Arthur William May MC with BAR


The above is from the book "Canada at War 1914-1918"
by JC Hopkins and RJ Renison
Page 380
(RJ Renison was the 21st Battalion Chaplain for part of the Great War)



Oct 8, 1892

Born at Ottawa Ontario


Nov 7, 1914

Attested into the 21st Battalion at Kingston Ontario 

Ø      Number 59647 (temporary number was 904)

Ø      Next of kin given as William C May (father) of 155 Gilmore St. Ottawa

Ø      Occupation given as “Rancher”

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion stated as “Church of England”


May 6, 1915

Embarked the SS Metagama at Montreal for England



May 15, 1915

Disembarked the SS Metagama in England and proceeded to West Sandling Camp


Jul 18, 1915

Admitted to the Tent Hospital at St Martin’s Plain with Gonorrhea


Aug 21, 1915

Discharged from hospital “apparently cured”


Sep 14, 1915

Embarked at Folkstone and disembarked at Boulogne, France


Oct 15, 1915

Awarded 5 days Field Punishment No 2 for being absent from 1.45 pm parade at La Clytte 

NOTE:  The Battalion was parading in order to go into the trenches to relieve the 20th Battalion.

May 7, 1916

Promoted to Lance Corporal to replace L/Cpl Pauley who was promoted.


Aug 17, 1916

SOS 21st Battalion and TOS 39th Battalion on transfer to Canadian Training Division at Shorncliffe England, for a Commission


Sep 16, 1916

Transferred to the 39th Reserve Battalion


Nov 21, 1916

Commissioned and given rank of Temp. Lieutenant and posted to General List and attached to 103rd Battalion, CMS Buxton.


Jan 5, 1917

Admitted to Westcliffe Canadian Eye and Ear Hospital at Folkestone with Peritonsillar Abscess


Jan 16, 1917

Medical Board at 19 Westbourne Gardens, Folkestone 

Ø      Suffers from Quinsy and Rheumatism (Quinsy is an abscess associated with the Tonsils)

Ø      Suffers from frequent attacks of Rheumatism that was caused by exposure in the trenches.  These attacks are usually associated with bad weather

Ø      Pain is in knees and ankles

Ø      Declared to be unfit for 10 weeks

Ø      Board recommends a change in climate 

Granted leave to Canada, (January 19 to January 31) to be staying at 155 Gilmore St. Ottawa


Jan 17, 1917

Discharged from hospital


Mar 24, 1917

Medical Board declared him unfit for any service for 10 weeks and transferred to the 6th Reserve Battalion


Mar 27, 1917

Medical Board at 76 Strand, London 

Ø      Originally suffered from Quinsy and Rheumatism

Ø      Has no symptoms or complaints now

Ø      Finds him fit for General Service 

Posted to the 6th Reserve Battalion


Jun 2, 1917

Qualified 2nd Class at School of Musketry, Hythe


Jul 28, 1917

Proceeded overseas for duty with the 21st Battalion


Jul 30, 1917

Transferred to the 21st Battalion in the field


Aug 1, 1917

Left for the 2nd Entrenching Battalion


Aug 2, 1917

Joined the 2nd Entrenching Battalion


Aug 3, 1917

Rejoined the 21st Battalion from the 2nd Entrenching Battalion


Oct 29, 1917

Attached to the 2nd Canadian Division for duty


Nov 2, 1917

Rejoined 21st Battalion from attachment


Dec 11, 1917

Granted 14 days leave to England


Dec 18, 1917

Next of Kin changed when married to Mrs. Helen M. May, address 54 Cicade Road, Wandsworth, London SW 18, England


Dec 31, 1917

Rejoined battalion from leave


Jan 18, 1918

Awarded the Military Cross, London Gazette #30482



Mar 6, 1918

Admitted to No 6 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station), then transferred to No 5 CFA (Canadian Field Ambulance), then transferred to No 6 CFA, with suspected Diptheria


Mar 9, 1918

Transferred to AT 16, then transferred to No 46 Stationary Hospital


Apr 22, 1918

Discharged to duty from hospital


Apr 23, 1918

Granted 21 days sick leave


May 16, 1918

TOS CIBD (Canadian Infantry Base Depot) from sick leave


Jun 7, 1918

Left for CCRC (Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp)


