838291 Pte. Harold Byron Hutchinson was born on October 21st, 1895, to George and Mary on the family farm near the town of Markdale, Ontario. Prior to his enlistment Harold had served two years with the local Militia unit, the 31st Regiment.

The 147th Battalion C.E.F. was authorized in November of 1915 and Harold joined the cause shortly thereafter. Attesting to the new battalion on December 30th he was assigned to "B" Company. Harold would have been billeted locally over the winter while the unit continued its recruiting efforts. In May of 1917 the unit mobilized in Owen Sound 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.

The unit received their orders to proceed overseas in September and while en-route to 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, 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. William was taken on strength of the 4th C.M.R. on March 7th, 1917. Upon arrival he was assigned to the 3rd Entrenching Battalion during the build-up for the Battle of Arras, which saw the Canadian Corps storm Vimy Ridge.

Returning to the 4th C.M.R. in April he served through the summer until he was gassed on September 4th. It was while the unit was in the support lines near La Chaudiere that the Germans unleashed an artillery barrage consisting of High Explosive and gas shells containing mustard gas that Harold was wounded. He did not return to the 4th C.M.R. Medically evacuated to England Harold was assigned to the labour pool upon recovery. It was while he was working with the 4th Labour Battalion that he accidentally dislocated his shoulder in a fall. This was the fifth time he had dislocated his shoulder since his enlistment, so a medical review board was conducted on Private Hutchinson.

838291 Private Harold Byron Hutchinson was discharged on November 9th, 1918, as medically unfit for General Service. Returning to Grey County, Harold latterly passed away in the Veteran's wing of Toronto's Sunnybrook Hospital on October 19th, 1962, and was was laid to rest in the Markdale Cemetery.

Harold's service is remembered locally on Markdale's war memorial.

Biography and image credit: George Auer, with thanks.