The Unpopular

Lieutenant Colonel W. H. Floyd
139th (Northumberland) BattalionFloyd

You asked me about our friend Floyd. He was at West Sandling when I left. When he gave us his farewell address he asked if any of the boys on parade would give him a set of badges and there was not one stepped out and he did not get a cheer from his Battalion, although he felt pretty bad as he wiped the tears from his eyes when he said good-bye to his Battalion. I guess he was ashamed of himself as he had as good boys as any that came overseas, only they were not handled right…

(Ptv. Robert Franklin, 139th Bn. to Moses Marsden, 2 Mar 1917)

Born on 7 November 1860 in Cobourg, Canada West, William Herbert Floyd joined the 40th Regiment as a mess boy at the age of nine; he retired as the commanding officer forty years later in 1909. In his civilian life, Floyd was a dealer of men’s shoes and clothing lines. He was closely involved in municipal affairs and served one term as Cobourg mayor in 1903. In early 1916, the fifty-five year old militia officer was appointed to raise the 139th from Northumberland County.

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