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Ihi s is Book No 

at the DOUBLE ! 

I holo by A. M. Cunningham & Son, Hamilton 

Twice Mentioned in Despatches. Officer Commanding Fifth Field Ambulance 

from Mobilization to November 5th, 1916. 

O. C. No 2 Canadian Stationary Hospital, Boulogne, 1916-1917. 

O. C. No. 5 Canadian General Hospital, Liverpool, 1918-1919. 

Born Ancaster, Ontario, July 6th, 1866, Died Ancaster, Ontario, May 7th, 1928. 


by Frederick. W. Noyes 

History of the Fifth Canadian Field Ambulance which 
Served Overseas during the Qreat War of 1914-1918 


Chapter Page 


November 11, 1914, to April 2.9, 1915 


April 29, 1915, to September 15, 1915 


September 16, 1915, to August 25, 1916 


August 2.6, 1916, to January zo, 1917 


January 2.1, 1917, to November 17, 1917 


November 18, 1917, to August 2.2, 1918 


August 23, 1918, to November 11, 1918 


November 12, 1918, to May 19, 1919 


May 20, 1919, to January i, 1936 


November 11, 1914, to January i, 1936 


Facing Facing 

Page Page 

1. Folkestone District ... 32 5. Lens 32 

2. St. Omer and The Salient 64 6. Passchendaele .... 160 

3. TheSomme .... 128 7. Amiens 192 

4. Vimy Ridge .... 144 8. Arras Cambrai . 224 

For the privilege of using original sketches, special 
acknowledgement is made to the following artists . 






JLHIS is not a strictly formal or statistical history. It is, rather, 
a candid presentation of the human side of our experiences - 
highlighting the humorous incidents and skipping over, for the 
most part, the darker side of the war. 

Much of the book is written - - as nearly as memory has pre 
served it - - unvarnished and without heroics. Considerable space 
is being purposely given to more or less trivial incidents, in the 
hope that their recital may restore sharpness and fresh apprecia 
tion to the readers personal memories of "those days." We hope 
that those who read the book may recapture some of that 
wonderful spirit which then existed among us; and we use soldier 
language in order to stimulate the rousing of that spirit. 

In some instances - - and for obvious reasons - - personal 
names have been omitted. "No names, no packdrill!" Many 
incidents, too, are merely hinted at for fear that a more detailed 
explanation of them might cause embarrassment; but all incid 
ents here recorded are included for no other purpose than that of 
giving a true picture of how our men thought, felt, played, 
"carried on," lived and died during the fifty-five months of our 
unit s existence. Therefore, we hope that those whose names we 
have mentioned won t mind - - and we hope that those whose 
names have not been mentioned won t consider themselves 

Every effort has been made to give correct dates and locations, 
but, in France, all the Sections were very seldom in one place at 
the same time. Bearer squads were attached to various regimental 
aid-posts, and Nursing Section details more than once were sent 
to help other units. However, all dates and locations have been 
checked very carefully and will be found approximately correct. 

We have not forgotten to mention our grousing about rations, 
fatigues, brass-shining and working parties. Heaven only knows 

how much of the grumbling was warranted and how much 
uncalled-for! Napoleon said he couldn t get along without his 
grognards. Like our grumblers, they groused - - but carried on. 
A Fifth history which ignored our grousing would be incomplete. 

Grateful acknowledgement is due all those who, with suggest 
ions, or by the loan of letters, diaries, photos, newspaper clip 
pings, sketches and other data, have helped in the production of 
our book. Here, again, we must not mention names, for fear of 
betraying the confidential sources of much of our information. 

It must be added, too, that nobody dictated what should go 
in the book or what should be left out. Up to the time of going 
to press, no ex-member of the unit, outside the editorial com 
mittee, read the manuscript. Therefore, whatever criticisms may 
be forthcoming should be directed toward the committee only. 

B. S. Case 
F. W. Noyes 
A. F. Patterson 
H. R. Rutherford. 





"They shall grow not old, as 

we that are. left grow old: shall not weary them, nor 

the years condemn. 
At the going down of the sun 

and in the morning 
We will remember them. 

Lawrence. Binyon. 


You re in the army now, you re not behind a plow, 
You ll never gee rich, you son-of-a-gun 
You re in the army now. 


(Nov. 11, 1914, to April 29, 1915) 

"The pants are. a 
little tight under 
the arm pits!" 

EMBER 11,1914, 
Major George 
Devey Farmer, of 
Ancaster, Ontario, 
received instruc 
tions from Ottawa 
to the effect that 
he had been pro 
moted to the rank 
of Lieut. -Col. and 
had been chosen to 
command a Field 
Ambulance for overseas service with the Second Canadian Con 
tingent. He was informed that Hamilton was to contribute 106 
men towards the unit s complement and that the remainder were 
to be recruited in Toronto and Owen Sound. 

Within three days of receipt of the mobilization order the com 
plete Hamilton quota was obtained and, on November 19th, 
that detachment took up its quarters in Exhibition Camp, Tor 
onto, where it was immediately joined by the two other quotas, 
bringing the unit to a total strength of 268 officers and men. 

The Hamilton men were chosen from No. 12 and No. 19 
Field Ambulances of that city. Both of these militia units had 
been recruiting men for an expected Second Contingent ever 
since the First Division had been called up. 

Sergeant Jack Williams and Corporal Max Kelso were the 
two noncoms. responsible for whipping the Mountain City men 


into shape, Colonel Farmer having given them full control of 
this work. Williams and Kelso had had previous military experi 
ence in the Yeomanry and Territorials "over ome" and were 
ideally suited for their jobs, although Max Kelso sometimes did 
forget himself in those early days and occasionally mixed army 
commands with some of his beloved farm expressions. One 
night, for instance, Max s rookie squad was marching blithely 
down the armories when suddenly Max noticed that it was 
within about six feet of the end wall. Prompt action was neces 
sary. "Whoa, there! Whoa! Back up!" was the only command 
Max could think of, but he bellowed it down the armories and it 
had the desired effect. 

The officers at mobilization were: Lieutenant-Colonel G. D. 
Farmer, Commanding Officer; Major D. P. Kappele, Captains 
H. Jones, W. C. Silcox, W. F. Nicholson, H. Buck, F. Clark; 
and Lieutenants N. J. Barton, J. F. Burgess and R. Y. Kenney ; and 
Hon. Lieutenant O. A. Elliott. All these officers were medical 
men, with the exception of Captain Clark, who was Quarter 
master, and Lieutenant Elliott, who was a dental surgeon. All 
but Captain Clark had given up private practices at home in 
order to place their medical and surgical skill at the service of 
their country; and in every case the doing so involved heavy 
financial and personal sacrifice. 

Without casting any reflections on the officers with whom our 
unit eventually left Canada - - for they, too, were merely the 
helpless pawns and victims of the powers behind the scene - - we 
must mention that, right from the start, politics had a lot to do 
with officer appointments in the Fifth. It was almost impossible 
to get anywhere unless one was a bigoted adherent of the ruling 
"party machine." Ability and general fitness for the job were not 
primary considerations and it was a well-known fact that, right 
up to the end of the war, our unit was well nigh ripped asunder 
by back-home political intrigues and manipulations. Perhaps we 
didn t suffer any more in this respect than some other units, but 
it is doubtful if in any other unit the political machinations of 
arm-chair critics, stay-at-homers and other higher-ups were as 
glaringly evident, and worked to the disadvantage of the men 
generally, as they did in the Fifth. 

Many times, during the first few weeks of the unit s existence, 
it was touch-and-go whether or not Colonel Farmer would be 


permitted to continue in command. Much political pressure was 
brought to bear, both for and against him. He was juggled about 
by the powers that were until he didn t know whether he was 
going or staying. Ottawa wire-pullers came to Toronto and 
Toronto boot-lickers went to Ottawa, trying to dislodge him. 
Eventually, however, Colonel Farmer quietly made a flying trip 
to the Capital City - - and returned with final confirmation of his 
command. How the unit s affairs suffered during all this disgust 
ing indecision and bickering may easily be imagined, and it was 
almost a miracle that the Fifth finally evolved with as good an 
officer personnel as it did. 

Whom the Qods Would Destroy, 

We never could discover who was responsible for the appoint 
ment of our original noncoms. All we knew was that, with 
about three or four exceptions, all were from "over the pond." 
Many of them were Old Soldiers and most of them dropped 
their aitches with carefree abandon. Army commands were 
strange enough to most of us, but when we heard them voiced 
by these noncoms. we had additional trouble in recognizing 
them. There was Sergeant Wager, always "a-seekin of somebody 
whose nyme weren t in the booook/ And Staff Leleu, with his 
"Steady theyah, that chap ovah theyah." Sergeant Williams, with 
his information that "If the man oo left is poipe and bala- 
claver at over by the stybles wants the syme, ee mye ave em 
by go wing to the hordley room; but, if sow, ee will ave to 
hidenterfy em." Then there was Sergeant Gardner, with a 
Scotch burrr that stretched right back to the hills of his native 
land. Remember that verse we used to recite within John s 

The Scots they rrre surrre a harrrdy rrrace: 

They wearrr no brrreeks norrr brrreeches. 

They grrroom theirrr locks wi splinterrred rrrocks - 

They rrre hairrry sons o witches! 

And Staff Smith - - can t you still hear him, with his excep 
tionally proper vocabulary, speaking very deliberately and enun 
ciating every syllable of those multiple-syllabled words, with 
meticulous precision and extraordinary facility? We were simply 
flabbergasted when we heard so many big tongue-twisters coming 


from such a diminutive man. This same Reggie Smith, though, 
had more character, courage and real ability than many men 
twice his size. 

