Wilfred Sheffield 1897-1967

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Sheffield Family of Collingwood, Ontario

Military Veterans


World War I Veterans

Members of the fourth generation Canadian born Sheffields served in the Canadian army in World War I. Through an email to my Dad's first cousin, Bryon Sheffield, I asked him if his father, Norman, was in the army. I got this response which I copied, unedited, into this document. Thanks Bryon, you saved me a lot of typing.

My Dad was not in the army. He was called for the Draft and went to Camp Borden to sign up. He was very lucky. I guess from being black, the man in charge remembered the name "Sheffield". He asked Dad if he had any brothers in the Army, and at that time, there were 7 brothers already enlisted. The man said that was enough from any family. So he gave Dad a card, that he had to carry at all times, stating that there were 7 members of this family already in the military. It's funny but I never saw that card until Dad died, and we were going through his papers. So, since there were nine boys and four girls in the family, I guess Dad and Uncle Russ were the only two not to go. Now I could be wrong but that's how I figure it. Sometime you're up, I have all the dates of their births and deaths, all 13. Do you know all of their names? Well here goes. Richard Jr, Bob, Lorne, Alfred, Wilfred, Bert, Russell, Reginald and Norman, the 4 girls were Minnie, Florence, Dorothy and Olive May (who died at a very young age). Hope this helps...

~~ Bryon Sheffield ~~

Bryon, who passed away in 2010, was married to a very lovely Trinidadian woman named Theresa Alphonse, and they have two grown children, Marina and Neil.

I know this for certain... W. Richard Sheffield Jr. died in Sarnia on August 12, 1923 at the age of 41, 3 years after WWI ended. Family folklore has it that his early demise was a result of inhaling mustard gas. Bert Sheffield, who was born in Collingwood, moved to Buffalo, New York and wore an American uniform. I guess Uncle Norman counted Bert when he told the draft man there were seven Sheffields already enlisted.
William Richard Jr. Alf
William Richard Sheffield Jr.
W. Richard Jr. Draft Document
Alfred Sheffield
Alfred Draft Document
Wilfred Sr.
Bert SheffieldWilfred Sheffield Sr.
Wilf Sr. Draft Document

World War II Veterans

Members of the 5th generation of Sheffields born in Canada played active rolls in World War II and were allowed to do more than work on construction crews, dig graves or cook like their World War I counterparts.

My father, Franklin Sr. (1924-1994), was a Corporal and was stationed in Holland as an instructor teaching young men how to handle themselves in combat situations. Up until the end of his life he talked about how he wanted to return to Holland and often talked of how one Dutch girl in particular marveled at his brown skin because she had never seen a negro before. ;-)

Franklin Sheffield Sr. C.P.L.-B-163472:

He passed away just before the 50th anniversary of D-Day when several of his comrades returned to Europe to be together and remember their fallen friends. If he had been alive, he would not have missed that for the world. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion Br 63 in Collingwood and held several positions in the legion executive, including president for several years. Several hundred legion members came from all over Ontario came to pay their respects when my father died in 1994. One of the most touching scenes I have ever witnessed in my life was when every one of them lined up two by two, removed their poppies and pinned them on the silk lining of his coffin. Since my father was a letter carrier in Collingwood and fathered seven children, all our relatives and friends could not fit into the funeral home for his service. It was held at the United Church on Maple Street and both tiers were full. The procession of cars afterwards was so long, it had to take an alternate route out of town to avoid clogging up Main Street, which was the normal route taken to the cemetery.

My uncles, my father's older brothers, Wilfred Jr. and Edward were stationed in Canada. Wilfred Sheffield Jr.Wilfred Sheffield Jr. was involved with radar on the east coast of Canada looking for German submarines, some of which used to come up the St. Lawrence River. He later became a minister and moved to Burks Falls, Ontario where he preached and taught school. He is now retired and has moved back to Collingwood.

Edward Sheffield (1920-1994) was in the artillery but was discharged early when a faulty canon shell exploded in his ear. Edward SheffieldHe was very bitter about that incident because a doctor refused to treat Edward because he was black. The doctor was forced, after being threatened by another Caucasian soldier, to administer treatment. Uncle Eddie, as we called him, remained deaf in that ear for the rest of his life. He served, until his retirement, as a public servant working for the town of Collingwood's public works department. God bless him.

Howard Sheffield, my father's youngest brother, was drafted and was called upon to report, but the war ended before he was called upon to serve. He did hold the fort at home however, since all of his other brothers did get called to serve.

My aunt Yvonne Sheffield (Wilson), my father's sister, remained at home in Collingwood and performed her duty by working at the Douglas Aircraft Plant making airplane parts for the military. Herbert Wilson Sr.:

Her late husband, Herbert Wilson Sr., is pictured here when he served in the World War II. in a medical corp. He too was a public servant in the town of Collingwood's public works department and my aunt was widowed due to an unfortunate work related accident in 1955.

Even though I never knew my Uncle Herb, he is partially responsible for the person I am today. My aunt Yvonne instilled some of his finer qualities in me at a very early age. For example, even though Herb Sr. worked for the town under some very adverse conditions at times, my Aunt told me that he always wore a clean shirt, a tie and his shoes were always shiny when he went out the door in the morning.

I have never forgotten that and, to this day, I am still not quite comfortable with the casual attire that seems to be the norm in most offices these days. Thanks Aunt Vonnie and Uncle Herb.

Militia & Cadets

Herb Wilson Jr. My cousin Herbert Wilson Jr. was a member of the post war militia and I can remember him traveling to the Meaford, Ontario Tank Range to hone his craft a couple of times per week.

I remember that he used to polish his boots relentlessly and complained often that he was being scolded because his C.O. said his boots were never shiny enough.

Herb retired from the OPP detachment at Wasaga Beach, Ontario in September, 2009.

Leonard Owen Sheffield, my brother, was a member of the local army cadets in his teen years during the late 1970's and early 1980's. Visit his web site by clicking here -->Soundscapes Professional DJs

  leonard sheffield military:
DJ Lenny Sheffield
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  leonard sheffield military:
DJ Lenny Sheffield
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