Friday 7 August 2009

Private Ernest Charles Bunce

Ernest Charles Bunce was born on 21 December 1878 in Whitechapel, London, England, the son of Elijah Charles and Mary E. Bunce, London, England. He married Maude Alma Bunce (nee ?) and was the father of Albert Edward (born c.1903), Ethel Rosina (born c.1909) and Frederick William (born c.1912).

At the time of his enlistment in 1915, he and his wife resided in Toronto, Ontario, where he worked as a teamster, was a member of the Church of England, was not then serving in the Canadian military and had no previous military service. He was 5 feet 6 inches tall, had a chest of 35 inches (fully expanded), weighed 135 pounds, with a fair complexion, brown eyes and fair hair.

Bunce joined the 126th Battalion, CEF, in Toronto on 27 December 1915 (number 775009) and departed Canada at Halifax onboard the SS Empress of Britain on 14 August 1916. He disembarked at Liverpool, England, on 24 August 1916. He was struck off the strength of the 126th Battalion at Bramshott on 15 October 1916 and taken on the strength of the 109th Battalion, CEF, the following day. He was struck off the strength of the 109th Battalion at Witley on 4 December 1916 and was taken on the strength of the 38th Battalion, CEF, at Le Havre, France, on 6 December 1916. He left for the 38th Battalion in the field on 7 December 1916.

Bunce was killed in action on 4 April 1917 and is buried in Villers Station Cemetery (grave VI.J.7), France.

Barbara Bunce, a granddaughter, resided in Pacifica, California (address in 1989). Another apparent relative was Linda Ann Bunce Jones, Newmarket, Ontario (address in 1985).

(sources: Library and Archives Canada (, online attestation papers; Canadian War Museum, 19740281-001, Manu 58F 2 3, 207th Canadian Infantry Battalion and 38th Canadian Infantry Battalion, Nominal Roll; The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa Regimental Museum, A400-0007, Master Personnel List for the 38th Canadian Infantry Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force; Commonwealth War Graves Commission, "Debt of Honour" register,; Library and Archives Canada, Acc. 1992-93.166, box 1260-12, Personnel File)

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