Private Jospeh Andrew Gawley

838512 Pte. Joseph Andrew Gawley was born in the community of Berkeley, Ontario, on August 21st, 1898. Moving to Owen Sound, Joseph was working as a stenographer when the eighteen year old attested to the 147th (Grey) Battalion on January 22th, 1916.

Joseph probably lived at home until the unit moved to Camp Niagara at the end of May. 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. Upon arrival Joseph was reinstated to his pre-sailing rank of Lance Corporal.

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. Taken ill while serving with the 8th Reserve Battalion, Joseph wasn't considered "A 1" fit until the following fall. At that time he voluntarily reverted to Private and was taken on strength of the 4th C.M.R. on October 10th, 1917; just as the unit was moving to Flanders to take part in the Third Battle of Ypres.

As with all new reinforcements Joseph was sent to the Canadian Corps Reserve Company for further training and didn't arrive to the unit until November 1st, while the unit was in reserve after their action at Passchendaele. Serving through the remainder of the war into the final 100 days, Joseph was granted 14 days leave to the U.K., after the Battle of Cambrai. Upon his return he was hospitalized in early November with an illness, missing the pursuit to Mons.

838512 Private Joseph Andrew Gawley was finally struck off strength of the C.E.F. on April 8th, 1919.

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