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July 16, 2014

Remembering WW1 Soldier Alton C. Young

Alton C. Young's military photo hangs on our wall. We aren't related but he is one of several WW1 soldiers whose life we remember with respect.

Alton had his photo taken in his C.E.F. uniform before heading overseas to join the fighting. This was a typical thing that many men did before leaving.

Sadly he did not return and his framed photo bears these few details:

Alton C. Young
87th Battalion Canadian Infantry
died of wounds received at Arras, Sept. 28, 1918
Enlisted at Sherbrooke

Research on found more details about Alton and his short life. His attestation papers reveal that he was born Alton Charles Young on 26 August 1894 in Quebec. His father's name is given as Charles. Searching birth records provides his mother's name of Almeda. Census records for 1911 indicate he was one of 7 children.

Alton was tall for those times - 5'11" with dark brown hair and brown eyes. He enlisted on 3 January 1918 and was only in the war for 9 short months before being killed at Arras.
A search of the C.E.F. Commonwealth Grave Registers confirms his death on Sept. 28, 1918 and describes his wounds as

Gunshot wound to head, right arm and left arm. Died of cerebral hemorrhage and a fractured skull at Totting Military Hosptial in Totting England.  Alton was buried in Grave #181615 in the Canadian Military Cemetery in Brookwood, Surrey England. A photo of his tombstone can be seen.

His father Charles living in North Hatley Quebec was noted as his next-of-kin. Young Alton was only 24 when he was killed. He was not married so left no descendants to honour him. But someone did honour and remember him for they kept this framed photo for many years until it ended up in an Antique Store in Ontario. Thanks to my husband, Alton now has a place of honour in our home. His story will be passed on.

CEF Commonwealth Grave Register for Alton C. Young

C.E.F. Attestation Papers for Alton C. Young


Elizabeth Livingston said...

Surely some Canadian genealogist in Quebec or Ontario can find out more about his father's families and whether he even had siblings, aunts, and uncles, and cousins.

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Elizabeth - as I mentioned in my post about Alton, the 1911 census shows him as one of 7 children.

The only other census (recent census) available is the 1921 Census
so of course one could hunt for his siblings.

Since I'm a Canadian genealogist (did you know that when you left your comment?) I could look but other projects fill my time.

This blog post was about Alton and his life and I'm happy that we have some more details to remember him by.

btw it could be a genealogist of ANY country who looks for more records as many are available for free at and other census sites, etc