty


Oct 26, 1917

Rejoined the battalion from duty with the Forestry Company


Nov 12, 1917

While occupying the front line at Passchendaele, Belgium, Private Down suffered shrapnel wounds to his chest, arms, legs and feet, including a fractured Fibula.  He was evacuated to the No. 9 Canadian Field Ambulance for first aid before being transferred to the No. 4 General Hospital in Camiers, France


Nov 20, 1917

Surgery performed to remove shrapnel and bone fragments


Nov 23, 1917

Invalided to England aboard the Hospital Ship Stad Antwerpen


On arrival in England he was admitted to the County of Middlesex War Hospital in St. Albans

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


Jan 28, 1918

Transferred to the No. 15 Canadian General Duchess of Connaught Canadian Red Cross Hospital in Taplow


Mar 6, 1918

Transferred to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital in Bearwood Park.  Noted as walking with a decided limp and is painful to walk.  Medical Board notes that he has about 50% movement in his right ankle


Jun 5, 1918

Transferred to the No. 5 Canadian General Hospital in Kirkdale, Liverpool.  Right ankle noted as swollen and painful


Jun 26, 1918

Embarked the Hospital Ship Araguaya in Liverpool



Jul 7, 1918

Disembarked on Halifax, Nova Scotia and proceeded to London, Ontario


Jul 12, 1918

Taken On Strength of the Hospital Section of the London Military Convalescent Hospital


Jul 13, 1918

Granted leave until July 27, 1918


Jul 18, 1918

Authorized to wear 4 Blue Chevrons


Jul 27, 1918

Admitted to the Military Convalescent Hospital in Guelph, Ontario with a diagnosis that reads Hernia and problems from shrapnel wound to right foot

There were adherent scars from the Hernia surgery that were causing pain and restricting movement, in addition to stiffness in right ankle


Aug 14, 1918

Transferred to the London Military Hospital


Aug 30, 1918

Medical Board in London notes

Ø  Suffered shrapnel wounds in 1917

Ø  Scars from wounds on left hand, right ankle and leg

Ø  Suffers pain when walking at the site of his previous Hernia surgery

Ø  Right ankle is painful when walking

Ø  Right ankle flexion about 70%

Ø  Suffers from Chronic Bronchitis

Ø  Patient cannot do heavy work

Ø  Condition is considered permanent

Ø  Discharge from military service is recommended


Sep 5, 1918

Discharged from hospital and posted to the Casualty Company, Military District #1, London


Sep 12, 1918

Discharged from the CEF in London, Ontario

Ø  Rank on discharge Private

Ø  War Service Badge Class “A” issued

Ø  War Service Badge Class “B” issued

Ø  Proposed residence on discharge RR #4, Iona Station, Ontario

Following the end of the war, the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medals were sent to him at RR #4, Iona Station, Ontario


Dec 16, 1962

Wesley Down died while a patient in the Deer Lodge Hospital, Winnipeg, Manitoba and was buried in the Brookside Cemetery there.


Thank you to Jim Busby for the headstone photograph and the newspaper clippings.

Pictured below are his British War Medal and Victory Medal.  The 1914-15 Star is missing, if you know of it’s location, please contact the webmaster



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