Victoria County History - Part 29

VICTORIA COUNTY’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE WAR OF THE NATIONS

Includes complete List of Soldiers Dead In The Great War*

* Unfortunately the newspaper copy for names "Lebal through Tough" is indecipherable.

By Watson Kirkconnell, M.A.

Canada, as part of the British Empire, became involved August 4, 1914. A First Contingent of 33,000 men was mobilized at Valcartier, near Quebec, and sailed for England on the 3rd of October. This prompt achievement was chiefly due to the personal energy of the Minister of Militia, Sir Sam Hughes, Of Lindsay.

With the First Contingent went a detachment of 75 men from Victoria County under Lieut. Col. F.H. Hopkins, Lieut. Walter Kirkconnell, Lieut. W.W. Wilson, and Lieut. George Weeks.

The Second and subsequent Canadian Contingents did not cross to England intact. The volunteer system was practiced until June, 1917, and yielded 450,000 enlistments. The government then enforced conscription and secured 100,000 more recruits.

The chief contributions of Victoria County after the First Contingent had left were to the 21st, 39th, 109th, and 252nd Battalions. “F” Company of the 21st Battalion, (Second Contingent) contained 110 local men. The 39th Battalion had a somewhat smaller number. The 109th Battalion, commanded by Lt. Col. J.J.H. Fee, was actually mobilized in Lindsay and reached a strength of 1050 in the spring of 1916. The 252nd Battalion, under Lt. Col. J.J. Glass, was not so successful, for it was organized in the lean days when voluntary enlistment was petering out. Many other Victoria County boys enlisted in units elsewhere so that the rolls of the local units would not be at all representative. An authoritative list of all who enlisted from this county could easily be compiled but would violate the proportions of a brief history of this sort.

VICTORIA COUNTY SOLDIERS DEAD

It has been thought wise, however, to include the following list of 203 heroes from this county who gave their lives for the cause of righteousness. The basis of this record is a list which I have prepared from the official files of the Patriotic Fund, which included all cases where the soldier had designated Victoria County as the home of his next-of-kin. To this definite nucleus I have added many names, gleaned from miscellaneous sources, of those who once claimed this county as their home but had been transplanted elsewhere prior to enlistment. The complete list is as follows:

Adam, Charles, Private, Infantry, Lindsay.

Aldous, Thos, Grenville, Private, Infantry, Fenelon Falls.

Alldred, Wilbert Phillip, Lance-Corporal, Infantry, Bobcaygeon.

Allen, J., Battalion Sergt-Major, Infantry, Lindsay.

Allin, E. C., Lieutenant, Infantry, Lindsay.

Alton, W.R., Private, Infantry, Victoria Road.

Arscott, Thos, Albert, Private, Infantry, Bobcaygeon.

Akester, Geo. Wilbert, Private, Infantry, Fenelon Falls.

Anderson, Wm. Kay, Lieutenant, Infantry, Lindsay.

Andrews, Harry Wm., Private, Infantry, Lindsay.

Anglers, Patrick Herbert, Private, Infantry, Coboconk.

Arnold, Oliver, Private, Infantry, Mariposa Tp.

Bailey, Joseph Paget (M.M.) Lieutenant, Infantry, Lindsay.

Bailey, W.E., Private, Infantry, Bexley.

Barge, Alfred Arthur, Private, Infantry, Mariposa Tp.

Barjarow, Tracy, Private, Infantry, Coboconk.

Bateman, Russell Albert, Private, Infantry, Kirkfield.

Beecroft, Harvey, Private, Infantry, Fenelon Falls.

Bester, Robert, Private, Infantry, Omemee.

Bole, Clarence H., Private, Infantry, Woodville.

Boncher, William. Private, Infantry, Mariposa Tp.

Boyd, Thornton Brideman, Private, Infantry, Bobcaygeon.

Brady, Thos. Edw., Private, Forestry Corps, Lindsay.

Brimmell, Albert M., Private, Srva., Little Britain.

Brooks, Edwin A., Private, Infantry, Bobcaygeon.

Brown, H., Private, Infantry, (C.M.E.) Omemee.

Budd, James John, Private, Infantry, Burnt River.

Byng, George, Private, Infantry, Bobcaygeon.

Cameron, Alexander, Private, Infantry, Lindsay.

