Lanark County in World War I

Perth Courier - World War I.

supplied by Christine M. Spencer of Northwestern University, Evanston, Il., USA.

  c-spencer3@northwestern.edu


Lanark County in World War I

Document #13


From the Perth Courier of December 1, 1917

In Memory of the late Ronald Gamble

Somewhere in France he lies at rest

For King and Country he did his best

And he did his duty with a loyal heart

He marched away so bravely

His young head proudly held

His footsteps never faltered

His courage never failed

Then on the field of honor

He calmly took his place

He fought and died for Britain

And the honor of his race

You are not forgotten, Ronald, dear

Nor ever shall you be

As long as life and memory last

We shall remember thee.

Perth Courier, November 23, 1917

Perth’s Honor Roll

Casualties:

1.)        Pte. Ronald Gamble, killed in action.  Much sympathy is felt in town for Mr. and Mrs. James Gamble in the death of their son Ronald Gamble who was on Monday officially reported killed in action between the 3rd and 4th November.  Evidently it was his first time to go in to the trenches as in one of his last letters he said his unit was on the march and that he would write again when he reached the front lines.  In one of his last letters he said “we have been traveling around the country and have seen some lovely scenery.  There is so much dust here as it has done nothing but rain this week and we are over the boot tops in mud where ever we go.  We will likely be meeting our friends across the way in a few days.”  Ronald enlisted with the 240th Battalion on the 10th September, 1916 and left Canada for overseas with this unit on the 25th April, 1917.  He went to France this past September and thus was there but a brief period before he was added to that long list of Canadians who have their last resting place in France.  He was but 18 years of age and a very fine young man.  Before enlisting at Perth he was employed in the printing and box making department of the Henry K. Wampole Co.   (transcriber’s note, a letter from this company was not transcribed.)

2.)        Pte. George Leggatt Killed in Action

Mr. and Mrs. James Leggatt of town are mourning the loss of their eldest son George Leggatt, aged 20, who has given his life on the fields of Flanders.  The telegram conveying this sad news was to the effect that he was killed in action between the 3rd and 4th November.  He went overseas with the 240th Battalion in May last and to France with a draft for the 21st Battalion only last September.  He was but a short time in France and it was perhaps his first time in the trenches.  Before enlisting he was employed in the Caldwell Company at Appleton.  The last word received from him was in a letter written to Rev. D’Arcy Clayton which was written on the 1st November in France in which he stated he was well.  He leaves to mourn his loss his parents, three brothers, albert and James at home and Gordon at Belleville and four sisters, Bessie, Millie, Francis and Helen at home.

3.)        Pte Bruce Hope Dies of Wounds

Word was received here on Saturday of the death in a hospital in France on the 3rd November of Pte. W. Bruce Hope, only son of Mr. and Mrs. William Hope of Edson, Alberta and formerly of Perth, from wounds received a short time previous.  The deceased was about 20 years of age and went overseas with an Edmonton battalion.  Peter Hope is an uncle of the deceased.

4.)        Pte. Craig Greer Dies While a Prisoner Of War

On Monday, 12th November, Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Greer of Maberly were notified by the Record Office at Ottawa of the death of their son Craig while a prisoner of war in Germany.  He was a military policeman in Perth while the battalion was recruiting.  He went to England with the 130th Battalion and to France with a draft of the 76th.  After the Vimy Ridge engagement on the 9th April, he was reported missing and later a prisoner of war.  Shortly afterwards his parents were notified of his removal from Limberg to Dummen at which place he stated they were allowed to write two letters a month and a card every Sunday.  His parents received a letter early in June stating that he was in a run down condition in health and was in need of money.  About the same time a letter to Mrs. (Rev) Coles of Maberly (then deceased) was written saying he was not getting enough to eat.  In his last letter home dated 13th July, he made no mention of his physical condition but wished to be remembered to all and further stated that he knew but one sergeant in the place.  Possessed of a humorous and genial disposition Crag was a favorite with all in his community.  His brother George died in France of pneumonia on the 6th October and another brother James is training at Witley Camp in Surrey, England.

