Puffer, Russell Elmer


Private Russell Elmer Puffer – 3059001 — ACTIVE SERVICE (World War I)
October 23, 1917 a Form “Particulars of Recruit Drafted Under Military Service Act, 1917″ (Class 1) on Russell Elmer Puffer was completed in Peterborough, Ontario. Russell Elmer’s present address was given as Clarina, Ontario and his Military Service Act letter and number was PC 922472. He stated that he was born in Norwood, Ontario on April 11, 1896. Russell Elmer gave his Trade as a Farmer and his father, William Puffer who lives in Clarina, as his next-of-kin. He further indicated that he was not a member of the Active Militia nor had he had any previous military or naval service. Russell Elmer’s apparent age was 22 years, 1 month; he was 5′ 7½” tall, with a 37″ chest (expanded), grey eyes and dark brown hair. He had a scar on his left instep and was declared fit for duty Overseas. On May 10, 1918 Russell Elmer Puffer was enlisted for the duration of the War with the 1st Depot Battalion (Bn), Eastern Ontario Regiment (EOR), Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) at No 3 Military District (MD) Barriefield, Ontario (very near Kingston, Ontario as a Private (Pte) with Service Number 3059001.
Pte Puffer was granted Leave from May 11, 1918; the duration was not given.
The events which transpired from the termination of Pte Puffer’s Leave until June 28, 1917 are not given; there are no notations to explain why he would be in Vienna, Austria or Thongwa, Myanmar and how he managed to get there. Private Russell Elmer Puffer did not qualify for any Military Medals; he spent most of his time in the Service dealing with medical problems. He was in England the majority of his time and due to the late engagement date (unable to get properly trained) he did not serve in Europe in a Theatre of War. He did qualified for War Service Badge CEF Class “C”.
On June 28, 1918 Pte Puffer embarked the City of Vienna. July 10, 1918 he re-embarked Thongwa, Myanmar and disembarked in England July 22, 1918 where he was taken-on-strength from Canada to the 47th Draft, 1st Bn, Eastern Ontario Regiment (EOR) to the 6th Reserves Battalion (Res Bn) at Seaford, England.

July 28, 1918 Pte Puffer is struck-off-strength from S Wing to the Regimental Depot Group, Witley..August 10, 1918 Pte Puffer, still with the 6th Res Bn, was admitted to the No 14 Canadian General Hospital (CGH) Eastborne and was diagnosed with Mumps. September 3, 1918 Pte Puffer was struck-off-strength from 6th Res Bn to MHS. He spent 63 days in the Hospital before being discharged on October 11, 1918.
On October 11, 1918 Pte Puffer is posted to the Eastern Ontario Regiment Depot (EORD) on discharge from the Hospital On-Command to the 3rd Canadian Convalescent Depot (CCD) at Witley, England. October 20, 1918 Pte Puffer was admitted to the No 14 (CGH) with a cough & expectoration plus pain on his right side (Influenza). He spent 26 days in the Hospital before being discharged on November 14, 1918 with good recovery and a Category D. October 22, 1918 Pte Puffer is admitted to No 14 CGH, Eastborne, England and was reported dangerously ill with Lobar Pneumonia. October 27, 1918 he was removed from the Dangerously Ill List.

On November 10, 1918 Pte Puffer ceases to be On-Command to the 3rd CCD. November 14, 1918 is attached to 1st CCD for Physical Training (PT), etc. at Witley from the 3rd CCD. December 10, 1918 Pte Puffer is posted from EORD on reporting to the 6th Res Bn from the 1st CCD. December 20, 1918 he is On-Command to Kinmel Park at Rhyl, England.

On February 24, 1919 Pte Puffer is taken-on-strength of Perm Cadre at Rhyl from MD C 12 Wing. April 12, 1919 Pte Puffer is struck-off-strength from No 2 MD, London. May 24, 1919 Pte Puffer is struck-off-strength from Perm Cadre and embarked for Canada as recorded by i/c Records “8” Wing Casualty Clearing Centre (CCC), Witley.
June 2, 1919 Pte Puffer is struck-off-strength from the 6th Res Bn on posting to No 3 Regiment Depot at Seaford, England. June 12, 1919 Pte Puffer was admitted to the No 12 (CGH), Bramshott; the diagnosis of Gastritis was given on his admittance. He spent 19 days in the Hospital before being discharged on July 2, 1919. July 2, 1919 Pte Puffer was transferred to the No 16 (CGH), Bramshott Orpington complaining of hyperacidity. Examination of the stomach showed negative results. He spent 11 days in the Hospital for recovery before being discharged on July 12, 1919 with a Category A.
July 12, 1919 the Canadian Records Office (CRO) indicated that Pte Puffer was to be Invalided to Canada on Sailing List (SL) 506 from No 2 MD at London, England. Also on July 12, 1919 Pte Puffer was taken-on-strength with No 2 DD, Toronto Ontario to be Invalided to Canada. Pte Puffer embarked Liverpool aboard the SS Royal George on July 12, 1919 and disembarked Halifax, Nova Scotia on July 21, 1919. July 23, 1919 Pte Puffer was struck-off-strength from No 2 DD on discharge due to demobilisation from the Canadian Army.

