About this Blog

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This blog started as a school project. My daughter came home from grade school and told me, “Dad, I am giving a speech for our school’s Remembrance Day.”

I replied and asked what she was going to talk about and she said, “I don’t know. Can you help me?”

From that moment I went online and found out information about her Great Grandfather William Robb Dewar, service number 53902, who served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force for the Canadian Army in World War 1. I had always been aware that he served but since he died before I was born and the person who would have known the most about his service, my Uncle Bill Dewar, had passed away I had no familial starting point.

My mother remembers snippets of his personality relating to his experiences in the war: He never attended church again, even for weddings and funerals; would not speak about the war at all to anyone in the family. And yet he was a member of the 18th Battalion Association and had bought a set of commemorative copper bookends with the 18th Battalion crest on them (which I know have).

From that small beginning I created this blog to explore, honour, acknowledge, and commemorate the men who served in the 18th Battalion. This battalion did not publish a post-war Nominal Roll such as some of the more established Battalions did listing all the men who served in the battalion throughout the entire service period of the war. The 4th Battalion Nominal Roll (1924) by Captain W.L. Gibson is representative of this type of publication.

This blog has been a journey and its intent is not to be the ultimate source of information about the 18th Battalion. The goal is to list every soldier that is mentioned in the War Diary and any subsequent soldiers that ongoing research finds. Since there is no nominal roll extant that lists all the soldiers that did serve in the 18th Battalion it is hoped that the snap shots of these men that this blog furnishes and fills out not only my knowledge and understanding of this time in history but to be a resource, at least a starting point, for people interested in Canadian history and matters specific to the 18th Battalion.

Over time the blog will morph and modify but the primary goals are:

  1. To transcribe the entire 18th Battalion War Diary.
  2. To list basic biographical information about the soldiers of the 18th Battalion found in the War Diary and from other sources and to expand on this information as new sources of information become available.
  3. To list battles and engagements mentioned in the War Diary.
  4. To list all the casualties (killed in action) by month listed on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site.
  5. To find new sources of information and expand on these themes as the arrive, such as tactics, weapons, attitudes etc.
  6. To make such corrections, additions, and improvements to the blog as I and others offer suggestions and ideas.

Hoping that you find this blog a resource and thanks again to my daughter for my semi-obsession.

Regards,

Eric

61 thoughts on “About this Blog

  1. I see no way of contacting the site owner. My uncle, Perce Lemmon, was in the 18th, 2nd division and lost his leg when a german artillery shell hit the road and took out 40 of his mates. He crawled out of a pile of death. I have documents, newspaper clippings and photos I can share if interested. Perce worked with the war amps for the rest of his life and resided in Windsor Ontario.

    • Dennis,

      Thanks so much for your comments. I will implement contact information but I will email you directly.

      Eric

      • Hello Eric. I had placed a “hail mary” advertisment in the CEF forum and in Kitjiji for items and relics related to Percy lemmon, H R Croucher and J J Cook , all CEF

        A contributer to the CEF forum and person I have dealt with before (Tom Tweney) contacted me the other day and said he knows where the bracelet of Percy Lemmon is and did I want to purchase it.

        It will be mailed to me by Thursday or Friday.

        Still searching for the death penny of JJ Cook and HR Croucher. I can send a photo of it if you wish.

        Dennis Loyer

  2. My Grandfather Ralph Coghlin Reg#675215, served in France with the 18th Battalion. I have a photo of him on a fence with a factory in the background. We are trying to figure out where it may have been take.

  3. I came across your blog while researching my wife’s great uncle Victor Dawe 54240 who though a Newfoundlander enlisted in the 18th Btn February 17th 1915 in Windsor. The more we research his story the more questions are added to our initial list. Foremost at this time is why in Windsor, but that may come from some remaining family papers.
    As a private, Victor’s death did not rate mention in the War Diary for the 21/22 June 1916, nor did an earlier wounding in October 1915. He died while making a “daring reconnaissance of the enemy wire opposite our trenches” according to his record of death. With a little deduction I believe that the location was the Bluff trenches. Since the officer recording the Diary for the 18th Btn only made reference to tench numbers I looked to the 20th Btn War Diary to see how the recording officer made his notes when they replaced the 18th in the trenches, He used the Bluff Trenches routinely in the Diary for this period.
    This research gives insight into aspects you never thought of in our history Please keep an eye out for our Newfoundlander as you go through the Diaries.

