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Remembering World War I Yarmouth Connections
Name: Milby (Melba) Murray Spates Rank: Private Service Number: 3180007 Service: 1st Depot Battalion, Nova Scotia Regiment Date of Birth: September 14, 1899 Place: Gavelton, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia Date of Enlistment: November 26, 1917 Place of Enlistment: Halifax, Nova Scotia Address at Enlistment: Gavelton, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia Age at Enlistment: 18 Height: 5 feet, 5 inches Complexion: Dark Eye colour: Blue Hair colour: Brown Occupation: Farmer Marital Status: Single Religion: Baptist Date of Death: August 19, 1919 Age: 19 Cemetery: Green Lawn Cemetery, Gavelton, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia Not listed on the Yarmouth War Memorial Not commemorated in Canada’s First World War Book of Remembrance, Nor by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Milby (Melba) Murray Spates was the son of Arthur Gilman (Gilmour) Spates (1879-1939) and Hannah Everett (Marling) Spates 1880-1972). He was the brother was of Irving Y Spates, Charles H Spates (1900–1919), Cecilia Mildred Spates Lambert (1902–1998), Lyle B Spates Hatfield (1904–1993), Muriel Clarice Spates Gavel (1908–2002), Lester A Spates (1913–1983), and Barbara Emma Spates (1914–1942). Both of Milby’s brothers Irving and Lester served Canada in the Second World War. Milby’s father also served Canada in WWI with the Forestry Corps. After enlisting with the Nova Scotia Regiment, Milby only served in the 1st Depot Battalion in Canada during the First World War. Milby trained and served for approximately 7 months with the Regiment but became ill and hospitalised while in the Army in Halifax. He was admitted June 18, 1918, suffering from pleurisy with effusion and other symptoms in his lungs (symptoms of tuberculosis). He was discharged from hospital on July 16, 1918, and transferred to the Pine Hill Convalescent Hospital. The doctor noted that “He look[ed] better but his chest [lung] condition is unaltered. This man will never be fit for a higher category than CII [work classification] and therefore I would recommend him for light duty in Canada.” He was subsequently granted harvest furlough (given leave for farming duties) from August until recalled. He was requested to appear on or before January 16, 1919, for discharge, and was subsequently discharged on demobilization on January 10, 1919. Milby remained ill throughout the spring and summer and died August 19, 1919. His death certificate confirms that he was ill with tuberculosis a year prior to his death, and he was only discharged in January of 1919. Which confirms he was ill when discharged and remained so until the time of his death because of the illness incurred while in military service. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission considers someone eligible for commemoration as a First World War casualty if the death is caused by, “disease contracted or commencing while on active service.” This applies to casualties whose date of death falls between the dates of August 4, 1914, and August 31, 1921. Variations of his first name appear as Milva or Melva on his death certificate, and Melba on his enlistment records but his name is recorded as Milby M. on his headstone. His maternal grandfather was named Milby.
Milby Murray Spates
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Source: findagrave Library and Archives Canada