|Date of Birth||September 13, 1896|
|Place of Birth||Midland, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||George Kent (grandfather), Waverley, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Farmer|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||Fort Garry Horse|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Moosomin, Saskatchewan|
|Age at Enlistment||18|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||February 24, 1955|
|Age at Death||58|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
|Plot||Angel Crest Block, 46E-35-1|
Private Charles Alvin Paul enlisted in January 1915 at age 18 and served in France with the Fort Garry Horse. He was wounded in April 1918 during the German Spring Offensive and returned to Canada in December 1918.
Charles was the oldest son of David Paul and Mary Kent of Midland, Simcoe County, Ontario. David and Mary were both born in Ontario and they were married in Midland in 1896. Charles was born later the same year and he had two younger brothers, Harry John (1898) and William George (1901), and a sister Annie Elizabeth (1904). By the time the war started he was living in Saskatchewan and working as a farmer. He enlisted on 16 January 1915, at age 18, signing up in Moosomin with the 10th Regiment Canadian Mounted Rifles. He named his grandfather George Kent of Waverley, Simcoe County, Ontario as next of kin but there was also a request to notify his mother, Mrs. B.J. (Mary) Nicholls of Toronto. Her address was later changed to Buffalo, New York.
The 10th CMR had been organized in Regina in December 1914 when recruits were being raised for a second overseas contingent. After training in Canada for five months Charles embarked from Montreal on the SS Northland on 29 June 1915, as part of the 1st Reinforcing Draft. He was transferred initially to the Canadian Cavalry Depot then later attached to the Fort Garry Horse Reserve Regiment. Between November 1915 and October 1916 Charles was ill (vdg/vds) and he spent about seven months in several different hospitals. It was November 1916 before he was sent to France and he joined the Fort Garry Horse in the field later that month. They were training near Friaucourt at the time, not far from the coast. Charles was ill again in December (vdg) and after another three months in a hospital at Le Havre he rejoined the Fort Garry Horse in March 1917. They left Friaucourt on 19 March and moved to the area west of Amiens, where they would spend the next year. Shortly after arriving there the troops were involved in heavy fighting to capture the village of Ytres (24-25 March) and at the end of the month they went into billets behind the line.
Over the next year the Fort Garry Horse squadrons had regular rotations in the front line as dismounted infantry units. They also carried out raids on the German trenches, patrolled the front line, erected horse shelters, formed wiring parties, constructed gun emplacements, worked on trenches and built a first aid station. In November 1917 Charles had two weeks leave in England and while he was away his unit took part in the Battle of Cambrai (20-21 November). On 21 March 1918 the Germans launched their big spring offensive, aimed at breaking through the Allied lines. Part of the assault was on the Allied forces west of Amiens and the Canadian Cavalry Brigade saw action as both mounted and dismounted troops. At the end of March the Fort Garry Horse took part in three days of heavy fighting at Moreuil Wood and Rifle Wood (30 March-1 April). Rifle Wood was captured and cleared of Germans on the morning of 1 April.
From the War Diary of the Fort Garry Horse, 1 April 1918: The attack started at 9 a.m. and was completely successful, although the losses were heavy. The whole of the WOOD was in our possession by 11 a.m., having taken 121 prisoners, and 13 M.Gs which were successfully used against the enemy. The enemy were seen to be Massing for counter attacks, which when delivered were repulsed with great loss.
Casualties for the Fort Garry Horse that day were about 60 wounded, 8 killed and one missing. Charles was one of the casualties, suffering a gunshot wound to his upper left leg. On 2 April he was evacuated to No. 1 Australian General Hospital in Rouen and five days later he was back in England at a hospital in Basingstoke. After six weeks of treatment he was transferred to the convalescent centre in Epsom on 24 May and in July he was discharged to the Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp. That same month he was given ten days leave. Charles spent another five months in England before embarking for Canada in December on the SS Carmania. He had two weeks landing leave, which he planned to spend in Waverley, Ontario, and he was officially discharged due to demobilization on 29 January 1919 in Toronto.
After the war Charles spent some time in Simcoe County and in Toronto, working as a marine fireman. He was married in Orillia, Ontario on 19 March 1923 to 21-year-old Lillian Emma McCrimmon of Jarrett’s Corners. The following year they moved to the town of Kenora in northwestern Ontario, where Charles’ uncle and cousins were living. He found work at the pulp and paper mill and he enlisted again in the Second World War, serving as a Lance Bombardier with the Royal Canadian Artillery. He was also a life member of the Kenora Armouries with the rank of Sergeant Major.
Charles and his wife had at least ten children, six sons (Kenneth, Charles, Herbert, Jack, Robert and William) and four daughters (Marion, Anne, Dorothy and Betty). He retired due to ill health in 1953 and passed away in Kenora on 24 February 1955, at age 58. He was survived by his ten children, his mother Mrs. Boone of Coldwater, Ontario, and his brother William and sister Anne (Mrs. Milton Grills). His brother Harry Paul died in the First World War while serving with the 116th Battalion. Their cousin John Paul of Kenora also served in the war and he was wounded but survived.
Charles was predeceased by his wife Lillian and they are both buried in Angel Crest Block, Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora.
By Becky Johnson