    • Andrew,

      I will do that and am adding a soldier page for your wife’s Great Uncle, Private Victor Dawe. Thank you so much for contacting me.

      Eric

  4. Thank you for doing this! I have been trying to get info on the soldiers and can’t seem to get into the archives right now. My Great Great Uncles, 3 Brothers, Len, Russ, and Lou Lavelle, all served in WW1. “Len” Leonard Stanslau Lavelle, service number 3131642, was with the 18th battalion(western Ontario) Canadian Infantry, and was killed in action on Oct. 10, 1918 in Iwuy, France during the battle of Iwuy where the Canadian Light Horse drew it’s swords in battle for the last time. The virtual war memorial has the original obituary with a lot of family history in it. I cannot find any information on his brothers Russ and Lou and where they served. Would they all be in the same battalion and company? They were from Stratford, ON and would have been recruited in London, ON. They were my Grandfather’s Uncles and he is turning 92 in January and would love to know their story. My Grandfather is named after Len and is also Leonard “Len” Lavelle. As well my second son carries the name Leonard, I call him Josiah Len. 🙂 Our family will always remember!

  5. My great grandfather James Clarke reg.# 159607 joined the 81st Battalion 15 Nov 1915 and upon arrival in England in 1916 was transferred to the 18th Battalion. I have just viewed his records. He became very ill with bronchitis in the spring of 1917 and was sent back to England where it seems he was transferred from one hospital to another until he was discharged and sent back to Canada in the fall of 1917.
    James Clarke had 7 yrs previous service with East Lancashire Regiment and emigrated with his family to Canada sometime between 1911 and 1914 (haven’t found the records yet). He lied about his age when he filled out his attestation papers in Toronto. He was actually born in 1868 not 1877. We believe he may have served in the Boer war but haven’t seen his British record of service. I would love to see the war diary for the 10 month period that he was with the 18th. I believe that would have been June or July 1816 to Mar or Apr 1917.
    Thanks for taking the time to post all of the info on this site.
    Jennifer

    • Jennifer,

      Thank you so much for your support and the information about your great grandfather. I have created a soldier’s page for him and also an entry at the Canadian Great War Project. His service records indicate he died 01/03/1941. Is this correct and do you know where he is interned? If you have any digital images of him I would love to add them to his soldier’s page.

      As to the War Diaries… A new urgency to transcribe them is coming as it is coming onto the 100 year anniversary dates of the specific months of the diary so I want to get all my soldiers up-to-date and get back on that effort. If you subscribe to this blog you will get updates and I do have a Twitter account you can follow that has a mix of personal tweets and updates about this blog.

      Thanks so very much!

      Eric

  6. My grandfather James Quaey Nelson #53947 won a Distinguished Conduct Medal, which my father has, with the 18th battalion at Flers-Courcelette. He was from Glasgow and moved to the Galt Ont. area in 1912, attesting there on Oct 25 1914 age 25. He was in France from Sept 15 1915 until April 26 1918. Survived the war and went back to Preston Ont., got married and moved to Woodstock where he was a moulder at a foundry there. He passed away in 1953. I have his records from LAC and the war diary pages for his DCM.

    • Dennis,

      Thank you so much for bring Sgt. Nelson to my attention. My Grandfather’s regimental number was 53902 and he enlisted in Galt on October 26th of the same year. For all we knew they where friends. They certainly where the part of the “originals” of the 18th Battalion. I am going to create a soldier’s page for Sgt. Nelson and was wondering if you have any images of him or his medal(s) that I might add?

      Thanks so much for contacting me about your relative!

      Eric

    • Dennis,

      Please be advises that your grandfather’s service records are available online now. Follow this link to them.

      Best,

      Eric

  7. found this blog while researching. My great Uncle was listed as missing/kia night of 27/28 may 1917. I believe he was part of the wiring or wiring protection party you have transcribed from the war diary of the time. I do not see his name mentioned amongst the casualties you list though. If you have other information as to his cause of death I’d love to hear about it. He was Pte Ernest John Dorken 18th Bn. Thank you

    • Dustin,

      Thank you so much for contacting me here. I will do research into your Great Uncle this weekend and update you what I find. I am going over this fall so you might be interested in my trip.

  8. I have photo’s, post cards home and other information on William Arthur Davis #53103. Please contact me if you want copies.

      • Jeff,

        Sent to jeffmsimpson [at] bell [dot] net . You can email me directly at ebd.edwards [at] gmail [dot] com. I will try again. Might be in spam folder?