Then there were the Old Soldiers: Quartermaster-Sergeant 
Busst, Lance-Corporal Tom Morgan, Sergeant Turner, Harry 
Cunningham, Corporal Gilpin and others - - always explaining 
how it was done "over ome" and in Africa. Good fellows, most 
of them, when they got the corners rubbed off them and settled 
down to their jobs in earnest. They were no worse and no better, 
perhaps, than the noncoms. of any other unit. 

Of the original unit, seventy per cent, of the officers and fifty- 
five per cent, of the men hailed from the Hamilton area. Approx 
imately ten per cent, of the unit s personnel had had previous 
medical training before enlistment, either as doctors or as medical 
students; and about half of the remaining men had received 
previous training in first-aid work. 

The tallest man in the Fifth at mobilization was John Merri- 
dew, 6 feet 4 inches. The shortest was 5 feet 3 inches - - we had 
a half-dozen that height. The average height of our personnel 
was about 5 feet 8^ inches which, considering that scores of 
our lads had not yet ceased growing, shows a very creditable 
stature standard. 

Establishment <^ 

A Field Ambulance was made up of three medical sections, 
each of which was equipped to act independently of the others, 
if necessary. The three original sections of the Fifth had as 
section commanders: A. Section, Captain Jones; B. Section, 
Major Kappele; C. Section, Captain Silcox. 

A Transport Section of fifty-seven men was formed shortly 
after our arrival at Exhibition Camp. These men were in charge 
of fifty-five horses, seven horse-drawn ambulances, general- 
service wagons, and whatnot, for the conveyance of patients, 
medical supplies, etc. Each horse ambulance was capable of 
carrying four stretcher cases or twelve sitting cases. The trans 
port men were equipped with rifles, for the purpose of protecting 
the unit and its patients, supplies, etc., from looters and camp 
followers. We might as well admit right now, however, that 
these rifles were seldom clean enough to be fired in safety. They 
helped us to look like soldiers, though ! 


Three motor ambulances were also added while at Exhibition 
Camp. These were to form the nucleus of what was later to 
become a completely mechanized fleet of conveyances for sick 
and wounded. Eventually almost all transportation of wounded, 
from advanced dressing stations to clearing stations, was by 
means of motor ambulance, and a rather extensive Motor Trans 
port Section ultimately evolved. 

For the first few days at Exhibition Camp the time was taken 
up with preparation of billets, medical inspections, measurement 
for uniforms, attestations - - and all those innumerable fatigues 
which go into the embryonic stage of the soldier. For about ten 
days the men continued to wear their civvy clothing but, at last, 
the long-looked-for day came for the issuance of uniforms and 
kit. The men lined up in alphabetical order and, under the eagle 
eyes of Quartermaster-Sergeant Busst and his ex-policeman 
understudy, Corporal Udell, all the impedimenta of an active- 
serviceman s equipment were handed out. From early morning 
until late at night a magic transformation then took place and 
the men blossomed forth in all the glory of their new regalia. 

It is just possible that 44-inch tunics were issued to men with 
36-inch chests; and that several somewhat smallish fellows were 
seen floundering around in size eleven shoes, while some six- 
footers were struggling to squeeze their size twelve feet into size 
seven boots. Size eight caps came down over the ears of size 
seven heads, and size six caps perched on top of size eight-and-a- 
half skulls. But all the mixups were taken in the proper spirit and 
tolerable fittings were finally obtained - - by the men exchanging 
their misfit articles with one another and by spending much of 
their hard-earned dollar-ten army pay on alterations. 

Of course, the bulk of the equipment had been produced under 
time pressure and, in consequence, had suffered considerably in 
quality and design. The red army-boot was a cross between a 
moccasin and a sponge. It had blotting-paper outer soles and 
insoles of spikes, whose business ends pointed invitingly up 
ward - - earning for the Minister of Militia the sobriquet "Gen 
eral Sham Shoes." After two minutes on damp ground a man s 
feet were as wet as if he were barefoot. Tunics, breeches and 
greatcoats fitted perfectly - - only where they touched ! It was 
solely by a liberal expenditure of the men s own money that a 
creditable appearance was at all obtainable. Heavy woollen 


underwear, about J^-inch thick, gave more than one man the 
scratching practice that was to come in handy later on in France. 
It has been well said that "soldiers were made to hang things on," 
for what with balaclava caps, fingerless wool wristlets, fever 
bands, high overshoes - - and all the other things we didn t 
have later on in France where we really needed them ! - - a man 
had a load not fit for a pack-mule. 

Staff-Sergeant Smith brought to camp a very comfortable in 
flatable sleeping-bag and when Colonel Farmer learned of its 
presence he raged about "feather-bed soldiers" and ordered 
Reggie to get rid of the bag immediately. However, the Staff 
managed to retain his bed and eventually used it in England and 
at the Front - - in spite of definite orders from every successive 
Officer Commanding. He also clung to his original Canadian 
tunic. The other senior noncoms. loved to twit Smith about his 
sleeping-bag and some of them may recall the battle he fought 
with Staff Mott when Jake passed an unflattering remark about 
the bag. The scrap was a torrid affair and ended with honors even. 

The old soldiers initiated the rookies into the mysteries of 
puttee-rolling, blanket-folding, kit-packing, button-cleaning 
greatcoat-rolling, belt-shining and bunk-making, and it wasn t 
long before a rather nondescript collection of civilians had 
attained the appearance of smartly-accoutred army men. 

Training Routine <^ 

During the five months in Exhibition Camp our men were 
trained in infantry drill, stretcher drill, and first-aid treatments, 
such as bandaging, putting on splints, stopping hemorrhages, etc. 
Three lectures a day were given by the officers. Riding instruction 
was given to the men of the Horse Transport, and the secrets of 
motor mechanism and upkeep were imparted to the members of 
the Motor Section. Also, a signalling squad of six men was 
formed and every day these dot-and-dash addicts took their 
places, along with the other camp signallers, for instruction 
and practice. 

Colonel Farmer, although a staunch fraternal man himself, 
would never stand for any "Lodge stuff" from those under his 
command. One day a man paraded into the Orderly Room and 
asked for permission to go to Montreal to visit his brother, a 


very prominent officer in the Old Man s fraternal organization. 
When he attempted to take advantage of his lodge affiliations 
the colonel gave him particular hell in the form of a severe 
dressing down and extra duties during the ensuing few days. 

Our original sergeant-major was Robert Franklin, or "Bob," 
as he was later to become known. Franklin had been a petty 
officer in "the King s Na-vee" - so his story went - - and, right 
from the day he "took over," the men received a taste of salt 
water discipline. Who can ever forget Bob, standing out in front 
of the unit when it fell in between cowstables Nos. 33 and 34? 
There he would be, striding impatiently back and forth, barking 
at this man, scowling at that, questioning a noncom., or criti 
cising some poor flustered junior officer. Franklin had a great 
command of marine-depot English. One of his first warnings 
was : "When I say Double I don t mean just Double - 1 mean 
for you to bloodywdl fly." However, if the buck privates stood 
or "doubled" in awe of him, the officers were even more in fear 
of his lashing tongue. It is part of a sergeant-major s job to 
train his officers, and Bob undertook that duty with all the zest 
and aplomb which he, and he only, could command. Even Col 
onel Farmer, with his twenty-three years of previous military 
experience, was more than once "told off." As for the junior 
officers, it is safe to say that they feared Franklin s withering 
ridicule far more than did the men. 

Those early days in the old frame cowsheds shall always 
linger in our memories. The barrel stoves, straw palliasses, 
wooden-slatted double-tiered bunks, tin wash basins and crude 
tub showers all helped to convince us that we were "in the 
army now." 

It is impossible, too, to forget that bitterly cold winter s night 
when the whole unit was taken violently ill with stomach cramps 
and acute dysentery, and dozens of our men collapsed in their 
bunks or outside in the raging blizzard. For many hours all the 
available doctors in or near the camp worked frantically over the 
poisoned men, and it was only because of this prompt attention 
the attacks didn t prove fatal. Staff-Sergeants Overend and 
Deadman, Sergeant Overholt and several other experienced 
"rankers" also rendered invaluable assistance. The cause of the 
trouble was traced to the use of unclean kitchen utensils, and the 
sergeant-cook (James Sharkey), who was responsible for the 


whole painful and near-tragic affair, was summarily discharged. 
The order of discharge was read to him in front of a muster 
parade of the unit. The cook-sergeant was then hustled out of 
camp by automobile, otherwise the men would have given him 
a very bad half-hour. 

To cap the affair, George Grindley wrote a letter to one of the 
Toronto newspapers, complaining about the poor food and the 
filthy conditions under which it was prepared. General Lessard 
had the letter traced to the Fifth. George was hailed before 
Colonel Farmer and, in the presence of General Lessard, promptly 
acknowledged his authorship and stated that his action was 
entirely justified - - that he had taken it only as a last recourse 
and when all the customary complaints to Orderly Officers, etc., 
had failed to rectify matters. Needless to say, George received a 
very severe reprimand. Another muster parade was immediately 
called and General Lessard scathingly rebuked the whole unit for 
what he called "a childish breach of military etiquette." How 
ever, George s complaint had the desired effect, and, from then 
on, there was a marked improvement in the quality and quantity 
of the men s rations. Of course, there never was an army in which 
rations were up to the men s expectations. We groused about our 
fo od until the end of the war. 

It was about this time that an order was posted, offering any 
man his discharge for the sum of ten dollars. How many of us 
regretted in after days that we had not availed ourselves of that 
opportunity ! Later on, at Hill 70 and Passchendaele, for instance, 
some of us would have tried mighty hard to raise the necessary 
ten-spot - - if the offer had remained open ! 

