“…because life in the trenches was less irksome and monotonous and no more beastly than in places like Bouvigny Huts”

Bouvigny Huts. Bouvigny Huts. Those two words may have spelled mixed feelings with the Battalion. This would be the first time they ware billeted there but other battalions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force reported the conditions for this facility in the rear that “…life in the trenches was less irksome and monotonous and no more... Continue Reading →

Two Men. Two Scouts. One Raid.

On the night of July 26/27 men of the 18th Battalion carried out a “minor trench raid”. The weather was “Fine but dull”[i] on that day. In that raid were two men, originals with the Battalion, who both have quite different stories. Private Forrester Private Alfred Forrester, reg. no. 53648[ii] war service started out rather... Continue Reading →

Review of Presentation: Before Shell Shock: Failed Minds & Failing Men in the 19th Century British Military

Speaker: Professor Amy Smith-Milne Venue: Guelph Civic Museum This talk by Amy Smith-Milne was an excellent pre-cursor to helping someone understand the perspectives towards the men who suffered from shell shock during World War 1. The work of doctors during the Victorian era would influence the treatment of mental illness during this war. Using the... Continue Reading →

His Character is “Very Good”

There were more than 7,052 men of the C.E.F. and Royal Newfoundland Regiment with the surname SMITH. This is the story of one of them. Percy Smith was a farmer who worked at the Havelock Farm in the Woodstock, Ontario area. He joined 168th Battalion in May 1917 and by September 1917 he was assigned... Continue Reading →

His Parents Must Have Known…

Percy Scanlan enlisted with the 91st Battalion at Chatham, Ontario on December 6, 1915. He was one of many eager recruits joining the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the second year of the war. Even the news of the Canadian experience at 2nd Ypres and the use of gas by the Germans did not dissuade him... Continue Reading →

Cholera Belts for the 18th Battalion

On page 4 of the Wingham Times a short article relates: “Nearly all medical men in the West Indies advise wearing of thin woolen and not cotton underwear. Many persons wear “cholera belts” of flannel.” This garment was considered important enough that Sir Adam Beck's wife, Lady Beck, contributed enough of these belts to outfit... Continue Reading →

One-Thousand Four-Hundred and Seventy Days

Walter Perry, of Highland Creek, Ontario, decided to join the Canadian Army. His previous military experience consisting of serving three-and-a-half years as a Bugler. He joined the 81st Battalion in Toronto, Ontario on September 18th, 1915 and was assigned the regimental number 157659. From this point in time he served and trained in Canada until... Continue Reading →

“Probably Just a Little Used Up.”

An article in the Windsor Star circa 1916 gives topical news about a number of soldiers from the local area. Lance-Corporal (later Sergeant) Leslie Butler if the 18th Battalion is figured prominently in the story and several other soldiers of the 18th are also mention. The Battle of Flers-Courcelette on September 15, 1916 and the... Continue Reading →

The Obituary of Lieutenant A.E. Babcock

In a previous post a letter sent by then Sergeant Babcock related some of his experiences in the war during his service with the 18th Battalion. After the war ended Lieutenant Babcock was demobilized and took up residence in London, Ontario. His obituary then outlines his involvement with the automotive industry working for a Dodge... Continue Reading →

The Penny

War offers its participants a million varied ways to become ill, injured, wounded or die. For Company Sergeant Major Walter William Herd, reg. no. 53527 an injury he sustained was most unusual and almost grimly comical C.S.M. Herd[i] enlisted in the C.E.F. with the 18th Battalion on October 26, 1914, and as can be attested... Continue Reading →

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