838518 Pte. Charles Wilbert Havens was born in Durham, Ontario, on September 13th, 1897. The eldest son of Frank and Annie Havens, Charles was the only child from the family of military age when he attested to the 147th (Grey) Battalion, in Owen Sound, on January 6th, 1916, where he was assigned to "C" Company.

Charles was billeted locally over the winter until the unit left for centralized training in the spring of 1916. 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.

During his initial training Charles came foul of the military establishment, going Absent Without Leave (A.W.L.) in March. He forfeited 4 days' pay and lost another day's pay in August.

In September the unit received their orders to proceed overseas. While en route for 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, about 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. Charles was taken on strength of the 4th C.M.R. on April 21st, 1917, in a reinforcement draft during the closing days of the Battle of Arras.

Serving with the unit throughout the battles of 1917 and 1918, Charles missed the liberation of Mons when he contracted influenza, which hospitalized him from November 8th through to the 22nd. He was once again hospitalized, in the New Year, and was evacuated to England for a variety of conditions. There he once again ran afoul of the system, being charged with disobeying an order. This infraction cost him 28 days' pay.

838518, Pte. Charles Wilbert Havens was struck off strength of the Canadian Expeditionary Force on July 11th, 1919. Returning to Grey County, Charles married Mabel Trafford, in March of 1920. Sadly, however, the marriage was short lived as he passed away on March 27th, 1922, due to acute meningitis.

As Charles' death was attributed to his military service, his name is found in the Canadian Book or Remembrance and the Commonwealth War Graves Commissions records.

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