Pauline, William Frederick

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William Frederick Pauline
26 August 1899 – 19 February 1954
CSMI (W.O. II) W.F. Pauline, Sarcee Camp, 1931.jpg
Place of birth Esquimalt, British Columbia
Place of death Mill Bay, British Columbia
Allegiance Canada
Service/branch Canadian Army
Years of service 1915-1919; 1922-1947
Awards Canadian Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
William Frederick Pauline (26 August 1899 - 19 February 1954) was a Canadian soldier who served as an artillery signaller during the First World War and as a member of the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals between the wars and during the Second World War.

Early Years

William was born 26 August 1899 to parents Herbert William Pauline and Anna Elizabeth Doran at Esquimalt British Columbia. He was the eldest of four boys with younger brothers Arthur (1905-1906), John Edward Patrick (1906-1951) and Herbert Ernest (1908-1908).


William joined the Royal Canadian Garrison Artillery at Esquimalt on 23 November 1915 at the age of 16 and was assigned regimental number 6284. He claimed no previous military service and stated he was single and had no trade.

Details of his military service between 1915 and 1917 aren't known however records indicate he was qualified in Line Telegraphy on 13 February 1916. He was serving at Halifax Nova Scotia with No. 5 Company, Royal Canadian Garrison Artillery when he attested for service with the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) to which he was transferred effective 20 February 1917. On his CEF attestation he claimed to be born in 1898 however all his other military documents indicate 1899. He is described as 5 feet 10.5 inches tall, weighing 170 pounds with a ruddy complexion, blue eyes and brown hair.

He was allocated to 2nd Reinforcing Draft No. 8 Siege Battery and was assigned regimental number 2163371. He embarked at Halifax on 29 April aboard S.S. Olympic and arrived at Liverpool 7 May 1917 where he was taken on strength of the Reserve Battalion Canadian Field Artillery at Shorncliffe. Posted to 12 Siege Battery in July 1917, he later proceeded to France in October 1917 as a reinforcement to No 9 Siege Battery. His service seems to have been unremarkable. He is noted to have been admitted to Horsham Military Hospital between 18 and 23 July 1917 with tonsillitis and to 58 Casualty Clearing Station from 21 to 22 December 1917 for dental reasons.

Granted 14 days of leave to the UK on 25 October 1918, he didn't rejoin his unit until 13 November, two days after the armistice was signed. He remained in France until 31 March 1919 when he proceeded to the UK for return to Canada. He embarked for Canada aboard H.M.T. Maurentania on 29 April and arrived on 4 May 1919. His First World War service ended when he was discharged from the CEF on 15 June 1919. For his service in the war he was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal along with War Service Badge Class "A" No. 173224.

He again joined the Royal Canadian Artillery on 23 January 1922 at the rank of Gunner and was assigned regimental number 7348. He was appointed Lance Bombadier effective 29 May 1922 and passed the testing to be classified as Signaller that same year. In 1923 he attended a Royal School of Signalling at Winnipeg Manitoba between 23 July and 1 September and qualified as Assistant Instructor - Visual Telegraphy.

On 1 April 1924 William transferred to the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals at the rank of Sergeant, appointed Acting Sergeant Instructor, and was assigned regimental number 39620. A member of the Instructional Cadre (Signals), he was posted to Headquarters Militia District No. 11 at Esquimalt British Columbia for duty. He was confirmed in the rank of Sergeant Instructor on 12 September 1925 and was qualified in Cable Wagon Drill and Mounted Duties on 15 October 1925.

He was posted to Headquarters Militia District No. 13 at Calgary Alberta on 1 February 1927. During that posting, he attended the 6th Wireless Course at Camp Borden, Ontario, between 15 October 1928 and 30 May 1929 and was qualified Group "A" - Operator Wireless Class 1. Effective 18 May 1929 he was promoted to the rank of Company Sergeant Major Instructor (CSMI) (W.O. II) and that same year qualified as Meteorlogical Observer (Honours).

He was transferred to HQ MD No. 11 at Victoria British Columbia 15 May 1931. Effictive 18 May 1932 he was promoted Quarter Master Sergeant Instructor (QMSI) (W.O. II). He completed his 1st Class Army Certificate of Education on 11 January 1933. In 1936 he was awarded the Canadian Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct in recognition of year of service. He was only one of 14 members of the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals to be awarded the medal with the effigy of King George V and one of only 16 recipients in the Corps prior to the Second World War.

He was posted to the Canadian Signal Training Centre at Camp Borden, Ontario, effective 31 December 1936 but he only remained for a short time as effective 31 August 1937 he was transferred to HQ Militia District No. 4 at Montreal Quebec. He was promoted Sergeant Major Instructor (W.O. I) in 1938. That same year he was attached to Central Camp School of Signals from 16 July until 20 August.

He was still a member of No. 4 Detachment, R.C. Sigs at the rank of SMI (W.O. I) when the Second World War broke out. He was taken on strength of the Canadian Active Service Force effective 1 September 1939 and completed his attestation on 15 September. His trade is listed as Operator Signals Group "B". Promoted Lieutenant, he was appointed District Signal Officer Militia District No. 4 on 2 October 1940. In his nomination form, he is described as having "Very sound military knowledge and brilliant technical ability; good power of command, and clear expression; excellent appearance; strong physical condition; very reliable, enterprising, very tactful, imperturbable, very loyal; hardworking and most adaptable." After a year in the job, he was promoted Acting Captain effective 1 October 1941.

On 7 February 1943 he was posted to A7 Canadian Signal Training Centre in Kingston, Ontario and was confirmed in his rank on 28 September. In October 1943 he was transferred west once again, to No. 11 Area Signal Company. He volunteered for the Canadian Army Pacific Force but was not acceptable because of "Age or Pulhems" (medical category).

After the end of the war, he continued to serve with No. 11 Area Signal Company, serving as the Adjutant from 3 September until 31 October 1945. He was removed from Active Service on 31 Mar 1946 and, for his service in the Second World War, he was awarded the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal, the 1939-45 War Medal and War Service Badge No. 1062949. He was transferred to No. 11 District Depot 14 May 1946 where he served as A&T Staff Officer to R.C. Sigs MD No. 11. Being found no longer fit for service, he retired on 28 August 1947 with a total of 29 years and 58 days of service.

Personal Life

William married Florence Muriel King (1901-1982) 12 July 1924 at Victoria British Columbia. They had a son Gerald William (1927-2002) and a daughter Joan (1936-1980).

William died of myocardilis 19 February 1954 at Mill Bay, British Columbia and was cremated at Royal Oak Crematorium.

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