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:
- To transcribe the entire 18th Battalion War Diary.
- 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.
- To list battles and engagements mentioned in the War Diary.
- To list all the casualties (killed in action) by month listed on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site.
- To find new sources of information and expand on these themes as the arrive, such as tactics, weapons, attitudes etc.
- 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.