113303 CQMS. Robert Melrose Hood, MC. Croix de Guerre, Russian Order of St. Stanislas 2nd Class with Swords was born on 7th October 1893, in Hunstville, Muskoka, Ontario, to Andrew and Jessie (née Constable) Hood.


When the call to arms came for Robert, he was an unmarried clerk and the family was living in Toronto. Signing on in Barriedfield in July 1915, he was initially assigned to the 8th CMR.


Upon arrival England in October 1915, training proceeded until January 1916, when a divisional restructuring saw the 8th CMR absorbed by the 4th CMR, which they joined in the field on 29th January 1916.


Clearly having survived the huge losses suffered on 2nd June 1916, in the Battle for Mount Sorrel, Robert was made acting Lance Corporal in July (likely due to the losses in June) and was, by mid-September 1916, then Company Quartermaster Sergeant (CQMS). Surviving the subsequent actions the 4th CMR saw from then until mid-December 1917, Robert, in wishing to pursue a commission, was transferred to the 2nd Central Ontario Regimental Depot (2nd C.O.R.D.).


In mid-February 1918, Robert was transferred to the 1st C.O.R.D., where he was promoted to Temporary Lieutenant. Late March saw him taken on strength with the 3rd Reserve Battalion. Five months later he was back with the 1st C.O.R.D. and assigned to the North Russian Expeditionary Force. On 16th September 1918 he proceeded overseas, during which time he became Acting Captain and seconded to special duty with the War Office with the Syren Force, then going into Russia following the October 1917 Revolution. Landing in Murmansk on 28th September 1918, it is clear that Robert was involved in the conflict in Russia, as indicated by the award of an MC (Military Cross) for action in April 1919. The citation reads as follows:


"He was in charge of the armoured train in the taking of Ourosozero, 11th April, 1919. When the train neared the station he ran ahead and shot three enemy with his revolver, one of whom was putting a shell in a field gun to fire at the train. His great gallantry and promptitude prevented this field gun damaging the train."


Further awards were made, which included the Syren Croix de Guerre and the Russian Order of St. Stanislas 2nd Class with Swords.


Returned to the 1st C.O.R.D. in the UK in June 1919, Robert was demobbed on June 27th and embarked on the S.S. Regina at Liverpool, arriving back on Canadian soil on 23rd July 1919.


Robert married English girl, Kate Isabella Wood (b.1899) in York, Ontario, on 6th December 1919, and it is noted that he passed away on 11th October 1963.





Biography credit: Mike Kavanagh.


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