Three Men Stand Together

The three men stand together. Their faces are such that one cannot define emotion. Two of the men are not stoic as much, it seems, attempting to suppress laughter while being serious soldiers. The man on the left has his eyes fixed at the photographer is there is no hint of a smile, unlike the... Continue Reading →

Finances and the Private

On October 29, 1914, a 27-year-old labourer[i] enlisted with the 18th Battalion. He had 1-year experience with the 30th Wellington Rifles. He had previously enlisted with the 6th London Battery (Independent), Canadian Field Artillery (CFA), but that enlistment, for some reason, only lasted from August 12 to 29 of 1914. Now, he had permission to... Continue Reading →

Some News From Hastings to London, Ontario

Fred Young, reg. no. 53180, was a prolific letter writer to the newspapers in London and Windsor, Ontario during the war, and poet laurate of the 18th Battalion after the war. In this letter written while he was posted with the Administration Staff at Hastings with the Assistant Director of Medical Services, he outlines some... Continue Reading →

Christmas 102-years Ago

Christmas 102-years ago. The 18th Battalion was stationed in the Allner region of Germany. It had arrived December 17, 1918, and with the war’s end and the approach of Christmas the men of the 18th were going to be able to celebrate their first Christmas in peace since 1913. Below is the War Diary entry... Continue Reading →

“…a pretty near squeak…”

This is the last of a 4-part series of the analysis of articles relating to Private Frederick Hodson, who served with the 18th Battalion. Special thanks to Annette Fulford (@avidgenie) Lizbet Tobin, and Sharon Munro for assistance with this article. Private Frederick Hodson, M.M. of the 18th Battalion. Hodson is well established in England, as his... 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 →

“Tangible recognition…”

This is the third of a 4-part series of the analysis of articles relating to Private Frederick Hodson, who served with the 18th Battalion. Special thanks to Annette Fulford (@avidgenie) and Lizbet Tobin for assistance with this article. From the previous stories we can get a sense of Hodson. He is a dutiful son and... 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 →

The Last Meeting

On October 10, 1975, a full 61 years since the beginning of the Great War, a group of men ranging in age from 84 to 81 years old met in London, Ontario. These eight men, all of the veterans and members of the 18th Battalion were meeting the last time as members of the 18th... Continue Reading →

A Letter Between Comrades-in-Arms

Those who have not served will never experience that bond developed by soldiers in a military unit, especially one involved in active combat operations. A letter has come to light that offers a glimpse at this bond and gives illuminating insight into the maw that was Passchendaele. Thanks to Michael Ritchie[i] the experiences of the... Continue Reading →

The Deliquency of an Entire Battalion

Baseball was a large part of battalion life. Numerous articles attest to this at this blog. The Battalion played at Folkestone[i], at a Sports Day at Hythe, and during brigade and divisional sports days, amongst other mentions. Baseball was of keen interest to the men of the Canadian Expeditionary Force and the 18th Battalion. So... Continue Reading →

The Lonely Soldier: Remembering a Leave

18th Battalion Association[i] Windsor and Detroit Branch *MEMORIES[ii]* Some time ago, we were watching the Television Program, “No Time for Sergeants”. The skit was about a lonesome soldier. It was funny. The lonesome soldier was no myth. He was real. It all stated the night we left London. Many of the officers and many of... Continue Reading →

A Quiet Christmas 1915

18th Battalion Association[i] Windsor and Detroit Branch *MEMORIES[ii]* How good in your memory? Do you remember the first Christmas Day (1915) we spent in Flanders? Two of our Companies were in M. & N. front line trenches while the other two companies were in reserve at Ridgewood and Vierstraat, which were about a half mile... Continue Reading →

The “Twilight” and a Chance Meeting

18th Battalion Association[i] Windsor and Detroit Branch *MEMORIES[ii]* Several years after the War, I was coming back from Chicago on the “Twilight” which was then one of the better trains operated by the New York Central Railway as it was solid chair car and excess fare. As soon as the train left the station in... Continue Reading →

Tattoos on the Grampian

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 workmen... Continue Reading →

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