A Memorial Cross to a First & Second War Veteran
A Memorial Cross to a First & Second War Veteran - Memorial Cross, ERII (C-5538 PTE. G.A. HAY). Naming is officially engraved. Very crisp detail, high relief, dark patina, scratch marks on the reverse, near extremely fine. Accompanied by copies of his WWII Attestation Papers, Service Records, Medical Papers, Discharge Certificates and Certificate of Service. Footnote: Gordon Alexander Hay was born on May 8, 1896 in Foxboro, Ontario, near Belleville. He enlisted with the 1st Brigade, 2nd Battery, lst Battalion of the CEF in Valcartier, Quebec on September 22, 1914 at the age of 18, service number 40425. He stated on his Attestation Paper that he was not married, that he had had three years previous military service with the 4th Battery and that his trade was that of Presser. During the Great War, he suffered a gunshot wound to the left temple, which left him permanently scarred, in addition to two bouts of pneumonia. The next fifteen years saw him have five or six attacks of bronchitis. He signed his WWII CASF Attestation Paper with the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment in Picton, Ontario on April 8, 1940, stating that he had had previous military service with the 4th Battery during World War I from 1914-1919, that he was married to Muriel Hay and that his trade was that of Dry Cleaner. He was found to have been illegally absent from camp and deserting H.M.S. at Court Martial and was sentenced to 180 days detention, with sixty days detention remitted, along with forfeiture of pay. On May 5, 1941, he was discharged from service at Camp Borden, Ontario, just shy of his forty-fourth birthday for reason of being "physically unfit for military service uder existing standards." The Specialist's medical report stated that "the man's nerves are in bad state. He states that he has been nervous since the last war (World War I). This condition is not helped by over-indulgence in alcohol. He also suffers from chronic disease of the lungs. To what degree it is impossible to state from clinical examination alone," with indication of the beginning of peripheral neuritis (tender calves, leg cramps). plus pain in the eyes and itchy of the hands, a victim of recurring "shell shock". He re-enlisted with the CASF two months later, as a member of the Veterans Guard of Canada on July 1, 1941 in Ottawa, Ontario, stating the same information as the year before but adjusting his trade to that of Machinist. He ran into more bad luck, as he lost his Service Certificate along with the other contents of his wallet on August 10th at Lansdowne Park. He lasted only four months with the Veterans Guard, where he was discharged on November 6, 1941 in Ottawa for "Medical Unfitness". Hay died on June 7, 1968 at the age of 72. The following year, the Memorial Cross was delivered to wife, Muriel, in Belleville, Ontario. He is also documented as having been awarded the War Medal 1939-1945 and the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal for his WWII service, which are not included here.