“Brickfields” and Death: The Battle of Fler-Courcelette, The Somme, September 1916

The Battle

The Battle of Flers-Courcelette was a significant engagement by the Canadian Expeditionary Forces. From the CWGC a search of war killed in action on that date finds a total of 1003 Canadian soldiers perished on that date from all causes. Though one cannot extrapolate this as an accurate figure when the data is sorted by battalion the 18th Battalion suffered 93 war dead or almost 10% of the total of all Canadian soldiers who died that day. If one takes the extrapolation further assuming a wound/killed ratio of 2:1 then potentially there were an additional 200 soldiers of the battalion above the number killed that had to be cared for, transported, and rehabilitated. This figure does not take into account the men who died of wounds days, weeks, months, and possibly years after the battle.

“In late October, the three battered divisions of the Canadian Corps limped off the Somme having suffered 20,000 casualties.” Source

Animated Map

Nicholson, G. W. L. 1962. Official History of the Canadian Army in the First World War: Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919. Queens Printer and Controller of Stationary, Ottawa, Canada.

Nicholson, G. W. L. 1962. Official History of the Canadian Army in the First World War: Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919. Queens Printer and Controller of Stationary, Ottawa, Canada.

With a World War 1 era Canadian division ranging from 15,000 to 18,000 soldiers the battle drained the equivalent of one entire division during the Canadian involvement in this battle. If one accounts for the efforts of rear echelon troops and infrastructure the amount of effort to sustain the battle and fight was tremendous and personally heart wrenching for the troops involved.

This battle was also singular in importance as it lead to the introduction of the tank as a weapon of war. This link leads to more information.

Sadly the 18th Battalion War Diary does not enlighten us to the scope of the conflict it was involved in.

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In contrast the 21st Battalion’s War Diary offers real insight to the scope of operation. It covers 6 pages.

Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5, Page 6.

Sadly the quality of the images are lacking but given the brevity of the 18th (and the 20th) Battalion’s war diaries considering the size of the operation, the use of tanks, and the local success it is a wonder why the war diary of the 18th was so brief. We will never know.

The Brickfields

The “Brickfields” was a reference to a locale behind the Canadian lines and many Canadian War Diaries mention this location. It appears to be a reserve area where the battalions and companies would rotate to and from during their service on the Somme.

Detail of Albert, Somme. Note the label "Brickworks" to the north of town. Probable locale of the Brickfield.

Detail of Albert, Somme. Note the label “Brickworks” to the north of town. Probable locale of the Brickfield.

Brickfields near Albert, France.

Brickfields near Albert, France.

Death

A simple list of the dead from the 18th Battalion speaks for itself from September 15, 1916. May they rest in peace.

