Brix, William Robert: Service no. 406479

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Source: Facebook Group via Katherine Cross.

Source: St. Catherines Standard. April 17, 1916. Via post at 18th Battalion Facebook Group.
Christmas Card contributed by Katherine Cross, Great-Grand Daughter to this soldier.
Christmas Card contributed by Katherine Cross.
Christmas Card contributed by Katherine Cross, Great-Grand Daughter to this soldier.
Christmas Card contributed by Katherine Cross.
The Evening journal March 1, 1920 Page 1
The Evening Journal. March 1, 1920. Page 1.

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.

brebner_john_0627
Veterans Death Card. Notice that the original notation indicated death was not due to service. It was subsequently amended and corrected to show that his death was related to his service to his country.

Summary of Service[i] for Private William Brix, reg. no. 476749

DateEventRemarks
February 23, 1879BornLondon, England
March 1915EnlistsEnlists with the 19th Lincoln Regiment.
March 1915Separation Allowance.$20.00 per month to Mrs. Salina C. Brix residing at Vineland Station.
March 31, 1915Vaccinated 
April 16, 1915EnlistedPrivate 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, 1915InoculatedAnti-Typhoid.
May 7, 1915InoculatedAnti-Typhoid.
June 2, 1915InoculatedAnti-Typhoid.
March 1915Separation Allowance.$20.00 per month to Mrs. Salina C. Brix residing at Vineland Station.
May 1915Assigns PayAssigns $15.00 per month to Mrs. Salina C. Brix residing at Vineland Station.
June 28, 1915Arrives EnglandArrives Shorncliffe, England with the 36th Battalion.
August 8-11, 1915Absent Without Leave[ii] 
August 13, 1915Forfeits PayForfeits four-days pay for being A.W.L
September 24, 1915Field Punishment No. 2Punished for insubordination.
October 18, 1915TransferredTransferred to 18th Battalion, West Sandling Camp.
November 19, 1915ArrivesArrives Canadian Base Depot, Etaples.
November 21. 1915Proceeds to Unit 
November 24, 1915Arrives at UnitArrives 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, 1917Granted LeaveGranted ten days leave.
April 26, 1917AdmittedAdmitted No. 4 Canadian Field Ambulance for myalgia, legs. Then to No. 13 Field Ambulance (Imperial).   The Battalion is in a rest camp west of Vimy.
May 4, 1917AdmittedAdmitted No. 1 C.F.A. for same condition.
June 7, 1917Updated AddressWife’s address updated to 1 Main Street, St. Catharines, Ontario.
June 10, 1917AdmittedAdmitted 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, 1917AdmittedClassified “PB” re. overage and myalgia. Permanent Class B.
June 17, 1917ProceedsProceeds to Canadian Corps Headquarters.
June 10, 1917AttachedClassified “PB” and attached to Canadian Corps Composite Company.
July 27, 1917AdmittedAdmitted a Field Ambulance Unit.
July 30, 1917AdmittedAdmitted No. 6 Casualty Clearing Station. Pyrexia of unknown origin.
August 1, 1917AdmittedAdmitted No. 26 General Hospital, Etaples, France.
August 3, 1917AdmittedAdmitted No. 6 Convalescent Depot. Etaples, France.
August 4, 1917AdmittedAdmitted No. 11 Convalescent Depot, Buchey, France.
October 2, 1917DischargedDischarged to No. 2 Canadian Infantry Base Depot, Etaples. Class “TB”.
October 9, 1017ClassifiedClassified “PB” re. overage and myalgia. Permanent Class B.
October 22, 1917TransferredTransferred to England.
October 23, 1917PostedPosted from duty with the 18th Battalion to the Western Ontario Regimental Depot at Bramshott as he is “unfit for duty in France”.
November 5, 1917On CommandShown “On Command” at Buxton C.C.D. for return to Canada.
November 6, 1917InoculatedAnti-Typhoid.
November 15, 1917Medical BoardMedical Board indicates he is 48-years old. His attestation papers indicated he was 36-years old.
December 1, 1917Taken On StrengthT.O.S. with C.C.D, Buxton.
December 12, 1917Dental ExamRequires part upper which will be done at the publics expense.
December 23, 1917EmbarksEmbarks the S.S. Metagama at Liverpool for Canada.
January 8, 1918Taken On StrengthT.O.S. No. 2 Casualty Unit, Toronto, Ontario.
February 8, 1918DischargedDischarged from No. 2 Casualty Unit, Toronto, Ontario.
March 28, 1920PassesContracts 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, 1923Coin DespatchedCoin and Scroll no. 56466 despatched to Mrs. S. Brix, 1 Main Street, Western Hill, St. Catharines, Ontario.
November 9, 1923Plaque DespatchedPlaque 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.

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