Howlett, William Frederick: Service no. 730431

Digitized Service Record

Source: Cambridge Facebook Group post by a family member.


Graffiti from this soldier circa 1916-1918. Via Quentin de Givenchy at the 18th Battalion Facebook Group.

Summary of Service for Private William Frederick Holwett, reg. no. 730431

October 24, 1897BornBorn at Pickering, Ontario.
January 29, 1916EnlistedEnlisted with the 111th Battalion at Galt, Ontario. He was an 18-year-old shoemaker standing 5”5” tall. He no prior military experience and lived at 150 Cambridge Street in Galt. His next-of-kin was his mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Masterson, of the same address. He was single and indicated that he practiced the Methodist faith.
June 3, 1916Particulars of Family of an Officer or Man Enlisted in C.E.F.On this form he states he is not married nor a widower, has no children. His father is dead, and his mother is alive and remarried. He is not insured.
September 1916Assigns PayAssigns pay of $15.00 per month to his mother.
September 25, 1916EmbarkedSailed from Halifax to England aboard the SS Tuscania.
October 6, 1916ArrivesArrives England.
October 8, 1916TransferredTransferred to the 17th Reserve Battalion.
October 13, 1916TransferredTransferred to the 35th Battalion, West Sandling, Kent, England.
January 4, 1917TOSTOS with the 4th Reserve Battalion, West Sandling.
May 9, 1917TOSTOS with the 18th Battalion.
May 10, 1917ArrivesArrives at Canadian Base Depot, Etaples, France.
June 11, 1917Address UpdatedNext-of-kin address updated to Ferguson Block, West Main Street, Galt, Ontario for his mother.
June 12, 1917ArrivesArrives with the 18th Battalion in the field.
August 21, 1917WoundedWounded by an enemy shell bursting in road. Many men of the 18th were killed and wounded by this shell. He suffered a GSW to his right thigh and leg.
August 23, 1917AdmittedAdmitted to No. 4 General Hospital, Camiers, France.
August 30, 1917TransportedTransported from France to England aboard the AT St. David.
August 31, 1917AdmittedAdmitted to Berrington War Hospital, Shewsbury, England.
October 25, 1917DischargedDischarged Berrington War Hospital, Shewsbury, England.
October 26, 1917AdmittedAdmitted to Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Woodcote Park, Epsom.
April 3, 1918DischargedDischarged Woodcote Park, Epsom and put On Command at 2nd CCD.
May 31, 1918CeasesCeases to be On Command and TOS 4th Reserve Battalion at Witley.
September 4, 1918Proceeds OverseasProceeds overseas to the 18th Battalion.
September 5, 1918Arrives CIBDArrives at the CIBD, Etaples, France and TOS 18th Battalion.
September 9, 1918Arrives CCRCArrives at the Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp.
September 11, 1918Arrives 18th BattalionArrives in the field with the 18th Battalion.
April 4, 1919CeasesCeases to be attached to 4th Reserve Battalion and TOS to the 18th Battalion and SOS to the PWCCC.
April 4, 1919Proceeds to EnglandAfter serving with the 18th from September 11, 1918 to this date he would have served with the Battalion until the war ended and then participated in occupation duty in Germany with the Battalion.
April 5, 1919SOSSOS to WORD in preparation to return to Canada.
April 7, 1919Medical ExamMedical Exam for Discharge. He is the same height as at enlistment and weighs 130-pounds.
April 27, 1919AdmittedAdmitted to Canadian Special Hospital, Witley for VDG.
July 1, 1919Medical Exam for Discharge 
July 2, 1919Dental Exam for Demobilization 
July 27, 1919DischargedDischarged at MD No. 1 (London, Ontario). He has miraculously grown 3”. He plans to live at Ferguson Block, West Main Street, Galt, Ontario.
May 19, 1921Updated AddressAddress of Private Howlett updated to 475 Dupont Street, Toronto, Ontario.


AWLAbsent Without Leave: Generally, a soldier would be deducted 1-days pay for every day absent. In some cases, the soldier would be confined to barracks. Sometimes it was a combination of both.
A ClassificationMedical Board Classification that determined your fitness for duty. A1, A2, A3 and A4 were assigned to different units with the expectation that these men would be able to serve with active combat units. See this link for more information.
B ClassificationMedical Board Classification that determined your fitness for duty. B1, B2, and B3 were assigned to different service units such as railway and forestry corps. See this link for more information.
D ClassificationSee this link for more information.
CAMCCanadian Army Medical Corp
CBConfined to Barracks: a punishment for minor infractions.
CCDCasualty Convalescent Depot: a depot at a base where men, in their final stages of convalescing, would be prepared for duty depending on their rating.
CCHCasualty Clearing Hospital
CCRCCanadian Corps Reserve Camp
CCSCasualty Clearing Station: this facility was attached to rail transportation from the front to hospitals on the coast of France
CDCCanadian Dispatch Camp
CFACanadian Field Ambulance/Canadian Field Artillery. Most common usage would be Canadian Field Ambulance.
DAHDisorderly Action of the Heart
DRSDivisional Rest Station
GSWGun Shot Wound – this was a generic term for all projectile penetrating wounds.
In the FieldThis term relates to a soldier arriving at an active-duty unit after transporting from England, to France, and then to his duty assignment. The routing varied from soldier to soldier and could take 2-3 days to several months.
MDMilitary District
PUOPyrexia of Unknown Origin: This was a term used for any illness that could not clearly be identified and typically was related to influenza symptoms.
SOSStruck Off Strength
TOSTaken On Strength
CAMCCanadian Army Medical Corp
CCHCasualty Clearing Hospital
CFACanadian Field Ambulance
DRSDivisional Rest Station
GSWGun Shot Wound – this was a generic term for all projectile penetrating wounds.
MDMilitary District
PUOPyrexia of Unknown Origin
SOSStruck Off Strength
TOSTaken On Strength
WORDWestern Ontario Regimental Depot

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