Jun 24, 1918

Rejoined 21st Battalion in the field


Aug 27, 1918

Wounded by a GSW (Gun Shot Wound) to the shoulder and admitted to No 14 General Hospital, Wimereux

The above is from the book "Canada at War 1914-1918"
by JC Hopkins and RJ Renison
Page 387
(RJ Renison was the 21st Battalion Chaplain for part of the Great War)


Aug 29, 1918

Invalided to England aboard the AT “Pieter de Coninck” and detached to EORD then TOS 6th Reserve Battalion



Aug 30, 1918

TOS EORD and admitted to Co of L War Hospital, Epsom


Sep 12, 1918

Admitted to CCOH (Canadian Convalescent Officer’s Hospital) at Matlock Bath


Sep 23, 1918

Medical Board at CCOH, Matlock Bath, England 

Ø      Patient was struck by a Machine Gun bullet in the right shoulder

Ø      Was paralyzed in shoulder and arm when hit

Ø      The paralysis disappeared when the bullet was removed at No 14 Gen Hospital at Boulogne

Ø      Recovery was uneventful

Ø      Declared fit for general service


Sep 28, 1918

SOS EORD on posting to 6th Reserve Battalion


Oct 20, 1918

Admitted to Prince of Wales Hospital at Marylebone NW with Tonsillitis


Nov 9, 1918

Discharged from hospital


Dec 11, 1918

Shown on Command of the 6th Reserve Battalion on proceeded to France as part of the Colour Party returning the 21st Battalion Colours to the Battalion


Dec 27, 1918

SOS 21st Battalion


Jan 11, 1919

Awarded Bar to Military Cross, London Gazette #31119



Jan 13, 1919

Ceases to be shown on Command of Colour Party for 21st Battalion


Jun 23, 1919

SOS 6th Reserve Battalion on embarking the SS Belgic at Liverpool, and transferred to CEF in Canada and TOS MD No 3 at Kingston



Jul 1, 1919

Disembarked at Halifax.


Jul 10, 1919



Oct 17, 1919

Address changed to Prince Albert Saskatchewan, then at a later date was changed to White Star Saskatchewan.



Jun 22, 1942

Signed an Officer’s Declaration for Active Service into No 4 Company of the VGC (Veteran’s Guard of Canada), at Angler Ontario 

Ø     Rank of Lieutenant

Ø     Next of kin given as Helen Mary May (wife) of 50 Academy Rd, Apt 4, Westmount Quebec

o      Also noted as having 1 child

Ø     Present occupation given as Field Officer, Dept of Natural Resources

Ø     Previous military experience given as 21st Battalion from Nov 1914 to Jul 1919

Ø     Religion given as Church of England

Ø     Appointment to be effective from Jun 19, 1942


Aug 3, 1942

On Command to Windsor Ontario area Recruiting Office


Aug 17, 1942

On Command to Special Duties at Windsor


Aug 27, 1942

Returned to No 4 Company VGC at Windsor


Sep 12, 1942

On Command to Special Duties at Petawawa Ontario


Feb 15, 1943

Granted 14 days leave


May 16, 1943

TOS No 27 Company VGC at Medicine Hat Alberta, from No 4 Company VGC


Jul 6, 1943

Proceeded to Moose Jaw Saskatchewan with unit


Jul 20, 1943

Granted 4 days leave with subsistence


Dec 10, 1943

Qualified “Q I, Methods of Instruction Course” at Nanaimo British Columbia 

Dates while at Nanaimo are not recorded in the file


Aug 26, 1944

Qualified “Q II, Platoon Weapons Course” at Port Arthur Ontario 

Dates while at Port Arthur are not recorded in the file


Oct 26, 1944

Proceeded on POW (Prisoner of War) Escort duty


Oct 31, 1944

Returned from POW Escort duty


Nov 26, 1944

Proceeded with unit to New Westminster British Columbia


Dec 24, 1944

Granted Christmas leave with subsistence until Dec 28, 1944


Jan 5, 1945

Attached to 29 Company at Medicine Hat Alberta for POW escort


Jan 22, 1945

Granted 21 days Privilege leave with subsistence


Feb 4, 1945

Ceases to be On Command to 29 Company and returns to No 27 Company at Seebe Alberta


