Stages of a Long Journey
The Funeral of
Capt. A. H. Paulin
West Sandling, 21 Mar 1917
From: Capt. M. C. Newcombe,
Chaplin, 133rd O.S. Battalion
To: Lieut.-Col. H. B. Donly, Simcoe, Ontario
Dear Colonel Donly -- I am writing you a few lines today, with the
thought that perhaps you may be interested in our last leavetaking
of the remains of our friend, the late Captain A. H. Paulin.
We assembled at 9:30 a.m.
today to convey the body of Captain Paulin to its point of
embarkation, the railway station at Sandgate. The scene was an
impressive one. In addition to his brother officers of the 133rd
Battalion, and others from the 3rd Reserve Battalion, there was
also present a guard of about one hundred men, composed chiefly of
those remaining of the 133rd. Many of these had served in Captain
Paulin's own company.
The body was borne from the
Mortuary upon the shoulders of eight Captains, and placed upon the
gun carriage awaiting it. There it was draped with the Union Jack.
The guard, with arms reversed, moved off at slow march. The band,
with muffled drums, immediately preceded the gun carriage, which
was drawn by four black chargers with grooms mounted. Beside the
carriage, on either side, marched the bearers, and immediately
behind the remaining officers marched, with order of seniority
reversed. Colonel Buell of the 3rd Reserve Battalion and Colonel
Pratt of the 133rd marching in the rear.
In this order the cortege
made its way down the winding road, to the roll of the drum and to
the solemn strains of the Dead March, until the foot of the hill
On arrival at the station
the train was already waiting and the body was borne to the
railway carriage to begin its journey across the sea to Simcoe,
Ont. As the train pulled out the guard stood at attention and the
officers at Salute, the last tribute we could pay to the mortal
remains of him whom we mourned as comrade, brother, friend.
As the body goes by express
it was unaccompanied by escort. This was deemed unnecessary by the
military authorities. May the comforting presence of the Heavenly
Father be with the sorrowing one on his arrival, and may strength
be given to sustain them in the trying days to follow.
H. C. Newcombe, Capt.,
Chaplain, 133rd O.S. Bn.
Captain Paulin's body
arrived in Simcoe on the G.T.R. Toronto train a little before noon
on Friday, April 13th, twenty-two days after leaving Sandgate,
England, and precisely one month from the date of his death.
No notification had come to
Simcoe of the probable arrival of the body and no one was at the
depot to receive it. It was, however, quickly transferred to the
undertaking establishment of Mr. Coates, where it remained until
Saturday night, hundreds of people visiting the place to get a
last view of a gallant soldier, very greatly esteemed by all,
whose tragic and unexpected death had touched deeply the hearts of
The funeral to the family
plot in Oakwood Cemetery took place at 3 o'clock Monday, and
called together the greatest number of people ever seen at such an
occasion in Norfolk.
Motor cars, filled with men
anxious to pay a last tribute of respect to the dead soldier, came
from almost all parts of Norfolk; for in his work of recruiting
for the guard, Captain Paulin had worked in many neighborhoods and
everywhere he had made genuine and lasting friendships.
The town itself put aside
everything that it might to honor one it admired. It was no
perfunctory pulling of blinds. The stores closed. And practically
every industrial establishment shut down for the half day.
The funeral cortege itself
was a long one. It passed from the deceased's home in the North
Ward to the cemetery, a distance of a mile or more, along streets
lined with hushed women and head-bared men. At the cemetery itself
the crowd numbered thousands.
At the house, there was a
religious service conducted by Rev. A. B. Farney of Trinity
Church. This was followed by a Masonic service in charge of W.
Bro. H. A. Johnson, Master of Norfolk Lodge, of which Captain
Paulin was a Past Master. R.Wor.Bro. James M. Waddle of Port Dover
As the cortege moved off to
the cemetery, it was headed by a firing party from the 215th
Battilion, which arrived by the 2:40 radial. This party was under
the command of Captain Gundry. Several other officers accompanied
it. Next came the band of the 215th Battalion; followed by the
Masons to the number of about 100. On either side of the hearse
walked the pall-bearers:
Major G. A. Curtis, Captain Stewart Buck,
Major W. G. Jackson, Capt. A. I. Slater, Major D. Burch, Lieut.
Blaney, Lt.-Col. L. F. Aiken, Li.-Col. H. B. Donly. Following the
hearse was a long line of carriages and motors containing
relatives and friends.
The proceedings at the
grave-side were most impressive. Mr. Farney read effectively the
beautiful burial service as set forth in the Book of Common
Prayer. The Masons finished the reading of the service of their
ritual, deposited their evergreen tokens on the casket still
resting on the supports and covered with the Union Jack, and
joined in the grand Honors of the Order. Then, as the casket was
lowered, there rang out in perfect unison the three farewell
volleys to a soldier; the pall-bearers stood at attention while
the buglers sounded the Last Post, and all the respect and tribute
that his home community could pay to
Captain Arthur Hilton Paulin had been accomplished.
Friends from a distance
attending the funeral were
Mrs. J. McGrattan and Mrs. J. Wallace of Midland;
Mr. George Paulin of Wroxeter;
Dr. Hess of Brantford;
Mrs. J. Powell and Harry Powell of Woodstock;
Mr. James Paulin of Pt. Perry;
Mrs. W. Green of Wiarton.
The floral offerings were
particularly beautiful, possibly the finest ever seen in Simcoe.
Lure, from Col. Buell and the officers of the 3rd Reserve
Broken Circle, from Col. Pratt and officers of the 133rd
Broken Wheel, from Col. Townsend and the officers of the 30th
Harp, from the N.C.O.'s and men of the 133rd Battalion;
Sheaf, from the Masonic Order, Simcoe;
white lillies from Simcoe Oddfellows;
double spray from the 133rd Band;
spray from Leader's Class, Baptist Sunday School;
spray from the Ladies' Aid of the Presbyterian Church;
pillow from Mrs. Paulin;
pillow from the choir of St. Paul's Church;
wreath from the Returned Soldiers of Simcoe;
wreath from Sir John Graves Simcoe Chapter, I.O.D. E.;
spray and wreath from father, mother, sisters and brothers of the
sprays: Master Arthur Palin, Mr. Robert Osborne,
Major & Mrs. W. G. Jackson, Colonel & Mrs. Donly,
Dr. Hess & Miss Holden, Mrs. & the Misses McCool,
Mrs. Gibsons, Mr. & Mrs. Falls, Mr. & Mrs. Force,
Mr. and Mrs. McIntyre, Mr. Wm. Barlow.