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Remembering World War I Yarmouth Connections
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Name: Wilford Suthern Simms Rank: Engineer Sub-Lieutenant Service: HMS Kempton Royal Naval Reserve Date of Birth: September 28, 1893 Place of Birth: Yarmouth, NS Date of Enlistment: 1917 (Royal Navy) Trade: Engineer Martial Status: Single Religion: Baptist Next of Kin: Date of Death: June 24, 1917 Age at Death: 23 Memorial: Portsmouth Naval Memorial Panel Reference: 27 Commemorated on Page 581 of the First World War Book of Remembrance Displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on December 16 Wilford was the son of Captain Alvin Simms (b. 1858) and Margaret Ann (Armstrong) Simms of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. He was the brother of Sherman (1891-1946), Athaleen (b. 1894), Gevenia (b. 1896), and Geneva Gertrude (1898). Wilford left Yarmouth and moved to the United States where he worked for some five years in preparation to becoming a marine engineer. He visited Yarmouth in September 1915 and then proceeded to Glasgow, Scotland where he successfully completed the examination for an engineer’s certificate. He joined the Engineer Department of a hospital ship operated by the British in East India waters; however, he resigned his position in the spring of 1917 and returned to Scotland. He then joined the Royal Navy. At the time of his death, June 24th, 1917 he was serving on the Royal Navy Mine Sweeper HMS Kempton. HMS Kempton and HMS Redcar were off the Spindle Buoy, North of Gravelines (off the French Coast between Calais and Dunkirk) when they both struck mines and sank. There were four casualties from HMS Kempton, including Wilford Simms.
Wilford Suthern Simms
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HMS Kempton
Sources: Canadian Virtual War Memorial Commonwealth War Grave Commission uboat. net Additional Information: “A Monument Speaks” A Thurston; 1989 (pp 308-309)