Warrant-Officer Francis John Waddel

Warrant-Officer Francis John Waddel served with Canadian Army Ordinance Corps during World War One. He is entitled to the British War medal, Army Meritorious Service Medal and Permanent Forces of the Empire Beyond the Seas Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.

He was born on May 1, 1882 in Chatham, Kent, England.

He enlisted with the Canadian Ordnance Corps on July 19, 1912 at Halifax, Nova Scotia. He named his next-of-kin as his mother, Winifred Waddell of Chatham, England, stating that he had 8 years’ previous military service with the Army Ordnance Corps (May 1903 to May 1911), that he was not married and that his trade was that of Soldier.

He was appointed Lance Corporal on October 1, 1914, leaving for service in England shortly thereafter and was taken on strength from Canada at Ashford, Kent, England on February 1, 1915.

Eighteen days later, he signed his CEF Attestation Paper with the Canadian Ordnance Corps on February 19, 1915 at Salisbury, England.

He was promoted the following month, to Corporal on March 1st and re-engaged for a further period of three years’ general service with the Canadian Ordnance Corps at Ashford, Kent on July 19, 1915.

He was promoted to Staff Sergeant on October 1, 1915, to Staff Sergeant on February 2, 1916, Sergeant on April 1, 1916 and to Squadron Quartermaster Sergeant on June 1, 1916.

He proceeded to Liphook on command for temporary duty on July 20, 1916, later on command at Crowborough from November 15 to 17, 1916, then proceeded to Pluckley on command from January 19 to 29, 1917, before returning to No. 1 Detachment Canadian Ordnance Corps at Ashford.

He was granted permission to marry Edith Randall on April 26, 1917 at Ashford. Together they had two children: Francis William who was born on May 15, 1918 while at Ashford, the other is unnamed in his records.

He was to be Acting Sub Conductor (Warrant Officer, Class I) with pay and allowances on February 4, 1918 and signed his Re-Engagement Paper on July 22, 1918, re-engaging for three years’ service at Ashford, Kent, later being named Acting Conductor on August 1st.

He was transferred from No. 1 Detachment at Ashford and was placed on command to No. 2 Detachment at Ashford on May 21, 1919.

He was awarded his Meritorious Service Medal, in recognition of valuable service rendered in connection with the war on June 13, 1919. He ceased to be on command at No. 2 Detachment on rejoining No. 1 Detachment Canadian Ordnance Corps at Liphook on June 18th. He was then placed on command to No. 7 Detachment COC at Witley on June 23rd, saw a promotion to Staff Sergeant on August 18th, then struck off strength of No. 7 Detachment to No. 2 Canadian Ordnance Corps at Liphook on December 31st.

Waddell was struck off strength to No. 1 Detachment Canadian Ordnance Corps at London on February 1, 1920 and by the end of the month, was struck off strength of No. 1 COC on transfer to Canada and attached to the CEF in England on February 29th.

The following day, he was taken on strength from the Overseas Military Forces of Canada at London on March 1st to overseas detachment. He was to remain in England for next six months, before being struck off strength of the overseas detachment to Canada for further duty, embarking on the S.S. Grampian and arriving in Canada on September 29, 1920 and was discharged in Ottawa on October 1st, stating his proposed residence as Halifax, Nova, Scotia. He never went to France so he is not entitled to the Victory Medal.

He signed his Permanent Force of Canada Attestation Paper with the 6th Detachment of the Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps at Halifax on October 15, 1920.

He was listed as Category A (General Service). He saw a provisional promotion to Squadron Quartermaster Sergeant at Halifax on November 20th, then reverted to the rank of Staff Sergeant on August 1, 1921.

He was discharged on July 18, 1922 as a Staff Sergeant at Halifax, “In consequence of his service being no longer required”, with his conduct noted as “Exemplary”.

For his long service, Waddell was awarded the Permanent Forces of the Empire Beyond the Seas Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.

He and his wife later moved back to England, settling in Ashford where he died on January 26, 1979, at Ashford, County Kent, at the age of 96, his death attributed to a combination of cardiac failure in conjunction with myocardial degeneration, along with carcinoma of his bladder. He had also been diagnosed with senility and dementia.

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