Herbert, Edgar Vincent: Service no. 53988

Digitized Service Record

Source: Per service record of E. Maddock, reg. no. 53260.


Blog article about the loss of his wife.

Two Londoners on Lusitania London Advertiser May 7 1915 Page 1
London Advertiser. May 7, 1915. Page 1.

Note that this article is erronous. This soldier survived the war. London Advertiser. November 5, 1915. Page 4.

Separated by Hun Frightfulness, United Again by German Bullet

“Killed in Action.”

These words have become familiar to Canadians during the present war. They had stood for heartaches and tears from one end of the land to the other. From coast to coast Canadian mothers, fathers, brothers, wives, sweethearts and children have read the ominous words, bespeaking as the do honor but death, with various emotions.

When in the latest casualty list the name of Sergt.-Major E.V. Herbert of the 18th Battalion appeared under the heading “Killed in Action,” there was no sorrowing wife or family in this country to be affected, but back of the three words there is a story of war’s toll, a story that has few equals in the wonderful annals of the present war.


Though Sergt.-Major Herbert’s home was Guelph he was well-known in London. He trained here last winter with his unit – the 18th Battalion – and his wife followed him here, remaining in London until it was time for her to sail on the ill-fated Lusitania, the boat that now forms her tomb, for she went down with the Cunarder, a victim of Hun frightfulness.

A devoted couple always, Sergt.-Major Herbert and his wife, separated in life for but a short time through the hellishness of the Huns, have again been united through a German bullet that found its fatal billet in the body of the husband-soldier. This then is the story that lies behind the words: Killed in action.”

An Old Soldier.

An old soldier of the imperial service, Sergt.-Major Herbert was employed as a chef at the Wellington Hotel, Guelph. His wife also was employed at the same institution. When war was declared the sergeant-major, with all the call of service pounding in his veins was anxious to again join the colors. Finally, securing his wife’s consent, he joined the 18th here, under Col. E.S. Wigle, and on the formation of the base company was made senior sergeant. His promotion to sergeant-major followed.

When he came to London his wife followed him here. She remained until the battalion left, then took passage to England on the Lusitania. The shock of her death on that ill-fated liner almost drove her husband insane. It fired him with a hatred of Germany and all things German that was all consuming.

A returned member of the 18th informed the Advertiser that the news of his beloved wife’s death completely changed the strong, stalwart soldiers.

Mad With Blood Lust.

“He went mad with a Berserker rage of old,” declared this soldier. “His whole aim in life was to avenge the death of the loved wife, and he was willing to take any chances to send to their death any of the race of bloody murderers that sent his darling to a watery grave without the chance of escape.

It is believed that this blood lust was the cause of the sergeant-major’s death.

London Advertiser. November 5, 1915. Page 4.


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