58th Battalion, CEF
The 58th Infantry Battalion, recruited from Military District No. 2, included quotas from Peel and Halton. In June 1915 the people of Georgetown and Glenwilliams bade farewell to the boys who left for Niagara-on-the-Lake, where the battalion was mobilized. At the end of November they left for England, and in February 1916 became part of the 9th Brigade of the new 3rd Canadian Division in France.
“You asked me if I were scared when I first went in trenches well no I wasn’t. I thought nobody could wish for a better place until I seen wounded fellows & fellows getting killed along side of me and have to pick up pieces & put them in blanket for to be buried. War is no joke. I have been hit four times but not serious it was shrapnel. ... They shelled us hard for 2 hours & tried to take our trench. When they come over the parapet believe me I put bullets & bombs in them as fast as I could but they didn’t get our trench we were only 35 yards apart so you know how quick we act. Poor old Fritz dead men laid in No Man’s Land all that night & next day.”
Quoted in Kevin R. Shackleton, Second to None: The Fighting 58th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Toronto: Dundurn, 2002.
† Private Chester Danes Baker, 451780, killed 30 September 1918, aged 18. Crest Cemetery, Fontaine-Notre Dame, Nord, France. Burlington cenotaph. Son of Harry and Mary Baker, of Freeman, Ontario. Native of Hamilton.
Private Frederick Joseph Bannon, Oakville.
Private William Arthur Brent. Georgetown.
Private George Robert Caswell, 451807, born Bath, Somerset, 28 November 1887, stone mason. NOK Mrs Elizabeth Caswell, Scene Street, Acton, attested at Niagara, 26 June 1915. Returned to Canada suffering from shell shock, and sent to a convalescent hospital in Toronto. His relics from the front were put on display in the Free Press office, and a public reception was held in the town hall. Acton Free Press, 23 November 1916.
Corporal Cornelius James Cummings, Mrs A.E. Cummings, Georgetown.
† Private Frederick Elkington, 678815. Born May 10, 1884 in Manchester, England and immigrated to Canada. He worked as a farmer and cement worker in the Acton area, where he was recorded in the 1911 Census. He may have been an orphan as he gave a friend as his next of kin. He enlisted at Toronto on Jan 25, 1916 in the 169th Overseas Bn. and he was killed in action on October 26, 1917 at Passchendaele at which time he was 34 years old and a Private in the 58th Battalion. Menin Gate Memorial. Description provided by R.Harold Smith in Acton.
† Lieutenant Harold Morton Groves. Born on April 4, 1889 at Norval Ontario to Mr. and Mrs. W. E. Groves. On enlistment he was married to Gladys, living in Toronto, working as a Department Manager of the T. Eaton Company. He signed his Officers’ Declaration Paper at Valcartier on September 16, 1916 with the 139th Battalion but was transferred to the 58th Battalion. He was killed in action on October 25, 1917 at the age of 27 and is buried at Nine Elms Cemetery in Belgium.
† Captain George Orme McNair 58th Battalion killed 1 May 1916, age 43. Maple Copse Cemetery, Zillebeke, Belgium. Halton Rifles, Son of George and Martha McNair; husband of Clara Jane McNair of 377 Rusholme Road, Toronto (of Hamilton on embarkation list). Native of Halton Co.
Private George H. Lantz. Mrs G.H. Lantz, R.R. 1, Acton, 29th Regiment.
Private Harold Groves ‘Harry’ Lewis, Glen Williams. In 1919 he was seriously ill in Military Hospital in Aysbury, but he returned in July.
Private Guy Russell Martin, Orangeville
Private George Riddell McBeath, Laurel.
Private James Frederick ‘Fred’ McCartney, Mrs James McCartney, Georgetown
† Private Robert James McGowan, 452478, died 17 September 1916 . Vimy Memorial, Pas de Calais, France. Dufferin County. NOK Victor McGowan, Georgetown.
† Sergeant John William Moore, Mrs P. Moore, Georgetown, born England. 2nd Battalion killed 21 March 1918, age 32. Aix-Noulette comunal cemetery, France. He enlisted in the 58th Battalion. Georgetown Herald, 8 May 1918.
Private Reginald Priaulx, GGBG, William Priaulx, Bourg forest, Guernsey
† Private Frederick Render 401331 killed 9 July 1916, age 39. 33rd Battalion. Son of Harry and Elida Render; husband of Hannah Render, 155 Nile St., Stratford. Railway Dugouts Burial Ground, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.
† Private Francis Sands, 451151, Territorials, Mrs Lillian Sands, c/o E. Frankland, Milton. Lance Serjeant, killed 6 June 1916, age 41. Husband of Lillian Sands of "Woodville," Falldand Crescent, Harrogate Road, Leeds, England. Native of Scotland. Railway Dugouts Burial Ground, Ieper, Belgium.
The 58th is perpetuated by The Royal Regiment of Canada.