Tuesday 23 October 2012

Private Harris Turner

Born on 3 October 1888 in Markdale, Ontario – next of kin listed as Adam Turner, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – at the time of his enlistment in 1915: trade as student; single; no current or previous military service; Church of England; height of 5 feet 9 inches; chest of 35 inches fully expanded; fair complexion; blue eyes; medium hair – at the time of his discharge in 1917: trade as journalist and newspaper reporter.

Joined the 38th Battalion, CEF, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, on 18 March 1915 (number 411096) – departed Canada on SS Missanabie from Montreal, Quebec, on 29 June 1915 – transferred to Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, CEF, on 16 July 1915 – gunshot wounds to the eyes on 3 June 1916 and admitted to No. 13 Stationary Hospital in Boulogne, France – report of incident: “He states while resisting an attack on the above date was hit by flying pieces of shrapnel in both eyes. Taken to Zillebeck advanced dressing station from there to Brandhoek thence to Poperinghe […].” – also taken on strength of the Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre in Folkstone, England, on 3 June 1916 – transferred to Edmonton Military Hospital in London, England, on 9 June 1916 – admitted to Royal London Eye Hospital, Moorfield, England, on 14 June 1916 – left eye removed and “artificial eye inserted” while at this hospital – transferred to St. Dunstan’s Home for Blinded Soldiers, Regents Park, England, on 26 September 1916 – also transferred from the CCAC to the Eastern Ontario Regimental Depot in Hastings, England, on 10 March 1917 – struck off strength to Canada for discharge on 11 May 1917 – departed United Kingdom on SS Letitia on 11, 12 or 13 May 1917 – transferred to a convalescent home in Military District No. 10 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on 21 May 1917 – discharged as totally blind from the Canadian Expeditionary Force in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on 5 July 1917.

Awarded the Cross of St. George, 4th Class (Russia).

Died on 12 August 1972 in Victoria, British Columbia.

(sources: Library and Archives Canada (www.collectionscanada.gc.ca), RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, box 9837-19, military service file, Harris Turner; The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa Regimental Museum, A400-0007, Master Personnel List for the 38th Canadian Infantry Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force)

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