Ernest William Hitt

Thank you to Bruce Kettles for providing the service file


Nov 30, 1892

Born at Plymouth England


Jul 21, 1915

Attested into the 77th Battalion at Ottawa Ontario 

Ø      Number 144233

Ø      Next of kin given as Dulic Bella, sister, of Front St, Wrightville Quebec

Ø      Previous occupation given as Labourer

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Church of England 

From July 21 to August 10, 1915 he was shown on the pay sheet of the Military District No 3 Recruiting Depot, Ottawa


Aug 16, 1915

Appointed to the provisional rank of Corporal


Oct 23, 1915

Embarked the SS California at Quebec City Quebec as part of the 1st Reinforcing Draft of the Battalion


Oct 31, 1915

Disembarked at Plymouth England and proceeded to the Shorncliffe Camp 

On arrival at Shorncliffe, the entire draft was absorbed into the 12th Reserve Battalion and TOS (Taken On Strength) with the rank of Acting Corporal


Dec 16, 1915

Appointed to rank of Acting Lance Sergeant


Jan 10, 1916

Appointed to rank of Acting Sergeant


Jan 13, 1916

Reverted to the rank of Private


Mar 15, 1916

Transferred to the 21st Battalion


Mar 16, 1916

Arrived at the CBD (Canadian Base Depot) at the Rouelles Camp at Havre France and TOS the 21st Battalion


Mar 18, 1916

Left the CBD to join the Battalion


Mar 21, 1916

Joined the 21st Battalion in Ridgewood, having had just been relieved from the front line N & O trenches 

On arrival he was assigned to “A” Company


Mar 23, 1916

Appointed to the rank of Lance Corporal with pay to replace L/Cpl WJ Cross 59217 who had been promoted


Sep 7, 1916

Admitted to No 4 CFA (Canadian Field Ambulance) with a diagnosis that reads PUO (Pyrexia of Unknown Origin) which is a fever without a known cause, and transferred to No 6 CFA 

He was transferred the same day to No 44 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) 

The diagnosis was then changed to read Influenza


Sep 8, 1916

Transferred via No 18 AT (Ambulance Train)


Sep 9, 1916

Admitted to No 32 General Hospital at Dannes Camiers


Sep 19, 1916

Transferred to No 6 Convalescent Depot at Etaples


Sep 28, 1916

Transferred to No 5 Convalescent Depot at Cayeux


Oct 13, 1916

Appointed to the rank of Lance Sergeant to replace L/Sgt CW Clarke 59163 who had been promoted


Oct 15, 1916

Discharged from No 5 Convalescent Depot and TOS the CBD at Havre and posted to “A” Company for those recovering from wounds and illness


Oct 20, 1916

Left the CBD to join the Battalion


Oct 22, 1916

Rejoined the 21st Battalion in billets at Bully Grenay


Jan 22, 1917

Attached to the 4th Canadian Composite Company for duty


Feb 23, 1917

Rejoined the Battalion from the Composite Company


Apr 9, 1917

During the advance on Vimy Ridge, Sgt Hitt was instantly killed and his remains were never recovered.  He is commemorated on the Vimy Ridge Memorial

Post war, the following were sent to his sister, Mrs D Popham, at 154 Wellington St, Hull Quebec: 

British War Medal
Victory Medal
Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny) and Scroll 

No Memorial Cross was issued as his mother had predeceased him and he was not married

Steve Nichol, author of Ordinary Heroes, reports that his medals are held by the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa

It would appear that he had a premonition of his death.   Above is from the February 1960 issue of The Communiqué, the post war newsletter of the 21st Battalion Association

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