A First War Pair to the 5th Canadian Infantry Battalion
A First War Pair to the 5th Canadian Infantry Battalion - British War Medal (72209 PTE. R.S. KNOWLES. 5-CAN.INF.); and Victory Medal (72209 PTE. R.S. KNOWLES. 5-CAN.INF.). Naming is officially impressed. Un-mounted, BWM cleaned, VM plated, edge wear on both, original ribbons, fine. Accompanied by copies his Index Cards, Attestation Paper, Service Records, Medical Records, Pay Records and Discharge Certificates. Footnote: Ronald Spencer Knowles was born on May 14, 1896 in Emerson, Manitoba. He signed his Attestation Paper with the 250th Infantry Battalion "White Eagles" on February 15, 1917 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, at the age of 20, naming his next-of-kin as his father, Thomas William Knowles, stating that he no previous military service, that he was not married and that his trade was that of Farmer. The Battalion was raised in Manitoba with mobilization headquarters at Winnipeg under the authority of G.O., May 1, 1917. The Battalion was under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel W.H. Hastings and was absorbed by the 249th Infantry Battalion, which had been raised in nearby Regina, Saskatchewan. Munn's health was to be in question for much of his service. His was treated at Valcartier Camp Hospital from July 16th to 17th with diarrhoea but made a full recovery. Three months later, while at Quebec, he came down with a case of Scarlet Fever and was hospitalized from October 26th to December 15th. Early in the new year, he contracted a boil on the back of his neck, enduring another week's hospitalization, from January 10 to 17, 1918. The Battalion sailed February 21, 1918 aboard the S.S. Saxonia, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel C.B. Keenlyside with a strength of 15 officers and 709 other ranks, including Knowles, arriving in Liverpool, England on March 4th. In England, the Battalion was absorbed into the 15th Reserve Battalion, with Knowles taking on the rank of Acting Corporal. After one week in the United Kingdom, he was admitted to the Military Isolation Hospital at Aldershot with a case of the mumps on March 12th, where he was to remain for the next three weeks, before being discharged on April 4th. While in hospital, he reverted to the rank of Private on March 16th. He was admitted to No. 12 Canadian General Hospital on May 17, 1918, then transferred to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital at Wokingham, diagnosed with Pleurisy (an inflammation of the pleura, the lining surrounding the lungs. There are many possible causes of pleurisy but viral infections spreading from the lungs to pleural cavity are the most common. The inflamed pleural layers rub against each other every time the lungs expand to breathe in air. This can cause sharp pain when breathing, also called pleuritic chest pain). He was transferred to Bearwood for additional treatment on June 26th, before being discharged to No. 2 Canadian Convalescent Depot at Bramshott on July 5, 1918 for one more month's convalescence, before returning to the 15th Reserve Battalion on August 2nd. Knowles was transferred to the 5th Infantry Battalion on September 11, 1918, arriving at the Canadian Base Depot in France on the 12th. He was sent to the Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp, arriving there on the 16th, before being transferred to the 31st Infantry Battalion on the 20th, joining his new unit the next day. Knowles was in action three weeks later at the Battle of Cambrai, when he received a gun shot wound to his right buttock on October 11, 1918. He was admitted to No. 22 General Hospital at Camiers on the 12th, then evacuated to the 1st Birmingham War Hospital, Rednal on October 21st. He was subsequently transferred to the Canadian Red Cross Special Hospital at Buxton on November 19th, before being discharged on December 16th and placed with the 21st Reserve Battalion at Bramshott. He was sent to the Canadian Concentration Camp at Kinmel Park on January 13, 1919 for return to Canada, embarking Liverpool on the 18th aboard H.M.T. Aquitania, arriving in Halifax on the 24th. Munn was taken on strength at No. 10 District Depot in Winnipeg, where he was discharged upon demobilization on February 28, 1919, credited with having served five weeks in France with the 31st Infantry Battalion and entitled to wear the War Service Badge, Class "A", number 71234.