      • Sent you an email yesterday to help explain things.
        Uploaded some photo’s of photo’s, and some other items.
        I don’t see them under him yet. Everything OK? Perhaps you’re busy with Black Friday.
        Cheers

  9. Dear Eric,

    I came across your blog while researching the 18th Battalion, CEF. Fantastic work! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

    My late grandfather, Alwyn P. Bedford, was a veteran of the 18th Btn. He passed away almost 30 years ago now, but with the Centenary of the First World War underway, I find myself thinking of him often.

    Aside from his service medals and some other items he left me (a pair of French binoculars, a Red Cross ditty bag, his final paybook), I have several photos of him in uniform. Let me know if you would like scans of these.

    Best,

    John

    • John,

      Thank you so much for your kind words and support. I am glad you found my blog. I have added your grandfather to the blog and you should note that there is a link to his digitized service record. His page is here http://wp.me/PyKOb-28C or you can search by his last name and find his page.

      Anything you have would be great. If you could take pictures of the items as well with any detail that would be fantastic. Certainly any contribution you make would be greatly appreciated.

      I am going to send a link so you can have access to the folder on my Google Drive account in order to save you the concerns about emailing the images because of size but if you wish to communicate with me or email the images instead I am at ebd.edwards at gmail dot com.

      Thanks!

      Eric

      • Eric,
        I have just found your blog. My grandfather served in the 18th from Novermber 1914 until the end of the war. His no. was 53339 and his final rank was A.S. Sgt. He met my grandmother in Folkstone and after my mothers birth they moved to the US.I am currently working on finding out more about him as he never spoke of his family and it is quite a mystery as to how he was born in England and enlisted in Canada. i have his decorations and he once spoke yo me of being wounded at the Somme- but i was to young to understand what that meant. If i uncover any further information that would be of use to you I will send it on.
        Stephen Tyler

      • Stephen,

        I will create a soldier’s page for your grandfather and please feel free to contact me with any information you find. His service records are available online so you can download them and review them.

        Eric

  10. Thank you for this interesting site. I am not sure if this is of interest to you, but there is a biography of Lance Corporal Clarence Ellyn Fletcher (Regimental Number: 484359) who was serving with the 18th Battalion, CEF, when he died at the 1st Canadian Casualty Clearing Station in December 1918. He transferred to the 18th Battalion in September 1918. Volunteers at the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa are preparing short biographies of soldiers who are recorded in the 1st CCCS chaplains’ journals. (See http://bifhsgo.ca/cstm_cdnCasClrStn.php to find L/Corp Fletcher’s biography)

    • Sheila,

      Thank you so much for contacting me. I am adding a soldiers page for Corporal Fletcher and including the link to the site and the PDF biography that was created for him. An amazing amount of work done and much appreciated.

      Eric

  11. I think there are another three soldiers from the 18th Btn who died at the 1st CCCS, but the bios haven’t been written yet. I’ll let you know when they’re ready. A couple of 18th Btn soldiers are mentioned as the brother of a soldier who died at the 1st CCCS. Would you like to know about these? Sheila

    • Sheila,

      Any information you can offer towards this blog is GREATLY appreciated. The objective is to “honour” as many soldiers of the 18th we can find, be it offering the ultimate sacrifice or from other acts of service.

      Thank you,

      Eric

  12. The brother of Corporal Lorne Brown (14th Battalion, CEF), Private Percy Brown served with the 18th Battalion for a period of time – see the biography of Corporal Brown: http://www.bifhsgo.ca/custom/dtl_cdnCasClrStn.php?cccs=878

    I will let you know when the biographies of the three remaining soldiers from the 18th Battalion to die at the 1st Canadian Casualty Clearing Station are prepared. Sheila

  13. Eric, are you aware of a database or any info existing that would list burials that are identified as 18th men, but Unknowns?
    Thanks
    Dustin

  14. Hi Eric, I’m with the CBC program White Coat, Black Art. I sent you a Facebook message in response to the story you told on our Facebook page about hospital noise. I’m hoping to reach you about possibly doing a short interview with our show (sorry this is unrelated to the blog, but I am hoping to reach you this week). I’m at dawna.dingwall@cbc.ca

  15. I have answers to questions that appear with regard to Bernard Pantall and George Alexander Symonds. I am his great-niece and live in Guelph, ON. Email me and I will share the details that clarify some of the history.

