A First War Canadian Military Medal to the Manitoba Regiment
WWI Military Medal to Private William A. Calnek, 183rd Infantry Battalion, 27th Infantry Battalion - George V (872092 Pte W.A. CALNEK 27/MAN:R.). Naming is officially impressed. Slack suspension, edge nicks, blackened lettering, lacquered, light contact, very fine. Accompanied by copies of Index Cards, Attestation Paper, Service Records, Medical Records, Pay Records, Discharge Certificates and Memorandum from the Canadian Pension Commission. Footnote: William Arthur Calnek was born on July 7, 1886 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He signed his Attestation Paper with the 183rd Infantry Battalion "Manitoba Beavers", on September 12, 1916, at Camp Hughes, Manitoba, at the age of 30, naming his next-of-kin as his mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Calnek of Winnipeg, stating that he had no previous military service, that he was not married and his trade as that of Painter & Paperhanger. The Battalion was raised in Manitoba with mobilization headquarters at Winnipeg under the authority of G.O. 69, July 15, 1916. The Battalion sailed October 4, 1916 from Halifax, Nova Scotia, initially aboard the S.S. Missanabie in the first part of the trip, then transferred to the S.S. Saxonia for the second part of the trip, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel W.T. Edgecombe with a strength of 13 officers and 431 other ranks, arriving in Liverpool, England on the 13th. In England, the Battalion was broken up to supply reinforcements for the 100th, 107th, 108th and 144th Infantry Battalions, with Calnek transferred to the 100th Infantry Battalion on October 26th. He was struck off strength to the 11th Reserve Battalion at Seaford on January 20, 1917, then transferred to the 27th Infantry Battalion "City of Winnipeg Regiment". He landed in France on March 7th, taken on strength two days later and was awarded One Good Conduct Badge that Fall, on September 12, 1918. The year 1919 did not start off well for Calnek, as he was admitted to No. 55 Casualty Clearing Station with a case of "V.D.G." (venereal disease, gonorrhea) on January 26th. After one week, he was transferred to No. 7 General Hospital at Wimereux on February 2nd for another three weeks, before being admitted to No. 9 Stationary Hospital at Camiers on February 21st. After three weeks at Camiers, he was discharged on March 14th, having been hospitalized for a total of seven weeks. While in hospital, it was noted that he had been "gassed at several times. He feels it in the throat." Calnek was posted to the Canadian General Base Depot on March 3, 1919, then returned to England and was posted to the 18th Reserve Battalion, taken on strength from the Manitoba Regimental Depot on April 4th. He was struck off strength to "P" Wing, Canadian Concentration Camp at Seaford on May 27th. Calnek was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field, as mentioned in the Third Supplement to the London Gazette 31430 of Tuesday, July 1, 1919, on Thursday, July 3, 1919, page 8338. He was posted to the Manitoba Regimental Depot on July 7, 1919, where he was again hospitalized for six weeks at the Canadian Special Hospital at Witley, Surrey, from July 7 to August 18. He was struck off strength to the Canadian Discharge Depot at Buxton on August 29th, in preparation for return to Canada. He embarked Liverpool aboard the S.S. Megantic on September 9, 1919, arriving in Quebec City on the 18th. Calnek was discharged upon demobilization at Quebec Depot, Clearing Services Command on September 28, 1919, entitled to wear the War Service Badge, Class "A", number 403036. For his First World War service, he was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, the whereabouts of which are unknown. He later married, taking Mrs. Clara Calnek as his wife. He died on December 24, 1941, at the age of 55.