A First War Pair to the 2nd Canadian Infantry CEF
A First War Pair to the 2nd Canadian Infantry CEF - British War Medal (633182 PTE. H. KIRBY. 2-CAN.INF.); and Victory Medal (633182 PTE. H. KIRBY. 2-CAN.INF.). Naming is officially impressed. Court mounted, with dual push pin reverse, spotting on the VM, light contact, better than very fine. Accompanied by photocopies of his Index Card, Attestation Paper, Service Records and Discharge Certificates, along with two negatives and photocopies of Kirby in uniform, two Polaroid photographs of two former residences of Kirby's in Cornwall, Ontario, a Polaroid photograph of his gravesite in St. Columban's Cemetery in Cornwall, photocopies of three newspaper articles announcing his death and assorted research material. Footnote: Harry Kirby was born on September 11, 1881 in Eltham, Kent, England. He was a veteran of the South Africa War, later marrying Laura (nee Gray) Kirby and having a daughter, Laura, in England, before coming to Canada in 1907. They were later to have two other children, Nellie, who died in 1935 and a son, Walter, who drowned in 1951. He signed his Attestation Paper on October 18, 1915 with the 154th Infantry Battalion "Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders" in Cornwall, Ontario, at the age of 34, naming his next-of-kin as his wife, Laura Kirby, stating that he had previous military service as a Volunteer with the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment in England and the 59th Stormont and Glengarry Regiment in Canada, stating that he was married and that his trade was that of Blacksmith Helper. The Battalion was raised in the Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, Ontario with mobilization headquarters at Cornwall, under the authority of G.O. 151, December 22, 1915. The Battalion sailed October 25, 1916 aboard the S.S. Mauretania, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel A.G.F. McDonald with a strength of 29 officers and 872 other ranks, arriving in England on October 31st. After three months in England, the 154th Infantry Battalion was absorbed into the 6th Reserve Battalion, with Kirby being taken on strength by the 6th Reserve Battalion on January 31, 1917 at East Sandling. After two and a half months, he was struck off strength to the 2nd Infantry Battalion Overseas on April 17, 1917 at Seaford, arriving at the Canadian Base Depot in France on the 18th. He left for the 2nd Infantry Battalion on the 21st, arriving with his new unit on May 8th. Kirby was in action three months later and suffered a gun shot wound to his right leg on August 18, 1917. He was admitted to No. 1 Casualty Clearing Station in the field that day and after receiving treatment, returned to duty on the 23rd, rejoining the 2nd Infantry Battalion on the 25th. Ten months later, Kirby was wounded again, this time during the Battle of the Somme and admitted to No. 6 Canadian Field Ambulance in the field with gun shot wounds to his back and hands on November 6, 1917. He was transferred to No. 3 Australian General Hospital at Abbeville on the 7th, then transferred to No. 5 Convalescent Depot at Cayeux on the 11th. He would spend the next twenty-five days at Cayeux before being discharged on December 6th. He returned to the Canadian Base Depot on the 8th, then transferred to the Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp on the 14th, before rejoining the 2nd Infantry Battalion on the 23rd. In the new year, Kirby was attached to No. 14 Veterinary Hospital for a Course of Instruction in Animal Management on January 2, 1918, then granted fourteen days leave to the United Kingdom on January 25th, returning to the 2nd Infantry Battalion on February 11th. He was admitted to No. 12 Stationary Hospital on September 27, 1918, his condition stated as "N.Y.D." (not yet determined). He was transferred to No. 1 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station and after five weeks, was discharged to duty on October 31st, the second anniversary of his arrival in England. He rejoined the 2nd Battalion in the field on November 2nd. The following Spring upon the ceasing of hostilities, he proceeded to England on March 19, 1919, arriving on the 20th at the Canadian Concentration Camp at Kinmel Park. Kirby was struck off strength off the Overseas Military Forces of Canada at Bramshott on April 23, 1919 and embarked for Canada aboard the S.S. Baltic from Liverpool on April 29th. He was discharged upon demobilization on May 9, 1919 at Dispersal Station "G", Military District No. 3 in Ottawa, Ontario and entitled to wear the War Service Badge, Class "A", Number 190627. In his post-war civilian life, he was a labourer at the Howard Smith Paper Mill in Cornwall, retiring from the firm in 1942 and was a member of the St. Columban's Parish in Cornwall. Kirby died on January 29, 1953 at the Hotel Dieu Hospital in Cornwall, at the age of 71. The pallbearers at his funeral were members of the Canadian Legion and he was buried in the St. Columban's Cemetery.