Sergeant Major AE Brittain first appears in a photo of the Sergeants’ Mess as the Sergeant Major in 1908. He is the first Regimental Sergeant Major of the Queen’s Own as it was 1906 when the regiment expanded to 2 battalions with Sergeants Major Bell and Creighton becoming 1st and 2nd Battalion Sergeants Major respectively. Brittain travels to England with the regiment during the exchange visit to the Buffs in 1910 but there is no further mention of him in regimental papers.
He enlists as a Private in 1914 in the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in order to serve overseas during WWI. Brittain serves in Canada, England and France with the PPCLI, Canadian Base Depot, RCR and PPCLI Depot, 247th Battalion, and Special Service Company, MD No. 3. He is wounded in the head during the fighting but recovers, rises to the rank of Sergeant Major then Captain. He is listed in Library and Archive Canada as a Captain of the Queen’s Own having earned the Long Service medal.
Born: 10 June 1874 Sheffield, England
Religion: Church of England
Trade: Clerk in Bookstore/ soldier
Date of attestation: QOR Unknown, 1914 25 August Canadian Over-seas Expeditionary Force
Died: 1956, 19 August
Timeline of service:
- 1902, awarded King Edward’s Coronation Medal;
- 1908, listed as Sergeant Major in photo of Sgts’ Mess;
- 1910, listed as Regimental Sergeant Major in photos leading up to and during the England trip;
- 1910 Aug, listed as Sergeant Major on the Nominal Roll on leaving Toronto for England;
- 1914 25 Aug, enlisted as Private 247th Bn Canadian over-seas Expeditionary Force;
- 1915 30 March, promoted to Sgt;
- 1915 11 May, wounded in action;
- 1916 9 Feb, appointed Acting Sergeant Major 2 Division at Havre;
- 1916 30 April, transferred to Canadian Training Division at Shorncliffe England;
- 1916 8 June, listed as Sergeant on orders to send him back to Canada to take up duties;
- 1916 20 December, promoted Capt in 247th Bn;
- 1919 8 Jan, struck off strength;
- listed as Captain and having been awarded the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service medal, Library and Archives of Canada.