Great War 100 Reads

Commemorating the centenary of the First World War in books

Monday Monuments and Memorials – Harry Heffer, Cherry Valley Cemetery, Prince Edward County, ON

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Each soldier tells a story. Some stories are more elusive than others.

Harry Heffer is buried in Cherry Valley Cemetery – with his paternal grandparents, parents and sister – not far from his birthplace. He was born on 2 Apr 1890 in Athol Township or in Picton (both in Prince Edward County), the oldest son of James Heffer and Emma Wager. By 1911, he had moved to Toronto, where he worked as a printer at Ontario Press Ltd. He married Gertrude Morris in 1913.

Harry enlisted in August 1915. After training in Canada and England, he arrived in France in in February 1916. Starting that winter, he suffered from a persistent cough. Medical records indicate asthma, bronchitis and pulmonary tuberculosis. Harry spent most of 1917 in hospitals in the UK, going back to France in December. The cough soon started again, and he was back in hospital in April and May 1918. He was fine until November, when the cough started again.

By March 1919, he was home in Toronto, where he was discharged as being medically unfit. But was he home? I can find no record of him living there after the war. He died in Picton, Ontario on 21 February 1928, before his 38th birthday.

Author: greatwar100reads

Canadian crusader for equality and justice. Connoisseur and creator of the written word. Commemorating the centenary of the First World War in books and monuments. Read more at

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