Last Name
First Name Initial(s) Age Rank Service No. Next of Kin
AIKENS JOHN WILSON J W 27 Private ‘54125’ SON OF THOMAS H. AND ADELAIDE E. AIKENS, OF 2ND CONCESSION, PUSLINCH, ONTARIO.
ALEXANDER WILLIAM GEORGE W G 35 Private ‘405161’ SON OF WILLIAM G. ALEXANDER, OF HENTON, SUFFOLK, ENGLAND; HUSBAND OF CHARLOTTE E. ALEXANDER, OF 16, ALBERT AVENUE, MIMICO BEACH, ONTARIO.
BARNES JOHN J 21 Private ‘163283’ SON OF GEORGE AND MARY ANN BARNES, OF NEWGATE GREEN, CLEY-BY-SEA, NORFOLK, ENGLAND.
BARNES REGINALD BROOKE R B 25 Lieutenant SON OF MR. AND MRS. R. B. BARNES, OF MADEOD, ALBERTA.
BATES BERARD JOHN B J Lieutenant
BEADLE HENRY H 35 Sergeant ‘54218’ SON OF MR. AND MRS. H. BEADLE, OF 20, BALIOL ST., BARNARD CASTLE; HUSBAND OF MRS. E. BEADLE, OF 22, KING ST., BARNARD CASTLE, ENGLAND.
BENNETT WILLIAM W Corporal ‘53774’
BOUSHEY GEORGE G 18 Private ‘455920’ SON OF MR. AND MRS. GEORGE F. BOUSHEY, OF 154, PETER ST., PEMBROKE, ONTARIO.
BRIGHT WILLIAM W Private ‘135351’
BROOK EDWARD E 22 Private ‘412655’ SON OF MRS. GERTRUDE BROOK, OF 68, GLAMORGAN ST., PIMLICO, LONDON, ENGLAND.
BROWN JOHN SIDNEY J S 27 Private ‘124740’ SON OF JACOB D. AND CHRISTINA BROWN; HUSBAND OF HENRIETTA M. BROWN, OF WATFORD, ONTARIO.
BURGESS CHARLES DYKES C D 27 Lance Corporal ‘405539’ SON OF CHARLES BURGESS, OF OLDHAM, ENGLAND; HUSBAND OF WINIFRED CLARA WALKER (FORMERLY BURGESS), OF 99, SEATON ST., TORONTO, ONTARIO.
BURGESS R H Private ‘53659’
BURLINGTON JOSEPH THOMAS J T Private ‘406256’
CARTHY PERCY P 20 Private ‘54210’ SON OF JOSEPH AND HARRIET BOOTHBY CARTHY, OF 277, NELSON AVENUE, KITCHENER, ONTARIO.
CHADWICK LOUIS L 37 Private ‘54150’ SON OF ARM J. CHADWICK, OF 10, CHURCH RD., ARMLEY, LEEDS, ENGLAND, AND THE LATE WILLIAM CHADWICK.
CHATTEN CLEMENT WILLIAM C W 23 Sergeant ‘53893’ SON OF CLEMENT AND HAMLAH JANE CHATTEN, OF 91, ADELAIDE ST., LONDON, ONTARIO.
CHURCH ERNEST E Private ‘406049’
CHURCH MARTIN LEWIS M L Private ‘406697’
CLIFFORD GEORGE WESLEY G W 24 Private ‘405224’ SON OF MRS. J. H. GRAHAM, OF MAPES, BRITISH COLUMBIA.
CONWAY HENRY H 23 Private ‘53784’ SON OF THE LATE THOMAS JAMES AND KATE CONWAY.
CRIPPS ALLEN A Private ‘445275’
CROOKSHANKS ADAM MCKEE A M 23 Private ‘53095’ SON OF THOMAS AND MARY E. CROOKSHANKS, OF 157, HURON ST., STRATFORD, ONTARIO. ENLISTED OCT., 1914.
CUNNINGHAM JOSEPH J 30 Private ‘53334’ SON OF JAMES AND MARY CUNNINGHAM, OF GLENKEEN, ARDMORE, LONDONDERRY.
DAVIDSON FRANK F 24 Private ‘124222’ SON OF THE LATE FRANK AND ELIZABETH DAVIDSON.
DENHAM JOSEPH J 34 Private ‘123604’ SON OF THE LATE JAMES AND MARTHA DENHAM.
DRISCOLL THOMAS T 25 Private ‘412718’ SON OF MR. AND MRS. DRISCOLL, OF TOOLEY ST., LONDON, ENGLAND.
FANNING STEPHEN S Private ‘138573’
FISH JAMES J 35 Private ‘409331’ SON OF FREDERICK FISH, OF 31, CHICHESTER RD., LEYTONSTONE, LONDON, ENGLAND.
FRASER HUGH H 31 Private ‘412730’ SON OF THE LATE JOSEPH AND ANNIE FRASER.
GARDINER HARRY WILLIAM H W 25 Private ‘454272’ SON OF MRS. A. GARDINER, OF TORONTO, ONTARIO.
