Robert Albert Waterston

Sep 24, 1877

Born in Clarence Creek, Ontario to Robert and Christina (nee Robertson) Waterston


Jun 3, 1908

Married to Ethel Maude Roy


Mar 21, 1916

Attested into the 154th Battalion CEF in Rockland, Ontario

Ø  Number 633866

Ø  Next of kin given as Mrs. Robert A. Waterston, wife, Rockland, Ontario

Ø  Previous occupation given as General Blacksmith

Ø  No previous military experience given

Ø  Religion given as Presbyterian

The battalion trained in the Barriefield Camp, Kingston, Ontario


Oct 25, 1916

Embarked the SS Mauretania in Halifax, Nova Scotia


Oct 31, 1916

Disembarked in Liverpool, England and the battalion proceeded to Bramshott to continue training

On arrival in Bramshott, he was admitted to the Military Hospital with a diagnosis that reads VDG (Venereal  Disease Gonorrhea)


Nov 14, 1916

Discharged to duty from hospital and forfeited 50¢ per day for his stay in hospital as punishment for becoming infected


Jan 28, 1917

Transferred to the newly formed 6th Reserve Battalion in Seaford to continue training


Apr 21, 1917

Transferred to the 21st Battalion


Apr 22, 1917

Arrived at the CBD (Canadian Base Depot) in the Rouelles Camp, Havre, France as part of a draft of 3,000 reinforcements from England and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion


May 11, 1917

After leaving the base depot, he joined the 2nd Canadian Entrenching Battalion in Hersin, France as part of a draft of 34 reinforcements destined to join the 21st Battalion


Jun 12, 1917

After leaving the entrenching battalion, Private Waterston joined the 21st Battalion in billets in Coupigny, France


Jul 22, 1917

Attached to the 4th Canadian Machine Gun Corps for duty


Aug 15, 1917

During severe fighting at Hill 70, Private Waterston got separated from the his machine gun crew and was declared missing in action.


Aug 16, 1917

He found his way back to the allied lines and rejoined the machine gun corps


Aug 29, 1917

Rejoined the battalion from duty with the machine gun corps


Feb 5, 1918

Granted 14 days leave


Feb 20, 1918

Following his leave he rejoined the battalion resting in the Alberta Camp, near Carency, France


Mar 4, 1918

Private Waterston received shrapnel wounds to his back and abdomen during a trench raid near the town of Lens, France and was evacuated first to a field ambulance for first aid before being transported to the No. 6 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station)


Mar 5, 1918

Private Robert Albert Waterston died of his wounds at the No. 6 Casualty Clearing Station and was buried in the nearby Barlin, Communal Cemetery, Barlin, France


Following the war, the British War Medal and Victory Medals were sent to his son, Robert R. Waterston, c/o his widow, Buckingham, Quebec

The Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny), Scroll and Memorial Cross were sent to his widow, Mrs. R. Waterston, at the same address



 Robert Waterston is honoured on the Buckingham, Quebec War Memorial
note the error with the wrong initial





For the 7 nights leading up to November 11, 2010, the names of all Canadian soldiers killed during the war were projected onto the Belgian War Memorial in Ypres.  At the same time, the same names were being broadcast via the internet to schools across Belgium and Canada.  The image above shows the opening ceremonies at the Belgian War Memorial on November 4, 2010. 

Below on the left is the name of Robert Waterston being projected on that wall.  Below right shows the name being broadcast to the schools.  Each name appeared for 25 seconds and each night 9,700 names were shown.

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