Broadwell, Emerald Brittan: Service no. 53892


Digitized Service Records

Source: January 31, 1916 War Diary Entry. Went missing per Circumstances of Death Card with Private Albert James Reeves, reg. no. 53847.


Son of Amos and Elizabeth S. Broadwell, of Pincher Creek, Alberta.

Citation:1914-1915 Star; British War Medal (1914-18); Victory Medal (1914-18)


On January 31st, 1916 the 18th Battalion War Diary recorded:

Battn as yesterday – Pte. Atherton wounded on fatigue. Scouts Broadwell, Reeves reported missing – Lost on patrol.

One wonders how the family found out and took this information but a news article later in the year gives hope and then another one dashes it.

Galt Boy Killed London Advertiser March 1 1916
London Advertiser. March 1, 1916. Page 4.

Below is the text of two London Free Press articles from 1916.

The first relates a letter from Sergt. Eli Watts of the 18th Battalion indicating that a Pte. Emerson [Emerald] Broadwell is prisoner of war in Germany.

“Sergt. Eli Watts, a Galt man with a Western Ontario battalion, writing to his mother here, sends the news that Pte. Emerson Broadwell, who enlisted in Galt, and who was in February reported missing and later killed, is a prisoner of war in Germany and is well. Sergt. Watts and Pte. Broadwell were in the same battalion and Pte. Broadwell was given up for dead.”

London Free Press – May 3rd, 1916


Sadly the news of what really happened to Pte. Emerald Broadwell took time to be known:

GALT, June 20 – Pte Emerald B. Broadwell, a former Galtonian, reported missing on Ferbruary 15, is now officially reported killed, his father, Amos Broadwell, of Pincher Creek, Alta., having been notified to this effect. The young man enlisted with the 18th Battalion. He was 20 years of age and was born at Kingsville, Ont. He was serving his apprenticeship at the  Goldie & McCulloch works and lived in Galt for three years.

London Free Press, June 21st, 1916


One wonders how much more of the hope and heartbreak of having one’s son situation be reported incorrectly?

The Circumstances of Casualty Card fills out the incident of his death:

“Previously reported died, now for official purposes presumed to have died:

During the morning of January 30th, 1916, this soldier with a comrade, left out [our] trenches under cover of fog. They reached an enemy listening post which was unoccupied but found bombs there and brought them back to our lines. They returned again to the listening post to await the return of the enemy, and nothing further has since been received concerning these two soldiers.”


Sadly, Company Sergeant Major Eli Watts was to perish in The Battle of Fler-Courcelette on September 15, 1916.


One thought on “Broadwell, Emerald Brittan: Service no. 53892

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  1. The hearbreak was great, my great grandmother lost three sons during the great war. Emerald 1916, Jasper Broadwell 1916 (spinal Meningitis) he was a cadet and had not yet, enlisted and Pte Beryl Broadwell 16th Battalion CEF at Arleux Loop 5 June 1917, also was missing with no known grave.

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