Coincidence on a Train

Coincidence. What series of events need to come together to create one? Many people attribute unseen forces to coincidence, and some dismiss that, by chance alone, there is no way a series of events or connections can occur without some unseen force conspiring to create the event that seems but impossible to have occurred. There... Continue Reading →

October 1918 Casualties

RankSurnameForenameDate of DeathReg. No.PrivateBETTONJ R10/11/1918198966PrivateBRETTINGHAM 10/10/1918739520PrivateCAMPBELLF D10/10/1918769610LieutenantCASHWILFRID ARTHUR10/10/1918LinkPrivateCATERARCHIBALD LEONARD10/2/1918730648PrivateCLEARYJERRY10/18/1918226542PrivateCROWLEYW10/11/1918769411PrivateDRUMMONDCHARLES10/10/1918124363PrivateELLISA C10/11/19183130434PrivateENGLISHB G10/1/1918651604PrivateFLOOKWILLIAM GEORGE10/11/1918189801CorporalFREEE B10/11/1918769634PrivateGRADYJ10/22/19182448453LieutenantHANKINSONELMORE LESLIE10/6/1918LinkPrivateHASTINGSNEWELL10/31/1918844575LieutenantHOSFORDGEORGE ERNEST10/17/1918LinkPrivateHUTCHISONJAMES WESLEY10/10/19183130241PrivateIRWINC E10/12/19183130715PrivateJACKSONWILLIAM CLIFFORD10/11/1918514260PrivateJOHNSTONA D10/8/1918652183PrivateKINGF P10/11/1918928690PrivateLAVELLEL S10/10/19183131642PrivateMcCAULEYGORDON10/11/1918195833PrivateMcKEIGANNEIL10/10/1918878420LieutenantMILFORDT V10/20/1918LinkPrivatePOOLEYERNEST GEORGE10/8/1918651340PrivatePOUNDSF E10/1/19182453306PrivateROACHHARRY10/11/1918123589PrivateROBINSARTHUR DAVID10/11/1918803183PrivateSCRIVERR10/9/1918195437PrivateSHETLERGEORGE EDWARD10/25/1918406167CorporalSOUTERJ P10/11/191856PrivateSPRATLINGWILLIAM JOSEPH10/14/1918158526PrivateTILLSONGEORGE EDWIN10/20/1918802108PrivateWALLISJ10/11/19182448484PrivateWEEKSIRA RALPH ALLAN10/15/1918123344PrivateWHITTAKERA R10/11/19183131518PrivateWILLIAMSF J10/3/19182448462PrivateWILLIAMSONJ R10/11/19183131754LieutenantWILSONMATTHEW MAURICE10/10/1918Link

The Cost: 913 Dead

NOTE: This list needs to be updated. Current update is as of September 16, 2021. Updated from 912 to 913 with the addition of Private Wilfred Fox, reg. no. 405752, added in November 2, 2021. The men who sacrificed from the 18th Battalion whose death were attributed to their participation in the war. In some... Continue Reading →

Bivouac of the Dead: The 18th Battalion’s Experience at the Battle at Flers-Courcelette.

“On France's eternal camping groundTheir silent tents are spread.While glory guards with solemn roundThe Bivouac of the Dead.”Poem attached to Sergeant Chester P. Smiths Memorial Page. Adaptation of Bivouac of the Dead, Theodore O’Hara, 1851. There is a succinct, enigmatic entry in the pages of the 18th Battalion’s War Diary for September 1916. “NOT MUCH... Continue Reading →

Three Men Stand Together

The three men stand together. Their faces are such that one cannot define emotion. Two of the men are not stoic as much, it seems, attempting to suppress laughter while being serious soldiers. The man on the left has his eyes fixed at the photographer is there is no hint of a smile, unlike the... Continue Reading →

Finances and the Private

On October 29, 1914, a 27-year-old labourer[i] enlisted with the 18th Battalion. He had 1-year experience with the 30th Wellington Rifles. He had previously enlisted with the 6th London Battery (Independent), Canadian Field Artillery (CFA), but that enlistment, for some reason, only lasted from August 12 to 29 of 1914. Now, he had permission to... Continue Reading →

A Fate Awaited Him at Home

On July 29, 1915, The London Advertiser reported, in one line, that Private Hugh Marshall, reg. no. 54266 had “Died of injuries sustained by motor car accident. Glasgow, July 22.” London Advertiser. July 29, 1915. Not much of an epitaph for a man and his life. Born in Glasgow on November 10, 1883, he was... Continue Reading →

The Toms Brothers of Bayfield

This is an imagining of the lives and experiences of two brothers who enlisted with the 161st Battalion and were transferred to active duty with the 18th. I have always been struck by the loss of one, or both brothers that served together and this short story is my expression of what it would have... Continue Reading →

Some News From Hastings to London, Ontario

Fred Young, reg. no. 53180, was a prolific letter writer to the newspapers in London and Windsor, Ontario during the war, and poet laurate of the 18th Battalion after the war. In this letter written while he was posted with the Administration Staff at Hastings with the Assistant Director of Medical Services, he outlines some... Continue Reading →

No. 55 General Hospital Wimereux

This hospital would be familiar to some of the men of the 18th Battalion as some of the wounded of the Battalion were treated here. It was also know as Eastern General Hospital. The wounded of the Battalion would proceed from a Regimental Aid Post then to a Field Ambulance, and then to a Casualty... Continue Reading →

Solace: a father-and-son story

This article by Kristen den Hartog is a touching and poignant reminder of the cost of war and how companionship can help both parties. See the article at this link:

Note that the link is also in the post.

The Cowkeeper's Wish

❤ Many of you know that for the past several years I’ve been working on a book about WW1 patients and staff of a military hospital here in Toronto. The research is incredibly time-consuming but fascinating too, and I have had some wonderful encounters with the descendants of my “characters.” I wrote about one of the most moving exchanges for Geist magazine recently, and the article, titled “Solace,” is now viewable online.

Below, a photo of Bud Colquhoun and one of his father Stewart, sent to me from his friends in Northern Ontario.

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Battle of St. Eloi Podcast

Craig Baird hosts a series of podcasts about Canadian history. In this one he reviews the Battle of St. Eloi. The 18th Battalion was involved in this battle and was their first major engagement of the war since they arrived in Belgium in September 1915. St. Eloi Craters. Kemmel in background. Canada Department of National... Continue Reading →

Remembrance Day

Presented here are the memories of one Canadian who made the pilgrimage to the Vimy Memorial. Without further ado, and with thanks to the author, Bonny Hoyer, please read. Private George Cunningham November 10th, 2013, I found myself quietly being regarded by a petite older woman on a bus in Paris, France.  I smiled at... Continue Reading →

“I shall miss this boy dreadfully…”

Barrington Rucker[i] appears to have had a sense of humour evident in his attestation papers when he enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Forces. Arriving from Virginia at Windsor, Ontario, he joined the 18th Battalion on February 15, 1915 and claimed his “Trade or Calling” was an “Orange Picker.” The officers assisting this man to enlist... Continue Reading →

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