Norman Douglas Hurl

Jul 1, 1895

Born in Peterborough, Ontario to William James and Margaret (nee Curtain) Hurl


Nov 18, 1914

Attested into the 21st Battalion in Kingston, Ontario


Ø  Number 59489 (temporary number 80)

Ø  Next of kin given as William James Hurl, Lakefield, Ontario

Ø  Previous occupation given as Labourer

o   Later noted as Machinist

o   Later noted as a Cinema Operator

Ø  Previous military experience given as 4 years in the Peterborough Heavy Artillery Battery

Ø  Religion given as Wesleyan

Ø  Posted to No. 2 Platoon, “A” Company

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


Jan 22, 1915

Sentenced to 15 days detention for an unrecorded offence


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


Nov 27, 1915

Sentenced to 5 days Field Punishment No. 2 for being drunk


Jan 20, 1916

Sentenced to 28 days Field Punishment No. 1 for leaving his post without permission.  The battalion was in Brigade Reserve, resting in the town of Ridgewood, Belgium and he had been posted as a Sentry.


Nov 18, 1916

Private Hurl should have been awarded the Good Conduct Badge but because of his previous indiscretions, this was cancelled


Dec 1, 1916

Granted 10 days leave


Dec 14, 1916

Rejoined the battalion from leave


Jul 22, 1917

Attached to the 4th Canadian Machine Gun Company for duty


Aug 28, 1917

Rejoined the battalion from duty with the machine gun company


Sep 12, 1917

Granted 10 days leave


Sep 24, 1917

Rejoined the battalion from leave


Nov 20, 1917

Admitted to the No. 6 CFA (Canadian Field Ambulance) with a diagnosis that reads Impetigo.  He was transferred the same day to the No. 5 Canadian Field Ambulance


Dec 8, 1917

Discharged from the field ambulance and rejoined the battalion resting in the Cellars Camp near Neuville St. Vaast, France


Jan 20, 1918

Awarded the Good Conduct Badge


Mar 15, 1918

Reported to be AWL (Absent Without Leave) from his billet in Gouy Servins, France when he was required to report for Fire Piquet duty


Mar 26, 1918

Arrested in Paris, France and placed in confinement to await Court Martial


Apr 6, 1918

Returned to the 21st Battalion in Wailly, France under escort


Apr 13, 1918

Tried by Field General Court Martial on the charge of being Absent Without Leave

After testimony was given, he was found guilty and sentenced to 9 months imprisonment with hard Labour.


Apr 25, 1918

The prison sentence was reviewed and the sentence was reduced to 3 months Field Punishment No. 1


Apr 29, 1918

During a trench raid on enemy lines near Neuville Vitasse, France, Private Hurl received shrapnel wounds to his face and right hand.  He was evacuated to the No. 6 Canadian Field Ambulance for first aid before being transported to a casualty clearing station for treatment


May 1, 1918

Transferred to the No. 9 General Hospital


May 2, 1918

Invalided to England aboard the Hospital Ship Carisbrook Castle


On arrival in England he was admitted to the No. 4 Canadian General Hospital in Basingstoke

On admission his shrapnel wound was healing without infection, but complained of having bad headaches

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


May 28, 1918

Transferred to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital in Woodcote Park, Epsom


Aug 14, 1918

Discharged from hospital care and granted sick leave until August 24, 1918 with instructions to report to the 3rd CCD (Canadian Command Depot) for physical training on completion of his leave


Nov 8, 1918

Transferred to the 6th Reserve Battalion in Seaford


Jan 3, 1919

Attached to the Canadian Concentration Camp at Kinmel Park pending return to Canada


Jan 12, 1919

Embarked the SS Empress of Britain in Liverpool



Jan 22, 1919

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


Jan 26, 1919

Taken On Strength the Military District No. 3 Casualty Company in Kingston

Granted leave until February 8, 1919


Feb 12, 1919

Medical Board in Kingston notes

Ø  Shrapnel wound to hand is completely healed

Ø  Man complains of back and leg pain in damp weather

Ø  Cannot march any distance with a pack due to shortness of breath

Ø  Claims to have been slightly gassed 3 times while at the front, but was never hospitalized for it


Feb 17, 1919

Discharged from the CEF in Kingston, Ontario

Ø  Rank on discharge Private

Ø  War Service Badge Class “A” issued number 90155

Ø  War Service Badge Class “B” issued number 55351

Ø  Proposed residence on discharge Lakefield, Ontario

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


Sep 15, 1920

Married to Cora Mary Cummings in Peterborough, Ontario

Occupation at the time given as Carpenter


Oct 8, 1943

Norman’s son, Warrant Officer First Class Carl Norman Hurl, was the navigator on RAF Wellington X, LN451 QO-W that took off from Skipton-on-Swale at 2254 hrs, on a mission to bomb Hanover, Germany.  This was the only aircraft not to return from the mission and all were presumed dead.  The entire crew were eventually recovered and buried in the Hanover War Cemetery in Germany.  This was the last Wellington bomber to be lost during a bombing raid in the war.


Sep 16, 1946

Norman Douglas Hurl died while a patient of the Gravenhurst, Ontario Sanitarium, of a stroke caused by a Subarachnoid Hemorrhage and was buried in the Lakefield, Ontario Cemetery



Norman Hurl is honoured on a plaque in the Lakefield, Ontario Methodist Church
for those who served from that church



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