George Fayette Palmer signature

On this day in 1916, George Fayette Palmer signed up in Deseronto. He was born in Monticello, Indiana on March 28th, 1868 (he claimed 1871), the son of Samuel Ball and Emma (née Palmer). He described himself as an “expert explosive man” on his attestation paper and gave his next of kin as his wife, Clara L. Palmer, whose home address was 1825 3rd Street West, Seattle, Washington.

Palmer joined the 155th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force with the regimental number 636973. He was five feet seven and a half inches tall, with a fair complexion, blue eyes and brown and grey hair. His service record shows that served in Canada he rose through the ranks to become Regimental Quarter Master Sergeant and was discharged in Kingston on April 20th, 1918 in order to take up a commission in the 3rd Battalion, Canadian Garrison Regiment.

George signed up again on September 20th, 1918. At this date he had the rank of lieutenant and stated that he had served for six months in the 155th Battalion and one year seven months in No. 3 Special Service Company.1 He gave his occupation as “Lawyer and manufacturer”. This time, he gave his next of kin as Emma J. Palmer, his mother. He was demobilized in Kingston on April 15th, 1919.

Grave of George Fayette Palmer and Edith Pearl Steele, courtesy of (uploaded by Carole Sprickerhoff)

Grave of George Fayette Palmer and Edith Pearl Steele, courtesy of (uploaded by Carole Sprickerhoff)

After the war, George was living in Thomas Street, Deseronto, married to Edith Pearl Steele and living with her parents and a stepson, Basil Branscombe (Pearl’s son from her first marriage). He was working as a wholesale grocer. His first wife, Clara, was in Seattle with their son and was divorced.

Pearl Steele Palmer died on February 18th, 1932 and George died on November 3rd, 1934. On his death registration, he was described as a newspaper reporter. Both George and Pearl were buried in Deseronto Cemetery.

1Special Service Companies were formed to make use of men whose health was less than perfect (or who were under or over age). They undertook activities such as guard duty.