“Knapsack his pillow…”: The Grief of Mrs. McMullin

Private Leonard Calvin McMullin was killed May 25, 1918 by a “fishtail” bomb. Yet, the 18th Battalion War Diary makes no mention of this event and it is lost into obscurity. The War Diary Entry for that day: “Working parties again furnished by Bn. for works during the night on trenches. Our party of 1…

The Best Rest in Many Moons: A Letter by Major Sale

Major Sale was an active and influential member of the Goderich, Ontario community as a dentist. He was active in the Canadian Militia with the 33rd Regiment and joined the 18th Battalion as a captain shortly after its inception in October 1914. He served his Battalion diligently and was earned a promotion to major in…

Stuff of Legend: The Wounding of Private Dickson on Christmas Day 1915

Introduction There is no doubt that Sergeant Fred Young was an ardent supporter and chronicler of the 18th Battalion. He was very active in the 18th Battalion Association after the war, serving on its executive and being designated as its “poet laureate”. But, perhaps his enthusiasm for his Battalion allowed him to exercise some “poetic…

“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…