5.)        Lance Corporal George Cordick Dies of Wounds—Mrs. Robert Cordick of town received a telegram Monday conveying the sad information that her son had died of wounds on 8th November in #3 Casualty Clearing Station in France.  They consisted of a gunshot wound in the head and chest.  He was twice wounded.  The first time was in August of 1916 and he was in England following this until May of this year when he returned to France where he has been up to the time of his death.  Before enlisting he had been living in Halleybury(?) for six years and was 26 years of age.  He enlisted with the Canadian Grenadier Guards in April of 1915 going overseas shortly afterwards.  In the last letter received from him dated 31st Oct., he states that he was well.  Those left to mourn his loss are his mother, the five brothers Samuel, Richard, William and Robert at home and James of Saskatchewan and five sisters Myrtle to home, Mrs. Bionee(?) Bionce(?) of Perth, Mrs. R.P. Donnelly of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, Mrs. James McParlan and Mrs. S.P. White of Stanleyville.

6.)        Pte. Elmer Boles—In the list of those who have fallen in France this week is the name of Pte. Elmer Boles, son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Boles of Fallbrook and formerly of Maberly.  He enlisted with the 130th Battalion and had been a year in France.  He is survived by his parents and two brothers one in France and one in Winnipeg and three sisters, Mrs. Thomas Ferguson of Manion, Mrs. Benjamin Avery of Fallbrook and Mrs. Ferguson of Vancouver.

7.)        Pte. James Wilson—photo accompanies article—The telegram wires are constantly carrying messages of sorrow these days and no more regretful message was received in Perth this week than that arriving on Wednesday stating that Pte. James Clyde Wilson, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. John Wilson, had fallen in action in France.  He enlisted in November of 1915 with the 130th Battalion going overseas this year.  He fell on the 7th November and had been one yaer in France, attaining his 20th birthday in July last.  In the last letter from Clyde received by Mrs. Wilson, he was expecting to take part in a big advance; this was received on Wednesday.  Clyde attended the public schools here and was attending the Perth Collegiate Institute when he enlisted.  He was in the headquarters office of the battalion while recruiting was going on.  He was a manly young fellow whose death is deeply regretted by all.  Three brothers, Herb, Tom and Creighton, are overseas.

Wounded:

1.)        By telegram relatives in Canada were informed of the wounding of Pte. Fred Lappin of the Princess Patricias.  He was admitted to the 1st Western General Hospital in Liverpool on the 4th November with a gunshot wound in the collarbone.  He was slightly wounded before in the hand.

2.)        Mr. John McKay of town received a telegram on Tuesday with the information that his son Corp. John Allen McKay of the medical service had been admitted to the #149 Field Ambulance on the 10th November with a gunshot wound in the shoulder.

3.)        Peter Kantlakon(?) of Perth received notice on Friday from the Record Office in Ottawa that his brother Pte. James Kantlakon(?) of Smith’s Falls is officially reported admitted to the 6th Field Ambulance Depot on the 6th November with a gunshot wound in the hand.

4.)        Peter Stafford of Lanark received word that his son Pte. Harry Stafford, infantry, had been admitted to the #6 Field Ambulance Depot on the 6th November with a gunshot wound in the thigh and legs.

5.)        Mrs. Arthur Turner of Appleton received word a week ago of the wounding of her brother Lance Corporal William Service who was shot through the hand.  This is the third time the young man has been wounded.  He enlisted with the 8th Montreal Rifles in Ottawa in January of 1915 and spent two years in France.

6.)        James Palmer of Perth received word that Pte. Arnold Warner, infantry, was admitted to the #1 Field Ambulance Depot on the 6th November with gunshot wounds in the left shoulder, leg and back.  He went overseas with the 130th Battalion Band making his home before he enlisted with Mrs. James Palmer.

7.)        News was received by Mr. A.F. Craig of Brightside on Monday that his nephew Corp. C.C. Craig had been wounded though not seriously.  His is a son of Alfred Craig, formerly of Watson’s Corners but now of Wetaskiwin(?), Alberta.

8.)        George C. Fredenburg of Westport was officially notified that his son Sgt. Wilfred Fredenburg had been wounded by gunshot in the side and left arm on the 7th November. 

9.)        A telegram was received by George Shire of the Delta station that Pte. Harold Shire had been admitted to the 1st Eastern General Hospital at Cambridge on the 14th November as dangerously ill.

10.)      Lt. William Hope was wounded and gassed—photo accompanies notation

Lt. William Hope, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Hope of town was this week reported wounded and gassed but exact particulars have not been received although cabled for.

