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Remembered Today:

Peter Petitt Canadian Expeditionary Force


steviechelle
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Hi I wonder if anyone can help me with more information on my ancestor Peter Pettit or Petitt. I managed to get his Attestation Papers online and confirmed his number as 748528 and I have now sent away for his full Canadian WW1 service record.

It mentioned on his attestation that he previously served with the 7th Hussars but I know nothing about this or where I would find any information.

I know Peter was born in Mile End Old Town London on 19th March 1868 and after committing some petty crimes eg stealing pigeons he was sent to Redhill school in Surrey around 1883 and in 1887 he was sent to Canada and from there seems to have made something of his life. On his attestation records he has lied about his year of birth and said it was 1872 instead of 1868 presumably to be able to join as he may have been too old. He was living in or around Quebec when he enlisted and the date he signed up looks like 24th January 1916.

Would anyone know where I might find out about his time (if any) in the 7th Hussars and would anyone suggest anything else for me to try to find out about him

Many thanks

Steven

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From "The Concise Lineages of the Canadian Army; 1855-date [1982]" by Stewart:

"The 7th Hussars was raised October 11, 1867, as the Compton Battalion of Infantry at Cookshire, Quebec. It was redesignated the 58th Compton Regiment on May 8, 1900. It was converted and redesignated as the 7th Hussars May 1, 1903, and amalgamted with the 11th Hussars on April 1, 1936."

The 7th/11th Hussars was eventually amalgamated into The Sherbrooke Regiment (RCAC) on Feb 15, 1965. They are now known as The Sherbrooke Regiment.

You may find my pages here of some assistance: Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

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What a fascinating story, Steven. Compton is in the Eastern Townships, as they are called, and this accounts for the preponderence of non-french family names. Mind you, there are places in the Townships now where no English was ever spoken. These are the Scottish Gaelic settlements around Lake Megantic where the residents first spoke Gaelic and, now, the MacDonalds and MacLeans and Morrisons, etc. who inhabit the region only speak Quebecois French. Can you enlighten us further on who sent Peter to Quebec in the first place? Was it the "authorities"? I have heard that this happened. Yours, Antony

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Thanks Regimentalrogue for the information on the Hussars that was very interesting

Thanks AI C for the census and other information much appreciated

Thanks Piorun for the information on Compton. Basically Peter was sentenced to 10 days imprisonment for stealing pigeons and then 5 years detention at Redhill School - the school was supposed to show boys the right way to behave etc and then he became known as a British Home Child and was sent to Canda with 2 other boys to work as a farm labourer. I have attached the records I received from Surrey History which shows his time at Redhill and what happened to him whilst he was there. I know he died in 1947 and is buried in Bury Cemetery in Compton but can't find any contact number to see if he has a gravestone

001.jpg

Let me know what you think

Steven

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Forgot to say that is the second ancestor who emmigrated to Canada then fought in WW1. On my Scottish side Donald McKinnon Anderson emmigrated then joined the Canadian Expeditionary force and survived the War. His cousin also called Donald McKinnon Anderson joined the 7th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders in 1914 and was captured during Operation Michael at Beaumetz and the died as a POW - he is buried in Denain Communal Cemetery in France

Steven

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Hi regimental rogue read some more of your link and some great information in there and wanted to thank you again

AI C - again some great stuff especially the link to the 117th and I wanted to ask a question? Peter was born in 1868 but on his attestation papers it was listed as 1872. The link stated that the area was struggling to recruit sufficient numbers and might he have lied about about his age to join? He would have actually been 47 in 1916 but said he was 43 would that have made a difference? If he served in the Hussars - not proof apart from what he said - would that combined with the lower numbers have helped him to join?

Steven

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Hi regimental rogue read some more of your link and some great information in there and wanted to thank you again.

My pleasure Steven, I am glad to hear you are finding it helpful.

Cheers

Michael

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Steven: I suspected that he was part of that dreadful and shameful attempt to continue the "penal colony" approach to England's social problems. I have a friend near Sherbrooke (we lived in Canada for 45 years until last May) and I will ask him if he can help. Send me a pm with your e-mail. Antony

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Steven,

The upper age limit for enlistment in the CEF was something of a moving target; 47 would have been over the limit for infantry, but not for the forestry corps or railway troops.

You will have noted that Peter's birthyear was given as 1873 on both census so he may have beleived this was his true birthyear and the fact that he was born in England would have made checking on his true birthdate impractical, so his declaration would have been accepted absent some compelling medical evidence. As you say, the 117th (and many other rural battalions) were already having trouble recruiting by early 1916, so if he was fit and had previous experience the unit OC may have looked the other way even if he had certain knowledge of the man's true age.

I gathered from one of your earlier posts that you have the sailing information for his arrival in Canada in 1887 as a Home Child, if this is not the case I can post a link to an image of the ships manifest.

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Thanks Piorun I have sent you a PM with my email address - I agree a poor way to deal with a troublesome boy

AI C - could you send me the link in case there is something I have missed that you would be great. Thanks for the information on the age criteria etc

Steven

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Thanks AI C appreciate the help

Piorun here is what I know about the death of Peter Pettit - he died on 11th January 1947. I think he had a son Charles and he died on 3rd March 1989 and Peter's wife Eliza Jane (Jennie) died on 12th May 1902. All of them are buried in Bury Cemetery according to what I discoved online

Steven

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