Private Winfield George Haviland

This is part of a series of essays about the First World War casualties commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Connecticut.

The grave of Winfield George Haviland
The grave of Winfield George Haviland

Winfield George Haviland was a United States citizen, whose service with the Canadian Expeditionary Force was limited to service in Canada as a result of illness. He was born on 4 February 1893 at Stamford, Connecticut, the only child of William and Eliza Haviland.[1] His father died in 1897 and in 1900, when he was seven years old, he was sent to Connecticut School for Boys;  the establishment provided an education for juvenile offenders and orphans. In February that year his mother married George M. Cudlipp, a widower.[2] Winfield Haviland later lived with his mother and stepfather before joining the United States Army.

Although his Canadian Expeditionary Force attestation papers record that he served for three years with the United States Army, other records contradict this. He enlisted into the Army in 1913 and after his recruit training he joined Company ‘F’, 6th Infantry Regiment at the Presidio, San Francisco in January 1914. In April 1914 he deserted, just prior to the Regiment’s departure for service on the Mexican border. He rejoined the Regiment at El Paso in July 1914 and was posted to Company ‘C’. Tried by General Court Martial, he was discharged in October 1914.

Following his discharge, he worked as a plumber. Haviland enlisted for service with the Canadian Expeditionary Force at Weyburn, Saskatchewan on 20 October 1915 and joined 68th Battalion (Regina); he was allocated the number 105007. Medical reports indicate that he was continually unwell from the period of his enlistment and had not undertaken any training other than with the band. It was recommended that he be discharged but, prior to action being taken, he was admitted to Grey Nuns Hospital, Regina on 10 April 1916 apparently suffering from pneumonia. Diagnosed with tuberculosis (his illness had also rendered him deaf), he was transferred to a sanatorium in Gravenhurst, Ontario in August and then to Central Military Convalescent Hospital in Toronto in November. When his condition worsened he was admitted on 17 February 1917 to Mountain Sanatorium at Hamilton, Ontario. The sanatorium specialised in tuberculosis treatment and later reported that he was suffering from a ‘very chronic’ form of the disease and that recovery was ‘doubtful’. His illness resulted in his discharge from the Army on 22 July 1918 and his continued in-patient treatment came under the control of the Invalided Soldiers Commission.[3] Winfield Haviland died of tubercular meningitis in the sanatorium on 2 August 1918. His body was returned home and he was buried in Long Ridge Union Cemetery, Stamford, in Plot 128 near his uncle and his grandparents. That plot is in the north-west corner of the cemetery, alongside Erskine Road.

The Canadian First World War Book of Remembrance page dedicated to those not listed by name
The Canadian First World War Book of Remembrance page dedicated to those not listed by name

Private Winfield George Haviland was not commemorated as a casualty of war until 1934. In consequence his name does not appear in the Canadian First World War Book of Remembrance. Such casualties are commemorated on page 601 of the Book of Remembrance, which ‘is dedicated to the memory of those Canadians whose names are not herein recorded, but who gave their lives in the Great War, and to those whose span of days was shortened by their service ’.

1. (Back) William Charles Haviland (1872-1897) married Anna Elizabeth (née unknown) (later Cudlipp) (1874-17 February 1957).
2. (Back) George Morris Cudlipp (7 July 1877-5 July 1957) served in the United States with Company ‘K’, 3rd Connecticut Volunteer Infantry in during the Spanish American War.
3. (Back) The Invalided Soldiers’ Commission was part of the Department of Soldiers’ Civil Re-Establishment. Upon discharge all officers and soldiers passed to the control of the Commission if they required ‘medical treatment on account of their suffering from tuberculosis, epilepsy, paralysis or other diseases likely to be of long duration or incurable, or on account of their being mentally deficient or insane’. See: Department of Soldiers’ Civil Re-Establishment. (May 1918). Report of the Work of the Invalided Soldiers’ Commission. Ottawa: J De L Taché.

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