Mar 5, 1945

Appointed to be acting 2 i/c (Second in Command) at Seebe Alberta


Apr 27, 1945

Granted 3 days leave


May 5, 1945

Proceeded with unit to Edmonton Alberta


May 29, 1945

Proceeded on Special Escort Duty


Jun 3, 1945

Returned from Special Escort Duty


Jun 7, 1945

Volunteered for Pacific Theatre of Operations


Jun 22, 1945

Declared to be unacceptable for Canadian Army Pacific Force because of Arthritis of knees and being over age


Aug 7, 1945

TOS #12 DD (District Depot) at Regina Saskatchewan


Aug 8, 1945

SOS Canadian Army Active Service on returning to Reserve Status at own request 

Ø     Address on discharge to be Dept of Natural Resources, Regina Saskatchewan

Ø     Occupational history shows:

o      1919 – 1924 had a half section of land under the S&B plan

o      1924 – 1930 employed as forest ranger and chief fire ranger for Dept of Interior (Dominion Govt.)

o      1930 – 1942 was Field Officer Dept of Natural Resources Saskatchewan Provincial Govt.


Aug 9, 1945

Granted 14 days Privilege Leave with pay and allowances and ration allowance


Jun 18, 1976

Particulars of Service compiled by the Canadian Forces Records Centre 

 Summary of Court Martial Record

Library and Archives Canada Reference


May, A. W.




21st Bn






RG150 - Ministry of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada, Series 8, File 602-13-233, Microfilm Reel Number T-8694, file access code 90, Finding Aid Number 150-5



The Court Martial convened at 2 Kronprinzenstrasse, Bonn, Germany on January 6, 1919 

President of the proceedings was Brig-General GE McCuaig, DSO, Commander of the 4th Canadian Infantry Brigade 

Members of the Court 

L/Col ES Doughty, DSO               (Alberta Regiment)

L/Col CF Ritchie, DSO, MC          (Quebec Regiment)

Maj FGD Bond, MC                     (Saskatchewan Regiment)

Maj AWP Weston                        (Nova Scotia Regiment)

Maj JA Cooper                            (1st Cent Ont Regiment) 

Waiting Members of the Court 

Capt WA Livingston, MC              (Nova Scotia Regiment)

Capt JA Harstone, MC                 (1st Cent Ont Regiment)

Capt AB Smith                             (Saskatchewan Regiment) 

Judge Advocate 

Capt JA Thorpe                           (Manchester Regiment) 


Lieutenant AW May pleaded “Not Guilty” 

Several pages of witness testimony are recorded which all say pretty much the same thing.  On the night of December 23, 1918, Lieut AW May was witnessed to be staggering on the stairs of the Dom Hotel at Cologne Germany.  It was suggested that he go to his room and sleep it off.  He objected and tried to proceed out of the hotel.  He insisted that he wasn’t drunk. 

The Provost Martial got involved and ordered him to his room.  The accused refused and became abusive.  The Provost Martial then decided that he would place the accused under arrest and remove him to the Guardroom.  Lieut May became violent and force was used to subdue and handcuff him.  He was then taken under escort of 6 men to the guardroom cells. 

When he was placed in a cell, he asked to see a Medical Officer.  The MO attended to him.  Sworn testimony of Capt Halsey, as sworn below was typical of the evidence given.

In his defence, Lieutenant Donald Wood (21st Canadian Battalion) testified that he was with the accused most of the day of the day in question.  He testified that the accused had nothing to drink in the afternoon, but they had drank some wine with dinner, and then shared a single beer afterwards.  They were to catch a train the next day and Lieut May was on his way to check on train times when he was apprehended. 

He testified that the Military police ordered him not to get involved when the accused became violent. 

Capt H Black (21st Battalion Medical Officer) then testified that he had been treating the accused for a severe boil on his neck for the past week, and part of that treatment included daily doses of Morphine for pain.  He testified that the drug would make the man drowsy and very irritable.  He also testified that he failed to warn the accused about the dangers of drinking alcohol while under the effects of morphine.  He testified that he had given him a shot of morphine the day of the incident. 

Capt Black also testified that when he attended to the accused at the guardroom on the night of his arrest, he was bruised on both arms and legs, and had 2 rather large lumps on his head.  He was also bleeding from the boil on his neck that was being treated. 

After it’s deliberations, the Court found the accused Not Guilty, and he was free to leave.


Photo courtesy of Princess of Wales' Own Regiment Museum


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