Sigurjon Paulson was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba on 18th May 1892.
I have not been able to trace the Paulson family on any census returns either in Canada or U.S.A. until 1921.
Sigurjon’s parents are shown on 1921 census for Canada on Ancestry.co uk. They were living at 488 Toronto St. Winnipeg, Manitoba and this is the same address shown on Sigurjon’s Attestation Papers. His father Sigfus age 50 was a ‘Teamster’ by trade, doing Odd Jobs. He was born in Iceland as was his wife Sarah who was 60 years of age. They emigrated to Canada in 1887 and became citizens in 1890.
Sigurjon’s army records tell us that he enlisted into the 197th Overseas Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force on 19th February 1916 in Winnipeg. He named his father Sigfus Paulson as his Next of Kin. Siurjon’s address was 488 Toronto St. Winnipeg, Manitoba. He was described on his medical form as being 5ft 6ins tall, and weighed 140 lbs. He had a fair complexion, blue eyes and light brown hair. His trade was ‘Teamster’ and he was single His date of birth was the 18th May 1892.
After basic training in Canada, he embarked for England on 26th January 1917 aboard H.M.T. Scandinavian disembarking at Liverpool on 6th February 1917 when he was posted to Shorncliffe Army Camp to complete training.
On 18th April Sigurjon was transferred to the 107th Infantry Battalion, CEF and shipped to France where he joined his battalion in the field, on 28th April 1917. He was wounded on 15th August 1917 but remained on duty. Unfortunately it appears that Sigurjon was penalised on quite a few occasions for being absent without leave. On 5th March 1918 he was granted fourteen days leave in U.K. and rejoined from Liverpool on 26th March 1918 when he was transferred to the 2nd Canadian Engineers Battalion. Sigurjon remained in the field until hostilities ceased.
After hostilities ceased Sigurjon returned to U.K. and was posted to Seaford Army Camp and then to Ripon Army Camp with a recommendation that he should attend the Khaki University in London from 23rd February 1919 to 12th April 1919. It appears from Sigurjon’s casualty form that he was transferred to the Khaki University in London from Ripon and it is of interest that on enlistment he gave his trade as Teamster but later, on admittance to hospital, this had changed to Student of Law. (There is more information about the Khaki University below.)
Sigurjon was then transferred to Kinmel Army Camp in Rhyl on 12th April 1919 to await repatriation to Canada, but tragically he was admitted to Number 9 General Hospital at Kinmel Camp on 23rd April when he was diagnosed with Diabetes. Treatment did not appear to help and sadly at 3 pm on 24th May 1919 he lapsed into a coma and died. He was 28 years of age.
(From The Library of Canada Archives).
Sapper Sigurjon Paulson is buried in St. Margaret’s Cemetery at Bodelwyddan.
He is commemorated on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.
The Khaki University
It was decided to establish a central Khaki College at Ripon in Yorkshire where hundreds of
students were stationed after they left the Continent. Others were dispersed to main British
Universities “ including Oxford, Cambridge, London, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Aberdeen,
and Edinburgh” It was not proposed that they undertook degrees during this
time, but were given certificates to confirm the work they completed. They also received their pay
and allowances according to rank, as they were still registered as enlisted men.
To read about The Khaki University in WW1 please follow the link then select ‘Published Articles’ . Scroll till you find the one about Khaki Universities.