Source: September 1916 K.I.A.
Summary of Service[i] for Private William Roscoe Pickard, reg. no. 54521
|February 29, 1884||Born||Born at Chatham, Ontario, Canada.[ii] His parents where Peter Thomas Pickard and Martha Iantha Fedelia (nee Gordon) Pickard.|
|Late 1914||Enlisted||Apparently enlisted with the 28th Battalion at Moose Jaw. For some reason he had to re-enlist with the 18th early the next year.|
|February 23, 1916||Enlisted||Enlisted at London, Ontario. He was a 30-year old marine fireman who had prior military experience with the 2-years service with the 60th Rifles, Moose Jaw. His next-of-kin was Peter Pickard of Goulias Bay, Algoma, Ontario. He was single.|
|April 1, 1916||Inoculated||Anti-Typhoid.|
|April 13, 1916||Inoculated||Anti-Typhoid.|
|April 29, 1914||Arrives England||Arrives Avonmouth aboard the S.S. Grampian and transits via train with the Battalion to West Sandling.|
|July 19, 1915||Forfeits Pay||Forfeits 3-days pay for being Absent Without Leave (AWL) while in training at West Sandling.|
|June 11 1916||Vaccinated|
|August 6, 1915||Forfeits Pay||Forfeits 6-days pay for being Absent Without Leave (AWL) while in training at West Sandling.|
|August 13, 1915||Transferred||Transferred to “B” Company.|
|May 27, 1916||Field Punishment No. 1||Sentenced to F.P. No. 1 for “Drunk while being on active service.”|
|September 15, 1916||Killed in Action||Killed in action during the first day of the Battalion’s participation in the Battle of Flers-Courcelette. The Battalion was heavily engaged during this day and the month that followed in combat operations at the Somme battlefield.
The War Diary is remiss[iii] in its relating of the Battalion’s actions that day and leaves a lot to be desired as to the details of the Battalion’s actions that day. The casualties on that day for killed in action amounted to 88 men that day alone.
Due to the conditions of the battle many have no known grave. Private Pickard is on of 73 18th Battalion men that perished that day that have no known grave and are commemorated at the Vimy Memorial.
He is further remembered at the St. James Anglican Church World War 1 Monument at Algoma, Ontario. The stone reads, “Pte. William R. Pickard Killed on Scout Duty Sept. 15, 1916 Aged 28 Years”.
He may also be remembered at the Greenwood Cemetery, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
|June 7, 1920||Memorial Cross Despatched||Cross no. CL0937 despatched to Mrs. Peter Pickard of Goulais River.|
|December 7, 1920||Scroll Despatched||Scroll no. Z3258 despatched to Mr. Peter T. Pickard of Goulais River.|
|January 12, 1922||Plaque Despatched||Plaque no. PA3542 despatched to Mr. Peter T. Pickard of Goulais River.|
[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] There appears to be some issue with his year of birth. As his date on his attestation clearly shows February 29 then he could only have been born in 1884 or 1888. The various sources give his age as 28-years or 30-years old. His attestation papers indicate his “apparent” age as 30. Given this account the birth year of 1884 will be used for this summary.
[iii] Note that the 21st Battalion War Diary has an extensive entry.
“54251 Private (18th Battalion, Western Ontario Regiment) William Roscoe Pickard (b.1885) of Moose Jaw was KIA 19160915 at Courcelette and is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial for soldiers who perished in northern France with no known grave. He was the son of Peter T. and Martha Pickard of Goulais River, Algoma district, Ontario. William was born at Chatham, Kent Co., and was a fireman when he enlisted in the 28th Battalion at Moose Jaw late in 1914. For unknown reasons he re-enlisted at London, Ontario, early in 1915. Pickard was actively involved with the 60th Rifles at Moose Jaw for two years.”