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Arthur William Hood
25th Battalion “C” Company (Regimental Number: 67393)
Corporal Arthur William Hood, the 5th son of Samuel Campbell Hood, was born on April 5, 1890 in Yarmouth Nova Scotia.
Arthur was 24 years of age when he enlisted at Halifax, Nova Scotia, on November 18, 1914. He was eventually assigned to the
Canadian Infantry 25th Battalion ‘C’ Company and served on the western front during World War I.
In his youth he was very active in sports in Yarmouth, being of the Yarmouth
Hockey team, and the Yarmouth Baseball team. He joined the militia in Yarmouth
which in the pre war period was a coast defence battery using smooth bore cannons
to defend the harbour. This had a significant influence on his future choices. When
the war broke out he was employed in Halifax as an electrician.
Though he lived with his father and mother in the North end he was
preparing to make a life on his own with his girl Mary. The need for experienced
artillery men at the beginning of the war and the patriotic fever in the city were
the reasons why he joined the military. He was a small man five feet three inches
in height, weighing 124 pounds with blue eyes and light brown hair. The exact
unit he shipped out with is not known, but he went overseas in 1915. Annie his
mother and Mary went to see him off. His father Samuel, refused to go claiming
that he had too many watch repairs.
Arthur was soon at the front shelling German positions. It is said that he participated in the barrage before the attack on
Vimy Ridge. Arthur was a good artilleryman and was promoted to Corporal. He seemed to make it all the way through the war
unscathed until 1918. During the last push by the Germans in the Ypres salient his battery alone with others came under intense
shelling and the men at his gun were taken down by shrapnel.
Arthur was one of those who seemed only wounded. Behind his ear was a wound, and Arthur was having frequent seizures.
In hospital, the wound was examined and no shrapnel found. He was kept till healing seemed to have taken place. By the time
that he was ambulatory the war had ended and Arthur was sent home ever though he was still having seizures, though not as
often. Some put these down to perhaps shell shock. Arthur returned to Halifax and his Mary but he was never the same.
By this time his mother and father had moved back to Yarmouth. Arthur managed on a pension and help from his brother
Stanley until 1927. While canoeing with Mary on the North West Arm he had a massive seizure and died. The death was deemed
natural at first and his body was sent to Yarmouth to be buried in the family plot.
His brother Samuel was by now major of the local militia and he requested that Dr. Campbell do an autopsy. Dr. Campbell
was the surgeon for the local militia.
Dr. Campbell found a large piece of shrapnel in the pan of Arthur's brain. It had been sitting there like a time-bomb with a
hair-trigger detonator. Something had made it move causing the seizure that killed him. The doctor sent this report to the
authorities in Ottawa, who were forced to admit that they had sent Arthur home without knowing his life was in danger. Veterans
affairs sent Annie an apology and condolences, while Dr. Campbell lost his position as militia doctor.
Mary Ross Sortor was at the time living with her mother at Sam and Annie's home because she had lost her husband Henry
Ross. Around 2000, John Hood met Mary Sortor when she came to Yarmouth with some artefacts. She had her father’s sword
which she gave to the local museum. She asked John Hood if he would like to have his uncle’s sword and metal. John said that
he would be honoured even though at the time he had no idea to what she was refering. The sword was a large horse bayonet
and the metal was a silver cross. Mary filled in a details beyond those John’s father had told him and explained how she came to
have the artefacts.
Annie, Arthur’s mother had received the metal along with the letter of apology. Mary said that Annie overcome with grief
had gone to the back door in tears and threw the cross as far as she could saying "what good is this trinket, I have lost my son".
Mary searched for and found the cross and had kept it all her life without saying anything, She was later given the bayonet later
by her uncle Sam.
The story was provided by John Hood, Yarmouth Nova Scotia