Sam Corby's signature

Sam Corby was a mill hand who was born on October 2nd, 1897 (he said 1896 when he enlisted in Belleville on this day in 1915). He was the son of Joseph Corby and Mary (née Maracle) who were Mohawks. (Sam’s name is spelled Courby in army records, but elsewhere Corby was the usual form.)

On his attestation paper he is described as five feet five inches tall, with dark brown eyes, a dark complexion and black hair. Sam joined the 39th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force with the regimental number 412205.

Corby’s service record shows that he arrived in England on July 3rd, 1915 and was transferred to the 25th Battalion. While serving with this battalion, Corby was awarded the Military Medal.

Sam Corby medal citation

Citation card for Sam Courby [Corby], courtesy of Library and Archives Canada

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty on the night of Sept: 28th, 1916, when acting as a runner between Advabced [Advanced] Brigade Hqrs, he volunteered and made six trips under heavy sh shell fire when the runners had failed to find their way.

It was chiefly due to his bravery and determination that satisfactory communication was maintained between Battn and Brigade Hdqrs.

Sam Corby survived the war and married Ethel Blanchard on July 19th, 1923, when his occupation was trackman for the Canadian National Railway. He died on August 1st, 1936, after falling under the wheels of a moving railway car.