GERALDI L Private ‘158587’
GRAHAM DUNCAN D Private ‘412737’
GRAY LEWIS L 29 Private ‘159093’ SON OF THE LATE JOSEPH W. AND NORAH ANNE GRAY.
GRIFFIN VICTOR ERNEST V E 19 Private ‘159615’ SON OF ELEANOR S. GRIFFIN, OF LAUREL APARTMENTS, 104, KIPPENDAVIE AVENUE, TORONTO, AND THE LATE JOHN GILMORE GRIFFIN.
HARTWRIGHT P 24 Private ‘53460’ SON OF CHARLES AND HARRIET HARTWRIGHT.
HASTINGS E Private ‘455800’
HENNESSY J Private ‘409290’
HOGG WALTER W 25 Private ‘53809’ SON OF MR. AND MRS. WALTER HOGG, OF 80, ABBEYHILL, EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND.
HUMPHREY PHILIP P 23 Private ‘454115’ SON OF HENRY AND MARIE HUMPHREY; HUSBAND OF HELEN ADAMS (FORMERLY HUMPHREY).
JACKSON RICHARD R Private ‘158618’
JEFFERIES ARTHUR A 27 Private ‘54129’ SON OF MRS. MARGARET T. A. JEFFERIES, FORMERLY OF WINDSOR, ONTARIO.
JEFFREY DONALD MONTIETH D M 22 Corporal ‘408121’ SON OF WILLIAM AND FRANCES MATILDA JEFFREY.
KENNEDY ELMER JOHN E J 17 Private ‘142598’ SON OF MRS. ANNIE KENNEDY, OF GEORGETOWN, ONTARIO, AND THE LATE WILLIAM CYRUS KENNEDY.
KENT WALTER GORDON W G 29 Corporal ‘54185’ SON OF THE LATE HENRY KENT.
KIDD JOSEPH HENRY J H 24 Private ‘141067’ SON OF MR. AND MRS. JOSEPH KIDD, OF STURGEON FALLS, ONTARIO; HUSBAND OF MURIEL KIDD, OF UNIVERSITY AVENUE, COBOURG, ONTARIO.
LASHMAR JONAS J Private ‘405068’
LEE JOHN J 21 Private ‘53934’ SON OF ROBERT LEE, OF 18, CLOSE AVENUE, GALT, ONTARIO.
LOGHRIN SAMUEL MONTEITH S M Major
LUFF EDWARD GORDON E G Corporal ‘54140’
MacKINTOSH DAVID D 23 Sergeant ‘53834’ SON OF MRS. JESSIE MACKINTOSH, OF “FORTHA,” CRAMOND, EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND.
MARSDEN FRANK F 27 Lance Corporal ‘53263’ SON OF FRANK AND ANNA MARIA MARSDEN, OF 39, ESSEX RD., BOGNOR, ENGLAND.
MAUND FREDERICK CHARLES GARLAND F C G 30 Lieutenant SON OF CHARLES FREDERICK AND MARY GARLAND MAUND.
McCARTHY CALLAGHAN C 30 Sergeant ‘53141’ SON OF THE LATE JOHN AND MARGARET MCCARTHY.
McCOMBE JOHN ROBERT J R 35 Corporal ‘53364’ SON OF ROBERT AND JANE MCCOMBE, OF TULLYVERNON, CLOGHER, CO. TYRONE, IRELAND.
McKEOUGH WILLIAM STEWART W S 23 Major SON OF W. E. AND M. A. MCKEOUGH, OF 371, KING ST. WEST, CHATHAM, ONTARIO.
McKIE CHARLES LEONARD C L Private ‘141958’
McNICOL JAMES J 22 Private ‘53945’ SON OF THE LATE ALEXANDER C. AND ANNIE KAY MCNICOL. HIS BROTHER ALSO FELL.
MEWBURN J C 22 Lieutenant SON OF MAJ. GEN. S. C. MEWBURN, C.M.G., MINISTER OF MILITIA AND DEFENCE, CANADA, AND MARY C. MEWBURN, OF HAMILTON, ONTARIO.
MITCHELL OSMOND O Private ‘54264’
MUSGROVE FREDERICK F 22 Private ‘407059’ SON OF ALICE MUSGROVE, OF 82, BRISTOL AVENUE, TORONTO, AND THE LATE JOSEPH MUSGROVE.
NICHOLSON FRANK LESLIE F L 17 Private ‘159590’ SON OF MINNIE BROWN (FORMERLY NICHOLSON), OF 96, BEAUMONT PLACE, NEWARK, NEW JERSEY, U.S.A., AND THE LATE SAMUEL NICHOLSON.
NORWOOD JAMES HAMILTON J H 23 Corporal ‘53605’ SON OF SAMUEL AND ALICE NORWOOD, OF 62, RAVENHILL RD., BELFAST, IRELAND.
