Israel Sands was born on Walpole Island, Lambton, Ontario, Canada. He was a First Nation member of the Chippewa/Pottawatomie Tribe and lived on a Reserve.
I have had some difficulty in finding Israel on any census forms or birth registration documents. I have however located an Israel Sands living with Grandparents on Walpole Island, Lambton, Ontario in 1911. The information I have is taken from Israel’s Attestation Papers, I started by trying to find his mother’s details, I knew from the Service Papers that she was called Lucy Dodge and lived on Walpole Island, Ontario.
I will proceed with Israel’s story in the hope that these are the correct details but would be happy to correct the text should new information be supplied.
I found a 1901 census for Lucy Dodge (step daughter) living with a family called Sands on Walpole Island. She was 18 years of age and had been born in December 1882. She had a child of under twelve months old. (I believe that this was Israel but he is listed as Earle on the census). His date of birth was April 1901 which matches the 1911 census date of birth when he was living with his great grandparents. I believe he was born out of wedlock as his parents Lucy and Jobe/Job Sands were living apart at the time he was born. They did not get married until 1909. Their marriage registration was dated 2nd September 1909. The parents of both are listed and it clearly shows that Lucy’s mother was Elizabeth Shesheet and her father William Dodge.(Deceased at that time) The image of their marriage registration can be seen by scrolling down beyond the Google map.
Lucy Dodge’s mother Lizzie was a widow who remarried to a John Sands. Her maiden name was Shesheet. This fact would explain that Lucy was living with her mother and step father John Sands in 1901.
The 1911 census for Canada on Ancestry.co.uk shows that Israel Sands aged 10 was born in April 1901. He was living with his great grandparents, John Shesheet aged 74, a Farmer by trade and his wife Jinnie aged 70 both from the Chippewa Native American Indian Tribe. Also at the same address was grandson, Samson Sands age 19, who was born in November 1891. Unfortunately I cannot decipher his trade from the census form. I do not believe that these boys were brothers as information obtained from Attestation Papers shows that Samson’s mother was called Mrs N. Tooshgeneg and Israel’s mother’s name was Lucy Dodge
Israel’s army records tell us that he enlisted into the 3rd Forestry draft of the Canadian Expeditionery Force on 5th May 1917 in Toronto. He gave his date of birth as 14th May 1898 ( I believe this should be 1/4/1901) and he named his next of kin as Lucy Dodge, Mother, address Walpole Island, Ontario. Israel was a Lumberman by trade. He was of single status and was described on his medical form as being 5ft 4 inches tall with a dark complexion, brown eyes and black hair. It was also stated that he had large unhealthy tonsils and that he was underdeveloped and that he looked younger than age stated, also that he was not sufficiently developed for full duty. He was given a fitness rating of B1 (Fit for Temporary Base Duty) . I think that this comment is valid given that he was possibly born in 1901 not 1898.
After basic training in Canada, Israel embarked from Halifax, Canada, for England on 28th June 1917 aboard the S.S.Justicia and on arrival in Liverpool on 5th July 1917 he was posted to Sunningdale Army Camp to complete training. He was transferred to the 60 Coy of the Canadian Forestry Corps and embarked for France on 28th July 1917 and disembarked on 30th July 1917.
Israel remained in the Field until hostilities ceased. He lost 28 days Full Pay for Insolence to an N.C.O. on 6th August 1917. This was followed by 14 days Leave on 10th August 1918 rejoining on 24th August 1918. He lost 7 days Full Pay for Neglect of Duty on 7th November 1918.
He returned to Sunningdale Camp from France with 60th Coy on 18th February 1919 and was posted to Kinmel Army Camp in Rhyl on 12th March 1919. Tragically, Israel contracted Influenza and was admitted to Number 9 Canadian General Hospital at Kinmel Camp on 18th March 1919 where he developed Pneumonia and died at 02.40 on 29th March 1919.
(From Library of Canada Archives)
Kinmel Park Camp was a segregation camp used to house Canadian Soldiers awaiting repatriation to Canada after the end of WW1. Unfortunately the conditions at that time were extremely harsh with a lack of every kind of commodity, the camp was overcrowded and the services were poor, there were shortages of clothing, food and blankets. As a result of this situation, a vast number of servicemen and women became ill and many succumbed to the Influenza Epidemic or complications associated with this infection.
Israel was awarded the British War Medal and The Victory Medal for his service during WW1.
He is buried in St.Margaret’s Cemetery, Bodelwyddan.
Israel is commemorated on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.
To read about the role of the Canadian Forestry Coy please follow the link
To read about the migration from U.S.A. to Walpole Island of the Chippewa/Pottawatomie tribes and to see some photographs please follow these two links.