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Authority record
8th Hussars Museum

Thorne, Ora

  • Person
  • 1895-

Ora Thorne -A Veteran Remembers - This Story was wrote by Ora Thorne's daughter Norma Thorne Corey. (posted in Positive Impact January 18th, 1989)

Ora Whitfield Thorne was born on December 24, 1895 at Salem, Kings County. The son of Byatha and Almeda Mae Thorne., Ora was one of fifteen children-two girls and thirteen boys. He received very little formal education as he was needed to help support the family.

On March 1,1916 Ora, who was then 20 years old, enlisted with the army's 115th Battalion in Saint John. After three months, the battalion was shipped to the outskirts of Quebec City , where they drilled on the Plains of Abraham.

That summer , the 115th battalion travelled by train to Halifax. They stopped in Moncton to get off and march around the city before reboarding to continue the journey. From Halifax, a shop carried the soldiers around the coast of Ireland to Portsmouth, England. A train carried them from there to Branshot. The battalion drilled there for awhile but the men and the villagers were unhappy together. Their commander, Colonel Fowler, formed the 13th reserve and drilled the group until they received the call to France. Once again the men boarded a ship[ which this time carried them to LeHavre. They soon found themselves near Vimy Ridge where they were instructed in bombing techniques before joining the engineers.

The men were drafted alphabetically. As his last name begins with a "T", Ora was left until nearly the last. When the 26th Engineers "came out" for R and R, ora was ready to join them. He was with the 26th Engineers when they took and held the main part of Vimy Ridge. Ora was wounded in the neck and was hospitalized for two weeks. Ironically , he was transferred to hospital on the Narrow Gauge rail line which he help build.

Ora returned to England for two weeks before taking the draft to join the 26th Battalion , D Company. It was shortly after this that the rest of Vimy Ridge was taken. The fall of Vimy Ridge was the turning point for World War I.

While with the Engineers, Ora had helped construct the rail line and had dug trenches. His experiences with the 26th Battalion Infantry were different. They carried the Lee Enfield rifle. A full battle dress included a backpack containing a great coat, a blanket, a hand gun and ammunition. Marches from one front to another lasted all night.

Horses and Mules were used for all deliveries and transport while in combat. The soldiers rations consisted of hard tack (hard biscuits) chlorinated water, bread and jam. The weather was cold and the mud was everywhere. The men were always ankle deep in it. The trenches were full of rats, and bodies were strewn everywhere. The smell of decay was beyond description. When the men nearly reached the point where they could stand it no longer, they were given a week's leave.

For about 2two years ,Ora was a stretcher bearer in the 26th Battalion. He acquired this position by being the closest to a stretcher when one of the bearers was shot down. Ora was ordered to replace him. he continued stretcher bearer until he was shipped home.

From Vimy Ridge, Ora's group travelled to Passchendaele, Belgium, where they took the town from enemy forces: "Oh, how I remember on the 6th day of November Up in Belgium, in that mud, Where so many Canadians lost their blood. We took that town called Passchendaele.

They took the town and turned it over to others to secure before returning to France. They stayed in a dug-out for six days becoming out for pay.

For a time, the battalion was under the leadership of Sarge Fred Cain who took over after the colonel was killed. A new colonel resumed leadership at the end of 1918. The new colonel was in his sixties and had very high standards of army life.
At the end of the war, Ora's battalion was transferred to Cologne, France, where did guard duty for six months to help maintain order. One evening , while Ora was on guard detail there was an outburst of gunfire. The Canadians opened up and restored order. Everything remained quiet from that time on .

Before returning to Canada at the end of the war, Ora was one of the men of the 26th battalion chosen to parade before King George V in London. He was given a rifle and trained to march with the troops . Ora received 2 medals and a person note of thanks from the King.
In 1919, the war-weary soldiers returned to Canada.

In 1925, Ora married Annie Marcia Thorne, daughter of Charles and Mary Thorne of Canaan Road. They built and lived in the house where Deverne Carson now resides.

Ora farmed and worked out for a living. At the outbreak of World War II, he tried to enlist but was refused. Ora then helped to build the facilities at Camp Sussex. Upon it's completion , he returned home to work at Bloise Corey's Mill.

In 1945 , Ora purchased the Dan Burgess farm which he continued to work until his retirement. He and Annie had 2 sons, Gerald (who married Lillian O'Neil and Ronald (who marred Ruby Keith). Ronald passed away in 1970. They also had tow daughters Norma and Marilyn. Ora and Annie have 22 grand children and 13 great grand children.
Ora was a member of the Havelock branch Royal Canadian legion for a number of years. He is an Honourary Deccan of the Havelock United Baptist Church, of which he has been a member for approximately thirty years.

