“The parapet was blown flat in two places…”

Private (later Lieutenant) Wesley Strang Caldwell[i] was yet to earn the Military Medal for his actions at Courcelette, the Somme, when this letter was published in the Huron Expositor on March 10, 1916. He was 20-years old, just shy of his 21st birthday by 40 days. He was a combat veteran claiming to have served … Continue reading “The parapet was blown flat in two places…”

“Did I tell you how I got hit? “: A Letter Home to Glamis Ontario

Soldiers letters do not stand on their own. They impart small, discrete, often obscure, snippets of information that connect the writer with the people of his hometown, unit, and his social circle. They can often give clues that lead to a broader understanding of the writer and his experiences during his service. The letters also … Continue reading “Did I tell you how I got hit? “: A Letter Home to Glamis Ontario

A “Soldier of Fortune” Returns…

Private Gordon Wellington Wilder, regimental no. 54265[i] of the 18th Battalion, CEF is an enigma. From his attestation papers on his enlistment he was a 30-year old Anglo-Irish British subject that indicated prior military experience with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and had served 2-years in the Sudan; 3-years in South Africa; and 13-months in China. … Continue reading A “Soldier of Fortune” Returns…

First Galt Daily Reporter Employee to Be Wounded

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

Eager to Get Over There: Private Drinkwater’s Desire

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

“UNUSUAL VIEWS OF SHORNECLIFFE”: Familiar sights to the men of the 18th

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

“The boys promise to be home for Christmas in 1916.”: A letter from December 1914

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