|Date of Birth||September 19, 1892|
|Place of Birth||Brooklyn, New York|
|Next of Kin||Mrs Sarah Daubney (mother), Box 281, Kenora, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Stationary Engineer|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||2nd Regiment, Canadian Mounted Rifles|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Conscripted|
|Place of Enlistment||Toronto, Ontario|
|Address at Enlistment||Byng Inlet, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||February 18, 1918|
|Age at Enlistment||25|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||January 20, 1971|
|Age at Death||78|
|Buried At||Woodland Cemetery, London, Ontario|
Private William Smith Daubney was called up for service in February 1918, at age 25. He served in France in the last months of the war with the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles.
William was the only son of Smith Daubney and Sarah Bland of Kenora, Ontario. Smith and Sarah were both born in England, Smith in Spilsby, Lincolnshire and his wife in Crick, Northamptonshire. They were married in Hampshire in 1888 and their daughter Eveline was born there later the same year. Around 1890 they immigrated to the U.S. and settled in Brooklyn, New York. Two children were born in Brooklyn: William (19 September 1892) and Ethel (1894). In the summer of 1905 Smith returned to England with his family, arriving in Southampton from New York on 9 July on the SS St. Paul. At the time of the 1911 census they were living in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire and Smith was a shopkeeper and grocer. A few weeks before the census was taken William had left for Canada, sailing on the SS Corsican and arriving in Halifax on 30 March. His destination was Byng Inlet, a small town on Georgian Bay in Ontario. His parents and sisters moved to Canada about two years later and they settled in the town of Kenora in northwestern Ontario.
Conscription started in Canada in 1917 and single men age 20 to 34 were required to register by the fall. William was still living in Byng Inlet where he worked as a stationary engineer in a sawmill. He had his medical exam on 27 September in the nearby town of Parry Sound. He was found fit for overseas service and he was called up on 18 February 1918 and assigned to the 1st Depot Battalion, 1st Central Ontario Regiment. He was sent overseas at the end of March, embarking on the SS Missanabie and arriving in England on 3 April. The next day he was transferred to the 3rd Reserve Battalion at Witley in Surrey and he trained with them over the summer. The final period of the war, known now as the Hundred Days Offensive, started in August 1918 and the Canadians were heavily involved in operations in those last three months.
On 13 August William was transferred to the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles and sent to France. The 2nd CMRs were an infantry unit and he joined them in the field about a week after he arrived in France. Over the next month and a half the Canadians took part in the Second Battle of Arras, the assault on the Drocourt-Quéant Line and the crossing of the Canal du Nord. They continued to advance towards Cambrai, which was captured on 8-9 October. On 19 October William was admitted to No. 12 Stationary Hospital and five days later he was transferred to No. 26 General Hospital in Г‰taples. He was suffering from mental illness, which may have been a severe case of shell shock. In mid-December he was invalided to England on the hospital ship St. Denis and admitted to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Netley. A week later he was transferred to the Lord Derby War Hospital in Warrington. He remained there until early in 1919 when he was invalided back to Canada. He arrived on the HS Araguaya on 22 March via Portland, Maine and a few days later he was admitted to the Military Convalescent Hospital in Cobourg, Ontario.
William was discharged from the army on 1 August 1919 and transferred to Newmarket Hospital two weeks later. In the spring of 1920 he went to Kenora and spent five months living with his parents. In September he was sent to Westminster Hospital in London, Ontario and he was a patient there at the time of the 1921 census. When his mother died in 1934 he was still in Westminster. After being widowed his father moved to Petoskey, Michigan to live with his youngest daughter Ethel (Mrs. Norbertt Wegemer). Smith died in Petoskey in 1947 and he’s buried beside his wife in Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.
William passed away in Westminster Hospital in London on 20 January 1971, at age 78. He’s buried in Woodland Cemetery in London. His sister Ethel had died in Petoskey, Michigan in 1951 and Eveline died in Tucson, Arizona in 1974.
By Becky Johnson