William Earl McCumber

Thank you to Bruce Kettles for providing the service file


Jan 30, 1896

Born in Links Mill, Ontario to John Henry and Mary Hester (nee Johnston) McCumber


Nov 6, 1917

Medical examination performed under the MSA (Military Service Act) of 1917 at Napanee, Ontario.  Classified as Category A2, meaning that he is fit for duty after training and conditioning


Dec 3, 1917

Conscripted into the 1st Depot Battalion, EOR (Eastern Ontario Regiment) at Kingston Ontario under the MSA Act of 1917 

Ø      Number 4020063

Ø      Next of kin given as John McCumber, father, Napanee, Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Blacksmith

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Methodist


Jan 22, 1918

Embarked the HMT Scotian in St. John, New Brunswick as part of the EOR 2nd Draft

Even though they embarked on the 22nd, the ship did not sail until January 27, 5 days later.


Feb 6, 1918

Disembarked in Liverpool, England and the draft proceeded to Seaford.  On arrival in Seaford, the entire draft was absorbed into the 7th Reserve Battalion for training


Feb 15, 1918

Transferred to the 6th Reserve Battalion, Seaford


Aug 9, 1918

Transferred to the 21st Battalion and arrived at the No. 2 CIBD (Canadian Infantry Base Depot) in Etaples, France and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion


Aug 13, 1918

Left the CIBD to join his battalion


Aug 15, 1918

Joined the rear details of the 21st Battalion in Marcelcave, France as part of a draft of 48 reinforcements from England


Aug 27, 1918

Just 2 weeks after joining the battalion, Private McCumber was killed in action when the battalion advanced on the Sensee River, southeast of Vis-en-Artois.  He was buried in the Quebec British Cemetery in Cherisy, France

Following the war the British War Medal, Victory Medal and Memorial Cross were sent to his mother, Mrs. Mary McCumber, Napanee, Ontario

The Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny) and Scroll were sent to his father, John McCumber, at the same address.


Private McCumber is honoured on the Napanee Ontario War Memorial

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