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Canadian re-enlistment?


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Any Canadian specialist able to help, please?

Having hunted high and low for a great uncle who served in a English militia regiment during the Boer War and who I knew also served during WWI, I have now found that he was living in Canada at the outbreak of the war.

From the Canadian government archive site, I have found a possible match : 23072 William H Bathe

I know I can get a paper copy of his record from Ottawa - but while I'm waiting, can anyone tell me from his regimental number which unit he served with?

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Here he is on the List of Officers and Men of the 1st Canadian Contingent.

The 12th Battalion travelled on the 'Scotian' to the UK, embarked 29/09/1914 at Quebec and arrived at Plymouth 20/10/1914

Regards Mark


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The 12th Battalion is one of those about which I've very little info regarding its time on Salisbury Plain in the very wet winter of 1914-15. It was not one of those that went to France in February 1915, but remained behind briefly at Tidworth (before moving to Shorncliffe) to provide replacements for the units that did. In the last few days before the departure for France, there was a lot of shuffling of men around units to replace those who were sick or unfit, so the composition of the 12th changed significantly.


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Many thanks everyone!

Mark - your attachments very useful - such as suggesting a rank for my chap - "Arm.-Corp." - although I'm not too sure as yet as to what that rank is in full

Moonraker - I had seen that the 12th got a bit lost in the records and then broken up so obviously I need the service records to see where my chap went

Ian - well, strangely enough, I have just registered with that Canadian forum and am awaiting authentication. The thread you have put me on to mirrors the beginning of a thread in the GW forum started just over a year ago by Bob for his Purton project, and to which I contributed a bit.


Of the six Bathes (and no! it is not "an unusual name", at least not to me. Distinctive, maybe! Distinguished, certainly!) who joined the CEF, it now appears that two were my great uncles - and the other four were, as the thread shows, brothers from Purton.

My great uncles were from south London, although their grandfather had orginally come from Wroughton, a village not far from Purton. Their father, George William Bathe, was born in Plumstead SE London, pushed off to South Africa as a young man, enlisted in the 2/20th Foot when the regiment was in Pietermaritzburg in 1868, transferred to the ASC when the 2/20th returned (via Woolwich) on its way to Ireland in 1872, served in the Ashantee Campaign ('73/4) was injured and invalided out, joined the police, got married, fathered the first four children while a policeman in Deptford, the next two while Drillmaster at the Redhill (Surrey) Boys' Reformatory School, and the last three in Sydenham, while working for the Gas Light & Coke Co

George Edward Bathe (one of the two born in Surrey) was a carpenter who emigrated in 1907, married and had his family in Montreal (where the line continues, or so I believe). He joined the militia prior to 1914 - 4th Field Co, Canadian Engineers - and I have his papers to show his service in Shorncliffe, France and then various hospitals/convalescent camps in France and UK (medical rather than wounds) prior to demobilisation in 1919.

William H Bathe (H=Harry), one of the Deptford-born sons, at one time served in the Imperial Yeomanry in South Africa, but was a plasterer in civvie street and went to Canada a few months after his younger brother, George, then went back to the UK briefly, married, returned to Canada almost immediately after the ceremony, and was followed by his wife a few months later (1908). They lived in Quebec City and had two daughters but when William returned to the colours, his wife and family sailed to the UK (September 1915) and basically the family remained in Britain, although the daughters did travel back to North America on various occasions, and one was living in Maine when she died in 1994.

(The other brothers who served - Percy, John and Stanley - can be seen in my signature)

Just to confuse matters, these men served with the British Army :

9239 William H Bathe driver, RFA

22342 William H Bathe, Pte Wiltshire Regiment

26877 William Bathe, Pte 13th East Surrey

GS/55130 William H Bathe, Pte, Royal Fusiliers – killed 9/4/1917

M2/167581 William H C Bathe, Pte, ASC

117066 William Mac Roe Bathe, driver, RFA

7808 William J Bathe, Pte, South Staffs – killed 29/10/1914

See - Bathe is not that an unusual name!

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