PTE Joseph Louis Vince

Birth: 1871 in Ballarat, Australia

Death: April 2, 1915 (age 44) in Victoria, B.C.

Regt. No. 15041
Force: Army
Unit: The Royal Canadian Regiment
Grave Ref.2

Private Joseph Vince is commemorated on Page 40 of Canada’s First World War Book of Remembrance.

Born in 1871, Joseph Vince was the 9th child born to Louis and Sarah (Goldsmid) Vince. Consisting of 6 boys and 4 girls, the family lived in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. At some point, Joseph Vince settled in England and worked as a salesman. On his application to become part of the Oxfordshire Light Infantry, he claimed to be 24 years and 6 months old when in fact he was 29 years old. He enlisted on August 3, 1900. Other attestation papers from that day record Private Vince as 5 feet 7.5 inches tall, weighing 135 pounds and having with a chest measurement of 34 inches in, 36 inches out. His complexion is described as ‘fresh,’ his hair was dark brown and his eyes were blue. In answer to the question about being Jewish, a YES is crossed out and Church of England is written instead.

On August 9, 1900, Private Joseph Vince (6425) began a year of recruitment training. On Aug 3, 1901, a Battalion of the Oxfordshire Light Infantry was posted in South Africa. Some men, including Private Vince were then stationed at Collabra Barracks in Bombay. During his military tenure, Private Vince served throughout India.

In 1903, Private Vince received a 2nd class certificate of education and was promoted to the unpaid position of Lance Corporal on August 22, 1904. He became a paid Lance Corporal on May 4, 1906, but reverted to the unpaid position on June 12, 1907. He served as a Sergeant for a year in 1911 and then was returned to the rank of Private. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Lance Corporal on Dec 5, 1912.

In 1913 he came to Canada and joined the Royal Canada Regiment. He was assigned to the Work Point Barracks of the F Company in Esquimalt, British Columbia. He stated on his application that he was Jewish.

On April 2, 1915, Private Vince died suddenly while out drinking with his friends at the King Edward Hotel. This was a reasonably upscale and decent establishment once located on the south side of Yates between Broad and Douglas Streets. He was reported to be in good spirits and joking around just before he collapsed onto the floor. His friends picked him up and discovered that he was was unconscious. The police were notified and the fire company was called to bring a machine to revive him. When Dr. Sinclair arrived, he pronounced Private Vince dead at the scene.

Gravesite Details: Row C – Plot 46

2ND APRIL 1915


Family Members:

  • Parents
    • Sarah Vince
    • Louie Vince

Canada’s First World War Book of Remembrance:
Pte. Vince, Joseph Louis

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