113462 Pte. Stephen O'Brien was born of parents from Cork, Ireland. His father, David, emigrated to Canada in 1888 and settled in Thurso, Quebec. His wife, Mary, followed two years later. Stephen was born in Thurso on December 26th, 1897.

Shortly thereafter the family moved to Ottawa, Ontario, where Stephen was to subsequently attest into the CEF on June 3rd, 1915. Although he was about 17½ years old at the time, his "Apparent Age" was recorded as 18, and his trade was recorded being employed as a baker.

Stephen's Attestation paper indicates that he was initially assigned to the 5th Princess Louise Dragoon Guards, but following his medical in Kingston, Ontario, on June 15th, he was transferred to the 8th Canadian Mounted Rifles.

It was with the 8th that he sailed for England aboard the SS Missanabie on October 9th, 1915. They arrived in England on October 19th and were on Muster Parade at Bramshott on November 5th.

On January 28th, 1916, Private O'Brien was transferred for Overseas Service with the 8th Infantry Brigade. The same day he landed in France as part of contingent to build up the 4th CMR, and on February 21st he was taken on strength in the field with the 4th CMR in the Ypres Salient.

Stephen was reported missing following the enemy attack on Mount Sorrel on June 2nd, 1916, and a cable on June 28th reported that unofficially he was a Prisoner of War at Dulmen. This was subsequently confirmed on July 16th.

Transferred to Munster-Westfallen on September 13th, 1916, it was reported that as of June 7, 1917, Stephen was imprisoned at Minden.

At the close of the War, Stephen was repatriated to England on December 12th, 1918, and after a brief stay in a rest camp at Dover, he was moved to the Ripon South Camp. On February 18th, 1919, he was ordered to return to Canada. Sailing on the SS Scotian from Liverpool the following day, he arrived in St. John, Newfoundland on March 1st, 1919

The report following a medical in Ottawa, on April 12th, notes that Private O'Brien had a "scar on [the] back of [his] neck from a stab wound by a German while in prison camp." He was also missing seven of his top front teeth. His medical, before being shipped to England in 1915, records his height as 5' 7" and his weight as 135 pounds. Although he had grown one inch to 5' 8", he now weighed only 118 pounds, even after four months of rehabilitation following his repatriation to England.

Pte. O'Brien received an Honourable Discharge on April 12th, 1919, with a Disability Pension Class 1. He was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal. On December 7th, 1921, he attended the wedding of his sister, Frances, to William Watt, his best buddy and life-long friend from the 4th CMR, Pte. William Watt.

Stephen O'Brien died in the Veterans' Wing of Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, on October 27th, 1965.

Biography credit: William G. Watt