Claudius Brown (1894-?) was from the Caribbean island of Grenada and was living in Winnipeg in 1918. He worked as a sleeping car porter for the railway and was studying to be a minister. He was conscripted in Winnipeg on March 26, 1918, but refused to sign the papers on the grounds of being a conscientious objector. He was sent to England in April 1918 on the SS Melita, as part of a group of conscientious objectors, in accordance with a decision the Canadian government made in March 1918. The group was sent to Seaford Camp where Brown continued to refuse military service on religious grounds. In June, he was court martialed and convicted of “Disobeying in such a manner as to show a wilful defiance of Authority a lawful command given personally by his superior officer in the execution of his office…” and sentenced to one year in prison. He had not served his full sentence before being returned to Winnipeg and discharged on December 14, 1918.
Service Record Details
Date of Birth: August 19, 1890 (Grenada, British West Indies)
Date of Conscription: March 26, 1918 (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
Age at Conscription: 27 years, 8 months old
Military Service Act Letter and Number: 544178 J.C.
Height: 5 feet, 6 1/2 inches
Description: Dark complexion, brown eyes, black hair. International Bible Student.
Home Address: 109 Hallett Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba (After discharge, 156 Austine Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba)
Trade: Sleeping Car Porter
Next of Kin: Mother, Mrs. Christanna Brown, living in Carriacou, P.O. Grenada, British West Indies
Theatre of War: Canada and England
Casualties / Medical History
- Only standard medical information taken at the time of conscription.
Interesting Details from the Service Record
- June 13, 1918 – “Disobeying in such a manner as to show a wilful defiance of Authority a lawful command given personally by his superior officer in the execution of his office. Sentenced by District Court Martial to undergo detention for a period of one year. Sentence dated 11-6-18. Confirmed 12-6-18. In arrest 6-5-18.”
- June 17, 1918 – Brown is sent to Wandsworth Detention Barracks at Seaford Camp, Sussex, England.
- October 24, 1918 – He is “SOS” (struck off strength) and sent “to C.E.F. in Canada” (Canadian Expeditionary Force) as a “Conscientious Objector.”
- December 14, 1918 – He is discharged in Winnipeg as “Incorrigible” by reason of “Misconduct.”
The London Gazette
No mentions found.
Military Medals, Honours and Awards (1812–1969)
- “Medals forfeited” due to misconduct.
No records located.