After years of reading numerous books and hundreds of scholarly articles finding snippets and treasures in these sources about the 18th Battalion can be hit and miss. Sometimes they can only mystify. Sometimes, like this find, it can illuminate the lives of the soldiers involved and add an intimacy that can often be unexpected and,... Continue Reading →
On August 16, 1918, a Canadian soldier arrived at Southwark Military Hospital at East Dulwich Grove with a compound fracture of the right humerus. He had received these wounds just 8-days earlier as the Battalion stepped off on an attack at 4:20 AM for an objective 200 yards east of Marcelcave, France. During that operation... Continue Reading →
La morti a tutti trova e lu munnu s'arrinova. Sicilian Proverb. English: Death finds everyone and the world gets renewed. Acknowledgement With acknowledgement to Patrick M. Dennis who brought the role of conscripts and conscription into a sharper realistic relief with his presentations and excellent book, Reluctant Warriors: Canadian Conscripts in the Great War. I... Continue Reading →
Lieutenant Colonel Arthur C. Pratt, MPP
133rd (Norfolk’s Own) Battalion
One of my sergeants put it cleverly when he said that, while the Canadians make the best fighting men in the world, they are not soldiers, and he was right when he said it. The Canadian fighters are citizens. The war was merely an interlude in their citizenry. During the fighting they bore all manner of hardship because they were part of the fighting but when the fighting had ended they unconsciously became citizens again and not amendable to the strict discipline of military life. They wanted to get back to the life to which they belonged.
(Pratt, Toronto Star, 19 March 1919)
Arthur Clarence Pratt was a Conservative member of the Ontario legislature for Norfolk South from 1905 to 1919. He was born 6 February 1871 in Lynedoch, Ontario. In November 1915, he joined with Hal B…
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One of the problems with history and the study of it is there can be a very subjective aspect to the analysis of the past. Information may not be accurate. Sources may be in error, and other myriad of issues can impinge on one’s understanding of history. Due to the subjective nature of history another... Continue Reading →
On August 28, 1918, the following was making news in the town of Peterborough, Ontario. The news would be of interest as this town of approximately 20,00 people had, as had many other Canadian communities big and small, given freely of its sons to the war that was currently encompassing the globe. Sergeant Percy Bertrand... Continue Reading →
May 26th, 1918. The 18th Battalion was, as part of the 4th Canadian Brigade, 2nd Division, located in the line left of Neuville Vitasse. The 18th Battalion had moved into the line 4-days previous, and this day was “Fine and warm,” according to the 4th Brigade’s War Diary. German artillery was more active than usual... Continue Reading →
Our conception of trench life is shaped by the various descriptions of it from historiographies, eyewitness accounts, and popular media such as the excellent documentary They Shall Not Grow Old gives us but a glimpse into the tough and horrible life in the trenches. Some of the men mentioned in Captain Carlisle's letter. To the... Continue Reading →
On my first visit to the Canadian War Museum when it was located at the Dominion Archives building there was a large artillery piece at the entrance. My recollection is this gun was placarded as having been captured by the 18th Battalion. I made note of this as this was the battalion that my grandfather... Continue Reading →
The 18th Battalion experienced Christmas as a unit from 1914 to 1918. Each Christmas was a different experience for each year. The first Christmas was a gala event in London, Ontario and hosted by The Women’s Canadian Club replete with boiled ham, mashed potatoes, and green peas. The following Christmases would not be the same... Continue Reading →
On May 13, 1916, a shell landed in a trench bay killing two men of the 18th Battalion. The Circumstances of Death Card for one of the men, Private John Humphreys, relates ‘“Killed in Action” He was with two comrades sitting in the bay of a trench in front of St. Eloi about 1 a.m.... Continue Reading →
Some family backround to one of the 18th Battalion officers, Lieutenant Charles Edward Bernard Corbould.
Grace (left) & Claire (right) Corbould, New Westminster. ca 1905 (?) Note: Grace’s portrait was made by New West Japanese photographer, Paul L. Okamura, Each portrait is identified with handwritten notes – Grace’s apparently by herself on the face of the card; Claire’s on verso.
I recently came across the cabinet card of Grace Milwood Corbould (1886-1969) at Vancouver’s History Store. A week later, upon returning to the shop, I found the smaller card of her elder sister, (Marion) Claire Corbould (1884-1966).¹
These girls were two daughters of legendary New Westminster figure Gordon Edward Corbould (1847-1926) and his wife, Arabella Almond Down (ca1853-94), whom Gordon married in 1877. Sadly, Arabella died in 1894 at the relatively young age of 41. GEC married widow Charlotte M. E. Wright in 1901.
The G. E. Corboulds were a large family: Gordon Bruce, Lillie May (who predeceased her father in 1922)², Nella Alma, Grace Milwood…
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A photograph from the Toronto Telegram entitled "OUT OF SOMME BATTLE" shows 6 men who are bombers with the 18th Battalion. The photograph bears a caption and identifies the men by their initials and last name. Taking this source one can get excited that these men can be identified and connected to their service numbers.... Continue Reading →
No. 7 Platoon, “B” Company of the 18th Battalion CEF. No. 7 Platoon, “B” Company of the 18th Battalion CEF. Contributed by an 18th Battalion Facebook Group member. The photograph is undated but there are some hints to the time on which this photograph was taken. The tunics appear to be of the Canadian Pattern... Continue Reading →
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 →
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
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 →
“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 →
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 →
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 →