Thursday, July 5, 2007

Private Albert Edward Beveridge

Pte. A. E. Beveridge is the paternal grandfather of Gary Beveridge of Hamilton, Ontario Canada, for whom this blog has been created. He was the son of Albert Edward Beveridge Sr. and Rhoda Beveridge of 44 Tisdale Street, North in Hamilton Ontario. He recorded his religion as Presbyterian. The various links in this Blog will take you to the papers upon which this analysis has been based.

Albert Beveridge was born on November 11, 1898 - an earlier date of the Armistice Day to follow at the end of the Great War. At the time that he joined the CEF he reported his age as 19 years 4 months, was unmarried and had never had any military training or service in the militia. Albert was not a big man, as his records report him enlisting at 5' 9" in height and with a weight of 148 pounds. We now know that he was easily recognizable by the scars on his buttocks and the birthmark on his back.

The March 21, 1916 Attestation Papers of Pte. Beveridge are available from Library and Archives Canada at his AP Link. Page 1 of the Attestation Papers show his personal information and page 2 shows his physical characteristics at the time he attested for service. When we retrieved Albert's papers from Library and Archives Canada, we were fortunate to receive a copy of the original Attestation Papers as well, as the ones on the LAC web site are posted as "Duplicates". For printing purposes, the original AP1 and AP2 are now posted.

Albert was determined to be medically fit for service on March 6, 1916. At the time of attestation, Albert was unmarried and registered his profession as a clerk. Similar information is shown for A. E. Beveridge in his "Particulars Form" of October 12, 1916 (Page 1 and Page 2). In a later document of March 17, 1919 "Medical History of an Invalid", Albert gives his former trade of that of a "Gas Engine Erector".

From Pte. Beveridge's history we can summarize his military record as follows: (links to these units will be added in the near future)

  • Enlisted with the 173rd Infantry Battalion "Canadian Highlanders" out of Hamilton Ontario in March of 1916;
  • Arrived in England on November 20, 1916 aboard the "Olympic";
  • The 173rd Infantry Battalion was absorbed by the 2nd Reserve Battalion CEF and so Pte. Beveridge joined that reserve battalion on January 19, 1917 at Bramshott, England;
  • On March 16th or 18th 1917 Albert was moved from the 2nd Reserve Battalion to the 116th Infantry Battalion in Sandling and within a few days he was sent to France to begin service, as the 116th Infantry Battalion was an active unit in the 9th Infantry Brigade of the 3rd Canadian Division;
  • Albert's first medical problems arose while serving in France in June of 1917, when he discovered he suffered from hemorrhoids, at which time the records show he received treatment but did not leave the front line;
  • Subsequent medical problems arose in October 1917 with the onslaught of "Scabies", a common mite infection of the skin suffered by many WW1 soldiers in the trenches, followed by or concurrent with "Ringworm", "Ulcers" and "Delirium", all of which continued to April 1918; and
  • Although the record is not clear (at this time) it appears that the 6 months of medical attention with the skin infections was complicated by the fact that Albert was "gassed" in the trenches, as the records report the 6 month recovery period in England.

As of this date we have not been able to identify during which battle Private Beveridge was gassed, however a review of the "War Diaries" of the 116th Infantry Battalion should provide those details. At this time the records at Library and Archives Canada indicate that the 116th Battalion war diary has not yet been scanned and published (see file record). This is common at this time, so the next best record is the 9th Infantry Brigade for this period. These records appear in 2 packages for September and October 1917 and November 1917 to January 1918. That period of October and November 1917 is marked in history as the Battle of Third Ypres, or more common to Canadians "Passchendaele" and what is recorded in historic text and films as the "Slaughter in the Mud". For details on that battle we direct you to our CEFSG project on the "Nicholson Transcriptions" and in particular Chapter 10 "Passchendaele, October-November 1917". The map for that battle is "Nicholson Map 9", which clearly shows the path of the 9th Infantry Brigade of the 3rd Canadian Division. You can also view that in a modern satellite view on "Goggle Earth Map 9: Passchendaele".

The best date we have to work on at this time is November 1917, as he was admitted to Hope Axillary Hospital on November 9, 1917. These records note that on December 12, 1917 he was complaining of "pains in his chest". In January 1918 it is reported that he has ulcers on both legs and that he is transfered to the hospital in Epsom in February 1918. It appears he was discharged from Epsom in April 1918 after a 6 month recovery form the "gas". That coincides with the 6 months since November 1917.

The records that document Private Beveridge's time in service are recorded as follows, all of which require additional scrutiny and analysis:

  • Record of Service: Page 1 and Page 2
  • Casualty Form - Active Service: Page 1 and Page 2
  • Medical History of Invalid:
    - MH1: Summary
    - MH2: Troubles in France
    - MH3: Mount Hamilton Hospital
    - MH4: Signature Sheet Blank
    - MH5: Medical Cards
    - MH6: Medical History Sheet
    - MH7: Report of Gassed and 6 month recovery
    - MH8: Report of Scabies and Gassing
    - MH9: Hope Auxiliary Military Hospital Records
    - MH10: Hope Page 2
    - MH11: Hope Page 3

As with many men of the CEF, Private Beveridge did run into some regulatory issues. On or about February 9, 1917 he received punishment for "neglecting to obey an order". For that the record shows that he received 3 days CB (perhaps "Confined to Barracks")?

Included also in the military service record of Private Beveridge is a complete record of his "Discharge Record" (12 pages) as well as his "Pay Certificates" (16 pages). These are not posted permanently as GIF images rather as temporary PDF files on the CENSOL server.

There were no records in Private Beveridge's files as to "Medals and Honours Awarded". Certain medals would have been authorized for the service provided but these may not have been claimed.

This page will be updated as additional information becomes available. Any family member who has records or photographs are encouraged to send them in so that they can be scanned and added to this blog page.