285148 Pte Richard Mathew Zieman was born in East Toronto, York County, Ontario, on 14th February 1900, sixth child of seven born to John and Lillian Zieman.

It is evidenced by birth records that Richard was only 16 years and 2 months old when he signed up, listing himself as a 17 year old student, born in 1899, when he attested into the 220th (York Rangers) Battalion, in Toronto, on April 17th, 1916.

Sent to England, departing Halifax on the S.S. Olympic on 28th April 1917 and arriving in Liverpool on 7th May, Richard was one of 46 men of the 220th Battalion who were transferred to the 4th C.M.R., joining them in the field on February 28th, 1918, just as the regiment headed back into the front line in the right-sub-sector of the Mericourt line.

Richard was hospitalised with both diphtheria and influenza in 1918, and then in the closing stages of the Final 100 Days, was wounded on 7th November, just four days before war's end, being gassed in the "harassment of the enemy" with the 2nd CMR on the Mons road, in the vicinity of the Honelle River, near Thulin, France. Initially treated at the No.1 Casualty Clearing Station (CCS) he was moved to the No. 7 Canadian General Hospital at Etaples, France, on the 12th and then to Chichester in England on the 29th.

Receiving further treatment at the Princess Patricia Canadian Red Cross Hospital, at Cooden Camp in Bexhill, Sussex, from December 11th, Richard was finally discharged fit, on 28th January 1919, into the administrative over-care of the 3rd Reserve Battalion in Witley.

Back in Canada, Pte Richard Mathew Zieman was struck off strength from the 4th C.M.R. on April 11th, 1919. Marrying Kathleen Machie Porter in May 1941, Richard latterly passed away on 23rd May 1955, aged 55. He lies at rest in St John's Norway Cemetery and Crematorium, Toronto, Ontario.

Biography credit: David Kavanagh