Gunner Vaudal Glenn Simpson – 2001039 — ACTIVE SERVICE (World War I)
Vaudal Glenn was 18 years, 6 months old when, as a single man, he enlisted at Cobourg, Ontario with the Royal Canadian Artillery (RCA), Cobourg Heavy Battery with the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force (CFE) on January 13, 1917 for the duration of the War. He lived in Lakefield, gave his birth‑date as July 13, 1898* and indicate that he had no previous military experience. His previous employment was listed as a machine hand. At the time he was 5′ 7 ½” tall, had a 37″chest, had hazel eyes & light brown hair and weighed 145 pounds. Vaudal Glenn’s next-of-kin was given as his father, William Simpson, who also lived in Lakefield, Ontario. He entered the RCA as a Gunner with Service Number 2001039 and on February 20, 1917 Gunner Simpson was admitted to the hospital, reason unknown. On March 14, 1917 he was placed with the Cobourg Heavy Battery, Draft Siege and Heavy Artillery; then he was discharged from the hospital on March 17, 1917. There are no notes to indicate what actions were taken from enlistment to embarking for the UK. *Vaudal Glenn’s date of birth was believed to be July 13, 1900 but that would have made him too young to enlist.
On April 10, 1917 Gunner Simpson embarked from Halifax aboard the SS Canada and disembarked in the UK on April 22, 1917. On April 22 Gunner Simpson was transferred from the Canada holding to the Reserve Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery at Shorncliffe (S. Cliffe) England. On June 22, 1917 he was struck off strength from the Reserve Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery to the 2nd Brigade Canadian Reserve Artillery on absorption. Then on June 23, 1917 Gunner Simpson was taken on strength to the 2nd Brigade Canadian Reserve Artillery. July 13, 1917 he was transferred to the 11th Canadian Siege Battery (SB) at S. Cliffe and on July 14, 1917 he was taken on strength to the 11th Canadian SB.
On September 5, 1917 Gunner Simpson was admitted to the Canadian Hospital – Etchinghill at Lymings England. After a stay of 19 days he was discharged on September 24, 1917. On October 18, 1917 Gunner Simpson arrived as reinforcement from the 11th Canadian SB to the 8th SB Overseas at Codford, England. Two days later on October 20, 1917 he was admitted to No 7 Convalescents (Conv) Depot at Boulogne, France. Two days after that, on October 22, 1917, Gunner Simpson, was transferred to No 51 General Hospital at Étaples, France and was discharged to duty on December 1, 1917. On January 27, 1918 he was admitted to the No 11 Canadian Field Ambulance with pyrexia of unknown origin (fever). Then on February 7, 1918 Gunner Simpson was admitted to the No 1 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station (CCCS). On February 9, 1918 was transferred to No 51 General Hospital at Étaples, France. March 15, 1918 he was admitted to No 6 Convalescent Depot at Étaples, France. On April 3, 1918 the 8th SB became known as the 3rd Brigade Canadian Garrison Artillery (3 Bde CGA). On April 11, 1918 Gunner Simpson was released from the No 6 Convalescent Depot at Étaples, France.
On May 30, 1918 Gunner Simpson was admitted to No 26 General Hospital at Étaples, France due to being wounded by shell gas (mustard gas). On June 4, 1918 he was transferred to the Colchester Military Hospital, Essex England with a “shell gas” wound. June 5, 1918 Gunner Simpson was moved to the Whipps Cross War Hospital, Leytonstone, London England. Then on June 6, 1918, due to being invalided by the wound, Gunner Simpson was posted to Canadian Artillery Reinforcement Depot (CARD), Witley, England. He was in the Whipps Cross War Hospital due to a cough and chest discomfort, by July 16, 1918 he had almost recovered. July 17, 1918 he was transferred to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital at Woodcote Park, Epsom, Surrey England. Gunner Simpson had shell gas poisoning and he had conjunctivitis, affected eyes and loss of voice. His eyes and voice recovered and general conditioning was good. He was doing physical training (PT) and on light duty. July 30, 1918 he was discharged from PT and declared fit for duty. On August 9, 1918 Gunner Simpson was discharged from the Hospital and put on-command to the 2nd Canadian Convalescent Depot (2 CCD) at Bramshott, England.
