Rifle Grenades Revisited

In a post entitled “The narrow escapes that some fellows have are nothing short of marvellous”: A Letter from the Front the, then, Private Caldwell relates in some detail a battle between the 18th Battalion, C.E.F. and it opposite German numbers: “Our last term in the front line was rather exciting. Our bomb throwers had been…

War Diary of the 18th Battalion: September 1917

Confidential War Diary of 18th CANADIAN BATTALION – 2nd CANADIAN DIVISION From 1st September to 30th September 1917 Volume 25 With appendicis 1 – 4 Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information VILLERS AU BOIS 1 Battalion in billets at VILLERS AU BOIS (Villers Camp). Company parades and inspections. Platoon and specialists training carried…

“The narrow escapes that some fellows have are nothing short of marvellous”: A Letter from the Front

Private (later Lieutenant) Wesley Strang Caldwell was yet to earn the Military Medal for his actions at Courcelette, the Somme, when this letter was published in the Huron Expositor on March 10, 1916. He was 20-years old, just shy of his 21st birthday by 40 days. He was a combat veteran claiming to have served…

3 Officers. One Action. 3 Results.

 Charles Herbert Kerr had family ties in the Brussel, Ontario area and lived in Clinton until he eventually moved to Welland, Ontario. He enlisted with the C.E.F. and after being posted to the 36th Battalion in England was taken on strength with the 18th Battalion on December 14, 1915. It was during a fateful operation…

Cholera Belts for the 18th Battalion

On page 4 of the Wingham Times a short article relates: “Nearly all medical men in the West Indies advise wearing of thin woolen and not cotton underwear. Many persons wear “cholera belts” of flannel.” This garment was considered important enough that Sir Adam Beck’s wife, Lady Beck, contributed enough of these belts to outfit…

Apparently, it is an actual hell out there at times: The Letters of Sergeant Wallace

A series of four news articles from the St. Thomas Times-Journal illuminates the career of John A. Wallace who was an original member of the 18th Battalion[i]. The articles span from November 1914 to October 1915 and offer insights into the life of Wallace, and by extension, the other non-commissioned men of the Battalion. The…