A First War Medal Pair to the 50th Canadian Infantry CEF
A First War Medal Pair to the 50th Canadian Infantry CEF - British War Medal (145342 PTE. J. KERR. 50-CAN.INF.); and Victory Medal (145342 PTE. J. KERR. 50-CAN.INF.). Naming is officially impressed. Un-mounted, dark patina on the BWM, original ribbons, light contact, near extremely fine. Accompanied by copies of his Index Cards, Attestation Papers, Service Records, Medical Records, Discharge Certificates, Statement of Service in the Canadian Armed Forces (dated March 28, 1994), newspaper article from page 32 of The Evening Citizen (Ottawa, dated Tuesday, November 24, 1953), Obituary from page 34 of The Evening Citizen (Ottawa, dated Monday, November 23, 1953), photograph from page 44 of the Historical Sketch of the 77th Battalion and assorted research papers. Footnote: Joseph Kerr was born on May 16, 1882 in Glasgow, Scotland. He signed his CEF Attestation Paper as a Private with the 77th Infantry Battalion "Ottawa Battalion" on November 1, 1915 in Ottawa, Ontario, at the age of 33, naming his next-of-kin as his wife, Mary Ethel Kerr of Ottawa, stating that he had no previous military service, that he was married and that his trade was that of Driver. The Battalion was raised and mobilized in Ottawa, Ontario under the authority of G.O. 103A, August 15, 1915. The Battalion sailed from Halifax, Nova Scotia aboard the S.S. Missanabie on June 19, 1916 with a strength of 38 officers and 1,007 other ranks under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel D.R. Street, arriving in England on the 29th. One week later, Kerr was transferred to the 50th Infantry Battalion on July 6th and after five weeks preparation, embarked for France on August 10th, arriving in Le Havre, France the next day. Kerr was granted one Good Conduct Badge on November 1, 1917. In the Spring of 1918, he was placed with the Canadian Labour Pool on March 5th, with a stay at No. 2 Canadian Stationary Hospital beginning on March 14th. He is documented in his medical records as having been "seriously gassed at Ypres but carried on for thirty days, despite having been laid up for ten days" and may be related to his stay in hospital. On December 28, 1918, he was transferred to the Canadian Army Medical Corps, "C" Company (Casualty). Kerr was struck off strength to Canada on February 19, 1919, arriving in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the S.S. Scotian on March 1, 1919, then took the train to Montreal, Quebec and was posted to District Depot No. 4 the following day. Ten days later, he was transferred to District Depot No. 3 in Ottawa on March 12th and after one week, was placed in Flemming Hospital on the 19th, where he was examined by a doctor and found to have Chronic Bronchial problems. It was traced to wet conditions in France, where he developed a persistent cough that had been with him ever since. In his Medical History of an Invalid, dated March 25, 1919 at No. 3 Sub-Depot in Ottawa, it was noted by the attending doctor that "Owing to wet conditions in France in 1916 Man states he developed frequent colds which became chronic in character.", with the doctor concluding that the "Disability (was) due to service." Kerr was discharged as "Medically Unfit" at Dispersal Station "G", Military District No. 3 in Ottawa on March 29, 1919, credited with having served in Canada, Great Britain and France. Nine weeks later, he re-enlisted as a Private with the Canadian Army Medical Corps, on June 5th. On his Attestation Paper, he stated that he had two years and eight months overseas service in the CEF and acknowledged that he had been previously discharged as Medically Unfit, due to "gas". He was to serve with the CAMC for the next twenty-two months, before being discharged upon demobilization on March 31, 1921. He later married again, this time to Mina Simpson and was employed by the Canadian Corps of Commissioners. Kerr met an untimely death, as he was struck by an automobile on Sussex Street at Murray in Ottawa on Sunday, November 22, 1953, shortly beforemidnight. The streets were slippery and the visibility poor at the time. He suffered a fractured skull and concussion of the brain and remained unconscious until he passed away from his injuries two days later on the 24th, at the age of 71. He was interred in St. James Cemetery in Hull, Quebec on Thursday, November 26th.