Main, Charles

  • Person
  • 1914-1940

Captain Charles Gilliland Main
Canadian Army Medical Corps

Charles Gilliland Main was born in St. Andrews, NB on January 2, 1865. He was a physician in Edmundston for a number of years where he was the first doctor in New Brunswick to do an appendectomy. It was not long after he moved to St. Stephen, NB to practice that he felt compelled to enlist. He traveled to Montreal and on April 19, 1916 at the age of 51 he enlisted wanting to do his part to help with the heavy casualties. His military file indicated that he was married to Caroline Matilda and they had one child, Wilmot Balloch Main . They belonged to the Church of England. Both his parents were deceased.

He was appointed to the rank of Captain on March 2, 1916 and joined the Army Medical Corps. He served in England and France. On May 9, 1916, he arrived in Boulogne, France and was stationed at the No. 3 General Hospital. He was attached for temporary duty to the No 13 British Station Hospital during the summer of 1916 and then returned to the No. 3 General Hospital. Main dealt with casualties from many battles during the First World War including those at Vimy Ridge. There were more than 10,500 casualties over the four-day battle. 7,707 of those occurred on April 9 and the early hours of April 10. The wounds that medical staff dealt with were more severe than previous battles due to the increased use of artillery. Charles’ son, Wilmot enlisted in August of 1917. He too joined the Medical Corps and served with his father in Europe. Charles had a very caring heart. He wrote numerous articles for the newspaper detailing his experiences in France as well as those of the soldiers. He was also an amateur photographer. During the war, he took hundreds of photos of life during war time focusing on family, the injured, special times and the dead. His pictures have been preserved by the family and have now been donated to the 8th Hussars Museum.
Charles Main was having some medical issues with ulcers and stomach ailments and was admitted to the hospital for a month in March, 1919. He set sail for Canada on August 13, 1919 and was discharged from service on November 18, 1919. Main returned to New Brunswick and established a long-term family practice on the corner of Charlotte and Watson Streets in the west side of Saint John. His son, Wilmot, would also come to Saint John to teach at Saint John Vocational School. Wilmot would go on to become Vocational’s second director from 1937-1965.

Dr. Charles Gilliland Main died at the age of 75 on September 7. 1940. He is buried in Fernhill Cemetery in Saint John. He was of great service to his country during the First World War and was fortunate enough to return home and help so many others through his medical practice. His family is very proud of Charles and Wilmot for their contributions to the war as well as their many accomplishments during their lifetime.

Soper, David

  • Person
  • 1943-1945

David Soper donated these war time maps to the 8th Hussars Museum

Brown, Carol

  • Person
  • 1950

Carol brown donated to the 8th Hussars Museum .

Taylor, William Clyde

  • Person
  • 1946-1964

William Clyde Taylor was born 22 June 1905, in the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia. He attended the Presbyterian Church. Taylor enlisted with the army 1 October 1946. His service number was SF-34838.

Malley, Pt. Wiefred

  • Person
  • 1942-1947

Pt. Wiefred Malley was in the Canadian Active Service Force during World War II. He enlisted with the Canadian Forces in 1942. He remained in the service throughout the duration of the War, eventually being discharged 27 March 1947. His regimental number was G51513. He was a member of the 86 Brigade Coy RCASC, Canadian Army overseas. He served in Holland, Netherlands, where he was given a souvenir from the Dutch people to commemorate their Canadian Liberators.

Patton, Laura Drusilla Elizabeth

  • Person
  • 1911-1995

Laura Drusilla Elizabeth Patton was born 1911 and joined the Canadian Women's Army Corps November 1941 at Saint John New Brunswick. Pte Patton reverted from the rank of a paid corporal to Private in order to proceed overseas with the first CWAC contingent. She was employed with the workshop section and effective 16 December 1942 received rank of Corporal once again. Patton did excellent work, was an extremely hard worker , very conscientious and trustworthy. She served overseas in the United Kingdom. Received two medals 1939-1945 War Medal and Volunteer Service Medal. Patton was discharged in Fredericton 21 September 1945 to return to civilian life.(on compassionate grounds)

Boudreau, Ernie

  • Person
  • 1943-1947

Ernie Boudreau joined the army on 28th Germany 1943. Upon enlistment he headed to Cornwall to begin training. He disembarked in Scotland in 1944, before transferring to France. He returned to Canada after the war.

Coates, Sheila and Doug

  • Person
  • 1939-1945

Doug and Sheila Coates donated a significant volume of material to the Museum. This material covers 1939-1945, consisting primarily of scrapbooks and newspaper clippings.

Reid, Sergeant D.

  • Person
  • 1939-1945

Sergeant D. E, Reid, regimental number G45, was a member of the 5th Armoured Regiment, 8th New Brunswick Hussars. He trained in Camp Borden in 1941, taking part in a NCO refresher course when he was a Corporal. He went on to serve with the Regiment during World War II, including Italy.

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