Orry "Orra" Francis Harper


May 23, 1872

Born in Morrisburg, Ontario to James Samuel and Julia (nee Hopper) Harper


Nov 4, 1891

Married to Lydia Jane Crowder in Winchester, Ontario


Mar 29, 1916

Attested into the 154th Battalion CEF in Chesterville, Ontario 

Ø      Number 633963

Ø      Next of kin given as Lydia Jane Harper, wife, Grantley, Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Farmer

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Methodist 

The battalion trained in the Barriefield Camp, Kingston, Ontario


Oct 25, 1916

Embarked the SS Mauretania in Halifax, Nova Scotia


Oct 31, 1916

Disembarked in Liverpool, England and the battalion proceeded to Bramshott to continue training


Jan 31, 1917

Transferred to the newly formed 6th Reserve Battalion in East Sandling.  Shortly after the formation of the battalion, it moved to Seaford to begin training troops there.


Apr 14, 1917

Admitted to the Ravenscroft Hospital in Seaford.  There was no diagnosis recorded in the file


Apr 20, 1917

Discharged to duty from hospital


May 3, 1917

Transferred to the 21st Battalion


May 4, 1917

Arrived at the CBD (Canadian Base Depot) in Etaples, France as part of a draft of 73 reinforcements from England and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion


May 7, 1917

Left the CBD and joined the 21st Battalion in the front line trench near the Vimy rail line, close to the town of Thelus


Feb 10, 1918

Granted 14 days leave


Feb 19, 1918

At the completion of his leave he reported to the CCRC (Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp) in Calonne Ricouart, France prior to rejoining the battalion


Aug 27, 1918

Private Harper was killed during the battalion’s advance on the Sensee River near Vis-en-Artois and was buried shortly after in the Vis-en-Artois British Cemetery

Following the war the British War Medal, Victory Medal, Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny), Scroll and Memorial Cross were sent to his widow, Mrs. Lydia Harper, Chesterville, Ontario 

There was no Memorial Cross to his mother as she had pre-deceased him


Private Harper is also honoured in the family plot in the Maple Ridge Cemetery, Chesterville, Ontario



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