More than one man got his discharge in Toronto because he 
persisted in returning to camp "lickered-up." Monday morning 
Orderly Room was the scene of trials and tribulations. The 
Saturday night culprits were brought before the colonel and 
some few of them were given very pointed temperance lectures 
and their discharges. It was considered that they were "unlikely 
to become efficient soldiers!" It must be added, though, that 
some of the men so discharged from our unit joined other units 
later on and distinguished themselves by their all-round efficiency, 
and by earning decorations for bravery under fire - - which is 
further evidence that good parade-ground soldiers were not 
always the best men in actual battle. 











B !/ 

O l> 

- BI 

ffl S 

DQ pQ 

B c 

2 * 

o- a 

W pi 

o u 

1. The Wig-Waggers. 

2. Our First Motor Ambulance Arrives. 
3. A Group of C. Section Lads. 

The "Lion Tamers 

To whip the men into first-class physical condition, two 
Imperial P.T. instructors were attached to the Fifth. "Lion 
Tamers" is the army name for these worthies, but it was a mis 
nomer, so far as we were concerned. We were anything but lions 
and they never tamed us! These noncoms. were accustomed to 
training peace-time soldiers or "regulars," and not citizen- 
soldiers, such as we. It is not surprising, therefore, that we just 
about broke their dear kind hearts. One instructor completely lost 
his voice, yelling futile orders at us and gargling Scotch in his 
spare time; while the other one mysteriously dropped out of the 
picture, after a few weeks attempt to make soldiers out of us 
"blawsted Can-eye-dian b- ~ds," as he called us. Perhaps 
their departure was hastened by their faux pas in giving us 
"aeroplane drill," one day while we were waiting to have a unit 
photograph taken. In this drill the command "Take cover" was 
given and the men were expected to throw themselves flat on 
the ground, or take cover in any hole or ditch that might be 
nearby. We were all shined up like guardsmen before the aero 
plane drill, but, after it was over, our uniforms, puttees and 
shoes were terribly awry and simply plastered with mud. We 
would hate to repeat the language Colonel Farmer used on In 
structor Fegg when our explosive Commanding Officer arrived 
to parade us before the waiting photographer. 

Nor can we forget that it was while at Exhibition Camp that 
our good friend Tommy Hawkey won fame through being 
linked with the unit s battle-cry anent the receptive coalbin. 
From Exhibition Camp to Otterpool, and right through to the 
end of the war - - yes, and even after the war - - the challenging 
cry, "Who spit in the coalbin?" was answered by the spon 
taneous and unanimous chorus - "HAWKEY!" Tommy, too, 
had the happy faculty of always getting into Staff Leleu s bad 
books. Who cannot recall the Staff s eternal yelling at the lad : 
"Private Hawkey! What aw you doing they ah? Get away from 
that hawsse s head, Private Hawkey! Stawnd steady, theyah, 
Hawkey!" It is little wonder that Tommy became one of our 
best-liked lads, and remained popular long after Staff Leleu 
transferred to the 2nd C.C.S. Tommy wasn t a giant, at all, but 
he will always be a character dear to the Fifth. 


Evenings in camp were spent in letter-writing, studying, card- 
playing, or in attending concerts in the old Dairy Building. Very 
often we nearly smoked out the concert troupes and, more than 
once, performances were halted because of the terrible coughing 
of the men. The winter of 1914-1915 was very severe and 
scarcely a man escaped having a cold or a cough. Some of the 
Y.M.C.A. officials were of the opinion that much of the cough 
ing was caused by the sinful cigarette; but it was suspected that 
much of the coughing was done to curb some of the so-called 
stage stars who so generously came to entertain us. 

The boys of the Horse Transport - - and many of the unit 
generally - - got considerable entertainment in unloading horses 
off trains, doing stable duty, horse-line picquets, etc. And who 
can ever forget the transport men, when they first got their issues 
of riding-breeches, bandoliers, spurs, etc., and went "square- 
pushing" up and down Yonge Street, wrecking the hearts of 
Toronto s susceptible young women? Those were the days! 

Then there were inoculations, vaccinations, physical inspec 
tions, throat swabbings, etc. Spinal meningitis broke out in camp 
and many throat swabs were taken in order to prevent the spread 
of the dread disease. Luckily the Fifth escaped this scourge. 

When we first arrived in camp a cookhouse fatigue was con 
sidered something to be avoided, but the wise among us soon 
learned that such a fatigue meant relief from drill, a warm inside 
job, and the best of the rations to eat. The only days on which 
cookhouse duty was not popular were Saturdays and Sundays, for 
those were our big days. All drill ceased at noon on Saturday and 
out-of-camp passes were obtainable. On Sunday all-day passes 
were issued and it was then that married men went home to 
their wives (or said they did !), single men courted their girls, and 
the Yonge Street roughriders strutted their stuff. 

Three times daily the men fell in and marched to the main 
grandstand, under which we took our meals. Breakfast consisted 
of a blob of jam, two slices of bread, an almost invisible strip of 
bacon and a mug of what cook Sharkey was pleased to call 
" tea . " Dinner was composed of bread , either beans or meat stew, 
potatoes, jam or rice pudding, and more "tea." Supper was two 
slices of bread, a hunk of cheese, some jam, and still more "tea." 

Sunday was Visitors Day. Crowds of relatives, sweethearts 
and friends thronged the camp grounds and buildings, to see 


when, how and where the men ate, drilled and played. Even our 
sleeping quarters weren t sacred to some of these visitors. One 
Sabbath a certain Hamilton sergeant s family visited the camp 
and, by the time they reached the sergeants billet, the noncom s. 
little daughter had fallen asleep. The wee tot was placed on 
George Sayer s bed and left there while her admiring dad guided 
the party of visitors elsewhere. Upon returning after a few min 
utes the sergeant was chagrined to find that his little angel had 
sprung a leak all over Sayer s blankets. The resourceful noncom. 
picked up his youngster and, taking George s water bottle, he 
pulled out the cork and placed the nearly empty bottle on its flat 
side and on top of the sodden blankets. That night George Sayer 
complained bitterly about somebody s carelessness in laying the 
uncorked water bottle on his bed - - but he failed to notice that 
it would have taken two or three water bottles to contain all the 
moisture those blankets held. Verily that youngster had more 
capacity than control. 

The "Latrine. Qazette 

After about four months of camp life the men naturally 
thought they were sufficiently trained to be sent overseas. The 
novelty of army life had somewhat worn off and it was feared 
that the war would be over before we even got to England. Day 
after day there were rumors (credited mostly to the Latrine 
Gazette) that we were to break camp the following week. Con 
sequently, when time after time these rumors proved groundless, 
the men relieved their feelings in song : 

(TuneTvly Bonnie Lies over the Ocedn) 

They sdy "were going over the ocedn; 

They sdy we re going over the sea; 

They sdy we re going over the ocedn 

But it sounds just like B. S. to me! 


B. S., B. S., It sounds just like B. S. to me, to me; 
B. S., B. S., It sounds just like B. S. to me! 

This, by the way, was the one song to which Colonel Farmer 
strenuously objected. More than once, while on route marches, 
we were told we could "March Easy" -providing we didn t 
sing "that damned B.S. song!" All the colonel s hopes were 


vain, however, for that song continued to be our best-liked 
marching chorus all the time we were in Toronto. Another 
favorite was sung to that beautiful old hymn tune, "The 
Church s One Foundation." 

We arc Sam Hughes-es army -- 

We are his drdmee. 

We cannot fight, we cannot shoot 

Whdt bleeding good dre we? 

And when we get to Berlin, 

The kdiser he will say: 

Hock, hock, Von Kluck, what a blinkin fine lot ~ 

Sdm Hughes-es drdmee! 

And, whenever a show in the old Dairy Hall didn t please us - 
and the usual coughing cure didn t stop it - - we were always 
able to bring it to an abrupt halt with 

( Tune Tipperdry) 

It s a long time to wait for breakfast, 

It s a long time to wait. 

It s a long time to wait for breakfast, 

When there s nothing on your plate. 

Qoodbye, eggs and bacon; Farewell, Irish stew 

It s a long long time to wait for breakfast, 

And the Lord knows that s true! 

Eventually, it became evident that we were drawing to the 
end of our stay in Toronto. Route marches had become longer, 
and, more than once, we raced other units the six miles back to 
camp from Long Branch. Along with the other camp units the 
Fifth took part in battle manoeuvres in the Don Valley district, 
just north of Toronto. Soon after came the joyous word that we 
were actually to depart within a week or two. 

On March 20th, all the camp units participated in a last big 
dress parade through the streets of Toronto. The saluting base 
was in front of the legislative buildings in Queen s Park; and 
ours was a fit and proud unit indeed when it paraded past the 
staff officers and civic dignitaries assembled to inspect, honor and 
bid farewell to Central Ontario s portion of Canada s Second 
Contingent. The citizens turned out en masse, to greet and cheer 
us on our way. How little they (or we !) dreamed of what was in 
store for us ! 


The Hungry 

The evening of the Willowdale sham-battle (April 1st), just 
as we were making ready to return to camp, one of our horse 
ambulances became badly mired in a Don Valley bog. Colonel 
Farmer was at the head of our marching unit and Major Kappele 
was bringing up the rear. Darkness had already set in and the 
colonel was well out of sight when the ambulance became 
mired, so the major, being ravenously hungry and not wishing 
to be kept from his waiting dinner, left Corporal Udell and a 
squad of men to get the bogged vehicle back to camp. Then, 
galloping his horse, the major caught up with the unit, thinking 
all the time that Colonel Farmer was totally unaware of the 
mishap to the ambulance. Kappele thought no more about the 
occurrence, until after the unit had arrived back at camp and he 
had hurried off to the officers mess for dinner. There he found the 
other officers already seated around the mess table, and he himself 
was about to sit down when Colonel Farmer s voice stopped him. 
"Did the men get back to camp all right, Major Kappele?" he 
was asked. "Yes, Colonel," came the answer. "And all the ambu 
lances, Major?" Yes, Colonel," replied the major, without even 
blushing. What about Corporal Udell s ambulance?" snapped 
colonel, and there was no mistaking the full meaning of his 
question. "Oh . . why . . . it s back all right!" asserted the 
unabashed major. "It is not," corrected the Commanding Officer, 
"It s stuck in the mud, up in Willowdale, and I want you to get 
on your horse and go right up there and look after it." The 
major looked at the colonel, then he cast a longing look at the 
savory food on the table. "May I have my dinner first, Colonel 
Farmer?" he asked. "NO!" barked the Commanding Officer, 
"Leave at once ! Your dinner can wait till you get back !" 

