Judson Woodworth Eaton - Lest We Forget

Judson Woodworth (Judd) Eaton was born December 25, 1892 according to the Attestation papers that he signed, although census records give his birth year as 1889 or 1890. He was born at Granville, Nova Scotia, the son of Burton C. Eaton, born January 1848 and Henrietta Eaton, born December 1854. Judson also had two sisters who eventually became important members of the community of Revelstoke, Ethel born 1881 and Annie born 1887. Both of Judson’s sisters earned BA degrees in Education and became elementary schoolteachers here in Revelstoke. Ethel started teaching here in 1910 and Annie in 1911. Ethel Eaton died suddenly after a short illness in 1912, shocking the community. Annie Eaton continued to teach, leaving Selkirk School in 1915 to teach at the High School and remaining in that capacity until January of 1922 when she left to teach in Victoria.  She was the driving force behind the founding of the High School Girls Patriotic Society, which organized the girls of the High School to knit socks and do other fundraising activities to support the war effort.

In 1911 Judd Eaton was living as a roomer in a house on First Street working as a labourer at odd jobs. By 1914 he was a trainman for the Canadian Pacific Railway. He applied for service at the beginning of the war but was not taken on until June 10, 1915 when he signed his enlistment papers at Vernon. He was 23 years old, single, 5’ 8” tall, with brown hair and blue eyes. His religious affiliation was Baptist or Congregationalist.  His regimental number was 442061. He had joined up with the 54th Kootenay Battalion.

Judd Eaton died on June 3, 1916 during the battle for Mount Sorrel. He was 24 years old.  At the time of his death he was a Private in the 7th Battalion Canadian Infantry (British Columbia) Regiment. He was one of at least six Revelstoke men to die that day.  He is buried in the Railway Dugouts Burial Ground in Belgium.

The June 15, 1916 edition of the Review carried this news of the death of Judd Eaton:Judd Eaton Killed in Action in France.  The Review regrets to announce the death of Judd Eaton, who was killed in action of the front a few days ago. The news of his death was received by his sister, Miss Eaton of the High School staff this morning, from military headquarters. Judd was one of the railway’s most popular young men and hundreds of railwaymen who were his friends and associates will be grieved at the news of his death. To his sister and relations, the Review extends on behalf of our citizens its sincere sympathy.”

The name of Judd Eaton appears on the Methodist Church Honor Roll as well as the YMCA Honor Roll. His name is also on the Courthouse and Cenotaph plaques.

 Recruits of the 54th Battalion leaving Revelstoke, June 12, 1915.

Recruits of the 54th Battalion leaving Revelstoke, June 12, 1915.