153rd (Wellington) Battalion C.E.F.

1915 - 1919

"Virtutis Fortuna Comes"

Welcome to the 153rd Battalion website, a place to remember those men of Wellington County, who enlisted in the Battalion in the First World War. There are over a 1,000 names of those enlisted, some never made it "over there", some did. Some lived, some were maimed and some gave all. 511 Officers and men went over on the "SS Olympic" from Halifax N.S. 29 April 1917. Others went over having been transferred to Forestry Battalions, Pioneer Battalions, or other Infantry Battalions prior to the 153rd's sailing.

Upon arrival in England, the 153rd became part of the 4th and 25th Reserve Battalions and trained in Shornecliff. The Battalion was broken up, men went to Machine Gun Battalions, drafts to the 18th and 47th Battalions and were used as reinforcements. The Officers went to Imperial Battalions or CEF Battalions as needed. The 153rd literally ceased to exist. The Battalion was only kept alive by the love of their families, friends and the interest of the hometown papers in following "their" boys and in the reporting of letters home or of those "Killed in Action," on the "Casualty Lists" or in the happy event of a 153rd lad returning home.

In my small way, I am attempting here to keep alive the memory of those who served. My grandfather, John Pinkerton was a member of the 153rd and was wounded. My hope is to have the heirs, friends and family historians of other 153rd men "honour" their loved one and hopefully provide insight into their 153rd veteran and pass it on to this site.

Material on the 153rd veterans was taken from their Attestation Papers, 153rd Nominal Rolls, newspaper articles, and archived material at the the Wellington County Museum & Archives, (to whom I am deeply indebted). Any transcription errors are mine alone - please feel free to contact me as to errors or omissions.

Individual pictures of the soldiers primarily comes from the Archives of the Wellington County Museum, those pictures are attributed appropriately. Those who gave their lives and are buried in France and Belgium, their grave photos were taken by myself, Bruce Gilbert or by Simon Godly (battlefield tour guide extraordinaire) and attributed as thus. Grave photos of those who survived the war and are interred in Wellington County were taken by myself. Other photos used are attributed to their authors, to the National Archives, Veteran Affairs Canada, various Wellington County Branches of the Royal Canadian Legions (Specifically Palmerston, Harriston, Mount Forest and Arthur Branches). Errors in attributing pictures are mine and mine alone - again feel free to contact me to correct same.

Lastly, I am indebted to the Archivists at the Wellington County Museum & Archives. For giving direction and aid in "where to look" in doing my research. We established a great working relationship - and I always looked forward to my trips to Elora, much like a kid at Christmas....there always seemed to some nugget to be found!! For all those who read this, and have a fond memory of their 153rd man, if you want to keep the Battalion's memory alive - the Wellington County Museum & Archives IS the place to donate, loan any historical items, biographies, material for all to research, learn and enjoy.

The 153rd Battalion Motto was that of the Duke of Wellington, the hero of Waterloo and the Battalion was given permission for its use by the present (1916) Duke of Wellington:

"Virtutis Fortuna Comes" - Fortune Favours the Brave