Webster, Arthur

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MILITARY HISTORY

Private Arthur Earl Webster: Service Number 3055036 — ACTIVE SERVICE (World War I)

Arthur Earl Webster had previous Reserve Unit (Militia) experience; one year with the East Durham Battalion (Bn) of Infantry, 46th Regiment (Regt), and 2 months with the Peterborough Rangers, 57th Regt, Canadian Defence Force (CDF) prior to enlisting in the Active Service in 1917. Arthur Earl was a single man when, on the June 14, 1917 he enlisted, in Peterborough Ontario, Military District (MD) 3, for the duration of the War, with the 57th Regiment, Reinforcing Draft, Canadian Defence Force (CDF) of the Canadian Over‑Seas Expeditionary Force (CEF). He gave his birth‑date as April 17, 1898 (actual date is April 17, 1899) which appeared to make him 18 years, 2 months old so he would meet the minimum age requirement of 18 years old and listed his employment as a labourer. He gave his next-of-kin as his father, Wilbert James Webster. At the time Arthur Earl was 5′ 5″ tall, 33″ chest, dark brown hair and blue eyes. Arthur Earl was enlisted as a Private with the 57th Regiment, CEF; his service number was 3055036.

Private Webster was transferred to the No 3 Special Service Company, CEF, on October 4, 1917; on February 6, 1918 he was transferred to the 1st Depot Battalion (Bn) Eastern Ontario Regiment (EOR). On June 18, 1918 The Examiner, Peterborough newspaper printed “Bugler A. E. Webster is spending a few days leave in the village.” Then on November 16, 1918 he was transferred to the 259th Bn Canadian Rifles (CR) CEF, Siberian Expeditionary Force; a Unit of the Siberia & Northern Russia, 16th Infantry Brigade. Private Webster embarked Canada on December 26, 1918 on the S.S. Protestilaus from Vancouver B.C., crossed the Pacific Ocean and arrived in Vladivostok, Siberia 21 days later on January 15, 1919.

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The sole operational task given the Canadians came in April 1919, when General Otani called for a small Allied column to suppress an insurgent Bolshevik force in a village some thirty miles north of Vladivostok. General Elmsley sent a Company of the 259th Battalion as the Canadian contribution, but by the time the Force was ready to attack, the Bolsheviks had retired. When the Canadians got back to Vladivostok, without having fired a shot, their disappointment was somewhat alleviated by the issue to them, on General Otani’s instruction, of 96 bottles of wine, 18 bottles of whiskey and three casks of sake. {It is unknown if Private Webster was in the company sent but he was there} This paragraph was taken from the book “Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914 ‑ 1919”.

After 4 months 4 days in Russia, on the May 19, 1919 Private Webster embarked from Vladivostok, Siberia on the S.S. Empress of Russia and disembarked 10 days later at Vancouver B.C. May 29, 1919.

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Private Webster was then transferred to Casualty Company No 3 District Depot in Kingston Ontario June 9, 1919 from where he was released on June 11, 1919; he was a Rifleman with the 259th Bn, Siberian Expeditionary Force, at the time. Private Webster qualified for and received the British War Medal and the Victory Medal; he would have also qualified for the War Service Badge ‑ Class A.

After his return to Canada he served with the Peterborough Company of the 4th Machine Gun Battalion. In 1920, from November 2 to December 13, Sergeant Arthur Earl Webster attended a Non‑Commissioned Officers Course at a Provincial School of Instruction at Peterborough Ontario. Sergeant Webster, who was a member of the 4th Brigade Canadian Machine Gun Corps, passed the Course and qualified for the rank of Sergeant. He received a Certificate Of Military Instruction numbered 9211.

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?

PERSONAL HISTORY

ARTHUR EARL WEBSTER

Arthur Earl was born April 17, 1899 in Lanark, Ontario one of 10 children born to Ida Caroline and Wilbert James Webster. Arthur Earl (Art) was 5 years old when the family moved to Lakefield from Lanark, Ontario in 1904. Art went to school in Lakefield and, when old enough, worked with his father in the building trades of mason and cement work. During the winter season he would have helped cut ice from Lake Katchewanooka to sell in the summer months. After returning from WW I he joined the Lakefield Volunteer Fire Brigade. Lakefield Council Minutes dated May 14, 1928 indicate that: “Art was paid $12.00 for injury and loss of time at the Collin’s fire”.

Arthur Earl Webster and Kathleen Ann Traynor were married on Saturday, January 9th 1932 at Campbellford, Ontario by Reverend Thomas Floyd. Witnesses were Minnie and Graham Bromley.

