Hobson Thorpe
Hobson appears on the 1911 Canadian Census and it states that he arrived there in 1907. On his Attestation Papers in 1916 it states that he had spent eight years in the 1st South Staffordshire Regiment. It does not give the dates but the assumption is that it spanned the 1901 census which is why he cannot be found there when the regiment was in South Africa for the Boer War.

Hobson enlisted in the 181st Battalion, Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force on 25th August 1916. He was single and named his sister, Jane, as his next of kin. Amongst the papers received is a “Form of Will” signed on 9th January 1917 bequeathing everything to her.

He sailed to England in April 1917 (on HMS Grampian) with the 181st Battalion arriving at Liverpool. In May 1917 he was transferred to the 18th Res Battalion at Dibgate (now the infamour Deepcut Barracks as far as I can tell).

In September 1917 he was transferred to the 52nd Battalion and went to France. His “Proceedings on Discharge” form indicates that he served there for fourteen months. He was transferred from the 52nd Battalion to the 3rd Battalion CMGC during 1918. In February 1919 he was at Seaford where his Leaving the Service Medical Examination took place (he was declared to be healthy) and he was demobbed on 27th April 1919.

Amongst the papers is the answer as to whether or not it was he who married Margaret Swarbrick in 1917. On 4 August 1917 he was “granted permission to marry” and on 7 September 1917 he signed a new “Form of Will” bequeathing everything to his wife, Margaret. A few of the papers received deal with his pay and allowances and as from 5 September 1917 a Separation Allowance was payable to his wife, Margaret Thorpe, 7 Park Street, Clitheroe, Lancashire.

Having been out of the country for so long and back in it so briefly, it is hard to understand why Hobson should have married Margaret so swiftly, both getting on in years.

For the record, Hobson was 5ft 5½ ins tall and had a fair complexion, blue eyes and light hair. He had tattoo marks on both arms and chest, presumably a legacy from his earlier military service. He described himself as a 'farm labourer', again presumably his then occupation.

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