District Casualties:

1.)        Mrs. Ella Halford of Balfour, Manitoba who is at present visiting with Mrs. A. Lashley of Watson’s Corners was informed on Tuesday that her eldest son Pte. John Thomas Halford, infantry, had been killed in action between the 26th and 28th October.

2.)        On October 30th, Pte. Arthur Templeton of the Princess Patricias, youngest son of Robert and Mary Templeton of Belleville had been killed in action in Flanders, aged 23.

District Wounded:

1.)        Pte. Robert E. Gilbert of Appleton

2.)        Pte. G.E. Malone of Almonte

3.)        Pte. H. Keill, Sharbot Lake

4.)        Pte. Herbert Patterson, Christie’s Lake

5.)        Pte. S.A. Minnsfield, Smith’s Falls

6.)        Pte. A. L. McNab, Merrickville

7.)        Pte. E. L. Boulton, Smith’s Falls

8.)        Pte. F. Moorhouse, Renfrew

9.)        Pte. R.S. Shields, Smith’s Falls

10.)      Pte. W. Wilson, Cobden

11.)      Pte. Herbert Davidson, Beachburg

12.)      Pte. S.(?) L. Perry, Franktown

13.)      Pte. W. P. Meagher, Smith’s Falls

14.)      Capt. Demming T. McCann of Westport

15.)      Pte. A.T. Burgess of Pakenham

16.)      Pte. C.L. Watt of Merrickville

17.)      Pte. Charles Hogan of Merrickville

Died of Wounds:

1.)        Pte. H. McVeigh, Sharbot Lake

2.)        Pte. E. B. Galbraith, Yorker (Yarker?), Ontario

3.)        Pte. E. W. Gemmell, Galbraith, Ontario

Gassed:

1.)        Pte. Edgar W. Burgess, Pakenham

2.)        Pte. John Hill, Carleton Place

3.)        Pte. Alexander McNaughton, Cobden

4.)        Pte. W. P. Banks, Smith’s Falls

5.)        Pte. Allan Thrasher, Forrester’s Falls

6.)        Pte. Russell Riddell, Clarendon

7.)        Lance Corp. R.E. McPherson, Oso Station

8.)        Pte. William Eroy(?), Almonte

Further Casualties:

The following additional casualties are of young men from this district:

1.)        #410771, Pte. C.N. Henophy, Cardinal, killed in action

2.)        #639280, Pte. Charles A. Hurlburt, Kemptville, killed in action

3.)        #204240 Pte. Morvin(?) Miskelly(?), Merrickville, killed in action

4.)        #639417 Acting Lance Corporal C. Watts, Cardinal, killed in action

5.)        #639946(?) Pte. F. Barton, Spencerville, wounded

6.)        #650175 Pte. C. Hogan(?), Merrickville, wounded

7.)        #745093 Corporal W. Jones, Prescott, wounded

8.)        #639821 Pte. L. W. Todd, Cardinal, wounded

Pte. E.G. Rock, pastor of the Baptist Church in Walkerton, received an official wire on Wednesday morning of last week stating that his eldest son Lt. George McLeod Rock had died of wounds on the 10th November.  The late Lt. Rock was born in Wingham, Ontario about 39 years ago and was a resident of Perth with his father, who was the Baptist minister here for some ten years.  He was a graduate of the Perth public school and Perth Collegiate Institute and took a diploma in the Federal Business College here.  He was city manager of the Monarch Life Assurance Company at Brandon, Man., where he enlisted with the 43rd Battalion in December of 1914.  He was subsequently transferred to the 45th Manitoba Rangers with which force he crossed overseas as a sergeant.  He was later appointed as an instructor in physical and bayonet work at Shorncliffe, England, but subsequently resigned as a sergeant and reverted to the ranks in order to more speedily get into the fight.  After serving eight months at the front as a private with the 52nd Ft. William Battalion, he was recommended for a commission at Vimy Ridge.  He returned to England and qualified for a lieutenancy and had only been back to the front a few months when he met his death in the recent great Canadian drive in Flanders 

Herb McCann, son of John McCann of town who went overseas with the Army Medical Corps this summer, has returned to Canada to complete his course in dentistry.  A number of students were permitted to return for this purpose.

The following letter was received by Miss Annie Wilson of the Scotch Line from her brother Stuart Wilson, on active service in France.

