|Date of Birth||November 28, 1889|
|Place of Birth||Fishponds|
|Next of Kin||Miss Gladys Osmond, sister, 29 Emlyn Road, Eastville, Bristol, England|
|Trade / Calling||Bank Clerk|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||Canadian Army Dental Corps|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Branch||Canadian Army Dental Corps|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Date of Enlistment||August 3, 1915|
|Age at Enlistment||25|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
The son of Thomas and Mary Ann (née Selman) Osmond, William Osmond was born on 28 November 1889 at #3 Ridgeway Road in Fishponds, Gloucestershire, England, name on birth registration given as William Osmond Selman*. His mother was born in Tormarton, Gloucestershire while his father was from Claverton, Somerset. They married on 13 July 1891 in Bristol. William had an older brother Albert Selman, born in 1883 in Tormarton, as well as a younger sister Gladys Osmond, born in 1892 in Merthyr, Glamorgan, Wales. For the 1891 England census William was found living with Thomas Jones and family in Winterbourne, Gloucester, listed as ‘nurse boy’ on the census. At the time his mother was living with the William Brown family in Fishponds as a servant and his father, working as a collier, was lodging in Forest, Glamorgan, Wales. William’s mother Mary Ann died in 1893 in Black Horse, Mangotsfield, Gloucestershire and father Thomas in 1900 in Wales. For the 1911 England census William was living at 3 Prospect Terrace, Staple Hill, Bristol with Walter and Charlotte Selman. He was listed as boarder’s nephew and was working as a tram conductor. Also living in the household were Walter’s cousin John Selman and his wife Alice (née Knee) and daughter Elsie. Later that year William was on the passenger list of the Royal George that arrived in Quebec on 24 May 1911. His destination was given as Kenora, Ontario. Also on the ship heading for Kenora were John, Alice, and Elsie Selman.
In Kenora in time for the 1911 Canada census William was found living with the Selmans. His brother Albert had immigrated in 1906 and was living in Kenora as well, having married Alice Newman, formerly of Fishponds, in 1910.
William Osmond signed his attestation papers in Kenora on 3 August 1915. Recruiting for the 52nd Battalion continued throughout the spring and summer of 1915 across northwestern Ontario, with recruits being billeted privately in Port Arthur and Fort William until moved to Gresley Park in Port Arthur to undergo basic training on 7 June 1915. On 4 November 1915 the Battalion entrained to St John, New Brunswick, arriving 8 November. Aboard the California, the 52nd Battalion embarked for Plymouth, England on 23 November 1915. Arriving 3 December, the battalion moved to Witley Camp for 6 weeks of training under British instructors. In the new year the battalion moved to Bramshott for 2 more weeks of training and on 20 February 1916, sailed for France. From there the battalion went by train to Belgium.
Not long in the field, Private William Osmond was admitted to the #18 General Hospital in Camiers, France on 8 April 1916 suffering from deafness. He was transferred to the #6 Convalescent Hospital in Etaples later that month, and eventually rejoined the unit in the field in May. By June he was back in a hospital in Camiers with a gunshot wound to the hand. By the end of June he was at the Canadian Casualty Assembly Station in Fieldstone having had a finger amputation. As well as having difficulties with the use of his hand William was found to be very underweight, weighing only 112 pounds at enlistment, and prone to shortness of breath. He was deemed unfit to return to the field so for the remainder of the war he served in England, for the most part with the Canadian Army Dental Corps in various locations. He was promoted to Acting Sergeant in April of 1917 while in charge of the Orderly Room, Dental Clinic, but by his wishes, reverted to Private in March of 1918. In May of 1918 he was posted to QM Stores, Canadian Army Dental Corps in London and appointed Acting Sergeant on 18 October 1918. In November of 1919 William was discharged from service at the No 2 Canadian Discharge Depot in London.
It appears that William stayed in England after the war, address given at discharge as 30 Morley Road, East Twickenham, England. Other details of his life are not known. During the war he had his pay assigned to his sister Gladys in Easterville, Bristol who had been boarding at the same address in the 1911 census. His brother Albert Selman remained in Canada and he and Alice had five children, three sons and two daughters. Albert died in 1953 and Alice in 1966, both in Winnipeg. They are interred in Brookside Cemetery.
by Judy Stockham
research note: *William gave his birth year as 1890 on his attestation papers but his birth record is for 1889 (FreeBMD. England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915 General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes. London, England: General Register Office). He used the surname of Osmond throughout his life.