Alexander Whitelaw, MM



Feb 26, 1896

Born at Musselburgh, Scotland


Nov 5, 1914

Attested into the 21st Battalion at Kingston Ontario 

Ø      Number 60058 (temporary number 701)

Ø      Next of kin given as Mrs S Whitelaw (mother) of Musselburgh, Scotland

Ø      Previous occupation given as Farmer

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Presbyterian

Ø      Assigned to “F” Company

o       This was later reorganized into “C” Company


Feb 3, 1915

Appointed to rank of Provisional Lance Cpl with pay


Mar 29, 1915

Forfeits 1 days pay, offence not recorded


May 6, 1915

Embarked the RMS Metagama at Montreal Quebec



May 15, 1915

Disembarked at Devonport England and proceeded to the West Sandling Camp, near Hythe, Kent


Jul 1, 1915

Confirmed in appointment of L/Cpl


Sep 14, 1915

Embarked the St Seiriol at Folkestone



Sep 15, 1915

Disembarked at Boulogne France and proceeded to St Omer


Nov 8, 1915

Proceeded on Bombing Course


Nov 14, 1915

At duty from Bombing Course


Nov 15, 1915

Admitted to No 5 CFA (Canadian Field Ambulance) with “Trench Feet”


Nov 16, 1915

Transferred to the DRS (Division Rest Station) at Locre


Nov 18, 1915

Admitted to St John’s Ambulance Brigade Hospital at Etaples


Nov 22, 1915

Invalided to England aboard the Hospital Ship Stad Antwerpen


Admitted to Manor House Hospital at Folkestone 

Posted to 39th Reserve Battalion while in Hospital


Dec 13, 1915

Discharged to light duty and joined the 39th Reserve Battalion at Shorncliffe


May 15, 1916

Promoted to rank of Cpl


May 25, 1916

Posted to the 21st Battalion


May 26, 1916

Arrived at CBD (Canadian Base Depot), Havre France and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion


May 30, 1916

Left CBD to join unit


Jun 1, 1916

Rejoined the 21st Battalion in the field 

The Battalion was in Divisional Reserve in the “A” Camp


Aug 14, 1916

Appointed to rank of Lance Sgt to replace L/Sgt CA Giroux who had proceeded to England to receive a Commission


Sep 14, 1916

Promoted to rank of Sgt to replace Sgt TS Dark who proceeded to England sick


Sep 17, 1916

Wounded left hip and admitted to No 4 CFA 

Transferred same day to No 5 CFA


Sep 18, 1916

At duty from 5 CFA


Jan 17, 1917

Admitted to No 5 CFA and transferred same day to No 6 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) 

Wounded during the Calonne trench raid by a shell explosion that caused several fractures in right foot, with 4th and 5th toes being amputated at No 6 CCS


Jan 20, 1917

Transferred via No 12 AT (Ambulance Transport)


Jan 21, 1917

Transferred to No 4 General Hospital at Camiers


Feb 1, 1917

Invalided to England aboard the Hospital Ship Dieppe


Transferred to CCAC (Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre) while in hospital


Feb 4, 1917

Transferred to the Holden Lodge Auxiliary Hospital at Deal


Mar 11, 1917

Transferred to EORD (Eastern Ontario Regiment Depot) while in hospital


Mar 12, 1917

Awarded the Military Medal per London Gazette #29981

Citation reads

For marked devotion to duty in action.  This NCO although wounded continued to carry out his duties until the completion of the operation.  He personally entered several dugouts and single handed killed two of the enemy, and captured one.  This NCO has performed several acts of gallantry on previous occasions, and has always shown the most cheerful disregard for danger

AFW 3121


May 14, 1917

Surgery performed to remove the 3rd toe


Sep 14, 1917

Transferred to Duchess of Connaught Canadian Red Cross Hospital at Taplow


Sep 18, 1917

Will made out leaving estate to his mother, Mrs S Whitelaw


Sep 24, 1917

Transferred to Canadian Military Hospital at Kirkdale


Oct 17, 1917

Invalided to Canada for further medical treatment aboard the Hospital Ship Araguaya, embarking at Liverpool



Oct 27, 1917

Disembarked at Halifax Nova Scotia


Nov 3, 1917

Admitted to Queen’s University Military Hospital at Kingston Ontario 

On admission he complained of pain in right foot and could put no pressure on the ball of foot, and that he is only able to put weight on the heel 

Also complained of indigestion and lower back pain


Jan 7, 1918

Married Winnifred Saby McQuade (spelled Mcquaid on marriage certificate) at Picton Ontario


Jan 24, 1918

Surgery performed to remove all the toes in his right foot


Apr 16, 1918

Medical Board at Kingston makes note of special boots being supplied to aid in walking 

Board recommends discharge from CEF as Medically Unfit


Apr 27, 1918

Discharged from hospital and the CEF at Kingston Ontario by reason of being Medically Unfit 

Proposed residence on discharge – 304 Earl St, Kingston Ontario


Jun 11, 1919

Address for War Service Gratuity changed to read c/o Mrs E McQuade, Bloomfield Ontario


Oct 31, 1919

1914-15 Star sent to 304 Earl St, Kingston Ontario


Aug 6, 1921

British War Medal and Victory Medal sent to 304 Earl St Kingston Ontario 

It appears that the medals were returned


Oct 1, 1921

British War Medal and Victory Medal sent to 229 Robert St, Toronto Ontario


Feb 12, 1932

Deceased at Christie St Hospital, Toronto Ontario from Carcinoma of Stomach, Liver and right Lung 

At time of death he was an insurance salesman, living at 478 Margueretta St, Toronto


Prospect Cemetery
Toronto ON

Although the article above states that he returned to the 21st Battalion after recovering from his wounds received on January 17, 1917, it is clear from his file that is not the case.

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