On August 21, 1918 Gunner Simpson proceeded to No 2 Clearing Depot, Bramshott England. August 24, 1918 he was attached to Segregated (Seg) Camp 10th Reserve Battalion for Q & R and discipline at Camp Bramshott. The next move on September 20, 1918 was from Seg Camp 10th Reserve Battalion (from CARD) to Expeditionary (Ex) 2 CCD at Witley, England. Then, as of December 12, 1918 he was shown on-command to Seg. Camp Rhyl, Bordon, North Wales pending embarkation to Canada. December 22, 1918 Gunner Simpson was taken on strength to No 2 District Depot, Toronto Ontario. On December 30, 1918 he was posted to Casualty Company (Ex Camp). January 2, 1919 he was granted leave to January 20, 1919 with subsistence allowance and then granted an extension to January 22, 1919 but without the subsistence allowance.
January 21, 1919 Gunner Simpson was posted to Canada. On February 3, 1919 he was struck off strength on discharge due to demobilization and granted 91 days professional development pay (PDP) and Clothing Allowance. He would have had a Pay Allotment to his parents. His Proceedings on Discharge sheet indicated that he had a “Gas Shell Wound” September 25, 1918, however, the correct date is May 30, 1918. Gunner Simpson served in England and his Theatre of War was France.
Gunner Simpson was discharged February 13, 1919 on demobilization; he indicated that he intended to live at 197 Lee Ave., Toronto, Ontario. Vaudal Glenn Simpson’s Discharge Certificate states that at the time of his discharge he was 19 years old*, 5′ 7 ½” tall, 37″, had hazel eyes and light brown hair. He would have been awarded the 1939 – 45 Star; France & Germany Star; Defence Medal; Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Bar; and War Medal 1939 – 45. He would have qualified for the War Service Badge ‑ Army Class A. *actually 21 years and 5 months old
Gunner Vaudal Glenn Simpson died on April 11, 1939 on the way to the old Christie Street Hospital in Toronto, Ontario. He is interred in Prospect Cemetery, Toronto; the Last Post Fund would have his plot location.
An excerpt from an article in McLean’s magazine by Barbara Amiel, 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?
VAUDAL GLENN SIMPSON
Vaudal Glenn was born July 13, 1900 in the Village of Lakefield of his parents, William Albert Simpson and Julia Lyle. Vaudal had a brother and two sisters. On May 14, 1927 Vaudal Glenn, 29 years of age, married Viola Mary Heath, born March 14, 1906 (21 years of age), in Peterborough Ontario. Witnesses were: Nina C. Todd of Peterborough and R. C. Chittick of Lakefield. Viola’s parents are David Heath and Polly Anna Kemp. Vaudal & Viola had two daughters; names and dates of birth are unknown.
Vaudel was quite a musician, he played the harmonica ‑‑ even had four harmonicas mounted together so he could flip them as he played.
After his discharge February 13, 1919 Vaudal intended to live at 197 Lee Ave., Toronto, Ontario.
Vaudal Glenn Simpson died in Toronto, Ontario Saturday April 11th, 1936 due to an accident with his motorcycle. He is interred in Prospect Cemetery, Toronto Ontario.
THE VAUDAL GLENN SIMPSON FAMILY OF LAKEFIELD
William Albert Simpson was born October 14, 1864 in Ireland according to 1901 Census data. William, a Foreman at a Company, was born in Ontario and married Julia Lyle March 3, 1896 in Lakefield, Ontario. William Albert’s father, Thomas Albert was born Circa 1832 in Upper Canada and William Albert’s grandfather, William, was born Circa 1799 in Ireland.
William and Julia Simpson had 4 children; two sons and two daughters all born in Lakefield, Ontario in the following order: Thomas, born May 23, 1896; Vaudal, born July 13, 1898; Gwendolyn, born July 15, 1902 and Helen, born December 18, 1906. Julia Lyle was initially married, in Peterborough, to Frederick Webdale on October 19, 1883.