Dorken, George: Service no. 675021

Digitized Service Record

Source: Originally found during search of his brother, Dorken, John Ernest:  Service no. 675020, and subsequently researched and added from post at 18th Battalion Facebook Group.


Dorken, George: Service no. 675021. Contributed by a family member.
Wedding of my G/grandparents, 1916 in England. Great uncles (both 18th Battalion) Ernest (tall guy, middle rear KIA May 1917). George second from right, back row, wounded Aug 1918). Lest We Forget. Contributed by a family member via 18th Battalion Facebook Group.

Summary of Service[i] for Private George Dorken, reg. no. 675021

October 17, 1897BornBorn at London, England.
January 5, 1916EnlistsEnlisting at Woodstock, Ontario with the 168th Battalion. He is 18-years old and stands 5’6” tall. He is a compositor and indicates that his mother, Emily Dorken living at 292 Admiral Street, Woodstock is his next-of-kin. He had previous militia experience with the 22nd Regiment (Oxford Rifles). He is recorded as having a fair complexion, blue eyes, and light brown hair. He weighs 136 pounds.   Note, that his brother, Private Ernest John Dorken, reg. no. 675020, enlisted on the same day.
May 18 to 22, 1916Granted Furlough 
October 1916Assigns PayAssigns pay of $20.00 per month to his mother, Mrs. Emily Dorken.
October 7 to 10, 1916AWLAWL per DO 75, October 11, 1916.
November 1, 1916EmbarksEmbarks from Canada for England from Halifax, Nova Scotia.
November 11, 1916DisembarksDisembarks at Liverpool, England and is transferred to the 12th Battalion, West Sandling.
December 4, 1916TOSTOS 12th Battalion, West Sandling.
January 4, 1917Transferred & TOSTransferred & TOS to the 4th Reserve Battalion, West Sandling.
April 13, 1917TOSTOS with 18th Battalion.
April 16, 1917ArrivesArrives from 4th Reserve Battalion to the CBD at Havre, France
May 12, 1917Joined UnitJoined 18th Battalion in the field.
May 28, 1917Brother KilledHis brother, Private Ernest John Dorken, reg. no. 675020, is killed in action on this day. His body is never identified, and he is commemorated at the Vimy Ridge Memorial.

Private Dorken may have been one of the men of a “covering party” that was engaged in protecting a wiring party. During a German barrage element of these parties retired and it was found that three men were missing. An attempt to find these men was made but to no avail. The men where not found. See the War Diary for more details.   It is not known of the brothers were involved in the same action.
December 29, 1917Granted LeaveGranted 14-days leave to England.
August 8, 1918WoundedWounded with a GSW to the back. Sent to No. 1 CFA and then onto a CCS.
The War Diary relates:   “In contrast to the clear evening previous, the morning of the 8th found a heavy fog in evidence, obstructing all view of the German line and proposed objective. Zero hour had been set to 4.20 a.m. An hour previous all Coys. had taken up their assault positions. Half an hour before the commencement of our bombardment, German artillery of heavy calibre laid down a light barrage on our position, particularly heavy fire being directed on the wood to the South-West of VILLERS-BRETTENEAUX. First impression was that our attack had been anticipated, but his shelling ceased just prior to the opening up of our guns.No preliminary bombardment was indulged in. At 4.30 sharp [our] barrage fell on the German Front line and the Battalion jumped off immediately.

The disposition of the Companies was as follows:- “C” Coy. in 2 platoon frontage was responsible for the Right Flank and contact waves with the 1st Canadian Division; “B” Company in center on a 2 platoon frontage; “A” Company with similar frontage on the left connecting up with the 19th Cdn. Battalion; “D” Company in Support.

The objective lay some 200 yards to the East of MARCELCAVE and the quarry adjoining it.  

Operating under a magnificent barrage, and closely co-operating with the tanks, whose support to the infantry was one of the finest features of the day, the Battalion had [reached] the extreme limit of its objective at 7.45 a.m. Casualties where light, partly due to the fog barrier and the admirable manner in which are advance was conducted.  

Lieut. Ferguson was wounded in the jumping off. Captain Michell was wounded in the first half mile of the advance along with Captain Wigle; Lieut’s Faulkner and Sheridan a short time later.  

