Mitchell, Robert Oswald: Lieutenant

Digitized Service Record

This is a provisional entry for this soldier. On March 21, 1916 the 18th Battalion War Diary has an entry:

“Position as of yesterday. LIEUTS. J.C. CULLEN and R.C. MITCHELL [this may be Lt. Robert Oswald Mitchell] arrived as reinforcements. . 2 o.r. (wounded) admitted to hospital. 10 o.r. returned from hospital.”

It may be possible that this diary entry entered this officer’s second initial incorrectly. The image of the diary page is clear. It is a ‘C’ but it may have been transcribed incorrectly. The 71st Battalion was a reinforcing battalion so it is likely that this officer was transferred to the 18th Battalion. Lieutenant Mitchell joined the C.E.F. in October of 1915 at London Camp.

The 153rd Battalion web site has the following information about Lieutenant Mitchell:

Trade listed as Clerk. DOB 24-4-89, born Guelph. NOK Lizzie Mitchell, mother. Enlisted 71st Battalion 2-9-15. London Free Press 27-8-15 reports appointment as Lieutenant in 71st Battalion. (from Lieutenant 30th Wellington Regiment) On 71st Reinforcing Draft Sailing List 20-11-15, SS Metagama, Montreal, PQ. Returned to Canada (via New York) aboard ‘Columbia’, New York City, NY, 30-8-19.
File: RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 6262 – 12. Courtesy Library & Archives.
Ontario Death Records (035492) reports death at Homewood Sanitorium [Now the Homewood Health Centre] Guelph 17-5-31. Cause of death General Paresis contracted re: overseas service. Duration of illness listed as 6 years 4 months. Was a patient of the Homewood Sanitorium for over 15 months. Woodlawn Cemetery Records: died 1931, buried Woodlawn Cemetery, Block E 7.5.31, Guelph.

It is possible that the date of enlistment (2-9-15) refers to his initial enlistment and the Attestation Paper in this post shows a date in October. The specific day is not entered. He certainly joined a battalion that was reinforcing others and the dates of enlistment and sailing are consistent.

The information above is very tragic. General Paresis is a terrible neuropsychiatric disorder and associated with the later stages of syphilis.

March 1916 War Diary entry. See March 21 entry.

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