Henry Walter Richie Gemmell was born September 27, 1884 (according to another report he was born October 27, 1886) in Selkirk, Manitoba.
After attending Toronto University, he obtained his commission as an Alberta Land Surveyor on August 20, 1912.
He enlisted for active service in Winnipeg just before Christmas 1914. He was wounded at Messines on January 16, 1915, having received a gunshot wound in the foot. He was awarded the Military Cross for scout work.
According to his report to the Alberta Land Surveyors’ Association, “having to sail for Canada two weeks before a regular investiture, a private audience was arranged with the King to receive my decoration and had the honour of 20 minutes alone with the King.”
It appears that he returned to Manitoba following the War.