|Date of Birth||December 21, 1892|
|Place of Birth||Oakville, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Mr William Robert Hewson, 70 Grenville Street, Toronto, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Locomotive Fireman|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||4th Canadian Mounted Rifles|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Branch||Canadian Mounted Rifles|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Toronto, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||September 2, 1915|
|Age at Enlistment||22|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Date of Death||April 22, 1980|
|Age at Death||87|
|Buried At||Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens, Winnipeg, Manitoba|
Clarence Victor Hewson was born on 21 December 1892 in Oakville, Ontario. His parents William Robert Hewson, a flour miller, and Elizabeth Almira Lucas were both from the area, marrying on 5 June 1889 in Oakville. By the time of the 1901 census the family had moved to Thorold, Ontario where son Harold Edward was born in 1902. Also working in a flour mill in Thorold, from there the family moved to Kenora in northwestern Ontario, with William listed as manager of the Maple Leaf Flour Mill in Kenora for the 1911 census and Clarence as working as a miller. By the time Clarence enlisted in 1915, the family had moved to Toronto.
With occupation given as CPR fireman and his father William in Toronto as next of kin, Clarence signed his attestation papers with the 83rd Battalion on 2 September 1915 in Toronto. With mobilization authorized on 4 August 1915, the battalion trained from 19 August to 30 October 1915 at Niagara Camp and then from 5 November 1915 to 25 April 1916 at Riverdale Barracks, Toronto. As a Private with the battalion, Clarence embarked from Halifax aboard the Olympic on 28 April 1916.
Once in England, with the dispersion of the battalion Clarence was transferred to the 4th Battalion, Canadian Mounted Rifles on 6 June 1916 and arrived at the unit for duty on the 9th. Having arrived in France on 22 September 1915 as the 4th Regiment Canadian Mounted Rifles, 2nd Brigade, designation was changed from regiment to battalion on formation of 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade on 1 January 1916. In early April of 1917 Clarence was on command to the Divisional Pack Pony Company, part of divisional transport tasked with getting supplies (food, ammunition) to the front. Back on command to the 4th CMR’s, that November he was granted a leave to the UK. Shortly after arriving back for duty he was admitted to the 98th Canadian Field Ambulance for a few days suffering from influenza, rejoining the unit by the end of the month.
On 26 August 1918 Clarence arrived at the No 8 Canadian Field Ambulance suffering from a gunshot/shrapnel wound to his left arm. From there he was admitted to the No 12 Stationary Hospital at St Pol and then on to the No 7 Canadian General Hospital in Étaples before being invalided to England on the 29th, posted to the 1st Central Ontario Regiment Depot. Once in England, with infection have set in to his wound, Clarence was hospitalized from 30 August to 20 December at the Ionic Street Rocky Ferry Hospital, a section hospital of the 1st Western General Hospital in Liverpool. From there he was transferred to the Princess Patricia’s General Hospital Bexhill on Sea in Sussex and was discharged to duty on 6 January 1919, transferring to the 3rd Reserve Battalion. Clarence embarked for Canada aboard the Canada on 15 February and was discharged from service on demobilization on 15 March 1919 in Toronto, rank of Private. His intended residence was given as Grenville Street in Toronto where his parents were living.
Over the course of the war, the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles were awarded the following battle honours: Mount Sorrel, Somme (1916), Flers-Courcelette, Ancre Heights, Arras (1917, 1918), Vimy (1917), Hill 70, Ypres (1917), Passchendaele, Amiens, Scarpe (1918), Hindenburg Line, Canal du Nord, Cambrai (1918), Valenciennes, Sambre, France and Flanders (1915-1918).
On 9 October 1919, in Kenora, Clarence married Ina Pearl White. Born on 6 April 1893 in Portland, Ontario, Pearl was the daughter of Charles White and Frances Alberta (Fanny) Heath. Her parents had married in 1887 in Smith Falls, Ontario but by the time of the 1901 census the family was living in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) where Charles was working as a carpenter. By the time of the 1911 census Charles was also working at the flour mill.
At the time of the 1921 census Clarence, Pearl and their son William Charles (b 1920) were living in Toronto where Clarence was working as an electrician. However before long he was back working for the Canadian Pacific Railway, a long career that took him from Toronto, back to Kenora, and then on to Winnipeg, Manitoba. The couple gave birth to another child, daughter Evelyn Doreen. Clarence was a member of the Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen and Engineers.
Clarence died on 22 April 1980 at St Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg. At the time of his death he was survived by his daughter Evelyn (Allan) Robertson, daughter-in-law Sally Hewson, five grandchildren and three great grandchildren. He was predeceased by his father William (1922) and mother Elizabeth (1934), both interred in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto. He was also predeceased by his son William on 17 November and wife Pearl on 20 December, both in 1979 in Winnipeg. Clarence and Pearl are interred in Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens on the outskirts of Winnipeg.
Click here for 4cmr.com, a remembrance website honouring the memory of all who served with the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles in WW1.
By Judy Stockham
Photographs of Clarence and Pearl provided by their great granddaughter Tiffany Hewson via ancestry.ca.