838741 Pte. John Hatton was born in Enniscorthy, County Wexford, Ireland, on August 2nd, 1893. Emmigrating to Canada John made his living as a farm hand and was residing in Owen Sound's Royal Hotel, Ontario, when he attested to the 147th (Grey) Battalion on February 1st, 1916. He was assigned to "C" Company, under the command of Captain Dobie.

John was billeted locally over the winter, probably at his cousin's, Mary Douglas, of Markdale, who he listed as his next of kin. The 147th Battalion mobilized in Owen Sound in May to finalize the administration and organization of the unit, just prior to their departure for Camp Niagara later that month. As the conditions in this Camp were wanting the unit moved to the new training facility of Camp Borden in late June.

In September the unit received their orders to proceed overseas. While en route to Halifax there was an outbreak of diphtheria and they were detained in Amherst, Nova Scotia, for over a month. The unit finally sailed for Great Britain, on board the infamous Titanic's sister ship, the SS Olympic, on November 14th 1916.

On January 1st, 1917, the 147th Battalion ceased to exist when it became the nucleus for the 8th Reserve Battalion, whose task it was to supply reinforcements to the 58th Battalion and the 4th C.M.R. John was taken on strength of the 4th C.M.R. on February 7th, 1917, in a reinforcement draft during the build up for the Battle of Arras; a battle that saw the Canadian Corps storm Vimy Ridge.

John, who was hospitalized with knee troubles upon arrival in France, was discharged in April, just in time for the battle. However, on September 4th, high explosives and gas shells were dropped in and around their position amidst the brickyards, near La Chaudiere, causing some 120 causalities, many of whom did not feel the effects until some time after. Indeed, it appears John eventually succumbed on the 6th and was evacuated on the 7th.He did not return to the unit until June 1918.

Serving for the remainder of the war, John was once again admitted to hospital in Boulogne, on Christmas Day, 1918, then medically evacuated to Colchester, England, with a case of inflamed connective tissue in his right foot. He did not return to the 4th C.M.R. before they returned to Canada.

838741 Private John Hatton was struck off strength of strength of the Canadian Expeditionary Force on May 17th, 1919. Returning to Markdale after the war, John passed away there on January 13th, 1974.

Credit and many thanks go George Auer for the above biography.