Source: Via Facebook Group via Katherine Cross. Note that this soldier is not a confirmed member of the 18th Battalion until such documentation has been found to accurately determine the battalion he belong to when he perished. The CVWM and CWGC records indicate that this soldier served with the 2nd Battalion when he was killed. The Circumstances of Death Register indicates he served with the 18th Battalion.
The subsequent research shows this soldier was serving with the 18th Battalion when he was killed in action.
Summary of Service for Private Bruce Poole, reg. no. 675904
Note: This soldier joined a battalion that normally would have reinforced other members of the same Regimental area (Western Ontario Regiment). For some reason, Private Poole was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, which was primarily reinforced from battalion of the Central Ontario Regiment (i.e. Ottawa, Brockville, Cornwall Ontario). He served with the 2nd Battalion, was wounded, recovered, and returned. Then he was assigned to the 18th Battalion September 29, 1918.
It is rare for soldiers to be assigned to two different front-line battalions during their service. Typically a soldier is assigned to a front-line battalion and stays with that unit until wounded, invalided or killed. If they are wounded or invalided and can be reclaimed through treatment they will go back to their original unit.
It is not known why Private Poole was assigned to the 2nd Battalion and it is further not known why he was transferred to the 18th. With the close of the war being obtainable perhaps he wanted to serve with men from is region and be demobilized with this unit and returned to Canada.
“By contrast, Chauncey and Frances Poole of Norwich accepted that their son Bruce had volunteered with the 168th precisely to “do his bit for the great cause.”126 Once he recovered from the “blighty” that he had sustained at Hill 70 in September 1917, the avid letter writer had re-entered the reinforcement pool and joined the 18th Battalion in the field in France on 2 October 1918. Within a week he endured heavy enemy shelling, tasted life in the trenches once again, and prepared to establish
a bridgehead over the Canal de l’Escaut with his new unit. On 10 October, the battalion initiated an attack under an artillery barrage that fired short (with “our own shells breaking just ahead of the jumping off position” – proving that even the lauded Canadian gunners were imperfect) and then faced heavy enemy machine gun fire during their advance. After spending the night in old trenches that they had captured, Poole and his comrades advanced again the next morning, turning back enemy tanks using concentrated rifle, Lewis gun, and machine gun fire. The battered battalion was relieved that evening, but Poole did not survive to rest and
enjoy good billets in Thun l’Evêque the next day. He and ten other soldiers were killed during the battle, and another 72 wounded.127
Source: “Familiar Fields to Foreign Soil: Three Rural Townships and the Great War”, page 364-365.
|August 25, 1896||Born||Born in Norwich, Ontario to Mr. and Mrs. Chauncey Poole.|
|April 15, 1916||Enlisted||Enlisted with the 168th Battalion at Norwich, Ontario.|
|May 18, 1916||Inoculated||Anti-Typhoid|
|May 28, 1916||Inoculated||Anti-Typhoid|
|October 1, 1916||Vaccinated|
|October 30, 1916||Unit sails||Battalion departs Halifax to England on board the S.S. Lapland.|
|November 1916||Assigns pay||Assigns $20.00 per month to Mrs. Francis Poole.|
|November 11, 1916||Arrives Liverpool.||Arrives England|
|November 13, 1916||Tonsillitis||Admitted for treatment, Moore Barracks, Shornecliffe.|
|November 19, 1916||Tonsillitis||Discharged to duty.|
|December 5, 1916||Taken on Strength||Transferred to the 39th Battalion, West Sandling.|
|December 11, 1916||Accident||Fractures clavicle in an accident and is transferred to the 5th London General Hospital, St. Thomas London, SE.|
|January 4, 1917||Taken on Strength||Transferred to the 6th Reserve Battalion.|
|February 13, 1917||Admitted hospital||Admitted Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Epsom Park for a fractured clavicle.|
|March 7, 1917||Released from hospital|
|May 13, 1917||Submits Military Will||Leaves his estate to this mother, Mrs. Francis Poole of Norwich, Ontario, Oxford County.|
|May 27, 1917||Drafted to the 2nd Battalion||Arrives at the Canadian Base Depot, Le Harve.|
|June 11, 1917||Leaves for 2nd Battalion||Leaves C.B.D. to join his battalion in the field.|
|June 13, 1917||Arrives 2nd Battalion||Arrives in the field. The Battalion was based at Bois des Alleux, France and was in Brigade Support on June 12, 1917. The Battalion’s War Diary for the 13th simply states: “Abnormally quiet.”|
|September 16, 1917||Wounded||Shrapnel wound, right leg and transferred to No. 23 Casualty Clearing Station. The Battalion had moved to the Fosse Sector.|
|September 18, 1917||Transferred||Transferred to the 13th General Hospital, Boulogne, France.|
|September 21, 1917||Invalided (Wounded)||Posted to Eastern Ontario Regimental Depot, Seaford, England.|
|September 22, 1917||Admitted||County of Middlesex War Hospital at Nasbury, St. Albans|
|October 31, 1917||Admitted||Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Epsom Park.|
|November 12, 1917||Taken on Strength||6th Reserve Battalion, Seaford, England.|
|Augusts 2, 1918||Posted||Taken on strength with the 2nd Battalion. The 2nd Battalion is located at Magincourt, France and had a Brigade Sports Day.|
|September 29, 1918||Taken off Strength||Taken off strength with the 18th Battalion. At this time the 2nd Battalion is South-East of Epinoy, France and heavily engaged in open-warfare during The 100 Days Campaign.|
|October 11, 1918||Killed in Action.||Circumstances of Death Card notes: “Killed in Action” Whilst taking part in the advance East of Iwuy he was hit and instantly killed by shrapnel from an enemy shell.
That day is described in some detail at the post Battling Tanks at Iwuy: The last German use of tanks in World War 1 which gives some context to the death of Private Poole.
He was 22 years old.
|June 14, 1920||Grave Registration||Private Poole is buried at the aptly named Niagara Cemetery, Iwuy, France. He rests with 15 members of the 18th Battalion, all who died in action on October 10 or 11, 1918. His epitaph reads “HE GIVETH HAVE BELOVED SLEEP”|