By New Year's Eve, the men had been training for six weeks and would have got to know each other fairly well. It is an appropriate opportunity, therefore, for me to introduce some of Leslie's friends, one of whom he remained in touch with for the rest of his life.
George Henderson Willox, or "Bud" as he was known by his friends in the army, was born on 24 January 1886 at Schoolhill Farm, Lonmay in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, the youngest child of James Willox and Christian Henderson. As a young man he served with the Gordon Highlanders, both in Scotland and England - a photo dated 1904 shows him in the regimental tug-of-war team on Salisbury Plain, and another shows him in the pipe band in Scotland at around the same time.
George Willox, standing at 3rd from right
Gordon Highlanders tug-of-war team, Salisbury Plain, 1904
When George was 20 he emigrated to the United States, in order to join his elder brother John in Duluth, Minnesota, arriving at New York on board the S.S. Baltic from Liverpool on 5 April 1906. He gave his last place of residence as Fraserburgh, which is some distance north of Aberdeen. Amongst other occupations he worked on the railroad in Duluth, but none suited him and in about 1913 he moved north across the border to Winnipeg in Manitoba, and found employment in the grain business.
By the time of his enlistment in mid-November 1914, George Willox was working as an accountant and was an active militia member, presumably also the 18th Company. Strangely, he stated that he had no previous military service, which we know to be incorrect.
L/Cpl "Bud" Willox ca. 1915Sources:
Anon - Cutting from "The Duluth Herald" newspaper, ca. Dec 1917, Courtesy of Dr. Hugh & Mrs. Jean Macartney
Anon - CEF Attestation Paper, Soldiers of the First World War, Library & Archives of Canada
Photographs, Willox family tree and historical information courtesy of Dr. Hugh & Mrs. Jean Macartney
Ellis Island Passenger Manifest Database