Newman, Albert: Service no. 189789



Digitized Service Record

Source: British Home Children Advocacy & Research Association on Facebook


Barnardo Boy (British Home Child)

The Windsor Record. April 19, 1918. Source: British Home Children Who Died in the First World War

Albert Newman, Barnardo Home Boy Dies in Canadian Hospital Foster Father Hears.

Elmer Hornick, of Quinn, is in receipt of an official notice from the Barnardo Boy’s Home, that Albert Newman, a former ward of that institution, whom he adopted, had died of wounds in a Canadian hospital Boulogne, France. The young man enlisted a year ago in the 186th battalion, George Billings was officially advised this week his son, Pte. Fred Billings, of the 186th battalion, had suffered a gunshot wound to the leg. The young man enlisted with the 186th Kents, a year ago.

The Windsor Record. April 19, 1918. Page 2.

Summary of Service for Private Albert Newman, reg. no. 189789

April 9, 1898Born Matfield Green, Kent, EnglandHis attestation papers have some curious elements:


1.       Place of birth is listed with his probable real place of birth. Many British Home Children simply listed London, England as their place of birth.

2.       He lists his residence as a Barnardo Home located in Toronto. Given that he attested in Chatham, Ontario this detail is interesting but not very illuminating. Private Newman arrived in Canada in 1907 so he probably was placed in a home before that time. Perhaps he had recently returned to Toronto and then was assigned a new family to stay with. A news article upon his death indicates he was living with Elmer Hornick, of Quinn, Ontario when he enlisted.

1907Arrives in Canada.Travels via the S.S. Dominion.
January 3, 1916Enlisted in 91st Battalion.Enlisted in St. Thomas, Ontario and was living with Elmer Hornick of Quinn, Ontario. Quinn, Ontario is approximately 140 kilometers from St. Thomas. Chatham, Ontario is closer to Quinn and it is uncertain as to why Private Newman did not enlist in Chatham.



He enlists at the age of 18.

February 28, 1916Transferred to the 186th Overseas Battalion.Clean record. No demerits or other notations on his card.
February 28, 1916 or 1917Fills out WillLeaves his estate to a Ms. Flora Sambell of Chatham, Ontario. The witnesses appear to be a R.H. Small of Listowel, Ontario and a G. Vickerman of Tilbury, Ontario. The will was most likely generated in 1917 as it was common to do this before the unit shipped out for England.



Vickerman: Most likely Glenn Zebedea Vickerman, reg. no. 189426 of Tilbury, Ontario.


Small: Most likely Rolland Henry Small, reg. no. 189483 of Teeswater.

February 28, 1916 to April 7, 1917186th Battalion – CanadaTwo notations for infractions. January 24, 1917, 2 Days CB and February 22, 1917, 5 days CB.
March 25, 1917Embarks for EnglandVia the S.S. Lapland
April 4, 1917Arrives Liverpool, EnglandAssigned to “C” Segregation Camp, Bramshott, England and then assigned to the 4th Canadian Reserve Battalion.
September 6, 1917Proceeds overseas for assignment with the 18th Battalion.After more advanced training, Private Newman leaves for the Continent and active military service.
September 7, 1917Arrives at Canadian Infantry Base Depot, Etaples, France.More training and acclimation.
September 27, 1917Arrives Canadian Corps Reinforcement CampVillers Aus Bois, France. Near Ypres, Belgium.
November 11, 1917Joins the 18th Battalion in the field.POTIJZE CAMP near Ypres, Belgium. In battalion reserve. The 18th Battalion had had an arduous time of service in the line.
April 4, 1918Wounded and Dies of WoundsWounded and transferred to a Casualty Clearing Station. After assessment of his wounds he was transferred to the No. 3 Canadian Stationary Hospital.



“Died of Wounds.” (Gun shot Wounds, Right Shoulder.) No. 3 Canadian Stationary Hospital, Doullens, France.

April 4, 191818th Battalion War Diary SummaryThe Battalion relived the 21st Battalion in the Neuville Vitasse sector on the night of April 1 and 2. C Company was positioned in the right flank and D Company left flank. B Company was left close support (in a rear position – reserve) and A in right support.



The Battalion found the trenches in a bad state. There were no covered dugouts or shelter and, though this was generally against regulations, funk holes (holes cut into the side of the trench that held 1 or 2 men) were fashioned for shelter.


Erratic enemy shelling caused 31 wounded in action and 3 other ranks killed. Communication with Brigade was good with some outages and at night runners were used for company communications. During the day it was very dangerous for runners.


April 3, 1918 found considerable enemy activity in Neuville Vitasse and active Canadian artillery in response. A scouting patrol was engaged by an enemy machine gun with 2 scouts wounded. The 18th Battalion maintained active night patrols (usually in no mans land) along their entire frontage.

April 4, 1918:


“During night of 3 / 4 A Coy [company] frontage (Right Support) was heavily shelled and barraged from 1 a.m. to 9.30 a.m. a considerable number of gas shells being involved in this shelling. Our artillery retaliated with a barrage of heavies [large caliber guns] on enemy front and support lines. A patrol penetrated enemy front lines and reported trenches unoccupied with the exception of on MG [machine gun] LIEUT. R.E. LAWRANCE and 7 o.r.s. [other ranks] were wounded during enemy shelling. 2 o.r.s. killed in action.

Circa April 1918 – 21InterredDoullens Communal Cemetery Extension No.1, France. Plot VI. E. 51.
ForeverRemembered for his sacrifice. 
Headstone for Private Newman. Source: British Home Children Who Died in the First World War
"Died of Wounds." (Gun shot Wounds, Right Shoulder.) No. 3 Canadian Stationary Hospital, Doullens.
“Died of Wounds.” (Gun shot Wounds, Right Shoulder.) No. 3 Canadian Stationary Hospital, Doullens.

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