Alexander McPherson, MM



Jul 9, 1896

Born at Finch Township, Ontario to Donald and Maggie (nee Servage) McPherson


Mar 14, 1916

Attested into the 154th Battalion at Chrysler Ontario 

Ø      Number 633730

Ø      Next of kin given as Donald McPherson of Berwick Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Labourer

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Presbyterian 

While with the 154th Battalion, he made out a will leaving his estate to his mother, Margaret McPherson living at Berwick Ontario


Oct 25, 1916

Embarked the SS Mauretania at Halifax Nova Scotia



Oct 31, 1916

Disembarked at Liverpool England


Dec 11, 1916

Admitted to the Military Hospital at Bramshott with a diagnosis that reads PUO (Pyrexia of Unknown Origin).  This is a fever with no known cause.  This was later changed to read Debility, then changed to read Influenza


Jan 29, 1917

Discharged to duty from hospital


Jan 31, 1917

The 154th Battalion was absorbed by the 6th Reserve Battalion at the East Sandling Camp and Pte McPherson was TOS (Taken On Strength) the 6th Reserve Battalion’s Roll


Apr 21, 1917

Posted to the 21st Battalion


Apr 22, 1917

Arrived at the CBD (Canadian Base Depot) at the Rouelles Camp, Havre France and TOS the 21st Battalion 

The CBD War Diary reports that “about 3,000 men arrived from England” on this date


Apr 24, 1917

Pte McPherson left the CBD to join the 21st Battalion.  The CBD War Diary reports that 2,055 men left to join their respective units on this date


May 21, 1917

Joined the 21st Battalion in the field 

The 21st Battalion was in the support trenches in the Willerval Section.    The War Diary reports that a draft of 149 Other Ranks joined the Battalion on this date. 

There is no explanation as to why it took Pte McPherson almost a full month to join the Battalion.  It is possible that he spent the time at the 2nd Entrenching Battalion before moving forward


Jul 22, 1917

Attached to the 4th CMG (Canadian Machine Gun) Company for duty


Aug 15, 1917

Reported to have been slightly wounded but remained at duty.  He was recommended for the Military Medal on this date.  It would appear that his Company was acting in support of the 21st Battalion.  Below is quoted from the 4th CMG Company War Diary 

“night of 16th/17th two guns in reserve were sent up to relieve the two crews on the 21st Bn frontage, these two crews having been reduced to two men each.  When on the way one gun crew less one attached man became casualties.  One gun and two men reached the position which they were relieving.  Total casualties up to morning of 17th, 1 Officer wounded, 70 ORs killed, 140 ORs wounded”


Aug 29, 1917

Rejoined the 21st Battalion from the 4th CMG Company


Nov 2, 1917

Awarded the Military Medal per the London Gazette #30364




Nov 5, 1917

Classified “TB” (Temporary Base) and TOS No 2 CIBD (Canadian Infantry Base Depot) at Etaples 

There is no mention in the file as to why he was removed from front line service and essentially given light duties


Nov 8, 1917

Posted to the Canadian Labour Pool


Nov 20, 1917

Attached to the No 1 Canadian Forestry Company for duty


Dec 22, 1917

Ceased to be attached and returned to No 2 CIBD


Feb 2, 1918

Reclassified “B1”, that is fit for non-combat duties


Mar 2, 1918

Reclassified “B2”, that is fit for sedentary duties


Mar 17, 1918

Granted 14 days leave


Apr 3, 1918

Returned from leave


May 13, 1918

Transferred to the 2nd CIWB (Canadian Infantry Works Battalion)


Jun 22, 1918

Reclassified “B1”


Sep 13, 1918

Transferred to the 2nd Canadian Works Company


Jan 10, 1919

Embarked for England 

Transferred to the General Depot at Witley and On Command to the 1st CCD (Canadian Convalescent Depot)


Jan 31, 1919

Ceased to be On Command to the 1st CCD and returned to the General Depot


Feb 20, 1919

Posted to MD #3 Wing at Rhyl, pending return to Canada


Mar 15, 1919

Embarked the HMT Royal George at Liverpool



Mar 25, 1919

Disembarked at Halifax Nova Scotia and proceeded to Ottawa Ontario


Mar 27, 1919

Discharged from the CEF at Ottawa Ontario 

Ø      War Service Badge Class “A” issued number 230184

Ø      Rank on discharge Private

Ø      Proposed residence on discharge Ottawa Ontario 

Although the date isn’t recorded in the file, his British War Medal and Victory Medals were sent to him at Berwick Ontario, most likely in late 1921 or 1922 

A later report shows him living in Cornwall Ontario in 1933 

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