About the War Diary of the 18th Battalion CEF

 This blog will chronicle the official Canadian Expedition War Dairies of the 18th Battalion CEF which served with distinction during the Great War. The reason for this blog is that it is a means of recording in a more accessible fashion the experience of the men that fought in this great conflict but more particularly my Grandfather, William Robb Dewar. He fought in the war and joined up.

Though the contents of a war diary can be very dry and uninteresting the current method of accessing this information online is challenging. I will endeavour to enter information accurately and completely but some challenges occur while doing this. Some diaries are typed and some are hand-written and over time the pages have become faded or the scans I am using are of poor quality.

I hope to bring one small aspect of life to this important part of our history and it will be a journey from which I will learn more about my Grand Father who I never knew. I welcome people’s comments and direction to other sources and content.

Thank you,

Eric Edwards

26 thoughts on “About the War Diary of the 18th Battalion CEF

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  1. Hello
    We live in a small community outside of Sarnia ON called Camlachie.
    We have a cenotaph in Camlachie with a flag pole that has a bronze plaque by the base of the pole with the name “George W. Neil, 18 BN C.E.F.”
    I’ve looked through your blog from your grandfather’s war diary, but can find no reference to George W. Neil

    Would you happen to have any reference to this George W. Neil in any of your records?

    Don Poland

    1. Don,

      Just posted what I have found out so far. Can you give me any more information such as the location of the cenotaph and or a picture of it?

  2. Hi Eric,

    I’ve had a matchbook(trench art) cover for years. On the surface of it is carved the 18th battalions crest and below is W.Collier, on the back side is Ypres 1915, Somme 1916, Loos 1917 and St.Eloi with no date. I would really like to find the family this belongs to for sentimental reasons. I hope maybe you could help me out?

    Take care


    1. Lise, I am not sure if I can but I am going through my comments and will post something on the blog to assist you.

    2. Lise,

      Would it be possible for you to give me some background as to how you came to this artifact and if possible some pictures of it. Please send to ebd.edwards AT gmail.com.

  3. Eric; My grandfather, Gordon J. Ingram was also in the 18th Battalion and went overseas on the Grampion. I just came across a drinking glass that was a momento of their reunion in May 1955. I have letters that he sent home during the war. He re-typed them after her retired so they are easy to read and very interesting. I read them this past summer. I was so happy to find your blog when I Googled 18th Battalion London Ont.

    1. That is great. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. Would be very interested in connecting.

      1. wow, I’d almost forgot about sending this. Glad it can be of some interest to you.

    2. Funny you mention the drinking glass, i have the same one and some pictures from the 1st war

  4. any information on Sgt Arhtur Elly Regimental number(s):

    “Arthur Elly served four years with the Grenadiers. He is buried in St. John’s Anglican Church Cemetery, Thamesford, Ontario.”

  5. What a great effort – I remember discovering the official war diaries back in 2006. Spent many hours looking at entries related to the Signal Corps since my grandfather served there. The diaries helped me understand what actually happened in the war as well as the work of Signals.

  6. Recently discovered a relative (John.C Dyer) served in 18th CEF, died 21st AUG 17. Would this have been during the Divisions attack on Hill 70 at Lens? He is buried in Aix Noulette.

    1. Thank you for your question. I will keep a look out for any mention of your relative. I have had a brief look at that months War Diary and it was an active time for the 18th Battalion. There are, in fact, over 113 pages for that month alone!

      If you wish to review the war diaries there link is here: http://goo.gl/hg5jWC

      If you have any biographical information from your sources about Pte. Dyer I would appreciate you forwarding them to me. I will make a Soldiers Page for your relative at my blog.

  7. Many thanks for the link, what an amazing resource! From this it seems very likely that John.C.Dyer was one of the 23 fatalities the war diary mentions on 21st August 1917 as the Battalion moves from Division reserve at BULLY-GRENAY to Corps Reserve at BOUVIGNY, Aix Noulette lying between the 2 on the older minor road system. ‘On the road, D company sustained 52 casualties, 23 of which were fatal, by the bursting of an enemy shell (high velocity).’ Plans afoot already for our own commemorative march in 2017 along the same route . .

    1. Thank you so much for that information. I will incorporate it into the Soldier Page including the JPG of the war diary entry. If you find anything else out or have any other questions I would like to help.

  8. Many thanks… any photos of the Bttn prior to or during aug 1917 would be fascinating. .esp any with D coy mentioned. .

  9. We have decided that as it is feasible a small group of us including 2 relatives of John.C.Dyer will replicate the last march of the men of D Company on the 100th anniversary of their move from Division to Corps reserve, dressed as they did and in March order as they were. Some sort of tribute to the men who died that day whilst moving ‘out of the line’ will be left at Aix Noulette cemetery extention too (perhaps a poppy for each man or one of the RBL wooden cross/poppy tokens?). We will update this blig with info and our progress and maybe set up a FB group so all can see how we are getting on. Cheers all. Ed.

  10. Ed, I look fwd to hearing more about your plans as they progress. Our group is going over in May 1917. My Great Uncle was killed and never recovered serving in the 18th, 28 May 1917. Researching what I can so we can walk the same ground.

    1. Ed,

      I am not sure if you saw this but I actually wrote about the events that occurred during Private Dorken’s death. The post is here and I have amended the post as I neglected, for some reason, to include your relative in the post. I have corrected this over-sight. This information may not be new to you but it might help.


      1. Hello all.. I cant really see the thread well via phone but will try to look closer via large screen!

  11. I can see it now.. excellent new document confirming our suspicion that he was killed by the HE shell on the road. Alas another relative in the Australian 21st Battalion (5600 J.J.Freyne) was also killed by HE Shell during the 2nd Battle of Bullecourt (according to witnesses in the Red Cross Enquiry) and has no known grave. I’ve started a FB group noted here..
    do please leave your own stories as their tales deserve to be told..

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