28th October, 1917

(not transcribed in full)

Dear Annie:

We have been on the move this last week.  I suppose you can guess where we are.  At least the papers will tell you where the Canadians are attacking again.  We have been sleeping in hay mows and straw piles with the pigs, chickens, etc.  Our present billet is a big barn.  I have slept very comfortably everywhere we have yet been.  Lots of straw and a couple of blankets; may it never be worse.  We have stopped here for several days resting up before going up any further.  It has rained a lot lately and the mud is bad but what must it be further up?  They say they are swimming in it.  What with lice, mud, rain, shells, gas, bombs from planes, when he is out the soldier has a lot to contend with.  When one thinks what the men were up against the first winter we are in comparative comfort.  If the Russians had only kept to their part but this fall would have seen the finish of it.  The Italians seem to be getting theirs now.  This is good farming country fully level and pretty wet at all times.  They grow a lot of sugar beets for stock and also for sugar making.  You were asking me about Red Cross work.  I cannot say much about it except from here say and that is praise.  I see lots of ambulances carrying wounded men running around with labels on them “donated by such and such Red Cross Society in Canada”.  A lot of views some of these soldiers have taken from “Jack Canuck” and I thank that paper which keeps hollering about what it is doing for the private soldiers would be better suppressed.  I believe your work is also shown in comforts to men in hospitals.  A box every fortnight from now on would be acceptable.  Cakes, jams, chocolate, etc., is the stuff.  Two boxes came tonight to two of the crew and we had quite a feast.  We had salmon and sardines, preserved cherries, peanut butter, and chocolate.  That with our regular stuff is a real help.

Yours, Stewart

Perth Courier, November 30, 1917

Sgt. F. Lees returned to Perth last Friday from overseas having spent several months in France.  He went overseas with the 130th Battalion previous to which he has been employed farming in this district.

Photo of Pte. Craig Greer

Pte. Craig Greer, son of Mr. and Mrs. George Greer of Maberly, recently died while a prisoner of war.

From the Exemption Tribunal

Lanark Village—Exemptions Refused:

Thomas Majaury, Lanark

Carl Thompson, Lanark Township

John Molyneaux, Lanark, RR#4

John R. Ashby, Fallbrook

George M. Sommerville, Middleville

David G. Sommerville, Middleville

John J. Walters, Lanark, RR#1

Melville L. Woods, Lanark

John Rankin, Hopetown

Lanark Village—Temporary Exemptions—Exempted until they cease to be employed as farmers:

Joseph H. Moulton, Lanark

Archie W. Taylor, Middleville

Wesley R. Playfair, Drummond

Wilbert E. Skillington(?), Lanark

George A. Molyneaux

Norman F. Darou, Fallbrook

William H. Poultnery, Drummond

N. McLaren, Drummond

Robert J. Ashby, Fallbrook

Harold McLean Blair, Drummond

James Vincent Doyle, Lanark Township

John Ross Skiffington

John Earle Manson, Middleville

Wilfred J. Barr, RR#2, Lanark

William Fair, Watson’s Corners

Joseph Lloyd Erwin, Fallbrook

Joseph V. Badour, Ferguson’s Falls

Robert Carl Cameron, Fallbrook

George Ray Taylor, RR#4, Lanark

Wilfred McLaren, Drummond

Archibald Davidson, Drummond

Edward T. Shiffington, Dalhousie

L. Scott, Watson’s Corner

Gilbert F. Closs, RR#3, Lanark

James T. Hickey, Lanark

Thomas J. Carberry, RR#1, Lanark

Robert Legary, Lanark

James S. Somerville, Middleville exempted until he ceased to be employed as a cheesemaker

Arthur Ferguson, Lanark, exempted until he ceases to be employed as a textile spinner, producing war material

Exemptions and the following reasons:

George B. Jamieson, Lanark, E

E. James Yuill, Hopetown, E

Michael James O’Donnell, Lanark, blind

Fred J. Darou, Lanark, C3

William R. Foster, E

Arthur M. Blackburn, Middleville, B2

Russell E. Borrowman, Lanark, C1

Lloyd R. Bolton, Innisville, E

William J. Foster, Lanark, E

William Cross, Lanark, E

William H. McFarlane, Lanrk, E

James C. Dodds, Middleville, C1

Rutherford McIlquham, Drummond, C3

Matthew McCardy, Lanark, B2

Ralph Affleck, Lanark township, E

Hugh Stead(?), Lanark, B2

Charles Stewart, Lanark township, C1

Robert Stewart, Lanark township, C1

Lawrence H. Flemming, Fallbrook, C3

John Legard, Lanark, B2

Robert W. Graham, Lanark, E

John W. McQuatt, Lanark, #4, C1

William G. Sommerville, Middleville, illness and infirmity

Robert J. Burns, Lanark, not within set(?)

