William Meers

Thank you to Carol Cannon for her research

Jun 29, 1878

Born in Birmingham, England to John and Elizabeth (nee Spilsbury) Meers


Dec 25, 1898

Married to Harriett Simmons in Birmingham, England


Apr 9, 1910

Embarked the SS Mongolian with his wife and 3 children in Liverpool



Apr 22, 1910

Disembarked in Halifax, Nova Scotia and proceeded to Ottawa, Ontario and found work at the Ottawa Car Company, building street cars and gun carriages for the government.


Nov 6, 1914

Attested into the 21st Battalion CEF in Kingston, Ontario

Ø  Number 59650 (temporary number 784)

Ø  Next of kin given as Mrs. Harriet Meers, wife, 40 Ellis St., Ottawa, Ontario

Ø  Previous occupation given as Labourer

o   Later noted as Machinist Fitter with the Ottawa Car Company

Ø  Previous military experience given as 6th Battalion Warwickshire Regiment, England

Ø  Religion given as Church of England

Ø  Posted to “G” Company.

o   This was later reorganized into “D” Company

o   Later transferred to the Depot Company where he was employed as a Cook

On attesting he stated that his birth year was 1875 instead of his actual birth year of 1878

The battalion trained in the Kingston area through the winter with headquarters in the Kingston Armouries


Feb 6, 1915

Forfeited 3 day’s pay for an unspecified 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



Aug 15, 1915

Admitted to the Canadian Military Hospital at West Sandling with an undisclosed illness and discharged the same day


Sep 2, 1915

Posted to “B” Company


Sep 14, 1915

Embarked the St. Seiriol in Folkestone



Sep 15, 1915

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


Sep 26, 1915

While the battalion was occupying the “C” Trench on the Ypres Salient, Private Meers was buried in his dugout when it collapsed from the explosion of an enemy artillery shell.  He was dug out by his comrades but he received a laceration to his leg and some bruising.  It is likely he was treated by the Medical Officer for a period of time behind the lines


Oct 10, 1915

Admitted to the No. 6 CFA (Canadian Field Ambulance) with a diagnosis that reads Nephritis and an Abdominal Muscle Strain.  He was transferred the same day to No. 3 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) before being admitted to the Division Rest Station at Locre, Belgium and the diagnosis was changed to read Bronchitis


Oct 14, 1915

Transferred via the No. 12 AT (Ambulance Train) and admitted to the St. John Ambulance Brigade Hospital in Etaples, France


Oct 18, 1915

Invalided to England aboard the Hospital Ship Dieppe


On arrival in England he was admitted to Military Hospital in Colchester

Transferred to the 39th Reserve Battalion for pay purposes while in hospital


Oct 23, 1915

Transferred to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital in Monks Horton


Oct 26, 1915

Transferred to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital in Bearwood Park, Wokingham


Feb 15, 1916

Transferred to the CCAC (Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre) for pay purposes while in hospital


Feb 28, 1916

Medical Board in Shorncliffe notes that he looks older than his actual years and he fit for light duties only

Discharged from hospital


Mar 2, 1916

Attached to the 44th Reserve Battalion in Folkestone for light duties and posted to “D” Company


Jul 7, 1916

Admitted to the Bramshott Military Hospital and transferred the same day to the Military Hospital in Cambridge where the diagnosis reads Delusional Insanity.  On admission he was shaky and rather excitable.  He claimed that the doctors at Bramshott had tried to poison him and that they wanted the orderlies to burn him.

Doctors note that his condition is probably influenced by the recent loss of 2 children in Canada from rheumatic fever and excessive alcohol use, possibly aggravated by his service at the front

He hears voices talking to him at night and has delusions that he has been persecuted and tortured


Jul 28, 1916

Medical Board recommends that he be discharged from the military as Permanently Unfit


Aug 8, 1916

Embarked the SS Olympic in Liverpool



Aug 17, 1916

Disembarked in Halifax, Nova Scotia and proceeded Cobourg, Ontario


Aug 19, 1916

Admitted to the Ontario Mental Home in Cobourg, Ontario and his condition is noted as Mental Confusion


Dec 10, 1916

Medical Board at the Ontario Hospital in Cobourg notes

Ø  Patient suffers from Alcoholic Hallucinosis and Bronchitis

Ø  Condition is caused by stress of the campaign, domestic trouble (loss of 2 children) and use of alcohol

Ø  Nervously unstable with tremors

Ø  Persistent cough from the Bronchitis

Ø  Short of breath

Ø  Right leg becomes swollen on ordinary walking due to infection that followed his injury in France

Ø  The Bronchitis is determined to be permanent

The board recommends he be discharged from military service with a pension


Dec 20, 1916

Discharged from hospital


Jan 9, 1917

Discharged from the CEF in Cobourg, Ontario

Ø  Rank on discharge Private

Ø  War Service Badge Class “A” issued

Ø  Proposed residence on discharge 40 Ellis St., Ottawa, Ontario

Following the end of the war, the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medals were sent to him at Box 819, Trenton, Ontario


Aug 19, 1930

William Meers died at his home at 74 King St., Portsmouth, Ontario, now part of Kingston.  His death was due to Pulmonary Tuberculosis and it was considered to be a result of his active service.  He was buried in the Cataraqui Cemetery, Kingston


Following his death, a Memorial Cross was sent to his widow, Mrs. Harriet Meers, 74 King St., Portsmouth, Ontario


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