Charles Drinkwater

aka John Sullivan


Sep 12, 1887

Born in Islington South West, London, England to Alfred and Mary Ann (nee Rush) Drinkwater


May 18, 1912

Embarked the SS Canada in Liverpool with his wife Mary and 2 children, son John and daughter Mary


May 26, 1912

Disembarked in Montreal, Quebec and proceeded to Lachute, Quebec


Oct 30, 1914

Attested into the CAVC (Canadian Army Veterinary Corps) 

Ø      Number 48510

Ø      Next of kin given as Mary, wife, 189 Canning St., Montreal, Quebec

Ø      Previous occupation given as General Labourer

Ø      Previous military experience given as being a member of No. 4 Company, CASC (Canadian Army Service Corps)

Ø      Religion given as Roman Catholic 

He attested under the name of John Sullivan, born September 12, 1886, but that name was officially changed later 

On the same date, there is an attestation paper signed that is stamped for the 39th Battalion in Montreal with the same information as above 

Appointed to the rank of Corporal 

It is not recorded in the service file when he embarked for England.


Feb 19, 1915

An affidavit was sworn out in England declaring his real name to be Charles Drinkwater and witnessed by his Commanding Officer of the No. 1 Hospital, Canadian Army Veterinary Corps


Apr 3, 1915

Embarked for France at Southampton


Apr 4, 1915

Disembarked in Havre, France


May 1, 1915

Reverted to the rank of Private


Jul 5, 1915

Sentenced to 14 days CB (Confined to Barracks) for using obscene language to an NCO and breaking arrest


Oct 12, 1915

Sentenced to 14 days CB with subsequent loss of pay for being drunk


Feb 28, 1916

Tried by FGCM (Field General Court Martial) in Havre for disobeying a lawful command by a superior officer, in that he refused to groom a horse in the stables on February 23, 1916.  He was sentenced to 56 days Field Punishment No. 1.




Mar 1, 1916

Admitted to the Field Punishment Prison


Apr 24, 1916

Rejoined his unit


May 31, 1916

Name changed to read Charles Drinkwater


Jun 28, 1916

Granted leave to England


Jul 6, 1916

Returned from leave


Jul 30, 1916

Transferred to the CTD (Canadian Training Depot) in Shorncliffe


Jul 31, 1916

Transferred to the 9th Reserve Battalion in Shorncliffe


Aug 20, 1916

Transferred to the 39th Reserve Battalion in West Sandling


Oct 27, 1916

Transferred to the 21st Battalion


Nov 3, 1916

Arrived at the CBD (Canadian Base Depot) in the Rouelles Camp, Havre, France as part of a draft of 134 reinforcements from England and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion


Nov 18, 1916

Left the CBD for the entrenching battalion


Nov 21, 1916

Joined the 2nd Entrenching Battalion in Hersin as part of a draft of 62 reinforcements destined to join the 21st Battalion


Nov 26, 1916

Left the entrenching battalion and joined the 21st Battalion in Calonne as part of a draft of 26 reinforcements


Apr 8, 1917

Admitted to the CFA (Canadian Field Ambulance) sick.  The illness was not stated


Apr 16, 1917

Rejoined the battalion from the field ambulance


Jul 23, 1917

Admitted to the No. 4 CFA with slight shrapnel wounds to his left wrist that he received in the area near Lens.  He was discharged later that same day after receiving first aid


Aug 17, 1917

Private Drinkwater was severely wounded during the capture of Hill 70 and was taken to the Regimental Aid Post where he died of his wounds.  He was buried shortly after in the Aix-Noulette Communal Cemetery, north-west of Souchez, France

Following the war the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal, Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny), Scroll and Memorial Cross were sent to his widow, Mrs. Mary Drinkwater, 182 Woodington Rd., Kentish Town, London, England 

A second Memorial Cross was sent to his mother, Mary Ann Drinkwater, 189 Caledonian Rd., Kings Cross, London, England


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