|Date of Birth||January 16, 1899|
|Place of Birth||Liverpool, Lancashire|
|Next of Kin||Ernest Dalmer, father, Fallsview, Niagara Falls, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Farmer|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Toronto, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||January 28, 1915|
|Age at Enlistment||16|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||September 8, 1972|
|Age at Death||73|
|Buried At||Fairview Cemetery, Niagara Falls, Ontario|
|Plot||Section 04Vet Plot 0070|
Herbert Alexander Dalmer was born on 16 January 1899 in the West Derby area of Liverpool, Lancashire, England. His parents Ernest Alexander Dalmer, a gas fitter, and Emma Hester Shaw were both from Liverpool, marrying on 4 September 1892 in Toxeth, Liverpool. Children born to the couple in West Derby were Gladys Eugene (1894), Florence May (1896), Herbert, twins Hilda and Horace (1900), Arthur Edward (1901), and Lily (1902). Sadly, the twins died within months of their births and Lily in 1906. A later notation on Ernest’s WW1 service record indicated a son Harry had been born about 1893 and was still alive in 1916 although no records for him were found.
It appears that Ernest immigrated to Canada in 1906, settling in the Kenora area in northwestern Ontario. Emma and children Gladys, Florence, Herbert, and Arthur immigrated in 1907, arriving in Montreal aboard the Tunisian on 27 September, on their way to Kenora. The family lived on the outskirts of Kenora in Jaffray where son Frederick George was born in 1910. Around 1912 the family moved to Niagara Falls where Ernest’s brother Arthur and family were living.
Herbert first enlisted on 28 January 1915 in Toronto, Ontario. His occupation was given as farmer and his father Ernest in Falls View, Niagara Falls as next of kin. Likely to appear older, his year of birth was given as 1896. Previous military service was given as 6 months with the 44th Regiment. Refusing inoculation, he enlisted a second time, on 4 August 1915 in Niagara. His occupation was given as farmer and his mother Emma in Falls View, Niagara Falls as next of kin. His year of birth was given as 1897 and previous military service as 4 months.
As a Private with the 76th Battalion, Herbert embarked from Halifax on 23 April 1916 aboard the Empress of Britain. Once in England he was transferred to the 21st Battalion in June, joining the unit in the field on the 29th. The 21st Battalion had arrived in France on 15 September 1915, where it fought as part of the 4th Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Division in France and Flanders. Just months later, Herbert sustained a gunshot wound to the back/neck at the Somme. Invalided to England, he was admitted to the Northumberland War Hospital at Gosforth, Newcastle on Tyne on 18 September and then transferred to the Kings Canadian Red Cross Convalescent Hospital, Bushy Park in mid October. Discharged from the hospital on 30 October, Herbert went through a series of transfers before returning to France in early March of 1917 to rejoin the 21st Battalion. That August he was granted one Good Conduct Badge and a two week leave on 20 December. Returning to the unit after his leave, Herbert was briefly attached to the 1st Canadian Tunnelling Company from 31 January to 19 February 1918. In early August of 1918 Herbert was wounded a second time, suffering a gunshot/shrapnel wound to the foot. He was admitted to the No 10 General Hospital in Rouen on 9 August, transferred to the No 74 General Hospital in Trouville on 12 August, and then on to the Convalescent Depot in Trouville on 25 September. Discharged from the depot on 15 October, by the end of the month he had rejoined his unit. In late November Herbert was granted a second two week leave, rejoining the unit in late December. In mid March of 1919 he was sent to Namus for guard duty, proceeding to England in early April. Herbert embarked for Canada aboard the Caronia on 14 May and was discharged from service on demobilization at Kingston on the 24th, rank of Private.
Herbert’s father Ernest enlisted with the 98th Battalion in October of 1915. He served in France/Begium with the 58th Battalion, the 3rd Battalion of the Canadian Railway Troops, and briefly with the 7th Canadian Area Employment Company. Returning to Canada in early February of 1919, he was discharged from duty as medically unfit due to myalgia. Herbert’s uncle Frederick Dalmer enlisted in February of 1916 with the 171st Battalion and served overseas as a Staff Sergeant with the Canadian Ordnance Corps.
Returning to Niagara Falls after discharge, at the time of the 1921 census Herbert was living with his parents and brother Frederick and working as a labourer. His siblings Gladys and Arthur had passed away, while his sister Florence had married Leon Parrish and moved to Buffalo, New York. On 30 June 1922 Herbert enlisted with the US Marines, training in July with Battalion A, Marine Barracks Training Station, Parris Island in South Carolina, rank of Private. Over the next few years he was stationed in the Republic of Haiti with the 2nd Regiment, 1st Brigade. In December of 1923 he was reprimanded with a week of restrictions for giving food to the natives. By 1925 Herbert was back in the United States, listed as a Private with the Service Company, Fifth Regiment Marine Barracks at Quantico, Virginia. He was honourably discharged that June on expiration of enlistment, character described as excellent. It appears that Herbert remained in the States until December 1928, going home briefly before returning later that month to enlist with the 26th Infantry US Army at Plattsburg, New York. Details of the service are unknown but by a 1935 Voters list Herbert was back in Niagara Falls, living with his mother, and working as a buffer at the Oneida Community factory. According to his obituary, he later travelled and worked in several places.
Herbert died on 8 September 1972 in the Greater Niagara General Hospital following a lengthy illness. At the time of his death he was survived by his sister Florence Parrish of Buffalo, and brother Frederick of Hamburg, both in the state of New York. He was predeceased by his father Ernest (1925), mother Emma (1941), and siblings Horace, Hilda, Lily back in England and Gladys and Arthur in Canada. Florence died in 1986 in Buffalo and Frederick in 1994 in Hamburg. Along with his parents and other relatives, Herbert is interred in Fairview Cemetery in Niagara Falls.
By Judy Stockham
Obituaries provided by the Niagara Falls Public Library.
Grave marker photograph is from the Fairview Cemetery website.