Alfred Luteman, B2

Ralph Affleck, Lanark township, B2

Charlie Affleck, Lanark township, B2

Daniel C. James, Lanark township, C1

Thomas J. Stewart, Lanark township, E

Terence J. Gray, Ferguson’s Falls, B2

Exemption Tribunal McDonald’s Corners:

Exemptions Refused:

David L. Gemmell, McDonald’s Corners

John W. DeQuitteville, Manion

James T. Love, Elphin

John A. McLellan, McDonald’s Corners

Daniel Ferguson, Elphin

Jas. Machan, Watson’s Corners

Exemptions Granted:

Dr. Haggard

James McCulloch(?)

Nelson Fair

Earle E. Gemmell

Vincent Hall

Albert E. McDonald

James Harper

Robert J. Ferguson

(below group all of McDonald’s Corners)

Paul Griffin

Russell Fair

Howard McInnis

James Legary

James D. McBain(?)(or M. Bain?)

Albert E. Closs

James G. Dungau(?) or Dungan(?)

James D. Sergeant

Febian Garreau

Fred Jackson

Allan J. Watt

Arthur J. Wilson

James Warrington

Wilfred J. Closs

Benjamin F. Avery

(below group all of Watson’s Corners):

Charlie Park

Melville R. Jackson

Allie M. Craig

Morton Storie

Thomas J. Easton

Donald R. McInnes

Robert Raymond Paul

Pollack McDougall

Arthur J. Crosbie

William L. Conroy

Alfred J. Horn

Clayton Storie

Stanley Jackson

Calvin L. Caldwell

Albert L. Horn

Andrew G. Fair

Thomas D. Scott

H. Russell McDougall

Walter R. Forbes

(below listed all of Elphin):

Russell Ferguson

Gladson Linton

Roy Ferguson (or Ray)

Robert J. Balfour

James McVean

A. Haddon Wilson

Alexander Love

Adam Geddes

David Nosbot

William E. Geddes

John W. McVean

(below all of Manion):

Guy Leonard

Thomas J. Mahon

Ralph M. Miller

(below both of Fallbrook):

James E. Cameron

G. Mervyn Cameron

Roy Fournier, Snow Road

John Scott, Dalhousie Lake

Henry B. Chaplin and Howard Roberts, under age, not within the act

Deferred:

William B. Donald, McDonald’s Corners, case transferred to Lanark

Fred L. McInnes, McDonald’s Corners

Melville G. Rodgers, Watson’s Corners

Lawrence V. Close, McDonald’s Corners, ordered to be medically examined

Howard McDougall, Elphin

John E. Millar, Elphin

Walter N. Griffin, Manion

James Park, Watson’s Corners, ordered to be medically examined

Tribunal Lavant Station:

Exemptions Refused:

Willie Burns, Marble Bluff

Gilbert White, Poland

Samuel Sproule, Lavant Station

Robert H. Percy, Lavant

Exemptions Granted:

(below all of Caldwell’s Mills):

Thomas Ferguson

William Moffat

Alive Ferguson

Archibald Gray

Albert Duncan

R.M. Desjardine

Donald Cameron

Robert Deachman

Earl Closs, Flower Station

William E. Allan

John F. Richardson

Alexander Virgin, Lavant Station

Edward Kelly(?), Lavant Station

John Majaury, Lavant Station

Charles Virgin, White

(below all of Poland):

Hugh W. McKenzie

D.A. McIntosh

Clement J. Paul

William J. White

Milton Paul

Herbert R. Hart

William J. Lorimer

William O. Percy

Mellville Reid, Lavant

John H. Reid, Lavant

Harold Robertson, Lavant

John Burns, Marble Bluff

William G. Craig, Brightside

W.W. McDougall, Brightside

Melville Larocque, Brightside

Louis Ranger, Green Mountain

Victor R. Currie, Lammermore

Decisions Deferred:

William Prosky, Folger Station

Milner Reid, Lavant

Robert Stewart

James W. Hart, Poland

A.W. Jacob

John Thomas, Lavant

J. A. Roach, Wilbur

Perth Exemption Tribunal

The Perth Exemption Tribunal has concluded its duties on all scheduled names to come before it.  The final list in addition to those published heretofore is as follows:

