William James Green

Service Record

William Green (1875-1958) was born in St. Thomas, Ontario, on October 8, 1875. In 1899, at the age of 24, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Regiment for service in South Africa. He was wounded at the Battle of Paardeberg and was discharged from military service on December 25, 1900. He returned to his position at J.M. Green and Sons in his home town of St. Thomas, and reorganized the business as the Green Lumber Company. He re-enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force on November 26, 1915, at the age of 40. During the First World War, Green commanded the 91st Battalion as Lieutenant-Colonel. The 91st Battalion was an outgrowth of the 25th "Elgin" Regiment, with which he had served in South Africa. In 1916, about a year into his WWI service, Green suffered a severe bout of influenza and was hospitalized at Helena Hospital, which was used for officers only, at Shorncliffe Army Camp in Kent, England. Upon his release from hospital, Green remained unfit for duty. He was given a further months’ leave and soon returned to Canada. His service file indicates that he died in 1958.

Service Record Details

Officers' Declaration Paper

Date of Birth: October 8, 1875 (St. Thomas, Ontario)

Date of Attestation: November 26, 1915

Age at Enlistment: 40 years

Prior Military Service: Yes—South African War (serving since 1912 with the 25th Regiment)

Height: 5 feet, 11 inches

Weight: 170 pounds

Description: Fair complexion, brown hair, grey eyes. Protestant (Church of England).

Home Address: 40 Rosebery Place, St. Thomas, Ontario

Trade: Lumber dealer and building contractor

Married: Yes—Mrs. Olive E. Green

Details of Family: Parents, Mr. and Mrs. J.M. Green of St. Thomas, Ontario

Next of Kin: Wife, Mrs. Olive E. Green

Theatre of War: France

Casualties / Medical History

  • November 1916 to December 1917 – Green is treated at Helena Hospital (Shorncliffe), for three weeks for influenza and pneumonia, although the document records only 13 days spent in hospital. (Page 10)
  • January 3, 1917 – A medical board held at Shorncliffe finds Green unfit for duty following his hospitalization for “lobular pneumonia and influenza,” which was caused by exposure and infection as a direct result of his field service. (Page 6)

Interesting Details from the Service Record

  • December 29, 1915 – His original medical history indicates that he is missing one joint on the second finger and two joints on the first finger of his left hand. The document also bears a note, in red ink, indicating that he died on October 26, 1958. (Page 9)
  • June 1916 to April 1917 – He embarks at Halifax on June 28, 1916, and disembarks at Liverpool a week later. He is taken on strength at Sandling on July 19. Nine months later he is struck off strength, and returns to Canada on April 17, 1917. (Pages 3, 4 and 23)
  • January 28, 1917 – A notes indicates that, in addition to Green’s wife, authorities should also notify John R. Green of Victoria, B.C., as his next of kin. (Page 22)
  • March 1917 – His address is listed as “The Green Lumber Co. Ltd. St. Thomas, Ontario.” (Page 19)
  • August 1, 1928 – A summary of his service prepared after the war indicates that he had returned from a 10-day instructional tour in France in March 1917. By April, he had been struck off strength and transferred “to the C.E.F. in Canada.” (Page 3)

The London Gazette

  • No mentions found for the First World War

Military Medals, Honours and Awards (1812–1969)

  • No mentions found for the First World War

Census Records

  • 1911 Census
    At age 36, William Green is married to Olive Elizabeth Green (24). They have two children: John Frederick (3) and Elinor Estell (1). The family is Anglican, and William is listed as a builder, working in a factory and a mill. He carries a life insurance policy. They are living at the same address when the First World War breaks out three years later.

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