Amongst the material captured at MARCELCAVE were five 5.9 Hows., and three 2.2 mm Guns, in addition to a great deal of signal equipment and valued Surgical and Medical Stores.   The Battalion pushed on past the quarries and established a line of defence about 300 yards beyond. Throughout the [affair], considerable opposition was encountered, chief of which lay in the form of well secreted machine-gun nests.

The work of Captain T.H.C. Rayward in disposing of some of this [formidable] opposition was very exemplary to all ranks.   Casualties to the extent of approximately 30 killed and 120 wounded were sustained in the advance. 56 O.R’s arrived as reinforcements. 2 O.R’s proceeded on leave.”
August 9, 1918AdmittedAdmitted to No. 6 General Hospital.
August 12, 1918TransferredTransferred to England aboard the AT Guilford Castle.
August 13, 1918AdmittedAdmitted to No. 15 Canadian General Hospital, Taplow, England. Posted to WORD
October 30, 1918Discharged and On CommandDischarged and On Command with 1st CCD at Witley Camp.
November 14, 1918Ceased to be On CommandCeases to be On Command and SOS to the 4th Reserve Battalion.
February 10, 1919SOSSOS to MD No. 1 in preparation to being shipped to Canada. At Witley Camp. Transferred to MD Wing No. 1, Kinmel Park Camp.
February 20, 1919SOSSOS proceeding to Canada.
March 3, 1919Posted and Granted FurloughPosted to Casualty Company and granted furlough with subsistence pay until March 19, 1919.
March 20, 1919Dental ExaminationDental exam.
March 21, 1919Medical ExaminationExamined at London, Ontario. GSW by shrapnel ball. Had a right inguinal hernia that was corrected by surgery. This existed prior to enlistment.
March 24, 1919DischargedDischarged at London, Ontario.
September 2, 1922Change of AddressChange of Address Card indicates he is living at 292 Admiral Street, Woodstock, Ontario.
October 10, 1956DeceasedDeceased this date. He is buried at The Anglican Cemetery, Woodstock, Ontario.


AWLAbsent Without Leave: Generally, a soldier would be deducted 1-days pay for every day absent. In some cases, the soldier would be confined to barracks. Sometimes it was a combination of both.
A ClassificationMedical Board Classification that determined your fitness for duty. A1, A2, A3 and A4 were assigned to different units with the expectation that these men would be able to serve with active combat units. See this link for more information.
B ClassificationMedical Board Classification that determined your fitness for duty. B1, B2, and B3 were assigned to different service units such as railway and forestry corps. See this link for more information.
D ClassificationSee this link for more information.
CAMCCanadian Army Medical Corp
CBConfined to Barracks: a punishment for minor infractions.
CBDCanadian Base Depot. At Etaples, or Harve France. A collection point for reinforcements.
CCDCasualty Convalescent Depot: a depot at a base where men, in their final stages of convalescing, would be prepared for duty depending on their rating.
CCHCasualty Clearing Hospital
CCRCCanadian Corps Reserve Camp
CCSCasualty Clearing Station: this facility was attached to rail transportation from the front to hospitals on the coast of France
CDCCanadian Dispatch Camp
CFACanadian Field Ambulance/Canadian Field Artillery. Most common usage would be Canadian Field Ambulance.
DAHDisorderly Action of the Heart
DRSDivisional Rest Station
GSWGun Shot Wound – this was a generic term for all projectile penetrating wounds.
In the FieldThis term relates to a soldier arriving at an active-duty unit after transporting from England, to France, and then to his duty assignment. The routing varied from soldier to soldier and could take 2-3 days to several months.
MDMilitary District
PUOPyrexia of Unknown Origin: This was a term used for any illness that could not clearly be identified and typically was related to influenza symptoms.
SOSStruck Off Strength
TOSTaken On Strength
CAMCCanadian Army Medical Corp
CCHCasualty Clearing Hospital
CFACanadian Field Ambulance
DRSDivisional Rest Station
GSWGun Shot Wound – this was a generic term for all projectile penetrating wounds.
MDMilitary District
NYDNot Yet Determined
PUOPyrexia of Unknown Origin
SOSStruck Off Strength
TOSTaken On Strength
WORDWestern Ontario Regimental Depot

[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.

Record of wounding on August 12, 1918.
Medical Report.

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