Major Kappele gave a final despairing glance at the anticipated 
dinner, then went to the stable for his horse. There he found that 
Udell and the ambulance had been back in camp a full half-hour 
- and that the colonel had been notified as soon as they had 
returned ! As the major made his way back to the mess it dawned 
upon him that the colonel had been about to send him all the 
way up to Leaside on a wild-goose chase - - just to impress on 
him the importance of paying meticulous attention to the execu 
tion of his colonel s orders and the inadvisability of withholding 


important information from his Commanding Officer. On his 
return to the mess he was greeted by the very guarded smiles of 
his fellow-officers, and the fatherly complacence of the colonel. 

On April 10th, the Fifth visited Hamilton, in order that the 
Ambitious City, too, might give it a public greeting and pay it 
a last farewell. There the men were dined, wined and otherwise 
feted; and it is just possible that this final celebration in Hamilton 
was the more-or-less direct cause of a change in sergeant-majors. 
At any rate, on April 14th, Sergeant Jack Williams was made 
Warrant Officer, First-Class, and took over the sergeant-major 
duties from Bob Franklin. Our two Italian comrades, Covelli and 
Restivo had considerable to do with this change in sergeant- 

Finally, Colonel Farmer informed his men that they were 
shortly to leave for abroad and that week-end passes would be 
given to all those off duty in order that they might have a fare 
well visit with their families and loved ones. Full advantage of 
the privilege was taken. From the following Monday on, there 
was great commotion in camp. It seemed to many of us that 
never would we get packed up and away. But, there is an end to 
almost everything. About 5 p.m., April 15, 1915, the unit 
paraded to the camp railway siding and boarded the train. 

On Our Way at Last! 

And so, after months of impatient expectancy and false alarms 
as to the date on which we were to start on our Great Adventure, 
we were about to begin the first leg of our journey to our hearts 
desire - - the war. Our mothers, wives, sweethearts and families 
came down to see us off. They viewed our departure in a vastly 
different light from which we did. To them it was farewell - 
to us it meant nothing more than au revoir. We were experi 
encing the accomplishment of our utmost desire - - a longing 
that had waxed and grown through five months of arduous 
training. We were young and full of impatience to be "over 
there." To most of us it was a joyous rather than a sad occasion. 

At six o clock the train pulled slowly away from the siding. 
The lights of Exhibition Camp and Parkdale faded into the dis 
tance. Slowly we passed through Toronto, then quickly picked 
up speed on our journey eastward and into the cool spring night. 


Guards were mounted at the coach doors to see that nobody fell 
off the train. Some of the men settled themselves down to get 
whatever sleep they could. Others sang or played cards. Most of 
us, however, missed the straw-filled palliasses or were too excited 
to sleep, and it was a rather weary-eyed lot which looked out at 
Montreal, where we arrived at 8.25 next morning. We changed 
engines and were away again at 10.30. Many of the men suc 
ceeded in visiting nearby filling stations during the interval. 

Laughter and song prevailed as we continued east. We waved 
cheerfully to the farmers in the fields and to the waiting passen 
gers at the stations past which we thundered. After Montreal 
came the Quebec bridge, Campbellton, Newcastle - -then Monc- 
ton, where we were given a hearty welcome by what appeared to 
be the whole town, when we stopped for twenty minutes and 
were marched around a few blocks to limber up. At Truro, too, 
we detrained and did our routine of physical jerks for the edifica 
tion of the townsfolk. 

Practising for Paris <^ 

On our way through Quebec, when we were delayed at some 
small station, a few of the boys made their first attempts at 
learning to parlez-vous with the attractive Canadicnnes who 
were on hand to see les solddts pass through, and to offer us pro 
tective amulets in the form of strings of beads, crucifixes and 
other sacred tokens. Even at this early stage of affairs, Frank 
O Leary, Fred Noyes and Joe Irwin proved their acquaintance 
with the French language by being able to make their wishes 
known to the friendly mcsdcmoiscllcs - - a trait which, later on, 
they assiduously developed in Mont Noir, Fosse Ten, and other 

On arriving in Halifax (Saturday at 7.45 p.m.) we were per 
mitted to leave our coaches and go up town to buy whatever 
we needed and send word back home that, so far, all was well. 
The only place we were ordered not to go was to Water Street. 
So, like good soldiers and inquisitive children - - we went to the 
forbidden street to see for ourselves why it was proscribed to the 
troops ! It didn t take long for even the most unsophisticated of 
us to draw the correct conclusions and strike out for more inno 
cent diversions. 


Some of the purchases made that evening - - our last in Canada 
for many years - - proved rather unfortunate. For instance, Ben 
Case, who up to that time had been only an occasional smoker, 
decided that, if he were fortified with a tin of tobacco and a pipe, 
he would be certain not to become seasick. To make sure that 
his innards would have the full benefit of the tobacco, he com 
menced smoking Saturday night and kept at it religiously all day 
Sunday till we went aboard ship. The result, however, was cer 
tainly not in line with Ben s expectations! The first morning out 
he was very, very sick - - and not only that, but he had such an 
aversion for the pipe and tobacco he consigned them both to 
Davy Jones Locker. 

Quartermaster-Sergeant Busst proved his familiarity with sea- 
fish when he brought back to the train an abundant supply of 
fresh lobster. It was the first time many of his noncom. cronies 
tasted this delicacy, and the fact that it was washed down with 
copious drafts of liquid refreshment didn t lessen their enjoyment 
of the succulent dish. 

On Sunday morning a church parade was held, to St. George s 
Church, one of the oldest and most historic churches in the 
Dominion. The popular name for this edifice is "The Round 
Church," so called because of its shape. It was built in 1758 by 
German Lutherans, then newly-arrived from their Fatherland, 
and the first service was preached in the German language. One 
tradition has it that, when the church was finally built of stone, 
the then Duke of Kent liked circular buildings so much he stipu 
lated that the church should be built round. Another tradition 
suggests that as "the devil lurks in corners," the old Germans 
resolved to give His Nibs no hiding place. Shortly after it was 
built, a sailor remarked that "it must have been built by a cooper 
- it s round as a blinkin barrel !" It was odd that we who were 
on our way to war with Germany should ask for Divine pro 
tection in a church built by Germans ! Which reminds us of how 
we used to squirm inwardly when we heard so-called Christian 
ministers pharisaically praying for victory for our side and 
disaster for the enemy. 

The rest of the day was spent in and around the railway yards, 
waiting impatiently for the order to embark. Finally it came, 
and up the gang-plank of the old Northland we went. We had 
supper aboard and sailed at 6 p.m. 


Aboard the "Northland" * 

The Northland (formerly the Zeeland) of the White Star Line, 
was a 12, 000-ton ship, 567 feet long, and had a normal speed of 
fifteen knots. In addition to the Fifth she carried on this trip the 
4th and 6th Field Ambulances; the 4th, 5th and 6th Companies, 
Canadian Engineers; the 2nd Casualty Clearing Station, and the 
3rd Stationary Hospital. The total number aboard, 1,700 troops, 
78 officers. 

According to orders posted throughout the ship, our days 
activities were to be regulated as follows : 

6 a.m. Reveille. 

7 a.m. Men s breakfast. 

8.30 a.m. Sergeants and officers breakfast. 
11.30 a.m. Men s dinner. 

1 p.m. Sergeants and officers lunch. 
5 p.m. Men s supper. 
6.15 p.m. Retreat. 

7 p.m. Sergeants and officers dinner. 
8.30 p.m. First Post. 
9 p.m. Last Post. 
10.00 p.m. Lights Out. 

No mention was made in these orders of the hundred-and-one 
other duties, parades, fatigues, etc., that were to be crammed in 
between times. The men were to have the freedom of the top 
deck and their time was their own - - between Lights Out and 
Reveille ! The Fifth also provided men to help in the ship galley 
or kitchen, and it was aboard the Northland we adopted our 
permanent cookhouse call "Galley Up," which call was to remain 
unique with our unit. 

Orders were also posted, within the first two or three days at 
sea, informing us that all senior officers ranks had been confirmed 
and our lieutenants promoted to the rank of captain. 

The method of filling the ship was that the upper decks (cabin 
accommodation) were occupied by the first units to embark. The 
lower portions were occupied by the units following. Several 
other units had already gone on board before us and we were 
assigned some cabins above the "glory hole," and also some 
bunks in the "glory hole" and steerage quarters. In the cabins the 


accommodation was all that anyone could ask - - good bunks and 
ample room for four persons. 

We had just settled down in our quarters when the rumor 
spread that we were to be shifted to the lower "glory hole" 
to make way for the 2nd Casualty Clearing Station, the members 
of which were largely medical students, some of whom had 
their commission papers, although nominally only privates or 
noncoms. The 2nd Casualty Clearing Station was the last unit to 
come aboard and, following the plan adhered to by the other 
units, should have occupied the "glory hole." These meticulous 
wearers of the khaki, however, were able to convince those in 
charge that they should not be expected to put up with the foul 
air and dismal gloom of the "glory hole." And so, before the 
Canadian shore had faded into the distance, the "Fifth Field 
Animals" were ordered to vacate their quarters and move down 
into the "glory hole." 