O’CONNELL C W 25 Company Sergeant Major ‘53372’ SON OF MRS. BESSIE O’CONNELL, OF 404, ADELAIDE ST., LONDON, ONTARIO.
PICKARD WILLIAM ROSCOE W R 28 Private ‘54251’ SON OF PETER AND MARTHA PICKARD, OF GOULAIS RIVER, ONTARIO.
PIERRE HARRY ARCHIBALD H A 20 Private ‘158666’ SON OF LEON ALEXANDRE PIERRE, OF 17, HIGH ST., WEST TARRING, WORTHING, ENGLAND, AND THE LATE MARY ELIZABETH PIERRE.
PULLEN FRANK F 21 Private ‘53274’ SON OF JOSEPH PULLEN, OF 209, LOOSE RD., MAIDSTONE, ENGLAND.
QUIGG LESLIE BENSON L B 42 Private ‘158671’ SON OF MRS. L. B. QUIGG, OF FENELON FALLS, ONTARIO, AND THE LATE MR. L. B. QUIGG.
REMINGTON FRANK F Private ‘54228’
RENNIE JONATHAN WOODCOCK J W 27 Private ‘409076’ SON OF JANE RENNIE, OF “NEWHAVEN,” COKPARK AVENUE, BISHOPBRIGGS, GLASGOW, SCOTLAND, AND THE LATE WILLIAM RENNIE.
REYNOLDS JOHN J 28 Private ‘422754’ SON OF JOHN REYNOLDS, OF 1. RAYNER ST., RIPON, YORKS, ENGLAND, AND THE LATE ISABELLA REYNOLDS.
RICHARDS FRANK JOHN F J Private ‘489317’
ROBERTS SAMUEL HERBERT S H 30 Private ‘53879’ HUSBAND OF SARAH ROBERTS (NEE DREW), OF 43, CHALMERS ST., GALT, ONTARIO.
ROTHWELL ALBERT A Private ‘158515’
RUSSELL HARRY H Private ‘405591’
SEAGER F Private ‘53530’
SEELE BOLD B 24 Lance Corporal ‘406918’ SON OF JAMES AND M. SELINA SEELE, OF 84, BELLE VUE ST., WEST GORTON, MANCHESTER, ENGLAND.
SHAW DONALD BRUCE D B 17 Private ‘444587’ SON OF WILLIAM A. AND MARGARET SHAW, OF 147, WESTMORLAND ST., FREDERICTON, NEW BRUNSWICK.
SMITH CHESTER P. C P 23 Sergeant ‘53651’ SON OF MR. AND MRS. JOHN SMITH, OF 54, BALACHVA ST., ST. THOMAS, ONTARIO.
STEWART B Lance Corporal ‘53067’
STOLIKER C F Private ‘124716’
STONE G F Private ‘123373’
SUTTON WILBERT STANLEY W S 36 Private ‘54328’ SON OF JAMES AND MARY JANE SUTTON, OF WOODFORD, ONTARIO; HUSBAND OF ANNA CATHERINE SUTTON. BORN AT ST. VINCENT.
THOMSON J M A C D Lance Corporal ‘53861’
TOWELL G J Private ‘163452’
TURNER WILLIAM W 24 Private ‘53747’ SON OF THE LATE JAMES AND CLARA JANE TURNER, OF GLADSTONE RD., NEW TOWN, RUSTHALL, TUNBRIDGE WELLS, ENGLAND.
UNDERHILL W R Private ‘159198’
WAKELING CAMPBELL SMOOTHEY C S 25 Private ‘123001’ SON OF WILLIAM AND EMILY WAKELING, OF 885, MAMELON ST., LONDON, ONTARIO.
WATTS ELI E 24 Company Sergeant Major ‘53977’ SON OF THE LATE ELI AND ESTHER WATTS.
WATTS JOSHUA J 17 Private ‘159209’ SON OF MRS. MARIA WATTS, OF 147, GAMBLE AVENUE, TODMORDEN, ONTARIO.
WHITTLESEA WILLIAM GEORGE W G 39 Private ‘413101’ HUSBAND OF ALICE LEWIS WHITTLESEA, OF 153, GLOUCESTER GROVE, FAIRBANK, TORONTO, ONTARIO.
WILKINS CHARLES C 38 Private ‘164207’ SON OF WILLIAM JOHN AND MARY ANN WILKINS. NATIVE OF BOW, LONDON, ENGLAND.
WILLARD WILLIAM HARTLEY W H 21 Lieutenant SON OF JAMES CHARLES WILLARD, OF 125, EVELYN AVENUE, TORONTO, ONTARIO.
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7 thoughts on ““Brickfields” and Death: The Battle of Fler-Courcelette, The Somme, September 1916

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