With special thanks to Kristen Den Hartog who made me aware of this soldier. She is currently researching this soldier. Please reach out to her if you can assist her. The impact of physical and psychological injuries to the soldiers that served with the 18th Battalion will never be fully understood. These injuries were, however, … Continue reading Mute But Not Retarded: The Case of Private Russell
Introduction One of the challenges about researching the men of the 18th Battalion is that the information on hand, though very valuable, in the form of their individual service records at the Library and Archives Canada gives a snap shot of that person’s war experience. This is more of a “photograph” of time. Each page … Continue reading Captain Ed Shuttleworth’s Recollections (1969)
In a letter written in the fall by Private Joseph Edgar McAfee, regimental number 651738 the news that Neil McDermid[i] late of Glamis [Glammis], Ontario was wounded made its way across the Atlantic to find its way into the Paisley Advocate as “news from the front.” In the letter, Private McAfee relates that a fellow … Continue reading The McDermids/MacDermids of Glammis Ontario
History and memory can be tenuous. As time passes and the source of history - the people who experienced the events - fade with each death. With each passing year after an event, be it small or world shaping, there is a loss of the source of information about the event. There are books, archives, … Continue reading What’s In a Name?
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 Two Men. Two Scouts. One Raid.
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…
18th Battalion Association[i] Windsor and Detroit Branch *MEMORIES* In the mid-thirties, Bobby Watson and I were strolling along Ouellete Avenue when we noticed a small crowd gathered in front of the vacant lot just south of the Tunnel[ii] entrance. Bobby was in the First Battalion. When we arrived, we found they were watching some … Continue reading Tattoos on the Grampian
18th Battalion Association[i] Windsor and Detroit Branch *MEMORIES*[ii] One of the best-known, best liked, and friendliest men in the ranks of the Eighteenth was a late George Thomas[iii] who started out as a member of our Platoon but ended up as the Bandmaster of the Battalion Band. I still remember the wet day late in … Continue reading The Drummer-Sergeant
An article written in a local Chatham newspaper relates the service at Christ Church in honour of two local men who were killed in action gives us insight into the attitudes of the citizens through the address of Canon Howard. The date that this event transpired was after the death in action of Private Frederick … Continue reading “He would bear himself like a soldier…” : The Service for Sergeant Swainsbury of Chatham, Ontario
Private Frank Edward Wrightsell sits in an ornate chair. He looks at the camera and it appears his body is tight and tense. Perhaps he is trying to portray stern confidence that a soldier newly minted from his enlistment with the 186th Battalion would have. He enlisted on March 9, 1916 at Chatham, Ontario. He … Continue reading Her Cup of Sorrow Was Well Filled