Brigadier General C.L. Hervey
4th Battalion, Railway Troops
During my entire service in France I had in addition to my other duties to supply detachments for the moving of His Majesty’s naval siege guns, and certain guns of the Royal Artillery, and to devise the construct emplacements for same.
(Gen C.L. Hervey, US Engineers. 3rd Volunteers, Yearbook, 1918)
Chilton Longley Hervey was an engineering contractor born in Paris, Illinois on 27 April 1872. He served in the Spanish American War as a sergeant with the 3rd Volunteer Engineers. The son of United Empire Loyalists, Hervey moved to Ontario after marrying a Canadian in 1907. As a member of the Corps of Guides, he enlisted in the Canadian Railway Construction Corps in 1915.
He served with the Belgian and British Armies until being appointed commanding officer of the 4th Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops, in January 1917. During the German 1918 Spring Offensive, Hervey’s unit, and other railway troops, set aside engineering duties to fight in a combat role from the trenches.
His wife Rebecca, had followed her husband to England with their children in 1915. She volunteered as a nursing sister with duties in England, France, and Greece. She resigned to return to Canada for family matters in July 1916 but quickly re-enlisted and soon went back overseas.
Colonel Hervey was seconded to the War Office in July 1918 and promoted to brigadier general for special artillery work. Command of the 4th Railway Troops passed to Lieutenant Colonel J.B. Harstone.
Hervey ran in a Glengarry and Stormont by-election for the Unionist Party on 27 October 1919 but was defeated by the United Farmer-Labour candidate, J.W. Kennedy. He ran again for the Conservatives in the 1921 general election but placed third.
He died on 11 December 1950.