Source: Facebook Group via Katherine Cross.
Background to above images:
William R. Brix wrote to his son Arthur at Christmas 1916, likely from the Courcelette area of France during a break in the fighting. William enlisted in 1915 at the relatively old age of 36 with no previous military experience. He had 6 children at that time. He fought with the 18th Btn at many notable actions including the St. Eloi mine crater in April 1916 , both battles for Courcelette in Sept and Oct 1916 (as part of the The Somme Offensive), several raids on German trenches and the Battle of Vimy Ridge where his Battalion was in the first wave, attacking the German Black Line on April 9, 1917. This was his last battle, as he was invalided out of service less than a month later due to “advanced age” — he was 39. He died in 1920 of pneumonia, and is considered a war casualty. I have my Great-Grandmother’s Memorial Cross (aka the Silver Cross) with his name and service number — almost worn smooth from her wearing it — inscribed on the back.
– Submitted by Darren McDermott
Summary of Service[i] for Private William Brix, reg. no. 476749
Date Event Remarks February 23, 1879 Born London, England March 1915 Enlists Enlists with the 19th Lincoln Regiment. March 1915 Separation Allowance. $20.00 per month to Mrs. Salina C. Brix residing at Vineland Station. March 31, 1915 Vaccinated April 16, 1915 Enlisted Private Brix enlisted at Hamilton, Ontario with the 36th Battalion. He was a married 36-year old machinist listing his wife, Mrs. Salina C. Brix residing at Vineland Station. There is annotation that he was originally with the 19th Lincoln Regiment. April 26, 1915 Inoculated Anti-Typhoid. May 7, 1915 Inoculated Anti-Typhoid. June 2, 1915 Inoculated Anti-Typhoid. March 1915 Separation Allowance. $20.00 per month to Mrs. Salina C. Brix residing at Vineland Station. May 1915 Assigns Pay Assigns $15.00 per month to Mrs. Salina C. Brix residing at Vineland Station. June 28, 1915 Arrives England Arrives Shorncliffe, England with the 36th Battalion. August 8-11, 1915 Absent Without Leave[ii] August 13, 1915 Forfeits Pay Forfeits four-days pay for being A.W.L September 24, 1915 Field Punishment No. 2 Punished for insubordination. October 18, 1915 Transferred Transferred to 18th Battalion, West Sandling Camp. November 19, 1915 Arrives Arrives Canadian Base Depot, Etaples. November 21. 1915 Proceeds to Unit November 24, 1915 Arrives at Unit Arrives at unit in the field. On that day the 18th Battalion War Diary records:
““D” + “B” Coys relieved by “A” + “C” in trenches”
The Battalion is stationed near Vierstraat in the Ypres Sector and has been active in combat since September 25, 1915.
April 1, 1917 Granted Leave Granted ten days leave. April 26, 1917 Admitted Admitted No. 4 Canadian Field Ambulance for myalgia, legs. Then to No. 13 Field Ambulance (Imperial). May 4, 1917 Admitted Admitted No. 1 C.F.A. for same condition. June 7, 1917 Updated Address Wife’s address updated to 1 Main Street, St. Catharines, Ontario. June 10, 1917 Admitted Admitted to No. 2 Canadian Infantry Base Depot, Etaples, France. Classified “TB”. See this link for explanation of classifications. This soldier was classified as Temporary Class B[iii]. June 11, 1917 Admitted Classified “PB” re. overage and myalgia. Permanent Class B. June 17, 1917 Proceeds Proceeds to Canadian Corps Headquarters. June 10, 1917 Attached Classified “PB” and attached to Canadian Corps Composite Company. July 27, 1917 Admitted Admitted a Field Ambulance Unit. July 30, 1917 Admitted Admitted No. 6 Casualty Clearing Station. Pyrexia of unknown origin. August 1, 1917 Admitted Admitted No. 26 General Hospital, Etaples, France. August 3, 1917 Admitted Admitted No. 6 Convalescent Depot. Etaples, France. August 4, 1917 Admitted Admitted No. 11 Convalescent Depot, Buchey, France. October 2, 1917 Discharged Discharged to No. 2 Canadian Infantry Base Depot, Etaples. Class “TB”. October 9, 1017 Classified Classified “PB” re. overage and myalgia. Permanent Class B. October 22, 1917 Transferred Transferred to England. October 23, 1917 Posted Posted from duty with the 18th Battalion to the Western Ontario Regimental Depot at Bramshott as he is “unfit for duty in France”. November 5, 1917 On Command Shown “On Command” at Buxton C.C.D. for return to Canada. November 6, 1917 Inoculated Anti-Typhoid. November 15, 1917 Medical Board Medical Board indicates he is 48-years old. His attestation papers indicated he was 36-years old. December 1, 1917 Taken On Strength T.O.S. with C.C.D, Buxton. December 12, 1917 Dental Exam Requires part upper which will be done at the publics expense. December 23, 1917 Embarks Embarks the S.S. Metagama at Liverpool for Canada. January 8, 1918 Taken On Strength T.O.S. No. 2 Casualty Unit, Toronto, Ontario. February 8, 1918 Discharged Discharged from No. 2 Casualty Unit, Toronto, Ontario. March 28, 1920 Passes Contracts Influenza and develops pneumonia and passes away at the General Marine Hospital, St. Catharines, Ontario. He is interred at Victoria Lawn Cemetery in the same city. July 7, 1923 Coin Despatched Coin and Scroll no. 56466 despatched to Mrs. S. Brix, 1 Main Street, Western Hill, St. Catharines, Ontario. November 9, 1923 Plaque Despatched Plaque and Scroll no. 49711 despatched to Mrs. S. Brix, 1 Main Street, Western Hill, St. Catharines, Ontario.
[i] The Summary of Service for this soldier is meant as just that, a summary of his service. It is not intended to be an exhaustive biographical relation of his life or his war service. Some information may be deliberately suppressed by the author out of sensitivity to the soldier. Readers are encouraged to reference the actual service records available at the Library and Archives Canada in PDF format if they wish to learn more about this soldier. Such additional information (i.e. hyperlinks etc.) are for informational purpose only and no claim to verification or accuracy is made by the author of this summary.
[ii] Being AWL was a real problem for Canadian Battalions in England. Approx. 40% of all the enlistees where born in the British Isles and wanted the opportunity to visit relatives, friends, and family. The Battalion leadership and Provost Marshall Corps appears to grudgingly put up with this.
[iii] It appears that Private Brix was working to get this classification reversed and was sent to Canadian Corp Headquarters to have a higher authority determine his classification.