Sewell, Guy Blanchard: Service no. 654410

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Digitized Service Record

Source: Via Facebook post by relative and August 1917 casualty.

Summary of Service for Sergeant Guy Blanchard Sewell. Reg. No. 654410.

Date Event Remarks
August 19, 1895 Born Indicates on attestation papers he was born in Colchester, England.
February 8, 1916 Enlists Enlists with 161st Battalion in Clinton, Ontario. He is a salesman married to Beatrice Sewell. He was active in the Militia with the Royal Canadian Regiment.
March 1, 1916 Transferred Transferred to the Provincial School of Instruction at Clinton, Ontario. It is not known as to what education or courses where taken.
March 10, 1916 Anti-Typhoid Inoculations A further course of 2 inoculations were done but the dates are not legible.
May 5, 1916 Appointed Corporal  
June 7, 1916 Appointed Sergeant  
July 21, 1916 Vaccinated  
October 11, 1916 Submits Will Bequeaths his real and personal estate to his wife Beatrice Sewell. It is witnessed by O.A. Stickles and R.H. Carpenter.
November 1, 1916 Unit Sails from Canada  
November 1916 Assigns Pay Assigns pay in the amount of $25.00 per month to his wife and this is later modified to $20.00 per month in July 1917.
November 11, 1916 Unit Arrives England  
January 12, 1917 Transferred to 18th Battalion West Sandling, Kent
January 13, 1917 Arrives Canadian Base Depot Transits to the Continent and arrives at the Canadian Base Depot in Etaples, France.
January 18, 1917 Joins Unit in the Field Arrives at Bully Grenay. The War Diary relates for that day:

 

“18th Canadian Battalion was relieved in the front line by the 14th Canadian Battalion. The 18th Battalion moved into Billets at BULLY GRENAY in Brigade reserve. 10 n.c.o.s [non-commissioned officers] o.r. arrived to be carried supernumerary to Establishment. LIEUT. J.J. RICHARDSON to be Actg. MAJOR while commanding a coy. 2 o.r.s returned from hospital.”

 

This is an interesting entry as it indicates that the soldiers arrived as N.C.O.s and were not needed in that capacity as the Battalion had the correct establishment of N.C.O.s for it purposes. In most cases a N.C.O. in a reserve or reinforcing battalion was demoted to a private in order to make up the establishment of the correct number of men in an active front-line battalion.

February 13, 1917 Reverts to Private Reverts to “ranks” 30 days after arrival in France.
March 19, 1917 2nd Canadian Field Ambulance Sick with influenza and leaves front line for treatment. The Battalion has fought at Vimy Ridge and now is in Brigade Reserve. The War Diary relates:

 

“Position same. LIEUT. P.G. MIGHT received order from Base. Battalion pay parade. 2 o.r.s admitted to hospital. 2 o.r.s returned from hospital.”

March 27, 1917 No. 22 General Hospital P.U.O. (slt) slight. Pyrexia of Unknown Origin. A cold or flu. Dannes Camiers, France.
April 4, 1917 No. 6 Convalescent Depot Etaples, France.
June 11, 1917 2nd Canadian Infantry Depot Etaples, France.
June 13, 1917 Proceeds to Join Unit  
June 14, 1917 Joins Unit The War Diary does not relate any men arriving from the hospital on this date. It is possible the War Diary entry for the 13, June may relate to his arrival.
July 1917 Modifies Assigned Pay Adjusts assigned pay from $25.00 per month to $20.00.
August 21, 1917 Killed in Action The following months, especially August was a very active one for the Canadian Corps and the 18th Battalion. After the attack on Hill 70 the Battalion was relieved on the night of August 18/19 and moved to the relative safety of the rear.

 

On August 21 the Battalion moved and when it was passing through cross-roads at Bully-Grenay moving to the huts at Bouvigny, a German shell landed amongst the marching men, killing 23 men outright and causing a further 53 wounded. This one shell accounted for 35% of the total casualties for the Battalion that month. The War Diary relates:

 

“The Battalion left BULLY-GRENAY at9.30 a.m. and proceeded to BOUVIGNY HUTS going in Corps Reserve. On the road “D”coy sustained 52 casualties, 23 of which were fatal, by the bursting of an enemy shell (high velocity). This bringing our casualties to approximately 220 during the tour.

 

Lieut. W. Hampton and 4 O.Rs admitted to hospital.”

December 29, 1920 Comprehensive Burial Report Private Sewell is buried at plot I.M.9 at the Aix-Noilette Community Cemetery Extension west of Lens, France outside the village of Aix-Noilette.

 

It appears he is buried in the plot with two other men of the Battalion that died that day. Privates J.T. Murray and A. Phillips lie with him.

 

He lies along with 21 other comrades of the 18th Battalion.

 

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