What’s In a Name?

History and memory can be tenuous. As time passes and the source of history - the people who experienced the events - fade with each death. With each passing year after an event, be it small or world shaping, there is a loss of the source of information about the event. There are books, archives,... Continue Reading →

The First to Die

With thanks to Patrick Dennis, Colonel (RET’D), OMM, CD who reached out to me and pointed me in the right direction. His work to inform us about the role of conscription can be best appreciated by his book, “Reluctant Warriors: Canadian Conscripts in the Great War” Without his help and his work my interest and... Continue Reading →

New Blog Header Image

Thanks for Peter Moogk for reaching out to me we have another moment if the 18th Battalion's history captured and shared. This image shows the officers of "C" Company in September 1915 at West Sandling. To put that month in context, the Battalion left for England on the night of the 14th and had been... Continue Reading →

“…because life in the trenches was less irksome and monotonous and no more beastly than in places like Bouvigny Huts”

Bouvigny Huts. Bouvigny Huts. Those two words may have spelled mixed feelings with the Battalion. This would be the first time they ware billeted there but other battalions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force reported the conditions for this facility in the rear that “…life in the trenches was less irksome and monotonous and no more... Continue Reading →

Two Men. Two Scouts. One Raid.

On the night of July 26/27 men of the 18th Battalion carried out a “minor trench raid”. The weather was “Fine but dull”[i] on that day. In that raid were two men, originals with the Battalion, who both have quite different stories. Private Forrester Private Alfred Forrester, reg. no. 53648[ii] war service started out rather... Continue Reading →

A “Soldier of Fortune” Returns…

Private Gordon Wellington Wilder, regimental no. 54265[i] of the 18th Battalion, CEF is an enigma. From his attestation papers on his enlistment he was a 30-year old Anglo-Irish British subject that indicated prior military experience with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and had served 2-years in the Sudan; 3-years in South Africa; and 13-months in China.... Continue Reading →

Remembering my Great-Grandfather, and the Battle of Vimy Ridge

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100 years ago today, my great-grandfather, Russell Emerson Poste, joined 100,000 other Canadians in capturing Vimy Ridge.

Early in the morning on Easter Monday, April 9, 1917, the Battle of Vimy Ridge began. For the first time in the First World War, all four Canadian divisions fought on the same battlefield. They progressed quickly, and by April 12, the entire ridge was under Allied control. With the capture of Hill 145, the highest feature on the ridge, the operation was considered a resounding success. The ridge remained in Allied hands for the duration of the war. The victory at Vimy Ridge did not come without cost: Canadian casualties reached 10,602, of which 3,598 were killed.

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Russell Emerson Poste had enlisted in the 18th Western Ontario Battalion when he was only 17 years old. He fought in the trenches alongside his brothers, Ernest and Arthur. Unlike so many, all three came…

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