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,
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
(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
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.