|Date of Birth||1884|
|Place of Birth||Maidenhead, Berkshire|
|Next of Kin||Mrs Gladys Weston, wife, Langruth, Manitoba|
|Trade / Calling||Trapper|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||76th Depot Battery|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Branch||Canadian Field Artillery|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||Redditt, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||February 12, 1918|
|Age at Enlistment||33|
|Theatre of Service||Canada|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||March 20, 1972|
|Age at Death||88|
|Buried At||Lundy's Lane Cemetery, Niagara Falls, Ontario|
Although he gave his date of birth as 9 May 1882 on his attestation papers, born in Maidenhead, Berkshire in England, Henry James Weston’s birth was registered during the second quarter of 1884. His parents Henry Weston and Emily Looker had married during the second quarter of 1882 in the same registration district. Henry had two younger brothers, Albert and Dan. By the 1891 England census for Maidenhead, Henry Sr had passed away and Emily was working as a assistant laundress. She and the three boys were living in a house with another widow, Maryanne Mills, and her five children. By the 1901 census the family unit had disintegrated and Henry was living with his uncle and aunt Isaac and Ada Hazeldine in Maidenhead and working as a general labourer. He had signed attestation papers in February of 1899 with the Seaforth Highlanders but had been discharged that May. In May of 1901 Henry enlisted with the Royal Berkshire Regiment, occupation given as shoemaker but previous employment as with the GW Railway out of Acton, London. Details of Henry’s service are unknown although his obituary stated that he had served in the Boer War and in Egypt as a bugler.
At some point Henry immigrated to Canada, at age 18 according to his obituary. The newspaper account of his life said that he had come Canada to mine, ‘leaving Canada he worked in Seattle, then on to Alaska once more at mining. Later he arrived in San Francisco and was there at the time of the great earthquake in 1906. He stayed there to assist in the cleaning up of the devastation. He came back to Canada and for many years was very active as a trapper and guide.’ Records were not found to confirm his whereabouts.
On 9 August 1917, in Winnipeg, Henry married Gladys May Vowles. Born in 1895 in Wrington, Somerset in England, Gladys had immigrate to Canada with her parents Richard and Louisa Vowles in 1903. Their only child, the family farmed in the Lakeview/Langruth area of Manitoba.
Henry signed his attestation papers in Winnipeg on 12 February 1918 with the 76th Depot Battery, Canadian Field Artillery. Living in Redditt near Kenora in northwestern Ontario, his occupation was given as trapper and his next of kin as his wife Gladys who was living in Langruth, Manitoba. He listed previous military service as four years with the Royal Berkshire Regiment.
As a Lance Corporal Henry’s service was confined to Canada and he was discharged on 3 December 1918 in Quebec due to demobilization. According to his obituary ‘he was stationed in Quebec where he was responsible for the capture of deserters who were hiding in the woods. His extensive travelling in this regard was done on snowshoes in winter and by horseback in other months.’
After the war Henry returned to Redditt, listed on the 1921 Canada census for Redditt as a quartz miner. At some point Henry remarried, his bride the former Minnie Louise Lambert. Born in England, Minnie had previously been married to George Ellis and had three children, Robert, Edwin, and Ruth. Henry was first employed building log cabins in the Redditt area and then later began working for the Canadian National Railway as a carman until his retirement in 1949, working out of both Niagara Falls and Redditt at some points.
Predeceased by his wife Minnie in 1945 in Niagara Falls where she had gone to stay with her daughter while undergoing medical treatment, Henry died on 20 March 1972 in the Pinecrest Home for the Aged in Kenora. At the time of his death he was survived by Robert Ellis of Galt, Edwin Ellis of Ottawa, and Ruth Bynon of Long Beach, California. Along with Minnie, Henry is interred in the Lundy Lane Cemetery in Niagara Falls.
by Judy Stockham
grave marker photographs: Lundys Lane Cemetery