Fred Young, reg. no. 53180, was a prolific letter writer to the newspapers in London and Windsor, Ontario during the war, and poet laurate of the 18th Battalion after the war. In this letter written while he was posted with the Administration Staff at Hastings with the Assistant Director of Medical Services, he outlines some... Continue Reading →
Via Operation Picture Me.Wiarton Echo. February 14, 1917. Near the end of January 1917, a 24-year-old soldier from Cape Croker[i] wrote a letter to his parish priest. He was not an exceptional soldier, in that he earned military recognition through medals[ii], but he was exceptional as he represented a community in the minority and with... Continue Reading →
From a wonderful resource we find that several men of the 18th Battalion came from Uxbridge, Ontario.
The efforts of these sites to commemorate Canadian soldiers is so precious. This page is about a soldier that served with the 18th Battalion.
This hospital would be familiar to some of the men of the 18th Battalion as some of the wounded of the Battalion were treated here. It was also know as Eastern General Hospital. The wounded of the Battalion would proceed from a Regimental Aid Post then to a Field Ambulance, and then to a Casualty... Continue Reading →
“In Ticklish Places…”: A sniper writes to his Reverend. On December 7, 1915, Private James Parker, reg. no. 54357, having finished having his feet inspected for trench foot, settled down to write a letter to his Reverend, H.H. Bingham while the 18th Battalion was in Divisional Reserve at La Clytte (De Klijte). Source: The London... Continue Reading →
This article by Kristen den Hartog is a touching and poignant reminder of the cost of war and how companionship can help both parties. See the article at this link: https://www.geist.com/fact/dispatches/solace/
Note that the link is also in the post.
❤ Many of you know that for the past several years I’ve been working on a book about WW1 patients and staff of a military hospital here in Toronto. The research is incredibly time-consuming but fascinating too, and I have had some wonderful encounters with the descendants of my “characters.” I wrote about one of the most moving exchanges for Geist magazine recently, and the article, titled “Solace,” is now viewable online.
Below, a photo of Bud Colquhoun and one of his father Stewart, sent to me from his friends in Northern Ontario.
Craig Baird hosts a series of podcasts about Canadian history. In this one he reviews the Battle of St. Eloi. The 18th Battalion was involved in this battle and was their first major engagement of the war since they arrived in Belgium in September 1915. St. Eloi Craters. Kemmel in background. Canada Department of National... Continue Reading →
Presented here are the memories of one Canadian who made the pilgrimage to the Vimy Memorial. Without further ado, and with thanks to the author, Bonny Hoyer, please read. Private George Cunningham November 10th, 2013, I found myself quietly being regarded by a petite older woman on a bus in Paris, France. I smiled at... Continue Reading →
Barrington Rucker[i] appears to have had a sense of humour evident in his attestation papers when he enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Forces. Arriving from Virginia at Windsor, Ontario, he joined the 18th Battalion on February 15, 1915 and claimed his “Trade or Calling” was an “Orange Picker.” The officers assisting this man to enlist... Continue Reading →
Young’s Point, Ontario, is approximately 25-kilometers north-east of the City of Peterborough. Founded in 1825 and named after the first family to settle there, it is the south terminus of Curve Lake and a set of locks (No. 27) of the Trent-Severn Waterway connects it with the Ontonabee River which forms the Katchewanooka Lake. This... Continue Reading →
Introduction[i] A soldier of some ability and reputation joins the 111th Battalion at Galt, Ontario. As the 111th Battalion began to fill its ranks its composition was like that of the 1st and 2nd Contingent. Its demographics included a large proportion of men who were born in the British Isles, and of that there were... Continue Reading →
The Battle of St. Eloi Craters was the first "blooding" of the 18th Battalion as it took part of operations when the 2nd Canadian Division was tasked in the efforts to take possession of the craters. The Canadian Expeditionary Force Resource Group presents a video montage relating to this event. https://youtu.be/Z1udIgw3dow
As a civilian, the whole idea of experiencing combat is foreign to their experience. Watching intense war scenes in movies like Steven Speilberg’s Saving Private Ryan, or the gritty realism of Sam Mendes’ 1917 can capture aspect of combat, but not the visceral emotion and feeling an individual may have during engagements. War documentaries, such... Continue Reading →
Two photographs have striking similarities. The men are uniformed and look seriously, almost in admonishment, at the camera. Five hold swagger sticks and most of the men sport moustaches. If not for the captions on the photographs the sleeve brassards at the bottom left-hand jacket sleeve cuff would indicate what they all shared in common... Continue Reading →
WARNING: Some details in this post may be disturbing to readers. In a news clipping titled Letters from the Soldiers in the Paisely Advocate dated October 16, 1918, Private Edgar Joseph McAfee writes in it, “Let me know in your next letter if Jack Dobson is still living. I helped carry him out of... Continue Reading →
4TH CANADIAN INFANTRY BRIGADE NARRATIVE OF OPERATIONS. SOUTH OF SCARPE 26TH, 27TH, AND 28TH AUGUST, 1918.[i] CONFERENCE, DIVISIONAL H.Q. 23RD AUGUST. During the afternoon the G.O.C.[ii] and Brigade Major attended a conference at Divisional Headquarters, ETRUN where proposed operations for the advance South of the SCARPE were outlined. BRIDGE CONFERENCE, BERNEVILLE, 23RD AUGUST. During the... Continue Reading →
Private Ira William Sumner had been, in peace time, a clerk for the London Life Insurance Company. With the advent of the war in August 1914, he felt that is duty was bound to a different path and enlisted with the 18th Battalion on April 10, 1915. This was very close to the departure of... Continue Reading →
Three buddies, aged 25, 27, and 31-years old, from Walkerton joined the 18th Battalion on the last two days of October 1914. They were from Walkerton, Ontario, and they would be distinguished as being three of the few “Originals” to serve the entire war with the Battalion. We have a unique perspective of their war... Continue Reading →
The photograph in the newspaper clipping is grainy, yet you can tell that the young man in it is smiling proudly, at ease, in his 7-button Canadian Expeditionary Forces uniform. The date of the photograph is unknown but is undoubtedly taken at some time prior to the September 1918 publication in the London Free Press.... Continue Reading →