838066 Pte. Horace Alfred Dukes was born on March 3rd, 1899, in England. Horace's parents, Herbert and Olivia, emigrated from the Old Country in 1907 and settled in Grey County, Ontario, where his father worked as a labourer and Herbert would become a farm hand.

Growing up in the impoverished area of Owen Sound known as Mudtown, Herbert probably saw military service as a means of lessening his family's burden. Herbert was amongst the first to join the 147th (Grey) Battalion. Attesting into the unit on November 27th, 1915, Herbert lied about his age, claiming to be born in 1897, making him appear to be two years older than he really was; at least on paper.

Billeted locally over the winter the 147th Battalion mobilized in Owen Sound in the spring of 1916 and left for training at Camp Niagara. As the conditions in the 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, but due to an outbreak of diphtheria they were detained in Amherst, Nova Scotia, for over a month. The unit finally sailed for Great Britain, 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. On April 22nd, 1917, Horace was taken on strength of the 4th C.M.R. in a reinforcement draft after the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

Horace was struck off strength of the 4th C.M.R. on January 20th, 1919.

Thanks and credit for this biography to George Auer.