Philip Henry Furney

Jan 25, 1893

Born in London, England


Sep 27, 1900

Embarked the SS Tunisian in Liverpool under the care of the Dr. Barnardo Boys Homes



Oct 6, 1900

Disembarked in Quebec City, Quebec and proceeded to the Barnardo’s Boys Home in Toronto, Ontario.  He was eventually placed with a family in Foxton, Ontario.  It should be noted that he traveled under the name of Furvey and his birth year was given as 1890


Nov 6, 1914

Attested into the 21st Battalion in Kingston, Ontario


Ø  Number 59346 (temporary number 952)

Ø  Next of kin given as Philip Henry Furney, 43 Swan St., London, England

Ø  Previous occupation given as Labourer

Ø  Previous military experience given as Royal Canadian Artillery in Quebec

Ø  Religion given as Roman Catholic

Ø  Posted to the Headquarters 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


May 24, 1915

Sentenced to 2 days detention and forfeited 1 day’s pay for being absent


Sep 14, 1915

Embarked the St. Seiriol in Folkestone



Sep 15, 1915

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


Nov 9, 1915

Admitted to the No. 5 Canadian Field Ambulance with a diagnosis that reads Bronchitis


Nov 13, 1915

Discharged to duty from the field ambulance


Dec 2, 1915

Admitted to the No. 5 Canadian Field Ambulance with a diagnosis that reads infected forearm


Dec 6, 1915

Discharged to duty from the field ambulance


Dec 11, 1915

Sentenced to 14 days Field Punishment No. 1 for being drunk


Jan 16, 1916

While the battalion was near the front at Ridgewood, Belgium, Private Furney became ill and was admitted to the No. 5 Canadian Field Ambulance with a diagnosis that reads Influenza


Jan 20, 1916

Transferred to the No. 2 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) and the diagnosis was changed to Mitral Regurgitation, (blood seeping backwards in the heart)


Jan 22, 1916

Transferred via the No. 24 AT (Ambulance Train) and admitted to the No. 2 Canadian Stationary Hospital in Boulogne, France


Jan 31, 1916

Invalided to England aboard the Hospital Ship Jan Breydel


On arrival in England he was admitted to the Wanstead Red Cross Hospital in Margate where the diagnosis was changed to read VDH (Valvular Disease of the Heart)

Transferred to the 39th Reserve Battalion for pay purposes while in hospital


Feb 15, 1916

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


Mar 6, 1916

Transferred to the Shorncliffe Military Hospital


Mar 24, 1916

Attached to the CCD (Canadian Command Depot) in Bath pending return to Canada


Apr 4, 1916

Embarked the SS Scandinavian in Liverpool



Apr 14, 1916

Disembarked in Saint John, New Brunswick and proceeded to Quebec City, Quebec


Apr 15, 1916

Medical Board at Quebec City notes

Ø  Patient suffers from pain in left side of his chest

Ø  Heart is greatly enlarged

Ø  There is a double murmur present

Ø  Suffers from poor memory

Ø  Disability is permanent

Ø  Board recommends 3 months in convalescent home then discharge as medically unfit


Apr 18, 1916

Admitted to the Elmhurst Convalescent Home in Kingston, Ontario




Oct 4, 1916

Medical Board in Kingston notes

Ø  Patient suffers from Endocarditis

Ø  Complains of shortness of breath

Ø  He is mentally dull and volition slow

Ø  Heart shows mitral regurgitant and murmurs

Ø  Only slight improvement since admission to convalescent home

Ø  Board recommends he be discharged from service at once


Nov 3, 1916

Discharged from the CEF in Kingston, Ontario

Ø  Rank on discharge Private

Ø  Entitled to War Service Badge Class “A”

Ø  Proposed residence on discharge Point Alexander, Ontario


Feb 5, 1917

Attested into the Recruiting Depot in Kingston, Ontario

Ø  Number 1099337

Ø  Next of kin given as Philip Henry Furney, father, address unknown

Ø  Current address given as Mowat Memorial Hospital, Kingston, Ontario

Ø  Previous occupation given as Railroad Worker

Ø  Previous military service given as 21st Battalion CEF

Ø  Religion given as Church of England

Ø  Posted to the 256th Railway Construction Battalion in Toronto

On enlisting he gave his birth date as 1892


Feb 22, 1917

Although there are no actual documents to show this, there are statements in the medical documents to show that he joined the Royal Flying Corps in Toronto, Ontario on this date with the service number 70556


Mar 16, 1917

Medical Board at the Toronto Mobilization Centre notes

Ø  Patient suffers from Valvular Heart Disease and probably Rheumatism

Ø  Has a systolic and diastolic heart murmur

Ø  Condition is considered permanent

Ø  Board recommend immediate discharge


Mar 19, 1917

Discharged from the 256th Railway Construction Battalion in Toronto, Ontario

Ø  Rank on discharge Private

Ø  Intended residence on discharge Royal Flying Corps, Long Branch, Ontario


Dec 12, 1917

Medical Board held at the Recruiting Depot in Toronto, Ontario notes

Ø  Unit is noted as Royal Flying Corps, number 70556, rank 3/AM (Air Mechanic 3rd Class

Ø  Next of kin is noted as Harry C. Furney, brother, Alexander Hotel, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Ø  Patient suffers from shortness of breath, Bronchitis, inflammatory rheumatism and heart murmurs

Ø  His incapacity is due to weakness of the heart muscle and partial loss of function of the Bronchi

Ø  His condition is considered permanent

Ø  Is capable of light indoor work only

Ø  Board recommends discharge from military service

There is no indication in his file as to when he was discharged from the Royal Flying Corps

Following the end of the war, the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medals were sent to him at the Westminster Hospital, London, Ontario


Jul 17, 1918

Admitted to the St. Luke’s Base Hospital in Ottawa, Ontario complaining of shortness of breath


Aug 2, 1918

Medical Board in Ottawa notes

Ø  Patient is pale and suffering from Chronic Bronchitis, most likely a result of being gassed in France

Ø  He should be able to leave hospital in a few days


Aug 23, 1918

Transferred to the Cobourg Military Hospital in Cobourg, Ontario


Aug 30, 1918

Medical Board at the Cobourg Military Hospital notes:

“Mental age is between 10 and 11, general reaction is somewhat silly and trifling, slouching attitude-stupid expression.  No ambition, says he was born in England and came to Canada about 1900.  Says his father struck him overt the head with a stick when he was small child.  Says when father came home all the children would hide from him – from fear.  Says he could not learn in school.  Was put in Barnardo Orphans Home at age of seven and was soon afterwards sent to Canada.  Has wandered about doing odd jobs.  Has “tramped it” and “double headed it” on freight trains.  At times alcoholic and several times locked up on minor charges.  Says he was gassed in France and didn’t know anything for 9 months.  Says he couldn’t speak and memory gone.  At present shows only his constitutional defective condition.  Man claims his mind is better now than ever before and has ho trouble with memory.  In the ward he recognizes everyone and claims to have seen them in France.  Is always going to kill someone and talks and curses incessantly.  Very Troublesome and resistive.  Patient states that father was a drunkard and was in jail may times and did not provide for family“

The board recommends custodial care with light occupation under supervision with no indication of length of custody required


Dec 23, 1923

Philip Henry Furney was taking a bath at home, 254 King St., London, Ontario and suffered a Cardiac Arrest while the hot water was running in the tub.  The water continued to run causing severe scalding to his body.  His death was attributed to his active service with the 21st Battalion.  He was buried in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery in London

There was no Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny) or Memorial Cross issued as no family members could be located




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