Benjamin Franklin "Frank" Whitford

Jun 12, 1891

Born in Athens, Ontario to Nancy Whitford.  There is no father listed and noted as “illegitimate”


Nov 23, 1917

Medical examination held under the MSA (Military Service Act) of 1917 in Brockville, Ontario

Conscripted into the 1st Depot Battalion, EOR (Eastern Ontario Regiment) under the MSA in Kingston, Ontario

Ø  Number 4022506

Ø  Next of kin given as Nancy Whitford, mother, Athens, Ontario

Ø  Previous occupation given as Farmer

Ø  No previous military experience given

Ø  Religion given as Church of England

Ø  Assigned to the depot’s 2nd Regimental Draft

It would appear that he could not read or write as his declaration was signed with an X and noted as “his mark”


Dec 1, 1917

Forfeited 13 day’s pay for an unrecorded offence


Jan 22, 1918

Embarked the SS Scotian in Halifax, Nova Scotia


Feb 6, 1918

Disembarked in Liverpool, England and the draft was absorbed into the 7th Reserve Battalion in Seaford to continue training


Feb 15, 1918

Transferred to the 6th Reserve Battalion in Seaford


Mar 2, 1918

Next of kin changed to read Mrs. Maria Whitford, wife, Athens, Ontario


Aug 9, 1918

Transferred to the 21st Battalion

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


Aug 15, 1918

After leaving the base depot, Private Whitford joined the 21st Battalion in the front lines near Fouquescourt, France


Aug 27, 1918

During heavy fighting south-east of Vis-en-Artois, France, Private Frank Whitford was killed in action just 12 days after joining the battalion.  He was later buried in the Quebec Cemetery, Cherisy, France.


Following the war, the British War Medal, Victory Medal and Memorial Cross were sent to his mother, Mrs. N. Whitford, c/o Mrs. A.N. Sherman, Athens, Ontario

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


Benjamin Franklin Whitford is remembered on the War Memorial in Athens, Ontario

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