Campbell, Alexander A., L.-Cpl., Infantry, Cameron.

Campbell, John, Corporal, Infantry, Woodville.

Campbell, M. Ross, Private, Infantry, Argyle.

Campbell, Russell A., Sapper, Field Engineers, Kirkfield.

Carew, Robert, Private, Infantry, Burnt River.

Chambers, Allister, Private, Infantry, Cambray.

Castle, George, Private, Infantry, Mariposa Tp.

Clare, Stephen, Pte., Infantry, Mariposa Tp.

Copp, Charles, Pte., Infantry, Mariposa Tp.

Cornforth, Sydney Chas., Sergt., Infantry, Lindsay.

Cotey, Earle, Private, Infantry, Lindsay.

Cragg, Russell Alex., Private, Mounted Rifles, Lindsay.

Crarey, Russell, Private, Infantry, Kirkfield.

Cundal, Wm. Johnson, Corporal, Infantry, Cameron.

Cunnings, William, Private, Infantry, Oakwood.

Curtin, Patrick, Private, Infantry, Lindsay.

Cuthbert, Samuel, Private, Infantry, Lindsay.

Dark, Percy S., Private, Infantry, Lindsay.

Dawson, Alfred Simmonds, Pte., Infantry, Kinmount.

Dawson, Hector, Pte., Infantry, Kinmount.

Day, Richard James, Pte., Infantry, Norland.

Daynes, Duncan, Pte., Infantry, Eldon Stn.

Denison, Francis F., Pte., Infantry, Eldon Stn.

Donaldson, Robt. John, Pte., Infantry, Fenelon Falls.

Elliott, Walter Waldron, Cpl., Infantry, Lindsay.

Faulkner, Roy, Infantry, Coboconk.

Ferguson, James Wesley, A. L.-Cpl., Infantry, Valentia.

Fitzgerald, John James, Pte., Infantry, Head Lake.

Fortier, Nelson, Pte., Infantry, Lindsay.

Foster, John, Pte., Infantry, Mariposa Tp.

Freeman, Benjamin, Pte., Infantry, Mariposa Tp.

Fry, Henry, Pte., Infantry, Mariposa Tp.

Garbutt, S. E., Nursing Sister, Lindsay.

Gifford, Victor R., Driver, Engineers, Lindsay.

Gilles, Hector, Pte., Infantry, Lindsay.

Gosselin, Alphonse, Pte., Infantry, Downeyville.

Gray, John Welford, Pte., Infantry, Lindsay.

Grimstead, W. G., Pte., Infantry, Valencia.

Groves, Robert, Pte., Infantry, Burnt River.

Goldie, Eric, Pte., Infantry, Lindsay.

Glendenning, Stanley, Cadet, Air Force, Lindsay (Sunderland).

Gallagher, W. N., Lieut., Infantry, Omemee.

Hall, Arnold Rossiter, Pte., Srvs., Lindsay.

Hall, Geo. Carlton, Pte., Cambray.

Halliday, Adam Sydney, Pte., Infantry, Fenelon Falls.

Hancock, Armour Ellington, Pte., Serv., Lindsay.

Harper, William, Sergeant, Infantry, Lindsay.

Hartwick, Herbert, Pvt., Rly. Tps., Lindsay.

Hill, Joseph Leslie, Pte., Infantry, Bobcaygeon.

Hill, William Albert, Pte., Infantry, Bobcaygeon.

Holliday, Herbert Augustus, Gunner, Artillery, Coboconk.

Hopkins, Fred Holmes, Lieut.-Col., Infantry, Lindsay.

Horton, T., Pte., Forestry Dept., Kinmount.

Howe, J. C., Infantry, Lindsay.

Hughes, Wesley, Pte., Infantry, Burnt River.

Irwin, Norman, Corpl., Forestry, Lindsay.

Jackson, Edward, Private, Infantry, Lindsay.

Jackson, R. G., Private, Infantry, Lindsay.

Jeffers, Frank Alfred, Pte., Infantry, Little Britain.

Johnston, J. A. A., L-Cpl., Infantry, Bobcaygeon.

Johnson, Reginald, Pte., Infantry, Lindsay.

Johnson, Martin, Pte., Infantry, Fenelon Falls.