And what a hole it was ! Can you ever forget the stench of the 
bilge in that awful place? Just enough water, vile-smelling stuff, 
lay in it to keep swishing back and forth with each roll of the 
ship. No fresh air found its way into the place and, what with 
men getting sick and the odor of the refuse that was, apparently, 
never cleaned out, it actually merited the well-known army 
expression of "bloody awful !" 

Despite this glaring instance of favoritism for those who con 
sidered themselves above the ordinary rank-and-file, we endeav 
ored to make the best of our lot. Slipping out of Halifax in a 
low-hanging fog, along with our sister ship the "Grampian," we 
said our farewells to Canada in those songs that so many times 
after were to grip our heartstrings and bring back sweet memor 
ies of home; "I Wonder How the Old Folks Are at Home," "Old 
Pal of Mine," "Loch Lomond," and other melodies that bespoke 
the fact which we would not give expression to in so many 
words - - that we were leaving behind all that was dear to us, 
for what - - we knew not. 

Then occurred a regrettable episode: The officer in charge of 
troops aboard ship had allotted a certain number of vacant 
berths to the Fifth Field Ambulance. For some reason it had been 
decided that these berths should be given to the medical students 
of the unit, the great majority of whom had joined just prior to 
our departure from Exhibition Camp. This in itself was enough 


to cause dissatisfaction on the part of those who had been with 
the unit from the start. Complaint was accordingly laid - -a sol 
dier s privilege- -and the explanation given was that "these 
boys came from good homes." That was heaping ^ insult on 
injury! From that time on, the college students or "Rah Rah 
Boys" were dubbed "the boys who had a home." The old song, 
"They Say We re Going Over the Ocean," gave place to a 
new song : 

They say that they re medical students - 
From great university schools; 
They call themselves medical students - 
But we call them medical fools. 

No one - - least of all the officer who made the remark - - will 
deny that the aspersion on the home life of the majority of the 
men was entirely uncalled for. Certainly the students themselves 
never gave any ground for the belief that they considered them 
selves superior to the rest of us; but that tactless blunder resulted 
in their being tagged with a title that stuck with them through 
out the war. As is so often the case, the innocent had to pay the 
penalty for someone else s error. 

Mention of the students reminds us of the day big Red 
McKenzie came before Colonel Farmer, seeking to enlist. In tell 
ing the Old Man he had already had considerable military train 
ing Red leaned over the colonel s desk, resting his giant bulk on 
two massive fists. "How long have you been training did you 
say?" queried the Commanding Officer. Three months!" an 
swered Red. "Three months!" snapped the Old Man, "then, 
blankety-blank it to hell, you ought to know enough to say 
sir and stand to attention when addressing a colonel!" 

A "Log" of the Trip Over < 

Days passed rather uneventfully as we steamed toward Eng 
land. Hospital duty, stewed rabbit, crown-and-anchor, and 
housie-house - - between the times we weren t seasick or on some 
of the numerous fatigues - - occupied the hours aboard. 

On the second day out from Halifax, Sergeant-Major Williams 
entered a cabin in which Carl Hill was experiencing the pleasures 
of a severe attack of seasickness. "Private Hill, have you seen any 
of the batmen in one of these cabins?" Carl had joined the unit 


just before it left Exhibition Camp and was not yet conversant 
with army terminology. "No, sir, I haven t," he answered. "Are 
you going to have a ball game?" Jack Williams glared at him. 
"Don t^try to get fresh with me, my lad, or I ll give you ball 
gyme !" 

Which reminds us of the manner in which Carl joined the 
army : He was attending University. Exams, were upon him and 
Carl wasn t very confident of passing in Anatomy. He decided 
to visit Exhibition Camp and see his pal, Mike Bicknell, who 
had already joined up. Carl met Captain Barton in one of the 
huts. "Take off your clothes," ordered Barton. Carl disrobed and 
the captain examined him. "Sign here," ordered Barton. Carl 
signed a paper. "You ll draw a uniform at the Stores and report 
to the B. section staff-sergeant," Barton informed him. "But I m 
not so sure I want to join up," protested Carl. The captain smiled. 
"Is that so! Well, you signed that attestation paper, so you re in 
the army now!" 

Lifeboat drills were frequent and every man was supposed to 
have his lifebelt near him at all hours, day and night. A brief 
"log" of the ocean trip follows: 

Sunday, April i8th - -Sailed from Halifax at 6 p.m. Cold, 
foggy weather. A few become seasick. 

Monday, April igth - - Made fair headway. Cold. Foggy. 
Raining. Rough sea. Many more become seasick. 

Tuesday, April zoth - -Sea rough. Weather cold. Grampian 
disappears from our view. Most of us are now seasick. 

Wednesday, April 21 st - - Fog. Rain. Cold. Ship barely mov 
ing. Foghorn blowing and engines stopped for eight 
hours. Sea rough. Somewhere off coast of Newfoundland. 
Nearly everybody seasick. 

Thursday, April 22nd - - Fog gone. Good headway. Beautiful 
sunshine. Sea somewhat calmer. 

By this time even many of the ship s crew were seasick. But, 
best of all, those laddy bucks who had dragged chunks of fat meat 
before the eyes of their sick comrades, the first few days out, 
were now seasick themselves. And many of those who had 
already recovered from their mal de mer took sweet revenge by 
displaying nauseating pork and other unmentionable delicacies 
before the bile-green eyes of their erstwhile tormentors. 


Friday, April 2$rd - - Clear weather. Calm sea. Grampian 
sighted at 11.30 a.m.; comes alongside at 12.30 p.m. 
Westbound tramp steamer passes between us and Gram 
pian at 3 p.m. We hear band playing on Grampian. 
Saturday, April 24th - - Warm, clear day. Canvas bath rigged 

on deck. Men enjoyed open-air plunge in the sea-water. 
In the evening the senior noncoms. entertained the troops with 
a Grand Concert, "in aid of the Mine Sweepers Fund." Sergeant- 
Major Leleu of No. 2 Casualty Clearing Station, an original 
Fifth man, officiated as Chairman; and Staff Overend was a 
member of the Committee in charge. The Fifth s contribution to 
the program consisted of a song by George Brookes, and recita 
tions by Irvine Dyment and Frank Fletcher. Among the enter 
tainers were Sergeants Clapham and McKee, who later became 
star comedians with the C-2 Concert Party. There were over 
twenty numbers on the program and to say that "a good time 
was had by all" is putting it very mildly. 

Sunday, April 2$th - - Fair weather. Church parade on deck, 
when Cruiser Cumberland appears. Church parade dis 
misses itself, as men rush to side and greet cruiser boat- 
party which comes aboard. One of boat-party said to be 
a prince, but we can t find out which prince. 
Monday, April 2.6th - - Weather clear. Good headway. Cum 
berland in lead, then Northland, with Grampian astern. 

Tuesday, April zjth - - Same as previous day. Communica 
tion (intership) has been kept up by visual signalling. In 
this manner we were informed on Sunday, by the Cum 
berland, of the First Division s great stand at Ypres, dur 
ing the first gas attack. Are now in submarine zone and all 
lifeboats swing outboard. Great excitement caused this 
a.m. when some loud gun reports were heard. All rushed 
on deck expecting to see German Grand Fleet - - but it 
was only the Cumberland laying some test shots. 
It so happened that, when the Cumberland s guns fired, Staff 
Alden was lying sound asleep in his cabin bunk. He leaped out of 
his berth, wrapped himself in what he thought was a life pre 
server, and rushed on deck. There was considerable laughter when 
everybody saw Frank with a pair of boxing gloves wrapped 
around his middle. They were tied together by their laces and had 


been hanging alongside Frank s life preserver. In his precipitate 
rush towards safety the Staff had grabbed the wrong protectors. 

Wednesday, April z8th - - Beautiful weather. Cumberland 
leaves us in charge of Destroyers Boyne and Foyle which 
have come rushing up from the northeast. Lundy Island 
sighted 6 p.m. Are entering Bristol Channel. Pilot comes 
aboard about midnight. Ship anchors shortly after. 
Thursday, April zgth - - Anchor weighed about 4 a.m. Dock 

at Avonmouth at 6.30 a.m. 

Throughout the voyage Major Kappele had been greatly inter 
ested in a Belgian civilian who mixed rather freely with our 
officers and showed an undue interest in the ship s course and 
things military. The Major gradually became convinced that the 
man was a spy. In a Folkestone hotel, a few weeks later, Kappele 
again met the mysterious civilian and reported his suspicions to 
the proper authorities. The man was arrested and flung into jail. 
He proved to be a Belgian Count engaged in espionage for the. 
Allies - - was, in fact, considered one of our most valuable intel 
ligence agents! However, Major Kappele was thanked by our 
Headquarters Staff and complimented on his alertness and powers 
of observation. 


Keep the home fires burning, while our hearts are yearning; 
Though we re far away from home we dream of you. 
There s a silver lining, through the dark clouds shining - - 
Turn the black clouds inside out, till the boys come home. 

(Col. Farmer s favorite chorus) 


(April 29, 1915, to September 15, 1915) 

The King -was pleased 
but I wasn t!" 


beautiful sightwas 
our first glimpse of 
England ! The en 
trance to the Port 
of Avonmouth is 
one of the most 
magnificent in the 
whole world. After passing Lundy Isle on our port side, the troops 
were treated to a picture that still lives in their memories. Enter 
ing Bristol Channel and passing in turn the Counties of Devon 
and Somerset, each new mile seemed more beautiful than the 
last. On our left were the rugged cliffs of South Wales, with the 
outer harbors of Cardiff and the famous resort town of Newport 
gradually becoming visible. On our right and considerably closer 
to us was the expansive stretch of Barnstaple Bay; then the town 
of Ilfracombe, perched on the hills and with a natural harbor at 
its base; Combe Martin, Lynnmouth, Weston-Super-Mare, 
Clevedon, Lyndney, the Flatholm lighthouse, the Severn Bridge 
- the whole hundred-mile trip from the sea had been a dazzling 
panorama of breath-taking scenery. We were seeing, with our 
own eyes, those dream-places of which many of us had often read, 
but had never expected actually to see. 

