John Culbertson's signature

On this day in 1915 John Culbertson signed up in Belleville. He claimed to have been born in Deseronto on August 21, 1891, but census records suggest that his true year of birth was 1885. He was the son of Alexander Culbertson and Sarah (née Penn), who were both Mohawks. He was a lumberman.

Photo of John Culbertson

Photo of John Culbertson from Kanhiote Tyendinaga Territory Public Library

On signing up, Culbertson was five feet four and a quarter inches tall, with dark hair, brown eyes and a dark complexion. He joined the 39th Battalion with a regimental number of 413012. His service record shows that he arrived in England on July 3rd, 1915. He was transferred to the 19th Battalion in January 1916 and joined them in France on January 20th. He was wounded by shrapnel on September 15th, 1916 at the Battle of Courcelette and was sent back to England to recover. He rejoined his battalion in France on April 9th, 1917.

On October 30th, 1917 John was admitted to hospital suffering from impetigo. He spent several months in various military hospitals in France and England and rejoined the 19th Battalion in France on May 7th, 1918.

By the end of the war Culbertson held the rank of Lance Sergeant. He left England in May 1919 on the RMS Caronia and was demobilized in Toronto on May 24th. It is not clear what happened to him after the war: please comment if you know!