Johnson, Willard, Pte., Infantry, Lindsay.

Johnston, W. Russell, Pte., Infantry, Lindsay.

Junkin, Irvine, Pte., Infantry, Bobcaygeon.

Junkin, Percy John Clayton, Pte., Infantry, Bobcaygeon.

Kent, Wm. Gordon, Pte., Infantry, Lindsay.

King, Henry Wm., Pte., Infantry, Head Lake.

Kingborn, John, Pte., Infantry, Woodville.

Kirkconnell, Walter Allison, Captain, Infantry, Lindsay.

Kylie, Edward J., Captain, Infantry, Lindsay.

Kirton, Albert, Pte., Infantry, Mariposa Tp.

Kirton, William, Pte., Infantry, Mariposa Tp.

Knowlson, Glore, Pte., Infantry, Lindsay.

Landing, Percy, Pte., Infantry, Mariposa, Tp.

Leach, Albert Kenneth, Pte., Infantry, Lindsay.

LeBel, Joseph Francis, Pte., Infantry, Lindsay.

Tough, Archie Russell, Pte., Infantry, Kirkfield.

Trevor, Foster, Pte., Infantry, Lindsay.

Trevor, Ralph, Pte., Infantry, Lindsay.

Trott, Joseph, Pte., Infantry, Lindsay.

Tripp, James Albert, Pte., Infantry, Bobcaygeon.

Truax, Charles Roy, Pte., Infantry, Coboconk.

Truax, Peter, Driver, Artillery, Coboconk.

Vickery, Orville Wilson, L.-Cpl., Infantry, Lindsay.

Watson, Murray, Pte., Infantry, Mariposa Tp.

Weeks, Clare G., Lieut., (M.C.) Infantry, Lindsay.

Wheeler, Charles, Pte., Machine Gunner, Lindsay.

Whetter, Fred Freeman, Pte., Infantry, Woodville.

White, Joseph, Sergeant, Infantry, Lindsay.

Whitney, J. W., Pte., Infantry, Burnt River.

Williams, Arthur James, Major, Infantry, Lindsay.

Wilson, Robert T., Pte., Infantry, Mariposa Tp.

Winchester, John, Pte., Infantry, Lindsay.

Wright, J. M., Sapper, Ry. Co’y, Bobcaygeon.

Wilson, Bruce, Flight Commander, Air Force, Lindsay.

Wilson, W. W., Lieut., Infantry, Lindsay.

A BRIEF SUMMARY, BEGINNING FROM 1914

Adequately to describe the course and context of the conflicts in which these lives were offered up would transcend the limits of several volumes of history. There are compensations, however, in the brevity here found necessary. We are still so close to the World War that it is easy to become confused at the complexity of the military operations of vast armies on numerous and extended fronts. In making a rigid summary of the salient events of the campaigns, especially in so far as they affected the Canadian troops, we shall introduce a simplicity, which, though somewhat artificial, will enable us better to comprehend and remember our county’s share in the colossal struggle.

With the outbreak of war Germany deliberately violated Belgian neutrality in order to pour her armies up the valley of the Neuse and crush the French from an unexpected quarter. They ravaged Belgium most foully and drove their way through Northern France to within fifteen miles of Paris. Then, from September 5th to Sept. 10th, at the Battle of the Marne, the French shattered the great German attack and drove the invaders back to the Aisne. There ensued a struggle for position which by the end of October left the opposing armies entrenched against each other all the way from Nieuport (on the North Sea) to Switzerland. In the east Russia was worsted by Germany but was successful against Austria. Turkey entered the war on the German side on November 3rd, thus threatening Britain’s position in Egypt and India. Canada had no share in the operations of 1914.

CANADIAN SHARE IN WAR IN 1915

In February, 1915, the First Canadian Division crossed to France. On April 17th, they took up their position in the trenches before Ypres. Five days later, on April 22nd, the Germans planned a tremendous drive to break through at this point, disrupt the whole line, and gain the channel ports. The diabolical invention of poison gas was now first employed by the enemy. French colonial troops on the Canadian left broke under the torment, leaving a gap of several miles in the allied line. Only the superhuman audacity, bravery, and endurance of the Canadians under circumstances unparalleled in warfare saved the day. Their casualties were 8,000, or more than half their number.

