Pte. Herbert Victor Sharpe


    Herbert Victor Sharpe was born on November 11, 1895, in Derby, Grey, Ontario, to parents Edward Sharpe and Wilhelmina "Willey Minnie" Willsie.The family, which included several more children, would eventually live at 637 Second Avenue East, in Owen Sound. Herbert would attend the Owen Sound Collegiate Institute in his later youth, and took a job as a bank clerk while serving as a reservist in the 31st Grey Battalion. On August 28, 1915, travelled to Barriefield Camp in Kingston, where he signed up to fight in the Great War.

Herbert, following enlistment, was assigned to the Fort Garry Horse, a Canadian cavalry unit based out of Winnipeg. He arrived in Shorncliffe, England, on November 1, 1915, where he remained for four months of training until travelling to Le Havre, France in late February of 1916. Herbert spent more than a year serving on the continent before being sent to military hospital with a case of cellulitis, a bacterial skin infection, on his left knee. He was released a week later, and rejoined his regiment on April 1, 1917 - the next day, however, he was diagnosed with both syphilis and gonorrhea, and sent back to Shorncliffe for treatment.

On August 28, 1917, Herbert was reinstated into the Fort Garry Horse, but remained at Shorncliffe for eight months. By April of 1918,  he proceeded to Hestrus, France. His unit arrived in Amiens on August 6, 1918, and Herbert would be one of the many soldiers to fight in the Battle of Amiens. During the action, he received a gunshot wound to the right shoulder, and returned to England for treatment, arriving August 18, 1918. He was soon released.

On November 6, 1918, Herbert returned to hospital complaining of a headache, sore throat, aching of the limbs, pain in the lungs, and a fever. He was diagnosed with influenza, and days later with bronchopneumonia. Private Herbert Sharpe succumbed to illness on November 15, 1918, having just turned twenty-three, and was buried at Shorncliffe Military Cemetery in Folkestone, Kent, England.    


  1. "Ontario, Canada Births, 1858-1913," database and images, Ancestry, ( accessed 23 October 2018), birth of Herbert Victor Sharpe, 11 November 1895, Derby, Grey, Ontario, "Registrations of Births and Stillbirths – 1869-1913. MS 929, reels 1-245," Series: MS929; Reel: 131; Archives of Toronto; Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 

   Researched by Reid Kinal