Disallowed:

Laurence Consitt

Daniel Horan

Dawson Kerr

Lawrence Cavers

George J. Bennett

James C. Publow

Ernest V. Cooper

John E. McLaren

Basil Walsh

Joseph Mahon

John J. MacMillan

Michael J. Conway

Gilbert R. Phillips

Orville Publow

Richard Warren Shaw

Robert Publow

Thomas Truelove

From Two to Ten Months Exemptions:

Mowat Cullen

William E. Stewart

William E. McGregor

James E. Doyle

Wilbert R. Tysick

William J. Noonan

Edmund J. Tovey

James Malcolm Barrie

Thomas E. Moore

John McShane

Leslie A. Stewart

Earl Doyle

Leo F. Thompson

George W. Armstrong

Simon L. Manion

George A. Gallipeau

Michael P. McParlan

Linus L. Leaver

Albert McViety

William Smith

Frank Conway

William Drennan

James Stewart

George E. Tovey

Allowed While Specially Employed:

Nelson I. Meredith

William E. McGregor

George Matthews

Andrew Ray McLean

B,C,D,E Categories:

Michael Collins, E

Russell E. Morris, E

John L. Emerson, C1

Peter Herbert Cuthbertson, B2

Creighton Orser, E

Fred Free, E

Thomas F. Wilson, C1

Edward Furlong, E

John J. Manion, B2

Allan MacMartin, C3

Ambrose Conlon, B2

John Lloyd Noonan, B2

Melville Allan, E

Clark McLaren, E

Scott Andrew Mather, B2

John D. Hogan, E

Harold J. Coutts, E

Roy E. Keays, B2

Herb Noonan, C3

David M. Hart, B2

William p. Lee, E

Robert C. Young, E

William J. Nixon, C3

Robert William Tysick, E

Edward Ferguson, B2

Harry Joseph McCann, B2

Edward E. Waddell, E

Herman Buchanan, B3

Michael Manion, E

Neil McGlade, E

John R. Spaulding, B2

Lorne M. Quigley, E

William H. Rankin, B2

James Ross Watson, B2

Fred Hanna, B2

Walter C. Cameron, B2

Roy Cavanaugh, C1

Oswald R. Mengies, E

Arthur Finlay, E

James Arthur Steele, C3

James W. Hone, C1

Ira Churchill, B2

John Bernard Hanlon, C1

William R. Hogan, C3

John Lawrence Horan, E

Harold Ferguson, C3

Clifford Wilson, E

Wilfred Publow, E

William James Dickson, E

Anthony Rupert Mackler, E

Elle Karnkowsky, E

James M. Noonan, B2

Ira Ferguson, E

Joseph Simon Collins, E

Percy Fenwick, E

Archibald McLaren, E

William Burke, E

Michael O’Neil, D

Lloyd Walker, E

William C. Cheaters(?), E

Thomas T. Tovey, E

Lt. Col. Gardiner of Kingston was in town on Tuesday.

Driver Leslie Smith of the Signaling Corps., Ottawa, is spending his last leave with Miss Roberta Allan, 4th Line Bathurst.

A descriptive letter from France by Alexander Walker

Miss Lillian Walker received the following interesting letter from her brother Alexander Walker this week

Somewhere in France, 29th October, 1917

Dear Lillian:

(not transcribed in full)

At present we are having one terrible time of it.  The banging of the big guns are never silent.  Every night Fritz bombs us behind the lines from his aeroplanes and life is just one continued nightmare all the time.  This is just about the toughest corner of the front that we have been on yet and each day has its toll of casualties but if we are suffering then God help Fritz because he must be living in a veritable hell.  The drive on Lens was certainly a hot affair.  We had a cable trench to dig but Fritz caught us in his barrage.  It was awful, big shells and overhead shrapnel.  I got a slight scratch on my hand, that is all, while in front and behind me men were knocked over like bowling pins.  God knows how I ever got through that drive but I did and as soon as I was again in billets I immediately gave thanks to God for bringing me safely through.  On that front we had a deep dugout in which to get away from the big shells but on this front all we have is bivouacs but we are still in the game and Fritz knows who he is up against when the Canadians start.  It seems to me that they shove the Canadians on every hard part there is to take.  We have the reputation of always gaining our objective and once taken we hold them.  Some of the battalions have incurred heavy losses since we came here but Fritz has suffered 100% more.  Well, sister, I think often of you and mother and I pray god will see me back safely but if my time to go has come I am ready to go.  I never plan ahead any more because of what use?  I never can tell for even a moment whether I will be alive the next minute or not.  I think the Germans have suffered more in the last few weeks on this front than they did in all the rest of the war.  We are driving ahead every day slowly to be sure, because of the mud and the hard proposition of moving up the guns but we are still driving them back.  I do not know when the war will cease.  He is fighting desperately and stubbornly and every battle is contested in the strongest possible way but I hope the big ones on both sides will soon see the awful havoc that is being wrought and come to some kind of understanding.  Well, dear, I must close even though I do not write you right away, you write again soon.  God be good to dear mother and keep you both safe until I return and now little sister good night and I will write again as soon as this offensive is over.