We had left behind the ice and snows of Canada and, after 
eleven somewhat dreary days at sea, had now found a land of 
deep green fields and hills. As far as the eye could reach, deep, rest 
ful green was the dominating color. Then, as we drew closer, the 
gayly-colored bloom of Spring flowers, the shapely hedges and 



the quaintly-beautiful architecture of Old England s buildings 
fascinated not only the Canucks but returning Britishers as well. 
Then came the hustle and bustle of disembarkation. Hardly 
had we stepped ashore when relatives of many of the English- 
born men rushed up to greet them. The Canucks, too, were not 
without their share of attention, and many a tunic-button and 
cap-badge fell into feminine hands - - in exchange for a kiss, an 
address, and in some cases an invitation to spend leave at the 
home of the recipient. 

Great Western trains were ready and waiting to carry us farther 
on our journey. These trains seemed very small in comparison 
with the coaches we had known in Canada and the Canucks 
didn t forget to twit the Old Country lads about them. A supply 
of chalk was mysteriously conjured up from somewhere and we 
soon had the coaches covered with great big scrawls that told all 
and sundry we were from the Land of the Maple Leaf and on our 
way to Berlin - - or bust ! 

Would we go through London - "London, arf the bleedin 
world, not London in the blewdy bush" - and get a glimpse of 
the "Big Smoke," the "Place where the King worked"? That 
question was excitedly discussed. No! We were going to skirt 
London, we learned, and go south to some part of Kent. Conse 
quently, the looks of rapture on the faces of the Old Country 
fellows gave place to looks of disappointment and dismay. We 
did, however, pass through the outskirts of the City of Fog and 
experienced something of the "sights and sounds and smells of 
mighty Lunnon." 

Just outside of London our train stopped on a siding to let 
some west-bound trains go by. They turned out to be hospital 
trains, and, upon our enquiring of a railway worker why there 
were so many, his answer was that the trains were full of "Can- 
eye-dian wounded, what ad mide such a gordawmighty mess of 
Jerry, about a week before at Wipers." 

J[f we were somewhat amused at the small size of the English 
trains, we marveled at the ease and absolute absence of jerking 
with which they started and stopped. One great fault with the 
coaches we occupied was that they possessed no latrine accommo 
dation. It was, therefore, a rather embarrassing journey for many 
of the lads. All doors were kept locked, so that it was impossible 
to descend at the few wayside stations where we halted. Conse- 








J a 
* K 

S S 
c o 
o 5 




W o 

c ; 

5 o 

a c 


*-H rT 

1. Bill Plowright, K. in A. 2. Andy Nicholson and Andy Parker, K. in A. 

3. Draft from No. 2 Casualty Clearing Station, Toronto. 
4. The Lads from Bolton. 

1. Andy Patterson, our War Correspondent. 2. Landing at Avonmouth. 

3. Art Husband, died 1920. 4. Irwin, Elliott and O Leary at Otterpool Dental Tent. 

5. Part of the "White Army," at the Battle of Leaside April 1, 1915. 

1. En route to Halifax we stop at Moncton and Truro and parade for exercise. 

2. Captain Nicholson, Captain Silcox, Colonel Farmer and Major Jones. 

3. Captain Barton, Major Jones, Captain Buck and Captain Clark. 


quently, the men were forced to take advantage of opened win 
dows, and, with their natural modesty, they chose times when 
they thought no town or village was near. Unfortunately, they 
very often failed to allow for the speed of the rapidly-moving 
train, and it is feared that more than one town and village saw 
some queer sights and received some strange presents as our 
crowded train flashed through them. We even saw Colonel 
Farmer throwing one or two suspicious-looking newspaper pack 
ages out the window of his coach, and we were rather astonished 
that a full lieutenant-colonel in His Majesty s Forces was not 
immune to the calls that were just then bothering the other 
ranks of the unit. 

Happy Carlisle noticed that considerable moisture had col 
lected on the window near where he was sitting. Someone ex 
plained that this was caused by the English train custom of 
having engines take on water while they were in motion. To 
better see how this was accomplished, Happy raised the window 
and stuck out his head. The lads in the compartments just 
ahead must have been tipped off that Carlisle had his head out 
the window, for the drenching he received dampened more than 
his curiosity, and Happy was only too well aware that the 
engine was not to blame. 

It was on this first train trip in England that many of the lads 
discovered what excellent razor strops could be made from those 
leather straps which were inserted in the coach doors for raising 
and lowering the door-glass. There was not one strap remaining 
in its rightful place after we were two hours on that train. We 
had been taught to improvise ! 

Money was rather scarce as we had not been paid since leaving 
Halifax. But, at that, Canadian money was valueless. The result 
was that, although we tried to purchase food at Reading and 
other stopping places, Canadian money was of no use to those who 
had any. Jimmy Henderson, with his usual Scotch foresighted- 
ness, had a shilling and a thri penny bit; and the fellows in his 
compartment were about the only ones able to get anything to 
eat throughout the long and wearisome day. But, Jim always did 
have more foresight than forethought ! 

Finally, after about twelve hours journey, we detrained at 
Westenhanger, in Kent, and set out on the march to Sandling 
where comfortable huts were said to be awaiting us. This march 


while only about two miles in length, was the worst the men 
had made up to this time. They had had nothing to eat since 
about 4.30 that morning. They had been sitting cramped in 
crowded compartments all day, and this, added to their rough 
sea voyage and in many cases acute seasickness, had left many of 
them frightfully weak. It was not to be wondered at, therefore, 
that the march to Sandling was a slow and painful affair, and 
that many dropped exhausted and had to be carried by ambulance. 

Sandling Camp^^ 

At last, however, we reached camp. The huts were all that 
could be desired, but something had gone wrong with the com 
missary department and there was not a thing for us to eat when 
we arrived. Many of the fellows broke camp and made their way 
to nearby villages and inns, where they satisfied their hunger and 
slaked their thirst. About three hours later those who stayed hope 
fully and faithfully in camp received an issue of tea, bread and 
jam. We learned afterward, that the fault lay not with our own 
unit s commissariat but with some Imperial Service Corps which 
had been instructed to have food ready for us when we 
reached camp. 

Who doesn t remember our first morning in Sandling Camp? 
Just back of the huts was a small wood to which many of the men 
made their way immediately after the morning roll-call. There 
they wrote letters, lounged about among the trees, and enjoyed 
the luxury of the rich green grass and the beauty of the many 
wild flowers. Here were violets, primroses, cowslips and wood- 
anemojies - - all in full bloom. It was hard to realize that back 
in Canada there still were snow, ice and cold weather. It was in 
this little wood, too, that the Canucks made their first acquaint 
ance with" many of the sweet-throated songbirds of Old England. 

Next day saw the beginning of an intensive period of training 

- in forming fours, route marching, applying bandages, physical 
jerks, carrying stretchers (by numbers), polishing buttons, and kit 
inspections, etc., etc., that was to continue till we left for France. 

Memory recalls only a few of the highlights of our stay at 
Sandling; but who will ever forget the first time he heard the 
dirty unkempt urchins in Folkestone harbor, yelling "Can-eye - 
dian Eye-penny!" as they dived into the stinking mud and slime 


for the coins tossed down to them? Or the fun - - short-lived - 
that we had for the first few days when Maestrone s Restaurant 
and the Queen s Bar were open to the troops? 

Foolish Questions <?*& 

Were you at the Y.M.C.A. hut the night Dyment was hypno 
tized and ate the raw potatoes and tried to shave himself with a 
piece of charcoal - - and afterwards claimed he knew what he 
was doing all the time he was supposed to be hypnotized? 

Do you remember when the "Rah Rah Boys" got the after 
noon off, to hear Hilaire Belloc in Folkestone town hall - - and 
how their hut mates had prepared things for them when they 
got back? 

Do you recall the trenches we dug and the pipes we laid on the 
big hill behind the camp? 

Were you one of the "awkward squad" that was Staff Alden s 
particular delight? 

Did you get change for a florin when you had given a half- 
crown piece in payment at a Hythe shop? 

Were you one of those in that long line-up that used to wait 
for the wet canteen to open? 

Did you smoke cigars, to the astonishment of the civvies who 
gaped at the sight of a fullbuck private with such a lot of money 
to burn? 

Did you get fooled by the potency of Bass s Ale, or those 
thri penny pints of old English ale to which Jack Allen introduced 
some of the Canucks at the camp canteen? 

Did you tell those English girls that you had a ranch at Han- 
lan s Point, or that your dad owned a silver mine at Parkdale? 

Were you one of those who used to ride back to camp on that 
last train from Folkestone, without ever paying your fare? 

Did you try to dodge Nobby Clark s sanitary fatigues - - only 
to run slam-bang into worse fatigues with Sergeants Camps 
and Wager? 

Were you one of those who used to envy Tommy Windsor s 
unique ability to look busy as he walked around camp, hammer 
in hand, dodging all parades, route marches and drills? 

Do you remember our first issue of heavy, black army boots - 
"Kitchener Kicks" we called them - -with the hobnailed soles 


and the crescent-shaped steel plates on the toes, and the heavy 
steel horseshoe-shaped plates on the heels? And the blistered heels 
and chafed insteps which resulted from wearing them the first 
few times? 

Were you one of the B. Section lads who used to watch Alf. 
Pountney energetically shining his shoes and buttons, while he 
sang at the top of his voice : 

When the fields are white with dysies, 

A.nd the rowses bloom agyne, 

Let the lovelight in your eyes more brightly burn; 

For I love you sweetheart ownly, 

So remember when you re lownely - 

When the fields are white with dysies Til return. 

