Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthApril 23, 1900
Place of BirthBrookville Station, Saint John County, New Brunswick
CountryCanada
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs. Mary Speight (mother), Brookville Station, New Brunswick
Trade / CallingDruggist's clerk
ReligionMethodist
Service Details
Regimental Number1285468
Service Record Link to Service Record
BattalionNo. 7 Service Company
ForceArmy
BranchCanadian Army Service Corps
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentSaint John, New Brunswick
Address at EnlistmentBrookville Station, New Brunswick
Date of EnlistmentJanuary 15, 1917
Age at Enlistment16
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathApril 2, 1964
Age at Death63
Buried AtBrandon Municipal Cemetery, Brandon, Manitoba
PlotSection 035, Block A, Plot 059

Speight, Horace Haslam

Private Horace Haslam Speight was only 14 years old when the war started. Between 1917 and 1919 he enlisted three times, and he served for almost two years in Canada.

Horace was born and raised in Brookville Station, a small community on the outskirts of Saint John, New Brunswick. His father John Speight was born in Queen’s County, New Brunswick and he worked as a station agent for a railway company. John had a son and a daughter with his first wife, Emmeline Harvey. He was a widow when he married his second wife, Mary Ann Evelyn Pitt, and he had four daughters and five sons with her including Horace, who was born on 23 April 1900.

The war entered its third year in the fall of 1916 and Horace enlisted a few months later, on 15 January 1917, at age 16. He was working as a druggist’s clerk at the time and he signed up in Saint John, joining the 3rd (New Brunswick) Regiment, Canadian Garrison Artillery.

The 3rd Regiment was stationed in West Saint John and Horace served with them for 14 months. Early in the spring of 1918 he enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force, signing his attestation with the 9th Overseas Siege Battery on 5 March. Unfortunately he became ill with bronchitis a month later and he wasn’t able to stay with the unit. He was admitted to St. James Military Hospital in Saint John where he spent a week recuperating, followed by some rest at home. When he recovered he returned to the 3rd Regiment but he was discharged on 6 June 1918 in consequence of being a minor. His unit was stationed at Partridge Island near Saint John at the time and his rank was listed as Sergeant.

In November 1918 the Armistice ended hostilities in Europe but it would take almost a year for most of the Canadian soldiers to return home. On 8 July 1919 Horace enlisted a third time, signing up in Saint John with the Canadian Army Service Corps. He was 19 by then, working as a chauffeur and living in Brookville Station. He was assigned to No. 7 Service Company and he served with them as a private for five months. In the fall Horace developed appendicitis and he had an appendectomy on 30 October at the Military Hospital in Fredericton. In late November he was discharged from the hospital then given another 14 days sick leave. He was transferred to No. 7 District Depot on 13 December and discharged due to demobilization on 15 December in Saint John. He was awarded the ‘For Honourable Service in Canada’ badge.

Horace returned to Brookville Station and when the 1921 census was taken he was living at home and working as a brakeman for the Canadian Pacific Railway. His father passed away in 1925, at age 69, and he’s buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Saint John. Horace was married in Saint John the following year, on 1 September 1926. He was wife was 23-year-old Dorothy Clarke, a telephone operator. Dorothy was born in London, England and she came to Canada in 1920 to join her sister Rose (Mrs. James Duncan) in Saint John. Not long after they were married Horace and his wife moved to Kenora, Ontario, where his sister Clara Mabel and brother George Sidney were living. Horace continued his career with the CPR, first as a switchman then as yardmaster, and he and his wife raised two sons, Robert and Lawrence. Horace became a life member of the Canadian Legion, Kenora Branch and served as president in 1951-52. He was also on the Kenora Town Council for several years and he belonged to the Shriners and to several lodges.

In the late 1950s Horace and Dorothy moved to Brandon, Manitoba. Horace passed away there on 2 April 1964, three weeks before his 64th birthday. Dorothy died in May 1970 and they are both buried in Brandon Cemetery.

By Becky Johnson

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