Sargeant Henry “Harry” Stuart Hayes, MM was born on 21 February 1890 in Carrying Place, Ontario to Henry Wallace and Mary Anne (Stuart) Hayes. He had two sisters, Amelia and Florence, and two brothers, Thomas (who died as a child) and Arthur Wallace. Their father was a blacksmith and owned a blacksmith shop in Carrying Place.
Hayes received his early education in Trenton, Ontario. He graduated from Trinity College, the University of Toronto with a BA in 1914. After graduating, he worked as the First General Secretary of the Students’ Administrative Council. He was admitted as a law student in the Spring of 1915. He and Lieutenant Francis Campbell Hamilton, who was also killed in WWI, were articling under J.A. Paterson of Kerr, Davidson, Paterson & McFarland in Toronto, Ontario.
In August of 1915, Hayes enlisted in the 26th Battery, 7th Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery. He went overseas to England in August of 1915 and, in January of 1916, reached France. In France he served with the Battery near Ypres and at the Somme. He was promoted to Corporal in March of 1916 and Sergeant in August of 1916.
Hayes died on 2 November 1916 at Courcelette, France. On the evening of his death Hayes was sitting with his men in their dug-out when a shell burst in their midst, wounding him so severely that he survived for only a few minutes. He was 26.
Hayes is buried at Pozieres British Cemetery (II.G.13.) in France. Hayes is also memorialized on the headstone of the grave of his parents and sister Amelia at the Carrying Place Cemetery in Prince Edward County, Ontario.
A few days after Hayes was killed, on 7 November 1916, he was awarded the Military Medal. The Military Medal was established on 25 March 1916 and awarded to non-commissioned officers and men for individual or associated acts of bravery. The citation for Hayes’ Military Medal reads:
A gun pit of his Battery sustained a direct hit setting the ammunition on fire and wounding and imprisoning a gunner. Sgt Hayes in company with Sgt Little at great personal risk entered the gun pit and managed to put the ammunition that was on fire out. And removed the injured gunner, who subsequently died.
Prior to enlisting with the CEF, Hayes had previous military service in the Militia with The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada and the 3rd Dragoons.
Hayes’ brother, Arthur Wallace Hayes, also served in WWI. He survived the War.
Shea, E. Patrick; Gowling, Lafleur, Henderson (Firm); and Highlanders Foundation, “The Great War Law Student Memorial Project” (2014). Digital Texts. 2.