After waiting for what seemed forever, I have finally obtained all 69 pages of my Great Grandfather, William Porter’s military Career from Library and Archives Canada.
At quick glance I could review his attestation papers, his transfers from one unit to the next as well as many different hospital visits.
The biggest mystery before getting the papers was whether it was possible for him to have signed up for the war September 15, 1915 and be able to parent twins born in July of 1916. Could William Porter not be the father of my grandmother Margaret and her twin brother Walter?
The answer is “William Porter, you ARE the father!”
Per the records, he arrived in England 7 May 1960. That means he had plenty of time to do what he needed to do with my Great Grandmother Margaret Dryden to become a father again. However, that doesn’t change the fact that at the age of 34 he left his 3 children and his pregnant wife and headed across the ocean to fight in the Great War. No one living is able to tell his motivations but the paperwork confirms he was initially drafted to the 71st Battalion, was transferred to the 51st within a month of being in England and three weeks later he was transferred for a final time to join up with the 46th Battalion. It was with the 46th he headed to France on September 8th, 1916
All of this was found by reviewing up to the first half of the 5th page. So much history. So much to see. I can’t wait to dive in more and find out more about the battalion’s he belonged to, how long he was in the war and when he came back. Oh yes great-grandfather, I am looking forward to learning more about you over the days and weeks to come.
If you’d like to read more about William Porter, please read my post for 12 Months, 12 Ancestors – February.