Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthJuly 24, 1888
Place of BirthSaginaw, Michigan
CountryU.S.A.
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinWife: Beatrice Scribner - Keewatin, Ontario
Trade / CallingLabourer
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number198276
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion43rd Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Address at EnlistmentKeewatin, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentNovember 18, 1915
Age at Enlistment27
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathMay 31, 1949
Age at Death60
Buried AtBrookside Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba
PlotMilitary Section 6, 3105

Scribner, Aaron Thomas

Aaron Thomas Scribner was born in Saginaw, Michigan in 1888.

Aaron Thomas married Adeline Beatrice Carr in 1903 in Minnesota. In 1911 they lived in Gemmel, Minnesota. They moved to Keewatin, Ontario in 1914. They had four children Mary, William, and Henry Thomas (1914-1915) and Dora Beatrice (1924-25).

He enlisted with the 94th Battalion in Kenora in 1915.

On May 25, 1916, the men of ‘C’ and ‘D’ Companies from Kenora and Fort Frances were moved to the Lakehead and on June 9, 1916, the Battalion left for Valcartier, Quebec for ‘Summer Camp’ as it was called. For two hundred and five of these men it was the last time they were to see their families and friends. The 94th trained at Valcartier for a period until June 13th when they sailed from Halifax for England on the RMS Olympic. The ship arrived in Liverpool on July 6th.

Although the 94th remained a battalion on paper until July 27th, 1918, with an office at East Sandling, it actually ceased to exist on July 13th, 1916 when it was broken up and the men were transferred to the 17th and 32nd Reserve Battalions to be used as replacements for casualties in front line units.

He transferred to the 17th Reserve Battalion on July 13, 1916, and transferred overseas to the 43rd Battalion on August 25th. This Winnipeg Battalion was known as The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada, and that is where Scribner served for most of the war. The Battalion participated in the Battle of the Somme near Courcellette and was successful in clearing high ground overlooking the Ancre River. On October 8th, 1916, the battalion fought at Ancre Heights assaulting the Regina Trench. The artillery had failed to cut the enemy’s barbed wire, and the troops bore heavy casualties in their unsuccessful attack. It was during this series of actions that Scribner was injured.

He was sent to No. 11 Stationary Hospital in Rouen with multiple gunshot wounds to his right leg and left thigh and right forearm. The medical records state ‘some metal removed- foreign bodies still in.’ In November he was sent to Hastings for further healing, staying until January 1917. At that time he was assigned to Garrison Duty Depot until February, when he proceeded overseas once again. He served in France once again, but in August was assigned to the 2nd Canadian Labour Battalion, where class 2 soldiers, with some disability, worked to lay tracks for the railway lines. In November 1917, he was granted a Leave of Absence to Britain until December 11th.  His next assignment seems to have been to the 195 Tunneling Co. on March 13th, but he rejoined the 43rd on the 29th.

He was given one discipline note in June. ‘.. sentenced to 5 days F.P. (Field pay) for appearing on 9 a.m. parade improperly dressed in that he was dressed in trousers in place of a kilt.’  He was in the 2nd Labour Battalion until July 1918, when he was TOS to the 52nd Battalion in the field (France).

In August 1918, the Allied forces began the Amiens offensive. On the 28th, the 52nd received orders to attack Artillery Hill near Boiry: ‘1 a.m. instructions were received for the attack of ARTILLERY HILL and BOIRY, the 116th Canadian Battalion on the left and the 52nd on the right…took ARTILLERY HILL.’ 52nd War Diaries. It also reported that 24 were Killed in Action, 136 men wounded, 17 missing, 4 gassed, and 3 died of wounds.  The wounded included Aaron Thomas Scribner.

Scribner was sent to the Manitoba Regimental Depot in the field. He was subsequently transferred to Epsom. His medical notes state ‘F.B. (foreign body) still present in thigh and transferred to Epsom.’ He spent 80 days in hospital in Seaford. He stayed in hospital in Epsom until January 4th, 1919 and his last notes there state- ‘He has adherent scar 2″ long outer surface of left thigh. no loss of muscle tissue. Still F.B. in leg.’

By April 1919 he was SOS to Military District 10 in Seaford,  but on May 2nd was rushed back to hospital – ‘leg badly swollen. urgent.’  Notes state that the wounds were penetrated, and shrapnel removed after 3 operations. Following treatment he was then transferred to Fishing Hill.  In late May he was SOS to the Reserve Unit Manitoba Regimental Depot in Rhyl, and finally by June 7th sailed for home.  His returning ship was the S.S. Royal George, which sailed from Liverpool. Upon arrival on June 20th, he stated his intended place of residence would be Winnipeg. His medical notes for demobilization give a clear picture of the injuries he has suffered in his service- ‘multiple scars on legs, 2 scars on each arm.’

In 1927 he lived in Winnipeg, where he worked for the CPR. In 1944, he attended his father’s funeral.

In 1949, Scribner suffered a fatal accident. A newspaper article stated: ‘A verdict of accidental death was brought by a coroner’s jury during the inquiry into the death of Aaron Thomas Scribner of 11 Asquith Apartments, Wednesday in the Transcona courtroom. Mr. Scribner, a CPR conductor for 27 years was killed May 31 following switching operations of a work train in the Moose Nose pit, 16 miles north east of Winnipeg. Mr. Scribner died as a result of a punctured lung, shock and hemorrhage.’

His obituary stated: ‘Accident victim A. W. Scribner is Buried Here- The funeral service for A T Scribner, 60, of 11 Asquith Apartment who died Tuesday in St. Boniface Hospital following a fall from a train. He was buried in the military plot of Brookside Cemetery. Born in Saginaw, Michigan. He served overseas during WW1 with the 94th Battalion of Kenora, then transferred to the 43rd Winnipeg Battalion. He was wounded twice in action. Surviving are his widow Beatrice, one son William of Brandon and one daughter Mrs. M. Leavens at home. ‘

by Penny Beal

Research notes:
Notes by the 94th Battalion
Scribner family website: http://wwwscribnerfamilies.org
Several family trees are on ancestry

 


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