Do you remember the nightly arguments in C. Section hut, 
between the two Jocks, McLaren and McFarlane - - about the 
relative merits (if any !) of "Glesca" and Edinburrrgh? 

Did you see that famous battle between Reginald Seneca 
Smith and his fellow flyweight, Nobby Clark? If you didn t you 
missed something ! It happened one hot, sultry night about twenty 
minutes after Lights Out had blown. Staff Smith was sitting 
writing letters in the sergeants hut. Because of the heat, he was 
clad only in an undershirt. The hut lights were still burning, for 
although Reggie had heard Lights Out, he considered that order 
applied only to privates and lower ranks than staff-sergeants. 
Besides, he had some long letters to write to some people a long 
way off, and he had some long words to put in those letters. 

He was just in the middle of an eight-syllabled word when 
Orderly Sergeant Clark entered the hut. You ll ave to put owt 
them there loights roight awiye, Smith!" called out Nobby; 
"Loights owt blowed nearly an arf hour agow." Reggie glared 
at the orderly sergeant. "I shall do no such absurd thing!" he 
asserted; "and, on future occasions, Sergeant Clark, you will 
please address me properly as Staff Sergeant Smith !" he added. 

Meanwhile Nobby undressed. He peeled off down to his under 
shirt and was about to flop onto his bunk when he noticed that 
the staff was unconcernedly going on with his writing, without 
any apparent intention of turning off the lights. "Hey, Smith! 
Turn owt them bloody lights and get to bed. Us other blowkes 
as to bleedin well sleep, if you aven t!" 


This was too much for Reggie. After forcefully admonishing 
Nobby to be "decidedly more circumspect in his language and to 
refrain from such uncouth, rude and futile vulgarisms of speech, 
and to betake himself to the uttermost depths of Hades," he 
resumed his writing. 

"To hell with them harguments!" retorted Nobby; "Them 
loights is gowin owt, no matter if you re a bloody general - 
and I m a-gowin to put em out!" he declared. With that he 
switched off the lights and turned in. Reggie was up like a shot 
and switched the lights on again. No sooner was Smith back at 
his letter-writing than Clarke was off his bunk and over to the 
light switch. As fast as he could turn off the lights, Reggie would 
switch them on. 

Goodness only knows how many times they were switched on 
and off; and far be it from us to repeat the torrid epithets that 
were hurled back and forth during the alternating periods of 
light and gloom. Eventually, Reggie decided that enough was 
enough, so, just as Nobby was about to turn the lights off for the 
umpteenth time, Reggie dropped him with a flying tackle he had 
learned in his Pharmacy School days. 

And there in their shirt-tails they wrestled and fought and 
rolled, all over the slivery hut floor. Chunks of skin were knocked 
off their knees, elbows and other places; splinters entered their 
anatomies where the flesh was softest and their bodies most vul 
nerable. There is no telling who would have won, for, after 
about twenty minutes, the other sergeants ended hostilities by 
throwing pail after pail of dirty stagnant water over the two 
battlers. Goodness only knows how long the water had been 
standing in those fire buckets, but it must have been a long time, 
judging by the aroma of the two scrappers when they rose 
drenched and steaming from the floor. Next morning the two 
gladiators limped painfully about their duties and there was con 
siderable adhesive tape and court-plaster missing from the first- 
aid panniers. 


On the 24th of May we moved from Sandling to Otterpool 
where we were to remain under canvas during the rest of our 
training days in England. The routine of training was similar to 
that at Sandling. 


Our Otcerpool Camp location was almost ideal. The tents 
were pitched in a practically treeless, level, grassy field, bordered 
at the back and on both sides by thick green hedges. Fronting us 
was a wide shallow valley, which gradually rose and blended 
into low graceful hills. Entrance to camp was off the main Ash- 
ford road and, with the exception of the Sixth Field Ambulance 
which was in a field immediately west of ours, and the Second 
Heavy Battery which was near a small woods about five hundred 
yards back of us, no other troops were in our immediate neigh 
borhood. Consequently, we never experienced any of the inter- 
unit rivalries so prevalent where several units were close to one 

_The Horse Transport lines were in an adjoining field, just back 
of the main camp. Only a thick hedge separated the two fields 
and this made an excellent wind-break for the horses. Shortly 
after we arrived here we received our allotment of horses, ambu 
lances, general service wagons and other transport equipment; 
and our horsemen had a very busy time from then on, training 
the new animals and getting acquainted with the unfamiliar 

It was shortly after our arrival at this camp that Charley 
Scowcroft won his lance-corporal s stripe for hanging on to a 
runaway team; and that Irvine Dyment, his wagon orderly, was 
severely injured and got a few days in hospital as his reward for 
the same mad ride through the town of Sellindge. 

Here it was, too, that we celebrated Dominion Day, in races, 
games and other sports - - when Frank Beattie and Bill Finn ran 
their never-to-be-forgotten Marathon race. It was about this time 
that Finn lost "three bloody quid," as he so vividly put it. He 
was referring to the fact that he had left his wide leather money- 
belt, containing three golden sovereigns, hanging in the camp 
comfort station, and when he went to look for them they had 
disappeared. From that moment any reference to Finn s loss 
could always produce from him a most blood-curdling flow of 
invectives. Bill left us a few weeks later, to go to a sports meet 
at Stamford Bridge, and he may be running yet, for we never saw 
him again. Never can we forget him and his cusswords - - and 
the way in which the Three Bills (Finn, Howell and Marsh) used 
to lament the way in which the capitalists bled the country. 
Verily were those three lads about twenty years ahead of the times ! 


Perhaps some of the men may remember the obstacle race in 
which contestants had to crawl under a tarpaulin which was 
staked tightly to the ground, squeeze through some small barrels 
and squirm their way through other obstacles. Bob Hare won 
this race. The hundred-yard dash was won by Red McKenzie. 
There was a sack race, too, but we can not recall the winner s 

Considerable documentation was carried out while we were at 
Otterpool. Part of this consisted of the making of a Short Form 
of Will by every officer and man. A copy of this Will was in 
every man s paybook. In the course of time many of the Wills 
were acted upon and found fully legal. As late as 1932 one of our 
Otterpool staff-sergeants was called into court to identify the 
signature he had placed on one fellow s Will seventeen years 

Some of the lads got down to actual fighting at Otterpool, in 
preparation for active service. Art Tucker and Carl Hill had a 
little difference which, to the amusement of all the boys, they 
settled for all time with the gloves. Heavy Cardwell and Fred 
Wardell also resorted to fisticuffs. It is doubtful if any of these 
lads could now tell you what their private wars were about. 

Gordon Rosser, with his powers of observation keenly devel 
oped through years of Boy Scout training and frequent references 
to Baden-Powell s official manual, called out the guard one night, 
to warn the sleeping troops of an approaching Zeppelin - - only 
to have them discover for him that it was merely the rising 
full moon ! 

It was at Otterpool, too, that Art. Husband, returning from 
leave one midnight, brought back such glowing tales of Dublin 
and the Irish people: "Biggest brewery in the world- -finest 
library in Europe - - largest park in the Empire - - and the most 
hospitable people in the whole universe." Hubbie didn t quit his 
descriptions until just before Reveille, and then only because his 
stock of superlatives had run out. 

Jim McGillivray, who later went to the 28th Battalion and 
won one of the Second Division s first Military Medals, retained 
his Western-Canadian ideas, to which he gave voice one night 
he was able to come by train from Folkestone and hop the 
Westenhanger fence, without paying his fare: "It s no harm to 
cheat the C. P. R.," Jim would say, "they took plenty from us!" 


Mac had better luck than Baldjr Rutherford who, when trying 
to get back to camp from Westenhanger before Lights Out, took 
a short cut across the fields. He missed the right path and blun 
dered on to the dumping grounds for the honeydew wagons. 
When he finally reached camp the other inmates of his tent needed 
no second sniff to detect his presence, and his mistake ! and he 
succeeded in getting inside the tent only after removing every 
stitch of his clothing and giving his body a thorough scrubbing 
with the ice-cold water at the ablution tables. 

War s Alarms!*^ 

One morning Colonel Farmer had occasion to visit the officers 
latrine. A few minutes after he entered the sacred precincts of 
that canvas enclosure he was heard cursing and shouting at the 
top of his voice. He was yelling for the sanitary sergeant - - but 
no sanitary sergeant came. So the colonel shouted for the orderly 
sergeant - - and no orderly sergeant showed up. Then the Old 
Man roared for the sergeant-major. He was now almost inco 
herent with rage and his bellowing fairly shook the tents - - but 
no sergeant-major answered his summons. So the colonel called 
for the bugler, and the bugler cdme! "Blow the Alarm," ordered 
the frenzied Commanding Officer. The bugler blew, and blew, 
and blew, but only a few grinning privates came on to the 
parade ground. "Blow it again!" fumed the colonel. The bugler 
blew - - and there came running up, Sanitary Sergeant Clark, 
Orderly Sergeant Wager and Sergeant-Major Williams, the 
latter breathlessly demanding to know what all the excitement 
was about. ... A few minutes later one of the sanitary squad 
was hailed into the orderly room where he received a severe 
reprimand - - for failing to put a supply of khaki paper where 
he had been instructed to place it by the sanitary sergeant, and 
where it wasn t to be found just a few minutes before, when the 
colonel needed it most. 

Leonardo Co veil i and Francesco Restivo were two to whom 
Otterpool brought good luck. One day Italy formally declared 
war on Germany, so the colonel had the two swarthy sons of 
Sunny Italy paraded before him. He complimented them on be 
longing to such an heroic nation and gave them twenty-four 
hours leave to celebrate the occasion. They did ! 