During the World War 2 years Art worked in Welland Ontario at a gun factory. After this Art worked for a while as a general labourer.

After Art and Kathleen were married they moved into the Parton original family homestead at Deer Bay. At the beginning they rented, for $2.00 a month, from Joe Parton until they bought the place in 1942 at a price of $200.00. The deal was for the house and three acres of land fronting on Lower Buckhorn Lake, next to the Traynor homestead. In 1935 Mary Sproule, the school teacher at S.S. No. 7 Harvey, boarded at their home. Art worked as a guide for hunters and fishermen and he and Kathleen also managed the Victoria Springs Resort from 1947 to 1952.

The family lived there until Nov 1951 when Kathleen moved to Lakefield with the children. This move was necessary due to the lack of nearby medical care and the need for better schooling for all the children. Their youngest daughter, Alda, had contracted something (never specifically diagnosed) which left her paralyzed from the waist down. They had eight children: Betty Caroline, born September 9, 1934; Kathleen Eleanor, born July 24, 1936; James Fredrick, born September 20, 1938 – died January 22, 1995, Arthur Daniel, born April 22, 1940; Marion Isabel, born April 24, 1942; Alda Ethel born, October 24, 1943 – died March 27, 2004; William Edward, born April 20, 1945 and Alexander Earl, born April 2, 1948.

Arthur Earl Webster died November 5, 1963 in the Wilberforce Ontario area on the deer hunt with two of his sons. He is interred in Hillside Cemetery, Lakefield with his wife Kay.

THE ARTHUR EARL WEBSTER FAMILY OF LAKEFIELD

Arthur Earl’s grandfather, Charles Daniel Webster was born about 1821 in New York State, USA, died February 19, 1870 in New York State, USA. On January 9, 1856 he married Amelia Margaret Mitchell, born May 12 1832, in Omemee, Ontario. Amelia died October 22, 1906 in Beaverton, Ontario. Charles and Amelia had 8 children: Samuel Charles married Margaret Saul; Ann Elizabeth married William Jasper Long; Thomas Zachariah married Mary Thornton Magee; Emily Isabel married John Joseph Pogue; Lucinda died as an infant; Margaret Lucinda married Richard Briggs; Robert Frederick married Mary Ann Duncan and Wilbert James married Ida Caroline Mason.

Arthur Earl’s father, Wilbert James Webster was born February 16, 1866 in Canada West, Omemee and died August 05, 1935 in Lakefield Ontario. On February 22, 1888 he married Ida Caroline Mason, born December 12, 1869 in West Durham County, Township of Cartwright, in Lakefield. Ida died March 11, 1960, in Lakefield Ontario. Wilbert and Ida lived in Lakefield; on February 10, 1889 they had a daughter, Violet Rossetta, who died 7 months later. About April 1891 Wilbert and Ida moved to Lanark, Ontario to open a Bakery & Confectionery business (Wilbert had experience working with his brother Thomas Zachariah’s Bakery & Confectionery Shop in Lakefield). They had 8 children while living in Lanark. Wilbert; a baker, policeman and a mason, moved his family back to Lakefield in 1904 after living 14 years in Lanark, Ontario. Wilbert’s father was Charles Daniel Webster, born in the USA; his mother was Margaret Amelia Mitchell, born in Canada West, Omemee. Ida Caroline’s father was Thomas Allen Mason, born in England; her mother was Elizabeth Ann Smith, born in Canada West.
Wilbert and Ida had 10 children; five boys and five girls in the following order:
— Violet Rosetta, born February 10, 1889 in Lakefield – died at 7 month old;
— Laurel May, born Jun 30, 1891 in Lanark married Dudley Herburt Edwin Cornell Chads
— Wilbert Scott, born January 24, 1893 in Lanark – died at 2 month old;
— Walter Carl, born April 26, 1894 in Lanark – died at 5 month old;
— Minnie, born April 24, 1895 in Lanark; married Graham Clarence Bromley
— Wilbert Lawrence, born April 10, 1897 in Lanark; married Gwendolyn Doreen Simpson
— Arthur Earl, born April 17, 1899 in Lanark; married Kathleen Ann Traynor
— Evangeline, born March 01, 1901 in Lanark – died at 1 year, 6 weeks old;
— Charles Frederick, born June 25, 1903 in Lanark; married Loretta Pearl Chapelle, and
— Ida Caroline, born November 09, 1905 in Lakefield married George William Hutt.

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