172211 Pte. Clarence Victor Hewson was born on 21st December 1892 in Oakville, Ontario, to William Robert Hewson, a flour miller, and Elizabeth Almira née Lucas. By the time of the 1901 census the family had moved to Thorold, Ontario, where further son, Harold Edward, was born in 1902. From there the family moved to Kenora in northwestern Ontario, with William listed as manager of the Maple Leaf Flour Mill in Kenora for the 1911 census and Clarence as working as a miller. By the time Clarence enlisted in 1915, the family had moved to Toronto.

With occupation given as CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway) fireman, Clarence signed on with the CEF in Toronto, and was assigned to the 83rd Battalion on 2nd September 1915. With mobilization authorized on 4th August 1915, the battalion trained from 19th August to 30th October 1915 at Niagara Camp and then from 5th November 1915 to 25th April 1916 at Riverdale Barracks, Toronto. As a Private with the battalion, Clarence embarked from Halifax aboard the Olympic on 28th April 1916.

Once in England, with the dispersion of the battalion, Clarence was transferred to the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles on 6th June 1916, being brought in as a rebuild draft following the 4th CMR's huge losses in the 'Battle for Mount Sorrel' on June 2nd. Clarence joined the 4th CMR in the field on the 9th. In early April of 1917 Clarence was on command to the Divisional Pack Pony Company, part of divisional transport tasked with getting supplies (food, ammunition) to the front. Back on command to the 4th CMR's, that November he was granted leave to the UK. Shortly after arriving back for duty he was admitted to the 98th Canadian Field Ambulance for a few days suffering from influenza. He was able to rejoin the unit by the end of November.

On 26th August 1918 Clarence arrived at the No 8 Canadian Field Ambulance suffering from a gunshot/shrapnel wound to his left arm, likely received in the early hours attack on Monchy-le-Preux . From there he was admitted to the No 12 Stationary Hospital at St. Pol and then on to the No 7 Canadian General Hospital in Étaples, before being invalided to England on the 29th, where he was posted to the 1st Central Ontario Regiment Depot. Once in England, with infection having set in to his wound, Clarence was hospitalised from 30th August to 20th December at the Ionic Street Rocky Ferry Hospital, a section hospital of the 1st Western General Hospital in Liverpool. From there he was transferred to the Princess Patricia's General Hospital Bexhill-on-Sea in Sussex and was discharged to duty on 6th January 1919, transferring to the 3rd Reserve Battalion. Clarence embarked for Canada aboard the Canada on 15th February and was discharged from service on demobilization on 15th March 1919 in Toronto. His intended residence was given as Grenville Street in Toronto where his parents were living.

On 9th October 1919, Clarence married Ina Pearl White in Kenora. At the time of the 1921 census Clarence, Ina and their son, William Charles (b 1920) were living in Toronto, where Clarence was working as an electrician. However before long he was back working for the Canadian Pacific Railway, a long career that took him from Toronto, back to Kenora, and then on to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The couple gave birth to another child, daughter Evelyn Doreen. Clarence was a member of the Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen and Engineers.

Pearl passed away on 20th December 1979 and Clarence passed away 22nd April 1980, both in Winnipeg. They lie at rest in Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens on the outskirts of Winnipeg.

Biography provided by Judy Stockham of the Kenora Great War Project and reproduced here, with permission, in edited form by 4cmr.com

Images belong to Tiffany Hewson and are reproduced here with due respect and in honour of her great-grandparents' memories.