Arthur Howard's signature

On this day in 1915 Arthur Howard enlisted in Kingston. He was born in that city on 17 January 1895, the son of Ethel (née Norton) and Herbert Howard and was a student at Queen’s University when he signed up. Herbert Howard was the accountant for the Bank of Montreal in Deseronto and his family were living in the apartment above the bank (now the Town Hall) at the time of the 1911 census.

Sid (as he was known) signed up under the name Albert and he added a year to his age, claiming to have been born in 1894. He joined the 26th Battery of the 7th Canadian Field Artillery Brigade as a driver with the regimental number 89754. When he enlisted, Sid was described as five feet eight inches tall, with a dark complexion, blue eyes and black hair. Howard’s service record shows that he landed in England on August 18th, 1915 and (after being hospitalized with an infection) left for France in January 1916. His service record is mysteriously silent about what he did in 1916, but notes that he joined his unit in the field in March 1917. He was hospitalized again that year with another infection.

Sid Howard’s neice, Cynthia Tappay, tells us that after serving in France he volunteered for service in the Canadian Siberian Expeditionary Force (this is confirmed in his service record) and served in Russia from October 1918 to July 1919. He was promoted to Bombardier on April 14th, 1919. The family story is that Sid and his friend Dough Jemmett smuggled an orphaned Russian boy back to Canada with them and the boy ended up in Northern Ontario.

Sid was demobilized in Montreal on July 15th, 1919 and returned to Deseronto after leaving the army. He moved to Salt Lake City in Utah in September 1919 to work for his uncle Bill (his father’s brother). He married Ellen [?] of Nisqually, Washington around 1921 and became naturalized as an American on June 21, 1928 in Tacoma, Washington. By the time of the 1930 census the couple had a son called Robert. Sid died of a tetanus infection in Tacoma on November 22, 1934.