William Holt

Oct 5, 1870

Born in Rochdale, Lancashire, England


Mar 18, 1915

Attested into the 21st Battalion in Lindsay, Ontario


Ø  Number 59476 (temporary number 1319)

Ø  Next of kin given as Minnie Holt, wife, 2 Vanauley St., Toronto, Ontario

Ø  Previous occupation given as Machinist

Ø  Previous military experience given as 5 years in the 2nd Lancashire Fusiliers in England

Ø  Religion given as Methodist

Ø  Posted to the Depot Company

On attesting he lied about his age, stating he had been born in 1877, not his actual birth year of 1870

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


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 14, 1915

Embarked the St. Seiriol in Folkestone



Sep 15, 1915

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


Oct 15, 1915

Sentenced to 5 days Field Punishment #2 for being absent from 1.45 pm parade

It should be noted that the battalion was forming up to move into the front line trench from their billets in La Clytte, Belgium and Private Holt was 1 of 24 men absent from that parade


Dec 28, 1915

Sentenced to 14 days Field Punishment #1 for insolence to an officer


Jan 7, 1916

Attached to the 250th Tunnelling Company for duty


Apr 10, 1916

Attached to the 2nd Canadian Tunnelling Company


Apr 21, 1916

While working on improving dug outs near Armagh Wood (The Bluff between Hill 60 and Mount Sorrel), Private Holt was blown out of the trench (his words) by the explosion of an artillery shell.

He was evacuated to the No. 5 Canadian Field Ambulance with a diagnosis that reads Neurasthenia


Apr 23, 1916

Transferred to the Division Rest Station at the No. 4 Canadian Field Ambulance


Apr 27, 1916

Transferred to the Division Rest Station at Mont des Cats, France


May 6, 1916

Transferred to the No. 13 General Hospital in Boulogne, France


May 16, 1916

Transferred to the No. 25 General Hospital at Hardelot, France


May 30, 1916

Discharged to base details in Boulogne


Jun 7, 1916

Forfeited total of 6 days pay for being absent from 9 pm June 6 to 5.40 pm June 7


Jun 9, 1916

Transferred to the No. 3 General Base Depot in the Rouelles Camp, Havre, France


Jun 18, 1916

Medical Classification changed to “C” meaning he was not fit for combat duty and proceeded to England

Transferred to the CCAC (Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre) in Folkestone


Jun 20, 1916

Medical Board at Folkestone notes

Ø  Patient suffers from Shell Shock

Ø  Classified PB (Permanent Base Duty)


Mar 10, 1917

Attached to the CTS (Canadian Training School) in Bexhill for duty


Apr 15, 1917

Transferred to the EORD (Eastern Ontario Regimental Depot) and remained attached to the training school in Bexhill


Jun 13, 1917

Transferred to the Canadian Training School for permanent duty


Jan 16, 1918

Transferred to the General Depot in Shorncliffe


Feb 8, 1918

Admitted to the No. 11 Canadian General Hospital, Moore Barracks, Shorncliffe with a diagnosis that reads Myalgia

Patient’s general condition is noted as “Poor” and his true age of 48 is noted.  He complains of pain in lumbar region of his back.


Feb 27, 1918

Discharged to duty


Mar 16, 1918

Attached to the CDD (Canadian Discharge Depot) in Buxton pending return to Canada


Apr 8, 1918

Embarked the SS Mauritania in Liverpool



Apr 15, 1918

Disembarked in Halifax, Nova Scotia and proceeded to Toronto, Ontario where he was Taken On Strength District Depot #2


May 6, 1918

Medical Board at the Ravina Barracks in Toronto notes

Ø  Man suffers from Bronchitis and Emphysema and claims it was caused by exposure to Chlorine Gas in Belgium in December of 1915 although he was not hospitalized at the time

Ø  Suffers from Myalgia and Neurasthenia caused by a shell explosion in April of 1916

Ø  Suffers from back pain in the Lumbar region, worse in damp weather

Ø  Suffers from violent headaches and dizzy spells

Ø  Fingers tremble and has excessive knee jerks

Ø  Man is not well nourished

Board recommends he be discharged as Physically Unfit


May 14, 1918

Admitted to the Base Hospital in Toronto, Ontario with a diagnosis that reads Influenza and Tonsillitis

Ø  Complains of sore throat and headaches

Ø  Has pain in chest and body joints

Ø  Tonsils are enlarged


May 21, 1918

Discharged to duty from hospital


Jun 5, 1918

Discharged from the CEF in Toronto, Ontario

Ø  Rank on discharge Private

Ø  Entitled to War Service Badge Class “A”

Ø  Proposed residence on discharge 470 Salem Ave., Toronto, Ontario

Following the end of the war, the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medals were sent to him at 2502 Jasper St., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA


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