100 Years Ago: William Asselstine Wounded, Harry McCreary Dies of Wounds

The Intelligencer April 16, 1918 (page 7)

“Another Son Wounded. Mr. John Asselstine of this city, has received a telegram from the Director of Records at Ottawa stating that his son, Private William John Asselstine was suffering from gunshot wounds in the head, thigh and leg. Pte. Asselstine left here with the 155th Battalion.

A brother of the wounded soldier, Pte. Charles Asselstine died in England last year, and another brother, Pte. Vincent was on October last severely wounded. The sympathy of all citizens will be extended to the members of the family in their sore trial.”

The Intelligencer April 16, 1918 (page 8)

“Pte. Harry McCreary Dies of Wounds. Another Belleville Boy Gives His Life That the Empire May Live. The sad news reached Belleville this morning that Pte. Harry Earl McCreary had died of wounds at No. 7 Stationary Hospital in France. Harry received gunshot wounds in the face and his skull was fractured on the 28th of March. His friends were anxiously awaiting encouraging news of him when the word came that he had passed away as a result of his injuries on Saturday last, April 13th.

Pte. McCreary was born in Belleville on 10th January 1888, being the third son of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew McCreary, who now reside at 869 Manning Avenue, Toronto. He was educated in Belleville’s schools and went to Winnipeg some years ago, where he was latterly employed with the Canadian Pacific Railway Company as a sleeping car conductor. On his arrival at Moosejaw one night he received a wire from his older brother advising that he had enlisted for overseas service, and Harry immediately insisted on being relieved of his duties and dead-headed into Winnipeg and signed up along with his brother Wesley.

Both brothers went to England with the 197th battalion, Wesley as captain and adjutant and Harry as sergeant. They went to France with the 78th Canadians as lieutenant and private respectively. Harry had won one stripe in the field after being transferred in France to the railway services, but he applied for transfer back to the 78th and again reverted to the rank of private in order to be near his brother and western chums.

Besides the father and mother, and brother overseas, there is a younger brother, Russell, who will graduate from McGill University next session as medical doctor, and another brother, William R., produce merchant of this city.

Harry was a splendid type of young Canadian manhood who was loved and respected by all who knew him. While he will be sorely missed, those who knew him best are proud of his sacrifice, and realize that he has died as he lived, an honorable citizen.”

[Note: Private Harry Earl McCreary died on April 13, 1918. He is commemorated on Page 454 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.]