  16. I have a relative (William Wilson Bryce, Service No. 770063) who enlisted with the 124th Cdn. Battalion (Feb. 3, 1916). His discharge certificate shows that he served in France with the 18th Battalion. The reason for discharge was he was “Medically Unfit”. His service record shows he was gassed May 9, 1917 and did not return to the 18th Battalion until October 12, 1918. William received a gunshot wound to his left elbow on November 10, 1918 (the day before Armistice Day). Just hoping you may have more information regarding William and his time with the 18th Battalion?

    FYI: I am a friend of Steve Clifford.

    • Thomas,

      Thank you for contacting me. Steve mentioned that someone was going to and I am so pleased that you followed up. I will be happy to assist you and did not have your relative in my database. As you may have derived from my blog I am attempting to transcribe the 18th Battalion War Diary and honour each soldier that served with the 18th. Now, I can add one more.

      Please feel free to contact me here, at ebd.edwards [at] gmail.com or the 18th Battalion Facebook Group. If you have any images or biographical details to add feel free to let me know what they are and I will add them to his Soldier’s Page.

  17. Hello. I am excited to find so much info on the 18th battalion, but I do have a concern. You have posted a picture of Kid Osborne under the info for T.J. Osborne. However, Kid Osborne was actually T. J.’s son, Fred. He was Middleweight Boxing Champ of Western Canada in the 1930s. Fred Osborne was my husband’s grandfather.

    • Alison,

      Thank you for contacting me and I appreciate your feedback. I have removed picture as it is not of the soldier the page is representing. For point of reference that image was at the Canadian Virtual War Memorial page.

      If you have any other images or documentation feel free to contact me at ebd.edwards [at] gmail.com. I am also sending you an invite to the 18th Battalion Facebook Group.

      Best,

      Eric

  18. Reading through the comments it is encouraging to see how many Canadians want to share Canada’s history through family memories. Passing the history of the First World War and Canada’s involvement in it is important to our development as a nation. For those with children, The Vimy Oaks: A Journey to Peace may be a nice way to introduce the First World War and then tell the family history…
    https://canlitforlittlecanadians.blogspot.ca/2017/03/the-vimy-oaks-journey-to-peace.html

    • Patricia,

      Thanks you for your comments and the link to the review of the book. I hope that other readers take a look at it. I read the review with interest and it is an unique and very Canadian story.

      Eric

  19. Hi,
    I live in London and have in my possession the Memorial Plaque, 1914/15 star and Canadian Memorial Cross for George Knight service number 54163. Is there any way I can get physical copies of the various papers listed on his page? We also have the medals from his 2 brothers, one in the Royal Canadian Regiment, the other, Charles Knight, in the ASC in the UK.
    Charles Knight was related to me through my Father and the medals and papers came to us when Charles Knight died in England in the 1960s.
    Regards,
    Jeff Grimes

    • Jeff,

      I am going to give you a link to Private George Knight’s service record page at the Library Archives Canada. This LINK will allow you do see, and download his attesatation pages. In addition, this LINK will download his service record in PDF format. The actual pages of the war diary would be available at the LAC for viewing sometime after 2019 as all the service records are not accessible as they are digitizing all of them.

      I am sending you an invite to the 18th Battalion Group and feel free to join.

      Best,

      Eric

      • Eric,
        Thank you very much. I have joined the group and will explore the links.
        Regards,
        Jeff

  20. Hello Jeff,

    I am a graduate student at the University of Western Ontario. I am currently working on a project which is centered on how the First World War impacted the community of London, Ontario. A portion of this project involves creating soldier biographies for casualties from the local area. I am wondering if I can have your permission to use some of the photos from this website for my project? If so, some may end up being exhibited through the Virtual Museum of Canada in which case I would also need to know how you would like to be credited.

    Thanks for all the work you have put into this collection,
    Tom

    • phugoid,

      Whoops, my most sincere apologies. I just realized that I addressed that message to the wrong person.

    • Jeff,

      Thanks for you message. If I can be of any assistance to your research please let me know. You may have sent the message in error but feel free to reference any material on my blog. Some of the older posts do not reference the source of the images but I have tried to be more diligent in acknowledging sources.

      If you would like, I can put your request on my Facebook Group and contact information and maybe a member or two can assist you.

      Best,

      Eric

  21. Eric,

    I have information regarding Cpl. T. E. Randall listed in the war diary as having been awarded the MM on May 8th 1917. Please feel free to contact me.

    Rgds,

    Mark

    • Mark,

      I am responding to you post. If you wish you can contact me at ebd.edwards AT gmail.com. Any information you have would be much appreciated.

      Eric

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