“He would bear himself like a soldier…” : The Service for Sergeant Swainsbury of Chatham, Ontario

An article written in a local Chatham newspaper relates the service at Christ Church in honour of two local men who were killed in action gives us insight into the attitudes of the citizens through the address of Canon Howard. The date that this event transpired was after the death in action of Private Frederick…

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…

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…