David John Powless signature

On this day in 1916, David John Powless, a woodworker, enlisted in Toronto. He was born in Prince Edward County on January 5th, 1869, the son of Jacob Powless and Nancy (née Zachariah), who were Mohawks. His first wife was Louisa Maracle, who died on February 15th, 1907 of influenza in Deseronto. He married Rose Hannah Mepham (née Hawkins) in Toronto on October 28th, 1910. Powless had five surviving children from his first marriage, Rose had one and they had three more children between 1911 and 1915. David’s two eldest sons, Charles David Powless and Harold Dean Powless had enlisted in August 1915.

David joined the 134th Battalion with the regimental number 799365. He was five feet eight and a half inches tall, with a dark complexion, hazel eyes and black hair. His service record shows that his unit sailed from Halifax on August 8th, 1916. In England, Powless was transferred to the 15th Battalion, which he joined in France in November 1916.

In June 1918 Powless was sent to England due to being over age for active service. He was transferred back to Canada on the RMS Llanstephan Castle, arriving in Montreal on October 8th. He was discharged from the army in Toronto on November 6th, 1918.