Five Brothers Who Were Gassed by the Germans in WW I

War has taken its toll on many of our Cossitt ancestors and kin.  Some did not make it to the end of the war and others may have lived through the war, but never recovered from the horrors of battle.

Gilbert Thomas Welton Jr., the 4th great grandson of Ruth and Rene Cossitt, married Eunice Lavinia Saunders in May of 1882.  They were blessed with a total of 11 children, 4 daughters and 7 sons.  Of these 7 sons, 5 served their country in The Great War, known today as World War I.  Their mother was of English heritage and her church was the Church of England.  Because of this, five of her sons enlisted so as to help England defeat Germany.  But as a Canadian, the English military treated them as 2nd class soldiers and put them on the front lines of battle while many times the English troops were behind them.  When the Germans first used Chlorine Gas in the Second Battle of Ypres in April 1915, the first soldiers to be gassed were usually Canadians.  Even after Gas masks were issued to the soldiers after this battle, their bodies were still subjected to the horrible effect of the gas.  While many soldiers were killed on the field of battle by this gas, some survived to live a life filled with problems.

Thomas Gilbert Welton was born March 31, 1887 in Kingston, Kings County, NS, Canada, and died in 1980 in Kings County, NS, Canada at the age of 92.  He was severely injured when gassed in WW I and spent the remainder of his life (over 65 years) in a military nursing home.  He never married.

Richard Avery Welton was born January 15, 1892 in Kingston, Kings Co, NS, Canada, and died June 27, 1960 in Halifax, NS, Canada at the age of 68.  Although Avery was gassed by the Germans in WW I, he was able to live on his own, but he never married.

John Bishop Welton was born June 1, 1894 in Kingston, Kings Co, NS, Canada and died March 23, 1964 at the age of 69 in Halifax, NS, Canada.  In 1922 he married Annie Louise Fales in Kingston, Kings Co., NS, Canada.  They never had any children.  Although John was gassed by the Germans like his brothers, he was not injured as severely as his brothers.

Harry Edison Welton was born February 17, 1896 in Kingston, Kings Co, NS, Canada.  He died on January 5, 1922 in Kentville, Kings Co, NS, Canada at the age of 25.  Harry suffered from the gas and it is suspected that his early death was due to his inability to cope with the horrors that he experienced during WW I.  He was never married.

Frank Earle Welton was born October 14, 1899 in Kingston, Kings Co, NS, Canada.  He died on March 11, 1977 in Vancouver, BC, Canada at the age of 77.  He was also gassed by the Germans and after the war he moved “out west” and never returned home.  He never married.