Source: “Duty Nobly Done” page 238.
Friends with Corporal Tanner, Henry (Harry) James: Service no. 195222 (Military Medal). Tanner wrote a letter to Sergeant Bertrand’s widow shortly after his death.
Private Percy Bertrand – 195821 – Active Service (World War I)
On March 20th, 1916, Percy Bertrand completed the Attestation Paper for the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF), in Peterborough, Ontario. He was 28 years, and 10 months old, he was unmarried (Although later documents indicate his last will and testament leaves his estate to Lula Bertrand (his wife)). He enlisted for the duration of the War. Percy Bertrand indicated that he was born in Smith Township, Peterborough County, Ontario and gave his birth date as May 20th, 1887.
The Attestation Paper does not indicate where he was educated or to what level. His current address was listed as 631 Union Street, Peterborough, Ontario. He indicated that he had one-year previous Military experience with the 46th Regiment. For his occupation he indicates that he was employed as a Labourer. Percy was 5’ 3 1/2” tall and had a 38” chest (expanded). He had a dark complexion, blue eyes, and dark brown hair. His medical examination took place in Peterborough, Ontario, on March 20th, 1916. He had no medical issues or physical limitations, and as such he was deemed fit.
His next-of-kin was listed as his mother Mrs. Addie Bertrand.
Percy Bertrand signed the Oath and Certificate of Attestation on March 20th, 1916. The Certificate of Magistrate was signed by the Justice on March 20th, 1916, also in Peterborough, Ontario. Percy Bertrand was taken-on-strength as a ”Private” with 43rd Battalion, CEF and was assigned Regimental Service Number 195821.
The 43rd Battalion (Cameron Highlanders of Canada), CEF, was an infantry battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force in World Warr I.
The 43rd Battalion embarked for Britain on July 15th, 1916 from Halifax. Upon reaching their destination, the battalion disembarked in Liverpool, for further training. on July 25th, 1916.
On August 15, 1916 Private Bertrand was transferred to the 18th Battalion.
The 18th Battalion (Western Ontario), CEF, was an infantry battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary force in World War 1. The battalion was authorized on November 7, 1914 and embarked for Great Britain on April 18. 1915. It disembarked in France on September 15, 1915, where it fought as part of the 4th Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian in France and Flanders until the end of the war. The battalion was disbanded on 15 September 1920.
Private Bertrand fought in the following actions during WW1, Somme, Flers-Courcelette, Theival, Ancre Heights, Arras, 1917, Vimy Ridge 1917, Hill 70, Ypres 1917, Passchendaele , Scarpe and the Hindenburg Line.
Private Bertrand was wounded in the head and right shoulder while in France by shrapnel on April 11, 1917, and again on April 15, 1917, during Vimy Ridge.
Private Bertrand was promoted to Corporal on September 28th, 1917 while sent to hospital in England
On November 2, 1917 Corporal Bertrand was awarded the Military Medal for Bravery in the field and returned to duty in France.
On August 7th, 1918, Corporal Bertrand was promoted to Sergeant and sent to hospital to recover from his wounds.
Although the file does not list the date when he returned to active duty, Sergeant Bertrand is listed as being killed in action from an enemy machine gun bullet in the body on August 28, 1918, during the Hindenburg Line battle two years and two days after he first saw action under enemy fire.
Sergeant Bertrand is remembered with honour in the Vis-En-Artois British Cemetery in Haucourt, Pas de Calais, France.
Percy Bertrand was born in Smith Township, Peterborough County on May 20, 1885, the son of Adeline “Addie” MacNaughton and Hiram Bertrand. Percy received his education in the local school. By 1901, the family was living in Douro Township and Hiram was farming. Percy helped on the farm and by 1911 he went to work for Charlie Frankish as a farm labourer.
On March 20, 1916, Percy went to Peterborough and enlisted to serve his King and Country and before heading overseas, Percy married his sweetheart Lulu Davis in Kingston on July 10, 1916. She was the daughter of Elizabeth Haines and Albert Davis. The honeymoon was short as Percy sailed for Britain on July 15, 1916.
Sadly Sergeant Percy Bertrand was killed in action in France on August 28. 1918. Sergeant Bertrand is remembered with honour in the Vis-En-Artois British Cemetery in Haucourt, Pas de Calais, France. His Army buddy Sergeant Henry “Harry” James Tanner from Apsley wrote a touching letter of condolence to Percy’s wife Lulu and his family.
FAMILY OF PERCY BERTRAND
The maternal grandparents of Percy Bertrand were Rhoda Ann Robinson born in Ireland on August 15, 1835 and Alexander “Sandy” MacNaughton born in Inverary, Argyleshire, Scotland on November 16, 1833. Rhoda and Sandy were married in Campbellford, Ontario in 1854. They made their home in Young’s Point, Ontario and Sandy farmed. They had a family of ten children – Alexander, Margaret, Nancy, William, Adeline, Esther, Mary, James, Leo and Aaron MacNaughton. Alexander “Sandy” passed away on February 13, 1909 and Rhoda died on November 10, 1921; both are buried in Lakefield Cemetery.
The parents of Percy Bertrand were Adeline “Addie” Arlette MacNaughton, born Smith Township, Peterborough County on April 7, 1864 and Hiram Bertrand born on June 5, 1858. Hiram and Addie were married and lived in Smith Township but by 1901 the family was living in Douro Township and Hiram was working his farm. They had a family of five children – Percy born in 1885, Hattie May born in 1887, Bertie born in 1892, Wilbert Arthur born in 1896 and Frederick “Freddie” Bertrand born in 1907. By 1916, the Bertrand family was living on Union Street in Peterborough. Hiram Bertrand passed away on January 10, 1916, age 57 years and Addie died on January 22, 1946; both are buried in Lakefield Cemetery.
Source: Lakefield War Veterans