George Thomas Willshaw

Dec 2, 1870

Born in Hackney, London, England

George Willshaw married Louisa Langley in London, England in 1887


Jun 12, 1912

Embarked the SS Royal George in Avonmouth, England with his wife Louisa and 6 children



Jun 19, 1912

Disembarked in Montreal, Quebec and proceeded to Peterborough, Ontario


Jul 4, 1915

George’s son James George Willshaw attested into the 59th Battalion CEF in Peterborough


Aug 31, 1915

George’s son Robert attested into the 93rd Battalion in Peterborough, Ontario


Jan 24, 1916

Attested into the 93rd Battalion in Peterborough, Ontario

Ø  Number 195565

Ø  Next of kin given as Mrs. Louisa Willshaw, wife, 460 Union St., Peterborough, Ontario

Ø  Previous occupation given as labourer

Ø  No previous military experience given

Ø  Religion given as Church of England

Ø  Posted to “A” Company

On attesting, George Willshaw lied about his age, stating he had been born December 2, 1873, not his actual birth year of 1870

Initial training was done in Peterborough, Ontario


May 29, 1916

The battalion boarded a train and proceeded to Kingston, Ontario to continue training at the Barriefield Camp


Jul 15, 1916

Embarked the Empress of Britain in Halifax, Nova Scotia



Jul 25, 1916

Disembarked in Liverpool, England and proceeded to the Otterpool Camp


Oct 6, 1916

Transferred to the 39th Reserve Battalion in West Sandling


Oct 27, 1916

Transferred to the 21st Battalion


Oct 28, 1916

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


The dog tag he was issued in France



Dec 10, 1916

While at the base depot, he was classified PB (Permanent Base) because of his age and attached to the Canadian Corps Headquarters for light duties with the Canadian Corps Composite Company.  Because he was still at the base depot, he did not physically join the 21st Battalion at the front.


Jan 29, 1917

George’s son, George James Willshaw, died of Appendicitis while serving with the 13th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment, British Army, at the front in France.  He is buried in the Grove Town Cemetery, Meaulte, France


Jul 31, 1917

Admitted to the No. 5 CFA (Canadian Field Ambulance) with a diagnosis that reads Acute Gastritis.  Constipation is also noted.


Aug 9, 1917

Discharged to duty from the field ambulance


Aug 17, 1917

George’s son James George Willshaw was wounded at Hill 70 while serving with the 18th Battalion CEF


Sep 27, 1917

Transferred to the newly formed 8th Canadian Employment Company in Barlin, France and posted to the Sanitary Section


Dec 19, 1917

Granted 14 days leave


Jan 3, 1918

Rejoined the company from leave


Feb 18, 1918

Admitted to the No. 12 Canadian Field Ambulance with a diagnosis that reads Appendicitis.  He was transferred the same day to the No. 1 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) where emergency surgery was performed to remove his appendix

Of interest to note that his son George James Willshaw died of Appendicitis a earlier while serving in the British Army


Feb 23, 1918

Transferred via the No. 14 AT (Ambulance Train) and admitted to the No. 1 Canadian General Hospital in Trouville, France


Mar 5, 1918

Invalided to England aboard the Hospital Ship Ville de Liege


On arrival in England, he was admitted to the Horton, County of London War Hospital in Epsom

Transferred to the Canadian General Depot for pay purposes while in hospital


Mar 23, 1918

Transferred to the Military Convalescent Hospital in Epsom


May 22, 1918

Attached to the 1st CCD (Canadian Command Depot)

Granted sick leave until June 1, 1918.  On completion of leave he was given orders to report to the command depot for physical training at St. Martin’s Plain Hospital


Jul 16, 1918

Attended the West Cliff Canadian Eye and Ear Hospital in Folkestone for an eye exam.  The report states that he suffers from Presbyopia.  This is a loss of the eye’s ability to focus and is a result of his age.


Jul 22, 1918

Medical Board St. Martin’s Plain Hospital notes

Ø  Patient’s age is noted as 49 and his disability is noted as Senility

Ø  Suffers from occasional pain in area of his heart

Ø  Has a beating sensation in his head at night and sleeps poorly

Ø  Claims that a “mist” comes over his eyes when he reads

Ø  Has had 7 weeks of physical training with no improvement


Aug 2, 1918

Ceased to be attached to the command depot and attached to the ARD (Alberta Regimental Depot) and posted to the Depot Company in Bramshott


Aug 13, 1918

Attached to the 1st CDD (Canadian Discharge Depot) in Buxton pending return to Canada


Sep 24, 1918

Embarked the Llanstephan Castle in London



Oct 8, 1918

Disembarked in Montreal Quebec and proceeded to Kingston, Ontario where he was Taken On Strength Military District No. 3 Casualty Company


Oct 9, 1918

Granted leave until October 22, 1918


Nov 7, 1918

Discharged from the CEF in Kingston, Ontario

Ø  Rank on discharge Private

Ø  Entitled to War Service Badge Class “A”

Ø  Proposed residence on discharge 619 Union St., Peterborough, Ontario

Following the end of the war, the British War Medal and Victory Medals were sent to him at 619 Union St., Peterborough, Ontario


Feb 29, 1940

George Thomas Willshaw died at home in Peterborough of a Cerebral Hemorrhage and was buried in the Little Lake Cemetery, Peterborough


George Thomas Willshaw is honoured on the Wall of Honour in
Peterborough, Ontario with his sons James and Robert




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