On January 24, 1916 a man from Hastings, Ontario enlisted with the 93rd Battalion, so beginning his military career. We have one postcard and three letters from his overseas service, and they give us the opportunity to look a bit deeper into the war experience of Private John Edward Parker (reg. no. 195573).[i] Private Parker … Continue reading “…we cannot buy a candle or any thing to eat…”: Letters from Lance-Corporal Parker
100 years ago today, my great-grandfather, Russell Emerson Poste, joined 100,000 other Canadians in capturing Vimy Ridge.
Early in the morning on Easter Monday, April 9, 1917, the Battle of Vimy Ridge began. For the first time in the First World War, all four Canadian divisions fought on the same battlefield. They progressed quickly, and by April 12, the entire ridge was under Allied control. With the capture of Hill 145, the highest feature on the ridge, the operation was considered a resounding success. The ridge remained in Allied hands for the duration of the war. The victory at Vimy Ridge did not come without cost: Canadian casualties reached 10,602, of which 3,598 were killed.
Russell Emerson Poste had enlisted in the 18th Western Ontario Battalion when he was only 17 years old. He fought in the trenches alongside his brothers, Ernest and Arthur. Unlike so many, all three came…
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A recent contribution to the 18th Battalion Facebook Group brought a candid photograph of two members of the 18th Battalion to life. The photograph is from an event circa 1940 and it is evident that it, most likely, an event related to the 18th Battalion association. The two men prominent in the photograph are Sergeant … Continue reading 18th Battalion Association Event Circa 1940
An article in the December 21, 1915 edition of the Galt Daily Reported relates the first casualty from former Galt Reporter employees serving in the war, Private John Hollins, had been wounded during service with the 18th Battalion. Private Hollins enlisted on November 4, 1914, at Galt with the 18th Battalion and gave his trade … Continue reading First Galt Daily Reporter Employee to Be Wounded
Some time after the Armistice in 1918 and July 1921 a former private of the 18th Battalion wrote a poem and published it in pamphlet form. It is now an obscure document and would be lost to history save for the work of Canadiana Online. Hidden, waiting to be found was the pamphlet with its … Continue reading Poetry and Regret
A letter published in the November 4, 1915, edition of the Kingsville Reporter relates some of the experiences of Private "Harry" Sirverns, late of Kingsville, Ontario. The letter covers the early experiences of the 18th Battalion as it goes into the line and furnishes another lens from a foot soldier of the war from his … Continue reading “We Kingsville boys…”
On August 4, 1915, the London Advertiser published a picture on page 3. In this picture was the image of seventeen young men who were scouts for the 18th Battalion. The photograph appears to be taken in England as the Battalion was in training at West Sandling, near Hythe, Kent. In this picturesque and bucolic … Continue reading “Scouts should be picked men…”
The seems to be no lack of enthusiasm for the Galtonians that joined the 18th Battalion to get into the fight. Even with the advent of static trench warfare due to the mechanization of combat from the use of rapid-fire weapons and massed artillery ending in casualties that had amounted to 9,182 Canadian casualties since … Continue reading Eager to Get Over There: Private Drinkwater’s Desire
A faded article in a local paper from over 100-years ago. The fades images do not offer much in the way of information as they lack detail and definition. The text offers some information about the images, but the locale is not known to many of the residents of Galt, and yet, there would be … Continue reading “UNUSUAL VIEWS OF SHORNECLIFFE”: Familiar sights to the men of the 18th
On December 21, 1915, the Galt Daily Reporter reported that the 18th Battalion was in the front line based on letters dated November 30, 1915, from the “boys of the 18th Battalion”. The letter gives some perspective of the attitudes of the soldiers of this unit, thought, sadly, none of the “boys” who wrote the … Continue reading “The boys promise to be home for Christmas in 1916.”: A letter from December 1914