Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthJuly 25, 1885
Place of BirthLiverpool, Lancashire, England
CountryEngland
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs. Margaret Amos (mother), 2 Derwent Road, Freehold, Lancaster, Lancashire, England
Trade / CallingCar repairer, painter and decorator
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number441634
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion14th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentWinnipeg, Manitoba
Address at EnlistmentRedditt, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentAugust 17, 1915
Age at Enlistment30
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathDecember 28, 1969
Age at Death84
Buried AtVictory Memorial Park, Surrey, British Columbia

Amos, Harold Gordon

Sergeant Harold Gordon Amos enlisted at Camp Sewell in August 1915 and served for more than two years in France and Belgium. He was wounded at the Somme and returned to Canada in April 1919.

Harold was the son of Joseph Amos and Margaret Woodcock of Lancaster, Lancashire, England. Harold was born in Liverpool on 25 July 1885 and he had two older brothers, Austin Frederick and Frank Frodsham. His parents had married in 1877 and his father worked as a shipyard timekeeper. The family was still living in Liverpool for the 1891 census. By 1901 they had moved to Lancaster and all three boys were working at an oil cloth mill. Joseph passed away in 1909, at age 55. At the time of the 1911 census Harold was working as a house painter.

Harold immigrated to Canada in June 1913, sailing from Liverpool on the Lake Manitoba with his occupation listed as painter and his destination ‘Redcliff, Ontario’ (probably meant to be Redditt in northwestern Ontario). When he enlisted two years later he was living in Redditt and working for the railway as a car repairer, painter and decorator. He signed up at Camp Sewell in Manitoba on 17 August 1915, joining the 53rd Battalion. Next of kin was his mother Margaret Amos in Freehold, Lancaster, England.

After training over the winter the 53rd Battalion headed overseas in the spring, embarking from Halifax on 29 March 1916 on the Empress of Britain. After only two months in England Harold was drafted to a front line unit, the 14th Battalion, and sent to France. He joined the battalion in the field in mid-June, just as the Battle of Mount Sorrel was ending. In August the Canadians moved south to take part in the Somme Offensive. The 14th Battalion arrived at Albert on 2 September and went into the reserve lines two days later. While they were there Harold suffered an artillery shell or bullet wound to his right leg.

Harold was admitted to No. 20 General Hospital in Camiers on 9 September then moved to a convalescent depot in Etaples five days later. When he rejoined his unit in early October they were still at the Somme. On 16 October they began to move north to the Lens-Arras area, across from Vimy, where the Canadian Corps would spend the winter. Harold became ill in March 1917 and was diagnosed with myalgia, dyspepsia and fever. He was evacuated to England on 16 March on the hospital ship Brighton.

Harold recovered for a month at the convalescent depot in Uxbridge. On 14 April 1917 he was discharged to duty and posted to the 23rd Reserve Battalion, serving with them for six months. On 25 October he was transferred to the 14th Battalion again and sent back to France. He rejoined his unit as the Battle of Passchendaele was ending. The Canadians spent the winter and spring of 1917-18 in the Arras-Lens area and in the summer of 1918 they were given several weeks of intensive training in open warfare.

The final period of the war started in August with the Battle of Amiens (8-11 August). On 6 August Harold was transferred to Gas Services (Canadian Corps) and he served with them for two months, getting promoted to Sergeant on 7 August. He was back with the 14th Battalion on 8 November and the Armistice ended hostilities three days later. Starting on 12 November Harold had two weeks leave in the UK. Afterwards, his unit took part in the March to the Rhine and spent several weeks in Germany as part of the occupying forces.

Harold returned to England on 20 March 1919 and embarked for Canada on 3 April on the SS Lapland, arriving in Halifax a week later. He was discharged on demobilization on 14 April in Winnipeg. His intended residence was listed as Winnipeg but by September 1919 he was living in Redditt again. In the summer of 1920 he spent three months visiting relatives in England.

Harold was married in Winnipeg on 15 July 1925. His wife, Edythe Ashcroft (née Stodgell), was born in 1895 in Woonona, Manitoba, the daughter of James Stodgell and Hannah Manns. Edythe was a widow with two young children, Amy and William James. Her first husband, James Alexander Ashcroft, had passed away in 1918 and another daughter, Margaret, had died in 1919 at age two. Harold and his wife made their home in Redditt and he had a long career as a car repairer and car inspector for the CNR. Edythe was very involved in the community and was noted for her musical abilities. Her son William served with the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery during the Second World War in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France and Holland.

Harold and Edythe moved to Vancouver in 1949 and Harold passed away in the Vancouver General Hospital on 28 December 1969 at age 84. He is buried in Victory Memorial Park in Surrey. Edythe returned to Winnipeg in 1969. She passed away on 14 April 1980, at age 85, and she’s buried in St. Vital Cemetery. She was predeceased by her daughter Amy (Mrs. Thomas Ian Tremblay) in Vancouver in 1956 and survived by her son William James. William died in June 2000 and he’s also buried at St. Vital Cemetery.

Harold is commemorated on the Canadian National Railway Roll of Service: ‘Canada’s National Railways: Their Part in the War.’

By Becky Johnson


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