William John Brown Bookey

Canadian Expeditionary Force

Personal Details

Born: 8 May 1886 in Whitchurch, Shropshire.

Family: He was the only child born to William John Brownrigg Bookey, a naval surgeon and his wife Ann Elizabeth, nee Brown. He married Alice Roberta Ogilvie on 9 October 1929 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The couple had two sons, William Robert and Thomas Patrick.

Residence: In 1901 he and his widowed mother were living in St. Mary`s Street, Whitchurch, Shropshire. At the time he was drafted into the Army in 1917 his address was 224 Shaw Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. When he died in 1979 his home was 120 Anne Street, Barrie, Ontario.

Employment: In 1917 he was a fitter of mechanical transport.

Died: 30 December 1979 at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Barrie, Simcoe County, Ontario, aged 93.

Other Information: In 1964 he was appointed as a serving brother of the Grand Priory in the British Realm of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem. In 1975 this was ‘upgraded’ to Officer (Brother).

Military Details

Regiment: Canadian Expeditionary Force (Engineer Training Dept.) 

Rank: Sapper

Service Number: 2008240

Date of Enlistment: 8 November 1917

Date of Discharge: 20 June 1919

Reason for Discharge: Demobilisation, medically unfit for general service.

Medals and Awards

William was awarded the Campaign medals (Victory and British War Medals)

Campaign Medals

Great War History Hub Whitchurch Shropshire Medals Front Image

The British War Medal (also known as 'Squeak') was a silver or bronze medal awarded to officers and men of the British and Imperial Forces who either entered a theatre of war or entered service overseas between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918 inclusive. This was later extended to services in Russia, Siberia and some other areas in 1919 and 1920. Approximately 6.5 million British War Medals were issued. Approximately 6.4 million of these were the silver versions of this medal. Around 110,000 of a bronze version were issued mainly to Chinese, Maltese and Indian Labour Corps. The front (obv or obverse) of the medal depicts the head of George V. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

The Allied Victory Medal (also known as 'Wilfred') was issued by each of the allies. It was decided that each of the allies should each issue their own bronze victory medal with a similar design, similar equivalent wording and identical ribbon. The British medal was designed by W. McMillan. The front depicts a winged classical figure representing victory. Approximately 5.7 million victory medals were issued. Interestingly, eligibility for this medal was more restrictive and not everyone who received the British War Medal ('Squeak') also received the Victory Medal ('Wilfred'). However, in general, all recipients of 'Wilfred' also received 'Squeak' and all recipients of The 1914 Star or The 1914/1915 Star (also known as 'Pip') also received both 'Squeak' and 'Wilfred'. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.


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