Walter Charles Holmes

May 19, 1873

Born in Norwich, England to Walter Charles and Hannah (nee Nixon) Holmes


Nov 5, 1914

Attested into the 21st Battalion in Kingston, Ontario


Ø  Number 59474 (temporary number 138)

Ø  Next of kin given as Jane Holmes, wife, Trenton, Ontario

Ø  Previous occupation given as Labourer

Ø  Previous military experience given as the 12th Suffolk Regiment, English Army with the rank of Corporal

Ø  Religion given as Church of England

Ø  Posted to “B” Company

o   This was later reorganized into “A” Company

o   Appointed the provisional rank of Sergeant

o   Appointed as provisional CQMS (Company Quartermaster Sergeant)

The 21st Battalion trained in the Kingston, Ontario area through the winter of 1914-15.


The Quartermaster Sergeants



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


Jul 1, 1915

Confirmed in his rank and appointment as Company Quartermaster Sergeant


Aug 16, 1915

Forfeited 13 day’s pay for being AWL (Absent Without Leave) from August 4 to August 16 and reverted to the rank of Private at his own request


Sep 14, 1915

Embarked the St. Seiriol in Folkestone



Sep 15, 1915

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


Nov 14, 1915

Admitted to the No. 5 CFA (Canadian Field Ambulance) with a diagnosis that reads NYD (Not Yet Determined).  This was later changed to read Myalgia

Transferred to the No. 6 Canadian Field Ambulance and placed in the Division Rest Station at Loker, Belgium


Nov 22, 1915

Discharged to duty from the rest station


Nov 27, 1915

Promoted to the rank of Sergeant to replace Sgt Ennoss who had been killed in action


Jan 4, 1916

Attached to the 4th Canadian Infantry Brigade to be employed as Trench Warden


Apr 1, 1916

Rejoined the battalion from brigade


May 15, 1916

Granted 9 days leave


May 30, 1916

Severely reprimanded for being Absent Without Leave from May 25 to May 30 and forfeited 6 day’s pay for overstaying his leave


Jun 25, 1916

While in the front line trenches near Verbrande Molen, Belgium on the Ypres Salient, Sergeant Holmes received a shrapnel wound to his left leg and was evacuated to the No. 1 Field Ambulance for first aid before being transferred to the No. 12 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) for treatment


Jul 5, 1916

Discharged to duty from the casualty clearing station


Sep 7, 1916

Admitted to the No. 6 Canadian Field Ambulance with a diagnosis that reads Infected Right Knee


Sep 8, 1916

Transferred to the No. 5 Canadian Field Ambulance


Sep 13, 1916

Transferred to the No. 8 Canadian Field Ambulance


Sep 16, 1916

Discharged to duty from the field ambulance


Oct 6, 1916

Invalided to England aboard the Hospital Ship St. David


On arrival in England he was admitted to the Tankerton Military Hospital near Whitstable and the diagnosis was changed to read Synovitis of Right Knee.  While here, an elastic knee cap was supplied

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


Oct 26, 1916

Transferred to the Military Hospital in Shorncliffe


Oct 31, 1916

Classified PB (Permanent Base) meaning that he is not fit ft for combat duty and discharged from hospital and joined the Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre in Shoreham


Nov 8, 1916

Attached to the Garrison Duty Depot in Shoreham


Feb 2, 1917

Attached to the Garrison Duty Company in Crowborough


Mar 6, 1917

Sargeant Holmes was in charge of an escort party taking a prisoner from Crowborough to the Wandsworth Prison in London.  He failed to return from that escort duty and was declared to be Absent Without Leave


Mar 13, 1917

Sergeant Holmes returned to training depot and was charged with being absent and placed under arrest to await Court Martial proceedings


Mar 22, 1917

Attached to the CETD (Canadian Engineer Training Depot) in Crowborough


Apr 2, 1917

Sergeant Walter Holmes appeared before the Court Martial and pled Guilty to the charge of being Absent Without Leave.  His defence counsel was Captain AM Stroud of the 21st Battalion.  He explained to the court that Sergeant Holmes had received a letter telling him that his wife at home had been unfaithful and he was very disturbed by this news and this led to him going absent.  Capt Stroud explained the circumstances, as well as the fact that he had been wounded in combat and vouched that he was a good soldier.  He begged the court for leniency.

Sergeant Holmes was found Guilty of the charge and sentenced to be reduced to the rank of Sapper and to serve 90 Days Detention.  The detention sentence was remitted and he was free to rejoin his unit


Apr 16, 1917

Transferred to the EORD (Eastern Ontario Regimental Depot) in Seaford


May 2, 1917

Transferred to the CFCBD (Canadian Forestry Corps Base Depot) in Sunningdale


Jun 1, 1917

Transferred to the No. 2 District Canadian Forestry Corps in Carlisle


Oct 26, 1917

Sentenced to 14 days Field Punishment #2 and forfeited 17 days pay for being absent


Apr 29, 1918

Transferred to the Canadian Forestry Corps Base Depot in Crowborough to appear before a Medical Board


May 28, 1918

Transferred to the 115th Company, No. 52 District Canadian Forestry Corps in Carlisle


Nov 23, 1918

Transferred to the Canadian Forestry Corps Base Depot in Sunningdale


Apr 16, 1919

Transferred to the MDCW 3 (Military District Canadian Wing 3) at Kinmel Park, Rhyl, pending return to Canada


May 7, 1919

Embarked the SS Celtic in Liverpool



May 15, 1919

Disembarked in Halifax, Nova Scotia and proceeded to Kingston, Ontario by train


May 17, 1919

Discharged from the CEF in Kingston, Ontario

Ø  Rank on discharge Private

Ø  War Service Badge Class “A” issued number 279501

Ø  Proposed residence on discharge Trenton, Ontario

Following his discharge, the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medals were sent to him at Byron St., Trenton, Ontario


Feb 17, 1943

Walter Charles Holmes died of Cancer of the Stomach while a patient of the Grace Hospital, Windsor, Ontario and was buried in the Anglican Cemetery, Cottam, Ontario



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