“I shall miss this boy dreadfully…”

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 →


Private Reginald Sachs was an 18th Battalion "Original" having enlisted in Galt, Ontario on October 23, 1914. This letter was printed October 29, 1915 and would describe the end of September or early October 1915 when the Battalion first entered the trenches in active duty after its training as part of the 2nd Canadian Contigent... Continue Reading →

Not “Killed in Action”

In the early 1970s the last members of the 18th Battalion Association, purportedly the first post-Great War battalion association formed in Canada, was winding down. The number of members had declined due to age and many of these men, now in their 80s, wanted to put together a series of memories to share amongst themselves.... Continue Reading →

“A proper exciting time…”

This is the first of a 4-part series of the analysis of articles relating to Private Frederick Hodson, who served with the 18th Battalion. 476 days had passed since the enlistment of Private Hodson and the publishing of his letter in the Rushden Echo. Frederick Hodson, a shoemaker from Galt, Ontario, had joined the 18th... Continue Reading →

Our Boys Were Certainly No Angels

  Introduction The role of an Assistant Provost Marshal is basically the Chief of Police for a military unit or encampment. Keeping control of the approximately 15,000 troops from all branches of the Army in the 2nd Division was a very real challenge. The “boys” being young, many far from home, but conversely many native... Continue Reading →

The Hallam Brothers

The Hallam brothers were from Grantham, Lincolnshire, England and were born 6 years apart. The eldest, Ernest had amassed a wealth of life experience having served in the Imperial Army in South Africa, the Sudan and Egypt and then taking is fortunes to the colonies and establishing himself in Port Arthur, Ontario where he continued... Continue Reading →

Updates on Sandling Camp Resource and Post

DISCOVERY Of First World War Practice Trenches: TOLSFORD HILL - SALTWOOD, KENT A previous post outlined in some detail the excellent work of Michael and Paula Dugdale of Saltwood, Kent, England. The article entitled West Sandling Camp and the Trenches of Tolsford Hill relates the work done with a perspective in regards to how it relates... Continue Reading →

Mitigating the Ennui of Trench Life

Romance from the trenches. Below is a story relating to one unknown member of the 18th Battalion who, with his first Christmas in the trenches in 1915, used a unique method to assuage and address his boredom and loneliness. This is related by Lieutenant Harry Anderson Secord during an interview for the CBC Radio broadcast... Continue Reading →

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