Your Affectionate Brother, Alex

Photo of Pte. Fred McCallum

Mr. and Mrs. Neil McCallum were informed by telegram on Monday of the wounding of their son Fred by gunshot in the face and left arm.  He was admitted to the #3 Australian Casualty Clearing Station on 17th November.  No further particulars have been received but it is thought he was assisting with the wounded when injured.  He has been in France upwards of a year and a half going overseas with the 52nd Battalion of Calgary.

Casualties:

Killed in Action:

1.         Pte. Joseph M. Seeley who for several years made his home with John Kerr, town clerk, has been reported killed in action.  His parents are residing at Beamsville.  While at Perth he attended the separate school, Perth Collegiate Institute and later the Federal Business College.  From Perth he went to Hamilton and enlisted early in the war with an infantry unit.  After training for some time in England, he was taken ill and spent several months in the hospital.  After coming out of the hospital his unit had been drafted elsewhere; he was drafted to a Highland unit before going to France.  He was 20 years of age and is well known in Perth, a brother Arthur is with the Royal Flying Corps and his eldest brother Charles is also overseas.

2.         Pte. G. A. Tennant, only son of Mrs. F.J. Tennant, Toronto, and nephew of Mrs. J. Lestor, 10th Line Lanark, where he was well known, is reported killed in action.

3.         Stanton Hudson, son of Daniel Hudson of Burritt’s Rapids and formerly of Perth is this week reported killed in action.

Wounded:

1.         Pte. C.C. Forrest, Lombardy, next of kin Miss Jeannie Forrest, Lombardy.

2.         James A. Smith—A telegram came to Perth this week directed to Thomas Lannin of Christie’s Lake, stating that Pte. James A. Smith, infantry, #225404 was admitted to the #9 Field Ambulance on the 17th November, with gunshot wounds and a skull fractured.

Presumed To Have Died:

1.         Pte. T. J. Irvine of Perth is reported on Monday’s casualty list.

Killed in Action:

1.         Pte. John English Douglas

2.         Pte. D. Morrow, Renfrew

3.         Pte. T. R. Hendry, Renfrew

4.         Pte. T.W. Lett, Eganville

5.         Pte. C.L. Portes, Renfrew

6.         Cpl. N.R. Mc:Phail, Carleton Place

Died:

Pte. Percival Moore, Carleton Place

Gassed:

1.         Pte. D.L. Fitzgerald, Renfrew

2.         Pte. W. J. Harrasin(?), Pembroke

Died of Wounds:

1.         Pte. Herbert Dowdall, Carleton Place

2.)        Pte. J. T. Wilson, Pembroke

Wounded:

1.         Pte. A. Conits, Rideau Ferry

2.         Pte. H. Rouselle, Renfrew

3.         Pte. C. McCreary, Smith’s Falls

4.         Pte. F. L. Cahill, Smith’s Falls

5.         Pte. D. Watkins, Ardoch

6.         Pte. Elijah Thompson, Harlowe

7.         Pte. Christie Halladay, Smith’s Falls

8.         Pte. T. J. Charboneau, Westport

9.         Pte. Cochrane Clayton

10.       Pte. H. M. Main, Renfrew

Pte. Edgar McKarracher in a letter received by his parents Mr. and Mrs. Daniel McKerracher, Fallbrook, states that he was along with Clyde Wilson of Perth and Elmer Bales of Falls when they fell in action.  Edgar also says that after this battle he and Dr. Scott’s son of Lanark were practically for four days without any food but at last reached a farm house where they obtained food.


Posted: 11 February, 2005