Floyd Everard Graydon

F E Graydon PN2014_05082
PAMA, William Perkins Bull fonds, series 8, file 970

Floyd Everard Graydon was born in Streetsville on April 20, 1877, to Robert Graydon and his wife, Sarah Jane Sterling. Robert Graydon, a member of the well-known Streetsville family, and son of William Graydon, was the postmaster of Streetsville, a post he occupied for fifty years. He and his wife, Sarah Jane, had six children, Floyd being the second-born.
In the 1901 Census of Canada, Floyd was living with his family in Streetsville and gave his occupation as a clerk in a general store, probably the family’s store in Streetsville. At some time after this he became a commercial traveler out west. In the 1916 Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, he was living at 1027 Dorchester Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba with his youngest sister, Ena, who had married William Henry Clipperton.
Floyd enlisted on July 7, 1916 in the 203rd Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force, at Camp Hughes, North Cypress, near the town of Carberry, Manitoba. His regimental number was 235198. Camp Hughes, a large military training camp, had been established as Camp Sewell in 1909, but was renamed in 1915 after Major-General Sir Sam Hughes, Canada’s Minister of Militia and Defense.

Camp Hughes
William G. Hillman Archives

On his attestation form Floyd was described as 5 feet 5 inches, with a dark complexion, dark brown eyes, and dark hair, and slightly flat-footed. Curiously he gave his date of birth as April 20, 1880, thus making himself three years younger. He named his father, Robert, as his next of kin. On his attestation form he indicated that he had previously served with the 36th Peel Battalion, and gave his address as 1027 Dorchester Avenue, Winnipeg.
Floyd’s brother-in-law, William Clipperton, was born in Toronto and attended Thorold Public School and Niagara Falls Collegiate Institute. He studied at McGill University and Victoria College, and got his degree in Education. He taught in several Toronto schools and became principal of La Verendrye School, in Winnipeg. He had enlisted with the rank of captain in the 203rd Battalion on March 13, 1916, but reverted to his lieutenancy to go overseas with the 8th Battalion in August 1916. It appears that Floyd followed his brother-in-law in the 203rd Battalion.

W H Clipperton
Veterans Canada, Canadian Virtual War Memorial

The 203rd (Winnipeg Rifles) Battalion began recruiting in the winter of 1915/1916 in Winnipeg. The battalion sailed to England in October 1916 and was absorbed into the 18th Reserve Battalion in January 1917. At some point Floyd was transferred from the 203rd Battalion to the 52nd (New Ontario) Battalion. The 52nd Battalion had been raised in Thunder Bay in the spring of 1915 and joined the 9th Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division on February 23, 1916 in France.
Floyd wrote a lengthy letter, dated February 15, 1917, from Seaford, Sussex, England to his sister, Hattie Graydon in Streetsville, before he was sent over to France. In his letter he described the countryside and the various trips he had taken, including one to London where he was able to attend the theatre and visit such sights as Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London and London Bridge, as well as Madame Tussaud’s. He made mention of his brother-in-law, whom he referred to as “Capt. Bill”, who had been laid up for three weeks with the measles.
William Clipperton reverted to his rank as captain and joined the 8th Battalion in France in July 1917. He took part in the attack on Hill 70 in August, was shot by a sniper and died of his wounds on August 17, 1917. He was buried in Lapugnoy Military Cemetery, in Pas de Calais, France.
Floyd was killed in action a year later on August 28, 1918 and is buried in Vis-En-Artois British Cemetery, Haucourt, Pas de Calais, France. Both he and William Clipperton are commemorated on the Streetsville Cenotaph and also on the Graydon tombstone in Streetsville Cemetery.

Graydon Gravestone
Joanne Krywko

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