Sperry Claude Harper

Jan 22, 1886

Born in Hinchinbrooke, Ontario to Samuel and Ellen (nee Martin) Harper


Nov 5, 1914

Attested into the 21st Battalion in Kingston, Ontario 

Ø      Number 59426 (temporary number 641)

Ø      Next of kin given as Samuel Harper, father, Godfrey, Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Farmer

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Presbyterian

Ø      Assigned to “F” Company

o       This was later reorganized into “C” Company

o       He was later transferred to the Transport Section 

The battalion trained in the Kingston area through the winter with headquarters in the Kingston Armouries


Mar 5, 1915

Forfeited 1 day’s pay for an unspecified offence


Apr 7, 1915

Fined $2.00 for drunkenness


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 1, 1915

Fined $6.00 for being drunk and restricted to half pay for 2 months


Sep 14, 1915

Embarked the St. Seiriol in Folkestone


Sep 15, 1915

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


Jan 16, 1916

Admitted to the No. 5 CFA (Canadian Field Ambulance) with a diagnosis that reads Influenza


Jan 17, 1916

Transferred to the Divisional Rest Station at Godewaersvelde, France to recover


Jan 20, 1916

Discharged to duty from the rest station and rejoined the battalion in Ridgewood, Belgium


Jun 29, 1916

Admitted to the No. 4 CFA with shrapnel wounds to his back


Jul 2, 1916

Transferred to the Divisional Rest Station at Godewaersvelde


Jul 3, 1916

Transferred to the No. 5 CFA for treatment


Jul 8, 1916

After being discharged from hospital he rejoined the 21st Battalion in the Chippawa rest camp near La Clytte, Belgium


Dec 18, 1916

Granted 10 days leave


Dec 28, 1916

Rejoined the battalion from leave


Nov 28, 1917

Granted 14 days leave


Dec 11, 1917

Rejoined the battalion from leave


Nov 18, 1918

Granted 14 days leave


Feb 24, 1919

Admitted to the No. 6 CFA with a diagnosis that reads NYD (Not Yet Determined) Mental.  He was transferred the same day to the No. 53 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station)


Feb 26, 1919

Transferred by an ambulance train and admitted to the No. 8 Stationary Hospital in Wimereux for treatment


Mar 3, 1919

Invalided to England aboard the Hospital Ship St. Andrew

On arrival in England he was admitted to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Netley, near Southampton and the diagnosis is changed to read Influenza 

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


Mar 6, 1919

Transferred to the Lord Derby War Hospital, Warrington and diagnosis is changed to read General Paralysis of the Insane


May 21, 1919

Invalided to Canada aboard the Hospital Ship Araguaya

TOS (Taken On Strength) the #3 District Depot in Kingston


May 30, 1919

Disembarked in Portland Maine, USA and proceeded to Cobourg, Ontario


Jun 1, 1919

Admitted to the Cobourg Military Hospital with a diagnosis that reads GPI (General Paralysis of the Insane) 

Notes on admission 

Ø      Pupils do not react to light

Ø      Speech slurred

Ø      Involuntary urination

Ø      Claims to have earned the Victoria Cross for killing hundreds of Germans

Ø      Marked memory defects, thinks the year is 1819


Jul 4, 1919

Discharged from the CEF while in hospital 

Ø      Rank on discharge Private

Ø      Discharged as Medically Unfit

Ø      Discharged into the care of the SCR (Soldier’s Civil Re-Establishment) Department

Ø      To remain in custodial care in hospital

Ø      Proposed residence on discharge Godfrey, Ontario 

Following his discharge the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medals were sent to his home in Godfrey, Ontario


Nov 29, 1919

Transferred to the Rockwood Hospital for the insane in Kingston, Ontario under the care of the SCR


Aug 13, 1920

Following a gradual deterioration of his condition Private Harper passed away in the Rockwood Hospital in Kingston.  His official cause of death is recorded as General Paralysis of the Insane.  He was buried in the Piccadilly, Ontario Cemetery.  He is also named on the family headstone in the same cemetery


Private Harper is honoured on the Memorial Wall in Kingston, Ontario

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