Cowley, Archibald Vernon: Service no. 189383


Digitized Service Record


Source: April 1918 casualty.


Tilbury Times,

Thursday, 6 June, 1918 pg. 1

“Letters From the Front”

Hospital for Officers,
Marylebone, N. W. London, England.

Dear Mrs. Cowley,

   Sickness which has brought me from France to the above address has prevented me until the present moment, in offering my deepest sympathy in connection with the death of your son Arch.

   For a long time, in fact, ever since we joined the 91st together I have known of your late son. I can assure you that at all times he was the soldier and the gentleman, a fine leader in every respect. He was rapidly making his presence known and felt in France, and had he but lived, well earned promotion would have been forthcoming shortly.

   Your son was in command of a party on fatigue and was struck by a piece of bursting shell. He died at his post with his face to the fore; he knew no fear, always one of the first to go over. He was a favorite with the officers and men alike. Archie’s passing will leave a vacancy in the battalion extremely hard to fill, he went out smiling, that same smile we used to see so often on the baseball field when he pitched himself into a tight corner and was coolly proceeding to pitch himself out again. He has pitched his last game but we all know that on the new field above he “shines” again and even more brilliantly. Just at present I know it will be hard for you at home to realize the reason for his taking but I trust the time will come when you clearly may see and understand the right of it all. I, [as] his platoon commander also shall miss him very much. Again, may I offer my keenest sympathy in connection with your irreparable loss.

Very sincerely,

Douglas Oliver, Lieut.

18th Canadians.   


Lieut. Douglas Robertson Oliver was born at Ruthven, ON. the son of Dr. and Mrs. Oliver. He was living in Chatham and working as a reporter for the Planet Printing Co. in Chatham. He enlisted in the 91st Bn. in St. Thomas in October of 1915 at the age of 21 years, a contemporary of Pte. Cowley. Douglas was promoted to the rank of Captain in September, 1918 and returned to Canada after the was in charge of D-Company if the 18th Bn. JRH.


“Killed in Action” On the night of April 22nd, 1918, he was instantly killed by an enemy shell when he was on a working in the close support line at Neuville Vitasse.

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