A Young Girl Remembers into Adulthood

Anges McVittie was a young girl when Alfred Steggles boarded with her family before he joined the CEF and the 186 Overseas Battalion on March 13, 1916. Eventually assigned to the 18th Battalion he was to be killed in action exactly one year before the Great War’s end. He was one of 154 Canadian soldiers to pass that day and 1 of 17 of the 18th Battalion to fall that day in the bloody mud and water of Passchendaele.

Over a 4 day period, the 18th Battalion suffered 45 other ranks KIA; 6 officers and 60 other ranks wounded; 1 officer and 25 other ranks gassed. The activity for the Battalion was so busy during this time that the War Diary compresses the diary entries for November 10, 11, 12, and 13 into one long entry.

War Diary for this date page 1 and page 2.

Inside the personal effects of Private Alfred Steggles that would be cherished by Agnes McVittie for her entire life. A picture of her he cherished and carried with him to battle and was returned to her and her family.

Source for soldier:  @WeAreTheDead


Screen capture of Wallecburge Courier Express article dated September 9, 2010
Screen capture of Wallecburg Courier Express article dated September 9, 2010

Text from article:

Pte. Alfred Steggles, who was killed in the battle of Passchendaele, (Nov. 11, 1917) held special significance to a youthful Agnes McVittie. A native of England, Alf came to Wallaceburg and lived with the McVittie’s who looked upon him as a son. His death hit them hard.

Amongst Alfred’s personal belongings retrieved from his clothing following his death, was a cherished photo of little Agnes McVittie, the same person who has shared her memories with us this week.


Photo available of Private Alfred Steggles in Alan Mann‘s book No Return Ticket: Wallaceburg’s war casualties and selected wartime memories. Out of print but available here.

Cemetery: TYNE COT CEMETERY, Belgium Grave Reference: Levi Cottage Mem. 4.

119320a 119320b

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