Arnold Moses

“The Moses family had a large farm to run on the Six Nations reserve, and the absence of the three Moses brothers was a huge burden.”


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Arnold Cornelius Moses was a private in the 107th Infantry Battalion, also known as the “Timber Wolf Battalion.” Raised in November 1915, it was the only fully integrated WWI battalion featuring First Nations soldiers. More than half of its nine hundred members were aboriginal, with many of those volunteers hailing from Ontario and Manitoba. Moses, a Delaware from the Six Nations of the Grand River, enlisted from Cayuga, Ontario on March 23, 1916.

At war, Moses had a physically grueling job as a combat engineer, was subjected to German gas attacks—or as he and other soldiers called it, “getting a whiff of the gas”—and served at the front for eighteen months.

Moses was just one of three brothers who served. His older brother, James, served as an officer and was killed in action while serving with the Royal Flying Corps. Another brother, Jesse, was drafted during the last year of the war, even though Aboriginal Canadians weren’t supposed to be drafted. “The Moses family had a large farm to run on the Six Nations reserve, and the absence of three of the Moses brothers as part of the Canadian war effort was a huge burden on the continued operation of the family farm during wartime,” said John Moses, Moses’s great nephew.

Moses survived the war and remained active in the militia, and eventually received an officer’s commission while serving as a reserve army officer with the Dufferin and Haldimand Rifles. He also served as band council chief of the Six Nations for a term in the 1940s, married and had three daughters.

Born on May 21, 1897, Moses died at age fifty-five and his family attributed his relatively early death to his Great War service.

Do you have an ancestor who served in the Great War? Submit their story and it could be included on this Great War Album website.