Ernest Arthur Harfield

Thank you to Bruce Kettles for providing the service file


Nov 9, 1898

Born to George and Florence Mary (nee Giacomelli) Harfield at Brighton England


Apr 17, 1916

Attested into the 168th Battalion at Ingersoll Ontario 

Ø      Number 675915

Ø      Next of kin given as Miss Florence Harfield, sister, of 385 Lauder Ave, Toronto Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Farmer

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Methodist 

He lied about his age, stating that he was born in 1897, rather than his actual year of birth in 1898 

Pte Harfield’s initial training was done at Ingersoll but the Battalion moved to Camp Borden for additional training


Jun 10, 1916

Reported to be AWL (Absent Without Leave) at 10 pm


Jun 11, 1916

Reported for duty from being AWL at 10 pm 

No punishment is recorded in the file


Oct 30, 1916

Embarked the RMS Lapland at Halifax Nova Scotia


Nov 11, 1916

Disembarked at Liverpool England


Dec 5, 1916

The Battalion was absorbed into the 39th Reserve Battalion at West Sandling


Jan 4, 1917

The 39th Reserve Battalion was absorbed into the newly created 6th Reserve Battalion at East Sandling


Feb 1, 1917

Posted to the 21st Battalion


Feb 2, 1917

Arrived at the CBD (Canadian Base Depot) at the Rouelles Camp, Havre France  

TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion


Feb 21, 1917

Left the CBD to join the 2nd Entrenching Battalion


Feb 24, 1917

Joined the 2nd Entrenching Battalion at Hersin as part of a draft of 68 Other Ranks destined for the 21st Battalion


Mar 5, 1917

Joined the 21st Battalion in Division Reserve at Bois des Alleux as part of a draft of 70 Other Ranks


Apr 9, 1917

Pte Harfield was initially buried near where he fell, but in 1919 his remains were exhumed and moved to a permanent cemetery


 Nine Elms Military Cemetery
Thelus France

Initially there was a wood cross erected to mark his grave

This was replaced later with a permanent grave marker


Post war, the following were sent to Pte Harfield’s sister, Mrs Ethel Probert, at 313 Lauder Ave, Toronto Ontario, the British War Medal and Victory Medal 

The Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny) and Scroll were sent to his brother, GF Harfield, at the same address 

There was no Memorial Cross issued as his mother had predeceased him and he was unmarried


The War Memorial at Kintore Ontario honours the sacrifice of Pte Harfield

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