A 16th Battalion Group - Wounded on the Somme
1914-15 Star (77963 Pte T.A. DARKE. 16/CAN:INF:); British War Medal (77963 CPL. T.A. DARKE. 15-CAN.INF.); and Victory Medal (77963 CPL. T.A. DARKE. 15-CAN.INF.). Naming is officially impressed. Unmounted, dark patina and edge nicks on the BWM, original ribbons, near extremely fine. Accompanied by a CD containing twenty-five pages with copies of his Index Cards, Attestation Paper, Service Records, Medical Records, Discharge Certificates and Medical History of an Invalid (2). Footnote: Thomas Anthony Darke was born on September 3, 1880 in Newbury, Berkshire, England. He was with the 88th Regiment, Victoria Fusiliers when he was transferred to the 30th Infantry Battalion "British Columbia Regiment" on February 12, 1915. It was here he enlisted the same day at Victoria, British Columbia, naming his next-of-kin as Mrs. C. Carnes of Marsden Hall, South Shields, England, stating that he had six months previous service aboard HMCS Rainbow at Esquimalt, that he was with an Active Militia (Victoria Fusiliers), that he was not married and that his trade was that of Real Estate. The Battalion was raised in British Columbia with mobilization headquarters at Victoria under the authority of G.O. 36, March 15, 1915. The Battalion sailed from Halifax, Nova Scotia aboard the S.S. Vaderland on February 23, 1915, with a strength of 35 officers and 980 other ranks, including Private Darke, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel J.A. Hall. In England, the 30th Infantry Battalion became the 30th Reserve Battalion. Two months later, on May 2, 1915, he was transferred to the 16th Battalion, arriving in France on the 3rd. He soon saw action and suffered a gun shot wound by shrapnel to his right hand, ending up with a fracture. He was admitted to No. 1 Casualty Clearing Station on June 18, 1915, then transferred to No. 4 General Hospital at St. Omer and was officially diagnosed with a dislocated right thumb. He remained there until June 21st, when he was given the okay to return to duty on the 26th. The following summer, he saw a promotion to Acting Corporal on May 1, 1916, then Corporal on May 7th. He was again in battle the following October, when he suffered a gun shot wound to his right knee and thigh, extending up into his lower back. He was admitted to No. 3 Canadian General Hospital at Boulogne for treatment, spending two and a half weeks there (October 10 to 27, 1916), transferred to No. 7 Convalescent Depot for two days (October 27 to 29), then discharged to No. 3 Large Rest Camp for another ten days treatment (October 29 to November 8, 1916). He was declared ready for duty and returned to the 16th Battalion on the 10th. After suffering two woundings, he was granted ten days leave on December 24, 1916. Upon his return to the 16th Battalion in January, things became worse for Darke. By mid-January, he had been sick for a number of days, when he was admitted to No. 20 General Hospital at Camiers on January 21, 1917 and diagnosed with Bronchitis and Asthma. After a week and half's treatment, he was discharged to England on January 30th, to the Military Hospital Trent Bridge at Nottingham, because the conditions in France were noted as "moist climate unsuitable" for his treatment. He was taken on strength at the Canadian Division Convalescent Hospital at Epsom on March 3rd to seek further treatment for both ailments, then transferred to the Manitoba Regimental Depot on March 10th. Later, after a short term at the Convalescent Hospital at Woodcote Park, Epsom, he was declared "Fit for Duty" and returned to duty on April 6th. In his Medical Report of an Invalid at the Manitoba Regimental Depot, Shorncliffe, dated May 10, 1917, it was noted that he had had Asthma as a child and suffered with it until he went to Vancouver Island at the age of 28, where he became "free of it". He had served in France for almost two years and everything was fine, until the attack of January 1917, where both the Asthma and Bronchitis exhibited themselves, involving both lungs. He was placed on command to 1st Canadian Discharge Depot at Buxton on May 23rd. After six weeks, he was struck off strength on having been discharged to Canada, embarking on July 10, 1917, as he had been invalided to Canada on account of his Asthma. After arriving at No. 5 District Depot, Quebec City, Quebec on August 1, 1917, he later made his way to No. 11 Special Service Company at Vancouver, British Columbia. He was then transferred to the 11th Battalion, Canadian Garrison Regiment on May 1st. He services were still considered useful, as the decision was made to send Darke to California, to the British Canadian Recruiting Mission, where he recruited men in the United States for the European campaign. His stay there aided his health, as it was noted that the "attacks were not so frequent". He returned to Canada in October 1918, to Staff Headquarters Staff at Belmont House. The following Spring, his Asthma was reassessed. In his second Medical History of an Invalid, at No. 11 Detachment Canadian Garrison Regiment, dated March 1, 1919, it was noted that Drake was "A well nourished man of poor color - some cyanosis of (the) lips and hands. Complains of shortness of breath and difficulty in breathing. His breathing is laboured and audible, asthmatic attacks are intermittent coming on two or three times a month lasting a couple of days." In regards to the thumb he injured in June 1915, it was noted that there was an "enlargement of metacarpo-phalangeal joint of right thumb. Extension normal, can touch tips of all fingers with thumb. States he finds some difficulty in using a pen. Power of thumb 75% of normal." The final verdict: Darke "Is fit for 8 hours light duty daily between asthmatic attacks, during attacks, he is not fit for any duty." and was declared "Category E" (unfit for service in Categories A (general service), B (service abroad, not general service) and C (home service (Canada only)). He was discharged from the Canadian Garrison Regiment on March 4, 1919 at Vancouver, British Columbia as being "Medically Unfit" at No. 11 Battalion, Canadian Garrison Regiment (R.O. 1328, sub para 7, dated 18-11-18), with his conduct noted as "Exemplary" and special qualifications for employment in civil life noted as "Real Estate". He is credited with having served in Canada (February 9 to 28, 1915), England (February 28 to April 15, 1915), France (April 15, 1915 to January 17, 1917), England (January 17, 1917 to March 4, 1919). Darke had his Trio of medals shipped to his brother, Robert H. Darke of Edmonton, Alberta.