Pte. Francis Chilvers was already 37 years old, when he joined the CEF on Oct. 29, 1914. He had previously served in the Royal Navy for 12 years. Born in Essex, England Jan.29, 1877, he was living in Guelph, Ontario when the war started. He left Canada on April 18, 1915 aboard the SS Grampian, arriving at Shorncliffe on April 29. He was AWOL from May 1-8, 1915, for which he had to forfeit 3 days pay as punishment. He was a 3rd Class cook at West Sandling Camp up to Sept.18, 1915, when he embarked for France at Folkestone. The War had different plans for him, as he almost immediately became ill and was admitted to the large Stationary hospital at Etaples, France with Hemoptisis and Tuberculosis on Oct.2, 1915. His condition was serious and he was transferred from the 18th Bn. CEF to the 36th Res. Bn. on Nov. 6th. January of 1916 saw him transferred to the Pinewood Open Air Sanitorium near Crowthorne, England. By this time, he was deemed totally unfit for military service, was shipped back to Canada and discharged from the Army on Sept.28, 1916 with a military disability pension. He never recovered and succumbed to his disease on Apr.30, 1921 in Freeport Sanitorium in Kitchener, Ontario. He was buried in Guelph Woodlawn Cemetery/Memorial Park. This man never served a day in the trenches, or saw the horror of the Western Front, yet he suffered greatly and paid the ultimate price for his patriotism, and the Great War claimed yet another victim, long after the final Armistice.
Contributed by Scott Dickinson from a post at the 18th Battalion Facebook Group.