For our third installment of Giving Tuesday blogs and our #showusyoursoldier campaign we’ll be looking at the World War I experience of Horace Cloyne Vane Drader, a clerk and resident of Argyle, Ontario. Drader volunteered shortly after his 19th birthday at the recruiting station in Lindsay, Ontario with the 109th Battalion CEF.
He would not stay long with the battalion, shortly after enlisting Drader was transferred to No.3 Special Service Battalion and sent to Barriefield Camp. I’ve spoken about the Special Service battalions before on this blog; they were primarily employed as guards and responsible for prisoners of war when on the Front. In Drader’s case, he would have been standing guard at Barriefield’s barracks or possibly at the camp prison, where those who infringed upon army discipline were housed until trial. The 109th Battalion embarked to England in the spring of 1916 where it was broken up for reinforcements for the 20th and other battalions, all badly in need of men after the disastrous Canadian battles at Saint-Eloi, Sanctuary Wood and Mont-Sorrell.
Drader would not see France at all, not even with the Special Service battalions, most of who were sent to France and England to serve at the camps there. Undisclosed on his initial medical examination, Drader suffered from repeated attacks of rheumatism due to a brush with rheumatic fever in 1907. Not only did the conditions of the camp make his attacks worse, it was found that he also suffered from endocarditis as a result of his repeated bouts of rheumatism. Sufficed to say, Horace Drader was not a healthy soldier. He was hospitalised at the military hospital in Kingston and after treatment and the usual medical board was discharged as medically unfit. Drader was just 20 years old and his war experience was already over.
Help us keep telling stories like these. #showusyoursoldier and think of us on 1 December.