Four weeks later, on May 18th, the Canadians took part in a British offensive at Festubert which sought to break through to Lille. Ground was won to a depth of 600 yards on a front of four miles, but further progress failed through a lack of munitions. This proven shortage of munitions precipitated a political crisis in England and helped to bring in a Coalition Government. The Canadian causalities at Festubert totaled 2,000.

On June 15th the First Division incurred 900 more causalities in a frontal attack on the German trenches at Givenchy. They took their objective but were obliged to fall back because the British troops on the left did not meet with like success.

In September 1915 the Second Canadian Division arrived in France and a Canadian Corps was formed. This Canadian Corps was supplied with a Third Division in January, 1916, an a Fourth Division In August 1916.

During 1915, while this inconclusive fighting went on in the western front, Germany inflicted stupendous defeats on the Russian army and over-ran 5,000 square miles of Russian territory., The British failed ignominiously in an attempt to capture Constantinople. Bulgaria thereupon entered the war and co-operated with Germany and Austria in the conquest and extinction of Serbia. The only Allied gain in 1915 was the entry of Italy into the war on May 23rd.

CANADIAN SHARE IN WAR IN 1916

In 1916 the Germans decided to smash the French army by one terrific, irresistible blow against the stronghold of Verdun. The storm of battle broke on February 21st, but then (unreadable).

On July 1st an Anglo-French army opened a great counter-campaign known as the battle of the Somme. In this the Canadians had no share until September. Earlier in the year they had incurred heavy casualties during reverses at St. Eloi in April and at Sanctuary Wood on June 2nd and during a most successful counter-attack at Hooge on June 13th. Now they were to capture a series of German positions: Moquet Farm, Courcelette, and Fabek Trench on September 15th; Zollern, Hessian, and Kenora Trenches on September 26th; Regina Trench on November 11th; and Desire Trench on November 13th. The Canadian casualties in this share in the Somme offensive totaled 21,179. The total area won by the Allies was small, about 120 square miles.

Other events in 1916 were; A successful Russian campaign in Galicia; the belated entry of Romania into the war and her speedy subjugation by Germany; and the inconclusive naval battle of Jutland between British and German fleets in the North Sea.

THE WAR’S PROGRESS IN 1917

The chief events in 1917 were: the collapse of Russia through mutiny, revolution, and final ruinous domination by the Bolsheviks on November 7th; the compensating entry of the United States into the war on April 6th; the serious reverses in Italy in October; the British capture of Baghdad and Jerusalem; and the moderate gains made in the west by the Allies in the battle of Arras (April-June); the battle of the Aisne (April-November), and the British offensive in Flanders (July-December).

In the first stage of the battle of Arras the Canadian Corps captured the almost impregnable fortifications of Vimy Ridge on April 9th, Hill 145 on April 10th, and “The Pimple” on April 12th. Tho casualties totaled 9,966, later the Canadians captured Arleux on April 28th and Fresnoy on May 3rd.

In August the Canadian Corps was employed in the sector opposite Lens, in Northern France. The Fourth Division captured the suburbs of La Coulotte and Avion on August 1st and on August 15th the First and Second Divisions carried Hill 70, a bold hillock northwest of Lens. On August 21st a bloody but inconclusive struggle raged about a great, weed-infested slaghorn known as the Green Crassier, southwest of the city. The capture of Lens was not yet completed when the Canadians were withdrawn and sent to join in an offensive in the Ypres salient.

On the 26th of October the Canadians launched their attack on the Passchendaele Ridge, and by November 10th, after one of the bitterest and costliest struggles they ever knew, obtained their objective and removed the menace of this commanding position from the British front. The Canadian casualties in 16 days totaled 14,867. The total of Canadian casualties during the entire Boer War had been only 338.

THE CLOSING CAMPAIGNS IN 1918

In the spring of 1918 Germany extracted a ruinous peace with Russia and then turned to hurl at the armies in the west a colossal offensive that would end the war. From March 31st to July 18th they won tremendous successes but not ultimate victory. The Allies at last achieved unity of command and the new general (unreadable) Marshal Foch began on July 18th a sweeping counter-offensive which did not halt until the capitulation of the Germans on November (unreadable).


Next - History of the County of Victoria Part 30 - Victoria County Schools


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