|Date of Birth||November 26, 1892|
|Place of Birth||Stratford, Perth|
|Next of Kin||Mrs DD Reynolds, mother, New Liskeard, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Miner|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||5th Battalion, CRT|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Branch||Canadian Railway Troops|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||New Liskeard, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||January 17, 1916|
|Age at Enlistment||23|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||November 21, 1983|
|Age at Death||91|
|Buried At||Okanagan Crematorium, Penticton, British Columbia|
Basil Reynolds was born on 26 November 1892 in Stratford, Ontario, birth registered by his father on December 17th (Archives of Ontario Series MS929 Reel 112). Both of his parents, Dominic Daniel Reynolds and Catherine Patricia Hanlon, were first generation Canadians of Irish descent, born in the Township of Clinton. According to the birth record of son Cletus the couple married on 3 June 1888 in nearby Goderich while Fergus’ birth record gives the year as 1890. Children born to the family in the Clinton/Stratford area were Edmund (1891), Basil, Mary Dominica (1894), Cletus (1896), Fergus (1899), and Kathleen Patricia (1907). Dominic was employed by the Grand Trunk Railway, first as a labourer and then later as a machinist. By the 1911 Canada census the family had moved 600 kilometres north to farm in Dymond in the Nipissing-Temiskaming district of Ontario.
Basil signed his attestation papers on 17 January 1916 in Haileybury, Ontario. Along with his family he had been living in New Liskeard where he was working as a miner. His birth date and place was given as 15 November 1894 in Stafford, Ontario. He gave his mother back in New Liskeard as next of kin and listed previous military service as with the 97th Regiment. The 159th Battalion (1st Algonquins) was organized in December 1915 under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel EF Armstrong with recruitment in the districts of Nipissing and Sudbury, strength 32 officers, 972 other ranks. As a Private with the 159th Battalion, Basil embarked from Halifax on 31 October 1916 aboard the Empress of Britain. The battalion took with them a black bear cub that was given to Regents’ Park Zoo and a moose calf that ‘only survived about three weeks of English weather’.
By the end of January of 1917 Basil had been transferred to the 8th Reserve Battalion and then on to the 5th Battalion Canadian Railway Troops in mid February, arriving in France on the 24th. On December 15th he was admitted to the No 6 Canadian Field Ambulance suffering from impetigo to his face. A couple of days later he was transferred to the No 5 Canadian Field Ambulance, rejoining his unit on 1 January 1918. Later that month Basil was granted a leave to Ireland and was awarded one Good Conduct Badge. He rejoined his unit on 9 February 1918. In May Basil spent time in a number of medical stations, 23 Casualty Clearing Station, No 7 Canadian General Hospital and No 6 Convalescent Depot, both in Etaples, with PUO, fever of unknown origin. From late July until late October he was out of service (vdg), rejoining his unit on the 24th. In late January of 1919 he returned to England and embarked from Liverpool for Canada aboard the Scotian on the 25th of March. He was discharged from service on 6 April in Toronto.
Basil returned to New Liskeard after the war, found living with his parents and siblings Cletus, Fergus, and Kathleen for the 1921 Canada census. Cletus had signed recruitment papers in Toronto in mid May of 1918 with the 1st Depot Battalion Central Ontario Regiment but it is not known if he went overseas. At some point Basil moved to northwestern Ontario, found on a 1949 Voters List as living in Sioux Narrows and working as a carpenter. While in Sioux Narrows he joined the Kenora Branch of the Canadian Legion.
Basil Reynolds died on 21 November 1983 in the Sun Valley Rest Home in Kelowna, British Columbia. It appears that he never married. Final disposition was via the Okanagan Crematorium in Penticton, British Columbia.
by Judy Stockham