|Date of Birth||August 27, 1878|
|Place of Birth||Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire|
|Next of Kin||Father: Arthur Sexton of Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England|
|Trade / Calling||Labourer|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||Kenora, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||August 10, 1914|
|Age at Enlistment||34|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
Bertie (Bert) Sexton had already spent 12 years in the British Army when he volunteered for overseas service with the Canadian Expeditionary Force in August 1914.
Born in Hemel Hempstead, England, Sexton had come to Canada after serving 12 years with the 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment in Ireland and India. He was working as a baggageman for the CPR when the call went out for local volunteers on Aug. 9 and Sexton enlisted at the Kenora Drill Hall the next day with the 98th Regiment.
At Valcartier he was among 30 Kenora volunteers to be assigned to the 8th Battalion (Winnipeg Rifles).
He suffered shrapnel wounds in the April fighting, and after several weeks in hospital was sent to England for rest from his wound and nervous exhaustion, while there, an army medical board reclassified him as category B-2 due to varicose veins, an problem that had first surfaced during his India service in 1908. The board recommended two months medical furlough in England and return to Canada for disposition, however Sexton remained in England and was transferred to the 32nd Reserve Battalion, Police and Records Office.
He was promoted to corporal with the police in September 1917 and granted permission to marry the same month. British marriage records show he’d actually wed Lydia Shelton in the fall of 1915.
In February 1918 Sexton was promoted to Sergeant, but at his own request reverted to Corporal effective March 1, 1919, likely to speed his discharge in Canada and return to England and his new wife.
He was discharged March 7, 1919 at Winnipeg and his CEF file gives his address in 1923 as 116 Howson Road, Brockley, London. At the time of the 1939 England Register, Bert and Lydia were living in Lewisham, London where Bert was working as a builder’s labourer. Electoral Registers place the couple in Lewisham into the 1960’s.
by Bob Stewart