Pte Puffer made a Pay Assignment upon enlisting which provided $20.00 monthly to his father William Puffer. He did not qualify for the War Service Gratuity; he did not serve in Europe in a Theatre of War. He received a $35.00 Clothing Allowance and $70.00 Post Discharge Pay.

There is no reference, in Private Russell Elmer Puffer’s Military File indicating what Military Medals he was awarded. Based on his Military Service, he should have received:

British War Medal 1914 – 1920; and
He also qualified for the War Service Badge Class “C”.

Based on his Military File, Private Russell Elmer Puffer served a total of 1 year, 4 months, 6 days with the Canadian Expeditionary Force: 5 months, 1 day in Canada; 9 months, 28 days in England, 1 month, 6 days in France and 11 days Travel Time.

An excerpt from an article in Maclean’s by Barbara Ameil, September 1996:

”The Military is the single calling in the world with job specifications that include a commitment to die for your nation. What could be more honorable”.



Russell Elmer Puffer was born in Dummer Township, Peterborough County, Ontario on April 13, 1896, son of William Milford Puffer, and Agnes Connell Cuthbertson. Russell Elmer went by the name “Russell”. Russell grew up on Stoney Lake Road (County Road 6), just below Puffer’s Road.

Russell Elmer Puffer married Mabel Beatrice Ivey on November 24, 1920, at the Ivey family farm in Clarina, Ontario. Mabel was born in Norwood, Ontario on March 18, 1900. Russell and Mabel had five children: Mildred Ruth Joye, born October 3, 1921; a daughter born stillborn on December 8, 1922; Norman Ralph, born November 14, 1924; Doreen Audrey, born July 11, 1929 and Marina, born March 11 1940. Russell was a WWI Veteran and on his return farmed and worked as an Electrician at the American Nepheline Mines, at the Nephton Mine, Nephton Ontario.

Mabel Beatrice Puffer (Ivey) died April 15, 1973 in the Civic Hospital, Peterborough; age 73 and Russell Elmer Puffer died March 25, 1976 in Peterborough; age 79; both are buried in the Norwood Asphodel Cemetery, Norwood, Ontario. Mildred Ruth Joye Louden nee Puffer died April 3, 2013 at Sherwood Park, Strathcona County, Alberta; age 91; Norman Ralph died March 5, 1993 in Burlington, Ontario and Doreen Audrey Murdy nee Puffer died May 23, 2014 at Peterborough Manor and is buried in Lakefield Cemetery.


Russell Elmer Puffer’s paternal grandparents are John Puffer and Sarah Jane Quackenbush. They are known to have had seven children: William Milford; Caroline; Isaac Marc; Annie “Naomi”; Menetta; Emma and Ellen “Ella” Puffer.

Russell Elmer Puffer’s maternal grandparents are Thomas Cuthbertson and Elizabeth “Eliza” Richmond. They were known to have had three children William H.; Agnes Connell and Jane “Jennie” Howat Cuthbertson.

Russell Elmer Puffer’s parents are William Milford Puffer, born January 23, 1859 in Codrington, Brighton Township, Northumberland Ontario and Agnes Connell Cuthbertson, born September 11, 1865 in Glasgow, Scotland. William and Agnes farmed in Dummer Township and had 10 children: Thomas; William Henry; Walter Bertram; John Wesley; Norman Ralph; Russell Elmer; Elizabeth Jane; Carmen Roswell; Clara May and Garfield Wellington. On March 1, 1915 William Milford Puffer travelled to Buffalo, New York USA to visit his brother Isaac Norwood Puffer.

William Milford Puffer died March 7, 1928 at Peterborough, Ontario age 69 years and his wife Agnes Connell died September 28, 1948 in Ontario, age 83 years; both are interred in the Norwood-Asphodel Cemetery in Norwood, Ontario.