- Surnames starting with the letter V. 

William Harold (Harold) Vernon

Ship/Rgn/Sqn No:15th Bn ('H' Coy)
Name of Rgt or Ship:Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario Rgt)
How Died:Killed in Action
Country of burial:Belgium
Cemetery or Memorial:Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial
Town Memorial:Altrincham
Extra Information:
Born during the June quarter 1879 in the Altrincham R.D. - ref: 8a/196, the
elder son of Richard James & Alice Vernon (nee Fielden).   Birth registered
as William Harold Vernon.

1881 Census - 7 Enbridge Street, Salford.   Son - aged: 1 - born:
Altrincham.   Head of household - Richard J. Vernon - Married - aged: 30 -
occ: Book Deliverer - born: Altrincham.   Also Alice Vernon - Wife - aged:
33 - born: Lees, Lancashire.

His father Richard James Vernon died in 1883, aged: 32.

1891 Census - 32 Bridgewater Road, Altrincham.   Son - aged: 11 - Scholar -
born: Altrincham.  Head of household - Alice Vernon - Widow - aged: 43 -
occ: Shirt Seamstress - born: Mossley, Yorkshire.  Plus 1 younger brother,
and 2 visitors.

1901 Census - Enville Villas, Manchester Road, Altrincham. (4 doors along
from the Navigation P.H.).   Son - aged: 21 - occ: Electrician - born:
Broadheath.  Head of household - Alice Vernon - Widow - aged: 50 - born:
Springhead, Yorkshire.  Plus 1 younger brother, an aunt and a boarder.

1911 Census - No Trace   Probably emigrated to eastern Canada c1904, as by
1914, he had served for 9 years in the 48th Regiment (Canadian Infantry).

His Canadian attestation form, signed on the 22nd September 1914, at
Valcartier, Quebec, states that his name was HAROLD VERNON and that he was
born at Altrincham on the 7th May 1879.   He was then aged 35 years 5
months, 5 feet 7 inches in height, had a 33½ + 2½ inch chest (fully
expanded).   His complexion was: fresh, his eyes: blue and his hair: fair. 
  The papers also state that he was a Carpenter by trade and that he had
previously served for 7 years in the Cheshire Regiment and for 9 years in
the 48th Regiment.  He had a scar on his left thigh and his right cheek.   
He had a tattoo in the shape of a heart with the word "Alice" on his left

On the 22nd April 1915 the Germans launched the second Battle of Ypres and
in so doing employed the first large scale gas attack of the Great war. 
Fully exploiting the release of chlorine gas the Germans advanced westwards
from the village of Langemarck towards the Yser canal.   The Canadians
suffered huge losses from gas poisoning at St. Julian north-east of Ypres.

On the 28th April 1915, the 15th Battalion was in a line of trenches in a
field to the north of St. Jeane, along the Ypres to Poperinghe Main Road. 
Still there on the 29th and a note in their War Diary states that "The
enemy is quiet".  At 19.30 hrs the Battalion moved to take up a new line of
trenches at No. 4 Pontoon Bridge.

Religion - C of E.   He was married and his wife - Sarah Alice Vernon, 10
Geneva Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, was listed as his next of kin.  Post War,
his widow - Sarah Alice resided at 76 Gladstone Road, Altrincham.

During WW1 the 15th Battalion (48th Highlanders of Canada) went overseas
with the first Canadian contingent of the Canadian Expeditionary Force
(CEF) in October 1914 in uniforms paid for by the Regiment as the
Regiment's contribution to Canada.  For the war the 48th recruited three
battalions, the 15th and two reinforcement battalions, the 92nd and 134th,
plus companies equal to two more battalions for other units.  The 15th Bn
faced the first gas attack of the war at the Second Battle of Ypres on 24
April 1915, losing 664 Highlanders, killed, wounded or prisoners of war.
The 15th Bn was immediately reinforced and continued fighting until the
Armistice. The names of the regiment's 21 Battle Honours including Ypres,
the Somme, Passchendaele, Vimy and Amiens are familiar to all Canadians and
historians. In all, 1,467 Highlanders were killed in action.

Memorials found on:
Broadheath Congregational Church
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