|Date of Birth||August 3, 1895|
|Place of Birth||Wallace, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Mrs Charlotte Neuert, mother, 713 14th Street, Brandon, Manitoba|
|Trade / Calling||Grocer|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||Yorkton, Saskatchewan|
|Date of Enlistment||November 20, 1915|
|Age at Enlistment||20|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||April 23, 1964|
|Age at Death||68|
|Buried At||Redditt Cemetery, Redditt, Ontario|
Orley Edgar Neuert was born on 3 August 1895, birth registered as Wallace in the Township of Wallace, County of Perth, Ontario. Orley and his siblings consistently gave their place of birth as Listowel, another town within the Township of Wallace. His father John Neuert, born in 1854, was the son of German immigrants while his mother Charlotte Ellis, born in 1863, was the daughter of Irish immigrants. John and Charlotte married on 22 April 1884 in nearby Stratford. At the time of the marriage both gave their residences as Elma, a farming community in the area. Children born in Wallace/Listowel were Una Belle (1885), William Edwin (1886), Albert John (1889), Reuben Oscar (1891), Lottie Matilda (1893), Orley, and Alfred George (1897). By the time of the birth of their next child, Clarence Lloyd (1900), the family had moved to Brandon, Manitoba. Sadly Clarence died in 1903 in Brandon. Another daughter was born in 1908, Minnie Ada. Over the years John worked as a stonemason/bricklayer. John, Charlotte, and Ada were living in Dauphin, Manitoba at the time of the 1916 census, but had returned to Brandon by the time of the 1921 census.
Along with his brother William, Orley signed his attestation papers with the 188th Battalion on 20 November 1915 in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. His date and place of birth was given as 3 September 1895 in Listowel, his occupation as grocer, and his mother Charlotte in Brandon as next of kin. He gave previous military service as one year with the 16th Light Horse (Yorkton). Transferred to the 96th Battalion on 19 September 1916 at Camp Hughes, Private Orley Neuert embarked from Halifax aboard the Laconia on 26 September 1916.
Once in England the 96th Battalion was absorbed by the 92nd Battalion. A short time later Orley was transferred to the 13th Battalion in mid November, arriving at the unit on 2 December. Sent to England as part of the First Contingent in September 1914, the 13th Battalion became part of the 3rd Brigade of the 1st Canadian Division. The 1st Canadian Division served on the Western Front from April 1915 until the armistice in November 1918, fighting in every major engagement involving the Canadian Corps, including the Second Battle of Ypres in 1915, the Somme in 1916, Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele in 1917, and the Pursuit to Mons in 1918.
On 9 February 1917 Orley was admitted to the No 3 Canadian Field Ambulance suffering from acute bronchitis. He was discharged on 2 March but on 10 April he was admitted to the No 4 Canadian Field Ambulance with PUO (fever of unknown origin), transferred to the No 1 Canadian Convalescent Depot in Boulogne the next day. On the 12th Orley was transferred to the No 10 Canadian Convalescent Depot in Ecault, discharged to Rest Camp in Marlboug on the 5th of June, and rejoining the 13th Battalion on the 24th. In December of 1917 Orley was granted a two week leave, returning on the 20th.
On 5 May 1918, near Arras, Orley sustained a grenade or shrapnel wound to his left ankle/foot which fractured some of his toes. He was first admitted to the No 3 Canadian Field Ambulance, then on to the No 57 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station on the 11th, and then to the No 3 General Hospital in Rouen. He was evacuated to England to the No 4 Canadian General Hospital in Basingstoke on the 16th, transferring to the Woodcote Park Convalescent Hospital in Epsom on 1 July. Discharged on 2 August, Orley rejoined the 13th Battalion on 13 November. He was briefly hospitalized later that month with influenza. Orley was appointed Lance Corporal on 25 January 1919. He returned to England in mid March and embarked for Canada aboard the Carmania on 10 April. Orley was discharged from service on 24 April 1919 in Montreal, intended residence given as Brandon.
At the time of the 1921 census Orley was living in Dauphin, Manitoba with his sister Lottie Watters and family and working as a deliveryman for a wholesales distributor. His brother-in-law Carlos Watters was working as a storekeeper for the Canadian National Railway, likely how Orley was eventually hired by the company in the same position, working out of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. In 1930, in Sutherland (now part of Saskatoon), he married Myrtle Mary Delayen. Born in 1911 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Myrtle was the daughter of Harry Delayen and Elizabeth Edith Jaques who had married in 1900 in London, England. With their son Henry, the family immigrated to Canada in 1903, arriving in Saint John, New Brunswick on 10 April aboard the Lake Ontario. First living in Winnipeg, by the time of the 1921 census the family was farming in Sutherland.
Orley and Myrtle settled in Saskatoon with Orley listed as a store issuer on a 1935 Voters list. The couple gave birth to four children, son Douglas and daughters Doreen, Mary, and Susan. With the CNR, the family moved to Redditt in northwestern Ontario, a community about 30 kilometres north of Kenora. Orley was the storekeeper and baggageman for the railway, retiring in 1961. He was a member of the Redditt Branch of the Canadian Legion and an adherent of the Anglican Church.
Orley died on 23 April 1964 in the Kenora General Hospital. He was survived by his wife Myrtle, son Douglas in Saskatoon, daughters Doreen (Harold) McDonald of Jasper, Alberta, Mary (Ken) Craig, also of Jasper, and Susan (John) Goda of Redditt. Also surviving were nine grandchildren, and siblings Ada of Port Alberni, BC, Reuben and Alfred of Vancouver, and Albert of Brandon. He was predeceased by his brother Clarence, mother Charlotte (1941, Brandon), father John (1946, Vancouver), and siblings Una (William) Smith (1944, Vancouver), Lottie Watters (1951, Burnaby, BC), and William (1958, Vancouver). His siblings Albert died in 1967 in Brandon, Ada in 1975 in Port Alberni, Reuben in 1978 in Vancouver, and Alfred in 1983 in Richmond, BC.
Orley’s wife Myrtle later married Henry (Hank) Deverell. Born in 1914 in Keewatin, Ontario, Hank was the son of Arthur Deverell and Agnes Parfitt. Hank was a teacher at Beaver Brae High School in Kenora and his first wife Magdalene Christianson had died in 1963. Living in Redditt, in 1973 Hank and Myrtle built a bottle house to house Myrtle’s doll collection, since becoming a tourist attraction for the area.
Orley’s brother William, married with two small sons, arrived in England with the 188th Battalion in October of 1916 and served in France and Belgium with the 5th Battalion. He was awarded a good conduct badge in 1917, and was injured twice, a shrapnel wound to the ankle in 1917 and gunshot/shrapnel wound to the leg in August of 1918. He returned to Canada in February of 1919. His brother Alfred enlisted in late April of 1918 with a Royal North West Mounted Police Cavalry Draft in Regina. He served in England with the Canadian Reserve Calvary Regiment, returning to Canada in May of 1919.
Orley is interred in the Community of Redditt Cemetery in Redditt. Myrtle died in 1987 and is interred in the Redditt Cemetery with Hank who later died in 1994.
By Judy Stockham