Source: Gathering of Heroes
Note that this soldier joined the 18th Battalion August 15, 1917 and the war diary has his name miss-spelled at “Brachin”.
CAPTAIN GARNET GARFIELD BRACKIN 1885-1918
Carnet Brackin was the son of James and Sarah Brackin, born 1885 in Chatham. He was 5ft. 11 inches tall, fair complexion blue eyes and light brown hair. He was a member and sang in the choir of St. Andrews Church (Presbyterian at the time).
His father was of Irish ancestry, coming to Chatham from Newmarket in 1883 to teach and be Principle of the new Forest Street school, now McKeogh School. Garnet, along with his brother Robert, who was a very clever lawyer and politician, sisters Mary Jacks of Wallaceburg and Bessie, a Music Teacher, were all raised in an atmosphere of schools, music and politics.
He played in the McKeogh School Band, played lacross and he was employed by the Pere Marquette Railways, earning approximately $1,000.00 per year. He resided at 309 Wellington Street West, in Chatham, Ontario.
He enlisted in Chatham in October, 1915 in the 91st Regiment, stationed at St. Thomas, Ontario in 1915-16, as Second-In-Command with Colonel P.K. Morley, also a Chathamite.
He transferred to the 186th overseas battalion “A” Company in 1917, and was promoted to the rank of Captain in a very short time. He went to England with the unit and after special courses he reverted his rank to Lieutenant to enable him to go to France in August, 1917, with the 18th Battalion. He was mentioned in Sir Haig’s dispatches for conspicuous work during the Passchendaele operation of November 1917.
On August 26th, 1918, the first day of the Battle of Arras, Lieutenant Brackin was instantly killed by a shell whilst leading his platoon in the work of clearing the Village of Guemappe, on the Arras-Cambria Road, at the age of 33 years.
He received the General Service Medal, and a medal for service in France. While in France he was awarded the rank of Captain again.
Colonel P. K. Morley, stated he was handsome, an excellent soldier with a tremendous personality. He was the most popular and nicest Junior Officer he had the pleasure of serving with.
The above information was obtained from the records at the Chatham Museum, Victor Lauriston’s Book “Romantic Kent”, Mr. William Gray, William St. Chatham, and Colonel P.K. Morley, Patterson Ave. Chatham.
Norma Satchell, 2nd Vice-Regent
May 1, 1970
Hero is Killed
Chatham, Sept. 7 — Official notice has been received here that Lieut. Garnet Brackin, M.C., was killed in August 26th last. The officer was one of the most efficient and best liked in the 18th Battalion when the unit went overseas. He was awarded the Military Cross last January bravery in action.
Toronto Star, Sept. 7, 1918
Note: The mention of Captain Brackin’s Military Cross is in error. A review of his service record indicates a Mention in Dispatches ref. London Gazette no. 30706, page 6198.