Watering Canadian artillery horses at the front/Somme.
Sending a message to the Hun at the Somme: 'Xmas greetings from Canada'.
Canada sent more than 600,000 people, mostly young men, to the First World War between 1914 and 1918. Three Earthy's enlisted in this force, 2 brothers from British Columbia, Charles Edward Victor & Frederick William, and Joseph Stephen from Ontario.
Enlistment Date
Regimentel Number
Charles Edward Victor Earthy
September 23rd 1914
No. 49119
Frederick William Earthy
Cloverdale, British Columbia.
January 14th 1916
No. 760836
Joseph Stephen Earthy
Brantford, Ontario.
June 3rd 1916
No. 270353
Shortly after the British declaration of war in August 1914, Canada offered an initial contingent of 25,000 for service overseas. A second contingent was offered in the autumn of 1914. The 1st Canadian Division was formed from units of the first contingent in January 1915, and was fighting in France the following month. In September 1915, the Canadian Corps was formed, incorporating the 1st and 2nd Canadian Divisions, and the Canadian Cavalry Brigade. Further contingents and reinforcement drafts continued to be sent overseas.
At the time of the Armistice in November 1918, the Canadian Corps had expanded to include four infantry divisions and corps units. Other Canadian units, including some artillery batteries, engineering companies, and railway and forestry troops, served directly under British command in France and Belgium. Still other units, responsible for administrative support, training, forestry and medical care, served in England. The Canadian Expeditionary Force, as the army raised during the First World War was designated, grew in the course of the conflict to 619,636, of whom 424,589 served in Europe.
Attestation Papers and Enlistment Forms.
Volunteers for the Canadian Expeditionary Force were questioned at the place of enlistment to complete the Attestation papers which included the recruit's name and address, next-of-kin, date and place of birth, occupation, previous military service, and distinguishing physical characteristics. Recruits were asked to sign their Attestation papers, indicating their willingness to serve overseas. By contrast, men who were drafted into the CEF under the provisions of the Military Service Act (1917) completed a far simpler form which included their name, date of recruitment, and compliance with requirements for registration.
Charles Edward Victor Earthy
The Attestation paper shows that when Charles Edward Victor joined the C.E.F. he was asked 'Have you ever served in any Military Force'? and he replied, "Yes, 3 years Essex and Suffolk Cyclist 104 - I training"
The Army Cyclist Corps was formed in 1914, It originally absorbed a number of pre-existing cyclist battalions, from the Territorial Force.
The Suffolk & Essex Regiment (6th & 8th Cyclist Battalion, Territorial Force) existed on mobilisation in August 1914.
During the First World War operations, cyclists often found themselves in unfriendly and difficult terrain and had to give up their mounts. Based on that experience the British Army found no long-term role for cyclists. The Army Cyclist Corps was disbanded in 1919.
The Attestation papers and medical record of Charles Edward Victor Earthy.
Pte/Acting Sergeant Charles Edward Victor Earthy's 1914~1915 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal & Canadian Forestry Corps Field Day Medal.
The Star, Victory and British War medals popularly known as Pip, Squeak and Wilfred after characters in a Daily Mail cartoon of the period.
The 1914 Star.
This medal was awarded to all officers, warrant officers, non-commissioned officers, and all men of the British and Indian Forces, including civilian medical practitioners, nursing sisters, nurses and others employed with military hospitals; as well as men of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Naval Reserve and Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve who served with on the establishment of their unit in France and Belgium between August 5th 1914, and midnight of November 22/23rd, 1914.
The 1914-15 Star.
A Star similar to the 1914 Star was issued to all personnel mentioned above, with certain exceptions, who served in a theatre of war before December 31st 1915 and who did not qualify for the earlier star.
The British War Medal, 1914-16.
It is impossible to set out all the details of qualification for this medal, but briefly, the requirement was that a member of the fighting forces had to leave his native shore in any part of the British Empire while on service. It did not matter whether he/she entered a theatre of war or not.
The Victory Medal, 1914-1918.
This medal was awarded to all those who entered a theatre of war (and presumably took part in the fighting, logistics or medical services). It follows that every recipient of the Victory Medal also qualified for the British War Medal, but not the other way round. 300,000 fewer Victory Medals were required than British War Medals. All three services were eligible. It is not generally known that Victory Medals continued to be awarded after the Armistice, for the British forces who saw action in North Russia (up to October 12th, 1919) and Trans-Caspia (up to April 17th, 1919) also qualified.
The reverse of the 1914~1915 Star medal.
The front and reverse of the C.E.C France No.6 District Canadian Forestry Corps Field Day Medal.
Charles E.V Earthy's spurs, Canadian General Service Badge Warrant Officers Crowns & His Medal Issue Boxes.
Frederick William Earthy
The Attestation papers and medical record of Frederick William Earthy.
Joseph Stephen Earthy
Joseph Stephen and his battalion arrived in England on the 7th of May 1917 onboard The SS Olympic.
The Attestation papers and medical record of Joseph Stephen Earthy.
Source for the photographs & history Battle of the Somme The Maritime History Virtual Archives National Archives of Canada & Research by Rikk Earthy, November 2001.
Thanks to Roger Vanhinsbergh for the photographs of Charles Edward Victor Earthy's medals and spurs, May 2004.