Remembrance Day Project
Every year, Family and Children’s Services remembers a soldier from our community on Remembrance Day who fought and died for Canada. Our current project, Soldier of the Great War, commemorates soldiers who fought in the First World War. Please take a moment to remember these soldiers on November 11th. We encourage you to share this online so that the memory of who they were can live on.
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Three soldiers from Napanee
OUR THANKS TO THE FOLLOWING:
Royal Canadian Legion Branch 137 (Napanee), The McCumber Family, Historian Al Lloyd, 21stbattalion.ca
Corporal Frank Edmund Davern, MM
Frank Edmund Davern was born in Napanee, Ontario January 22, 1898 to Archibald and Ann Davern. He was in high school when the war began. On April 26, 1915, he joined up with the 21st Battalion in Kingston. He lied about his age. He was only 17. But Davern had spent three years in the militia. After the Battalion trained in England, they moved to France in September of 1915 as the senior battalion of the 4th Brigade. During the bloody Battle of the Somme, on September 15, 1916, Davern earned the Military Medal for bravery by keeping the lines of communication open between the Battalion Headquarters and each Company. This was done under constant enemy fire and proved vital in the success of the 21st Battalion’s capture of the sugar refinery near Courcelette. He did similar work at Vimy Ridge. But in the battle that followed, the attack on Hill 70, he was not so lucky. On August 16, 1917 he received a serious shrapnel wound to his left leg. He died three days later in a casualty clearing station from his wounds and was buried in the Bruay Communal Cemetery, Bruay, France. He was just 19 years old.
WATCH: Davern's last letter home, just months before he was killed
Private William Earl McCumber
William Earl McCumber was conscripted into the 1st Depot Battalion of the Eastern Ontario Regiment in Kingston, Ontario December 3, 1917 under the Military Service Act of 1917. He was born in Links Mill, Ontario January 30, 1896 to John Henry and Mary Hester McCumber. He was a Blacksmith and living in Napanee at the time of his enlistment. He underwent his initial training in the Barriefield Camp, just across the causeway from Kingston. On January 22, 1918 he embarked the Troopship Scotian in St. John, New Brunswick for England. He underwent several months advanced training before being sent to France. On August 15, 1918 he was transferred to the 21st Battalion and joined them at Marcelcave, France as they came out of the front lines for a rest just before the start of the Last 100 Days campaign that ended the War. After four years of war in the trenches the German Army was on the run. On August 27th, 1918, the 21st Battalion was advancing on a German defensive line at the Sensee River, southeast of Vis-en-Artois France, when heavy fighting broke out. McCumber was killed in action. He was eventually buried in the Quebec British Cemetery in nearby Cherisy, France. He’d only been at the front less than two weeks. He was 22 years old.
WATCH: McCumber's family talks about their lingering 100 year loss
Private Harold William McAfee
Harold William McAfee was born in Napanee, Ontario on May 2nd, 1890 to John and Hester McAfee. When he joined up in January of 1916, he was living with his widowed mother Deseronto. He was a painter. He Joined the 155th Battalion proceeded to the Barriefield Camp just across the causeway from Kingston to begin his training. In mid-October of 1916 he boarded the Troopship Northland for England. He underwent training until he was transferred to the 21st Battalion, joining them December 8, 1916 in Bully Grenay, France. He was with the battalion at the front for a little over a month when he became ill with an infection, most likely caused by life in the trenches. He was hospitalized. When the infection became worse, he was sent to a hospital in England. He developed Pneumonia and died on March 11, 1917. McAfee was buried in the nearby Sutton Road Cemetery, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England. He’d only left Canada five months before. He was 27 years old.
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE 21ST BATTALION
Edward “Nelson” Badour 2015 Project Soldier of the Great War Project Home Town
: Sharbot Lake, Ontario Unit
: 20th Battalion Died of Wounds
: November 17, 1917 Grave
THE FOG OF WAR A Note from the Editor
: In our first version of the video about Edward Nelson Badour we in fact used the wrong picture. A member of the Badour family identified the picture as one of Edward Nelson's nephews, who was also named Nelson and who served in the Second World War. Uncle or Nephew, lets remember both of them on Remembrance Day for what they did for Canada.
He came from a large family in a small town in northern Frontenac County. Edward “Nelson” Badour, known as Nelson to his friends, was in his 30s when the First World War broke out. He was a labourer and likely didn’t know how to write. He joined up in 1916 and served in the 20th Battalion. He didn’t get to the front until Spring of 1917. He had been hospitalized for sickness and then was part of an entrenching battalion working on the trenches. He was drafted into the 20th just before Vimy Ridge and fought there. The Canadian Corps was moved into the infamous Passchendaele front a few months later. Fighting in a sea of mud, Badour was wounded and then captured by the Germans November 10, 1917. Information supplied by the Germans was that he died a week later on November 17th and buried in an unmarked grave. His wife, Norah, received a war medal, scroll and Memorial Cross back home in Sharbot Lake. His extended family, including two nephews, still live in Sharbot Lake today. His name is listed on a plaque in the Soldier’s Memorial Hall in Sharbot Lake. He is also listed in the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium, not far from where he was wounded in Passchendaele. It lists Commonwealth soldiers who died during the First World War, but have no known grave. He is also honoured every year on May 4th when the Book of Remembrance is turned to his page in the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa. He was a soldier of the Great War.
Badour is remembered by the City of Ypres, Belgium, where his name appears on the Menin Gate, a local memorial to First World War soldiers who have no known grave. The Last Post Association, which puts on a rememgbrance ceremony at the Menin Gate every night has pledged that Badour will never be forgotten.
The Sharbot Lake Legion Remembers
A Historian Remembers
Soldier of the Great War Project
Home Town: Kingston, Ontario
Unit: 21st Battalion
Killed in Action: August 27, 1918
Grave: Tilloy British Cemetery in Tilloy-Les-Mofflaines, France
Stanley Cunningham was born in Kingston October 13, 1883. He grew up Earl Street and went to Kingston Collegiate High School. He graduated from Queen’s University and became a civil engineer. When the First World War started in 1914 he was just 31 years old. He stood five feet, seven inches, had brown hair and blue eyes. Cunningham had already served in the Militia – Canada’s reserve forces. He had spent three years with the Princess of Wales’ Own Regiment, based at the Kingston Armoury, before the war. Upon enlistment, he was granted the rank of Lieutenant and joined the 21st Battalion headed for France. He trained in England for much of 1915, rising to the rank of Captain. He served in a number of staff positions. On Jan 1, 1918, he was awarded the Military Cross for his service. On the night of August 27, 1918 he was killed instantly when an artillery shell landed near the car he was driving in. The War ended just 75 days later. His medals were sent to his mother. Today, he lies in the Tilloy British Cemetery in Tilloy-Les-Mofflaines, France, a soldier of the Great War.