I’m pleased to report that a soldier in a photograph I published nearly five years ago has recently been identified by his granddaughter. Private John Hamilton Byrne is sitting on the ground on the far left, at the opposite end to the original owner of the group photograph, Driver John Fleming.
John Hamilton Byrne was born in Kingstown, Ireland and emigrated to Canada in 1913. At the outbreak of war he joined the 88th Victoria Fusiliers and enlisted for overseas service on October 10, 1914. He was transferred to the 30th Battalion CEF with whom he sailed to Britain in late February 1915. In June 1915 he was attached to the Canadian Army Medical Corps and sailed to France where he served with the 1st Canadian Sanitary Section until the end of March 1919, his only break being a week or two of annual leave. In May 1919 John was appointed Acting Sergeant with pay and returned to Canada later that month. He was demobilized on August 2, 1919.
John’s granddaughter Kerry Byrne has kindly allowed me to share these photographs with you, several of which feature other members of the 1st Canadian Sanitary Section. If you recognize anyone in these photos please leave a comment below or contact me.