"To WE I 


\ L.E 


K -*v - 






Ml L.E 


While we are writing about these two Italians we must men 
tion that, in our training days, these fellows were kept on an 
almost permanent sanitary fatigue. If our camp held the record 
for being the cleanest in the Kentish district, much of the credit 
is due Covelli and Restivo. Who doesn t remember the thought 
less way in which we used to dump our mess tins and clean 
them with the sandy soil from under the big tree over by the 
cookhouse? When Covelli or Restivo would find the mess we 
had made, it was always: "Who eata here? Who eata here? 
Santissima Madonna, mia! I make-a report to Sarja-Maij. !" 

And, remember when they were on guard one night, with 
orders to place under arrest some absentees whenever they showed 
up? Morning came and the missing men were found in their 
tents, having dodged the guard tent and come in through the 
hedge. When Jack Williams asked the two Italians why the 
missing men had not been arrested, the reply he got was : "Please - 
a Sarja-Maij, the damma men come-a by backside of carnpa - 
alia time-a go through the haige!" 

The two sons of Sunny Italy proved themselves first-class com 
rades and, later on, they were not called upon to do more than 
their share of the dirty work. Naturally, they had to put up with 
considerable teasing, but the fellows soon found out that the two 
Italians could hand out as much as they received. Here is a song 
the lads used to sing about them : 

(Tune - - Were Marching to Zion) 

Covelli Restivo 

Alia time plenty fatigue-o! 

Sarja-de-Maij, the men go through the haige - 

Sonama beecha nobon! 

The Y.M.C.A. tent and the wet canteen were located in a 
field just across the road from camp. These two large marquees 
were the goals of many of the men, between parades and when 
off duty. A few of our boys helped the Y.M. manager during 
rush hours, and it was noticed that these men had an abundant 
supply of chocolate-bars, cigarettes and malted milk tablets, 
etc., every time they returned to their tents. The wet canteen 
was open only one half-hour at noon, and about three hours in 
the evening. Consequently, it was a matter of rapid absorption, 
but some of the boys were there for the opening of the canteen 


and remained until the last minute of its closing. Many s the 
time Alec Donaldson and Bert Dyke were late falling in for 
parade - - friend Dyke wiping foam from his mustache with 
the back of his hand, as he ran up to take his place in the ranks 
of his section. 

We have often wondered if Captain Nicholson ever found out 
the truth about that wonderful night when the Fifth was out on 
manoeuvres and he was officer commanding camp, with just a 
handful of men. In some strange manner a young and very 
pretty girl, dressed attractively in blue, arrived at the guard tent 
shortly after midnight. She had had a little too much of the cup 
that cheers and she was looking for Private Roy Flynn. Somehow 
or other she had heard that he was the handsomest man in the 
unit and she had come all the way from London to meet him. 
Flynn wasn t available so, to soothe and rest the amorous lady, 
the corporal of the guard took her into the pack-store marquee 
where the quartermaster-sergeant was lying flat on his back, 
asleep and snoring. Right alongside the quartermaster-sergeant 
a bed was made for the attractive miss and the corporal left the 
tent, with the feeling of a good deed well done. At Reveille 
the quartermaster-sergeant wakened to find the scantily robed girl 
lying beside him, but before any explanations could be made, the 
corporal of the guard arrived on the scene, bustled the now sober 
young lady into her suit of blue, and led her to the cookhouse. 
There she was given some breakfast and ushered out of camp. 
She had no sooner gone than Captain Nicholson appeared on the 
scene. He said he had heard strange sounds during the night, but 
all his questioning elicited no information about the midnight 
visit and the all-night billeting of the beautiful girl in blue. And 
the quartermaster-sergeant left the rum alone for fully two days 
after the affair ! 

Perhaps a short (but true) story will serve to revive memories 
of the meals we got at Otterpool. The time is noon. The men 
have just been issued their dinners. Along comes Orderly Officer 
Barton, followed by Orderly Sergeant Camps, followed by 
Camps little yellow dog. "Any complaints?" asks Captain Bar 
ton. "Yes, sir," says Private Flynn. "The meat s not fit to eat!" 
Barton looked at the food, sniffed at it - - but was careful not to 
taste it. "What s the matter with the meat?" he demanded. "I 
don t know," answered Flynn. "But I saw Camps dog taste 


some of it and then turn around and lick its own hindquarters to 
get the bad taste out of its mouth!" 

Speaking of Cook Gilpin reminds us that it was a favorite 
remark of the quartermaster-sergeant s staff that "You ll have to 
improvise." As an improviser John Gilpin deserves special men 
tion. One day he used Red Sowden s undershirt for a sack in 
which to steam a plum-duff pudding - - an improvisation that 
his mind alone could think of. Apropos of the same chap we must 
give some verse that was current at that time : 


John Qilpin was a citizen 

Of old Toronto town 

And when the present war broke out 

His was the first name down. 

They signed him on, they made him cook^, 
And cook, is he today. 
His stews are noted far and wide 
As " (jilpin s Consomme. 1 

Week, in, week, out, from dawn till dark, 
Old John stews o er his stew. 
Week, in, week, out, the men all gag 
And grumble at his brew. 

It isn t all poor Qilpin s fault 
The stew gives such a shock. 
He cannot make de luxe bouillon 
With bully beef for stock- 

His "mystery" is not wasted though, 
For, just to keep the peace, 
It s used for "dubbin" on our shoes^ 
Also for axle grease. 

And when Jack, gets to heaven (?) 
If he ll heed our advice, 
He ll take some of his stew along 
For the gates of Paradise. 

He could put some on the hinges; 
He could "grease" Saint Peter s hand 
And thus the stew (and Jack.} might get 
Into the Promised Land. 


If Gilpin wasn t the cleanest cook in the army, he was, beyond 
the shadow of a doubt, the most resourceful. Time after time we 
saw him take cooking shortcuts that were marvels of ingenuity. 
One day he boiled a mess of rice in one of the tea dixies - 
without stopping to rinse out the dregs of tea that nestled at the 
bottom of the pot. When the rice came to a boil and was stirred, 
the tea-leaves mixed with the rice - - but that didn t disturb 
Jack Gilpin! He simply reached for a couple of handfuls of 
currants and threw them into the dixie. "That fixes it!" he ex 
plained. They ll think the tea-leaves are currants, too. They 
can t tell em apart." 

Surely it must have been Gilpin who inspired the author who 
wrote the words for that famous soldier s song, "Oh it s a 
Lovely War." We give one verse and chorus of this heart-felt 
ditty : 

Come to the cookhouse, door, boys; sniff at the lovely stew! 
Who is it sdys the colonel gets better grub than youl 
Any complaints this morning 7 . Any complaints - - not me! 
What s the matter with lumps of onions floating about your teal 


Oh, oh, oh, it s a lovely war! 

Who wouldn t be a soldier, eh? 

Oh, it s a shame to take the pay! 

As soon as Reveille is blown, 

though we re feeling as heavy as lead, 

Oh, we never get up till the sergeant brings 
our breakfasts up to bed! 

Oh, oh, oh, it s a lovely war! 

What do we want with eggs and ham 

When we ve got stew, hardtack, and jam 1 . 

Form fours, right turn, 

What do we do with the money we earn 7 . 

Oh, oh, oh, it s a lovely war. 

One character who was always popular was Jimmy Driscoll, 
the mail man. Usband, not Osborne; Waite, not White; T. 
High All," for T. I. Hall! - -Jimmy dropped his aitches rather 
promiscuously, and added them on with equal abandon, but 
"Come and get your mail, boys" was always a welcome bugle 
call. Another favorite call was "No parade today," but it had to 
be a very, very wet day before the men were given an opportunity 
to hear that call ! Remember how, at the least sign of rain during 


a drill period, we used to look skyward and utter one of our most 
sincere prayers: "Send her down, Davie, send her down?" 

And, speaking of bugles, do you remember when the colonel 
ordered Horace McKillop to practise Last Post for a whole week, 
at the end of which the Commanding Officer was to hear it and 
decide whether McKillop could play it satisfactorily or not? 
Well, friend Mac practised day after day, until we all thought 
the bugle and Mac, too, must burst! Finally, the seventh day 
arrived. Mac had learned to blow the call perfectly, but, as the 
fateful evening drew near, he became frightfully nervous. To 
brace his nerves and fortify his wind supply he visited the wet 
canteen somewhat frequently, and it so happened that, as 9.30 
approached, Mac s legs were somewhat unsteady and he couldn t 
blow a note of Last Post. Colonel Farmer stood by the orderly 
room tent waiting for the call. Mac took up his position just 
outside a bell tent in which Bugler Frank Temperton was wait 
ing with another bugle. Sharp at 9.30 McKillop raised his bugle 
to his lips, puffed out his cheeks, and went through all the 
motions of blowing, while, inside the tent, Temperton actually 
blew the all-important call. Colonel Farmer looked, listened 
and then complimented McKillop on the great improvement a 
week s practice had made in his bugling ! 

All will recall, too, the armed guards we were called upon to 
do at Otterpool. There we were, with red-cross brassards on one 
arm - - and a rifle over the other ! - - giving the lie to Geneva 
and the sanctioned usages of war. If any one of us ever took this 
guard seriously that one was not Happy Carlisle. Happy used to 
march up and down his beat, rifle over his shoulder, singing at 
the top of his voice that old favorite of his: 


1 never shall forget the night - - the night I fought Jackjohnson! 
The house was packed, it was a sight, the night I fought Jack Johnson. 

The light was so bad, 1 could scarce see a pin, 

I couldn t see Johnson when Johnson walked in; 

I turned to my second; "Look, Happy!" I tried, 

And to get out of it, loudly I cried : 
"Referee, listen to me, I cannot see his face in the dark. 
He s as black as our chimney stack, his features are much too dark; 
So, please, referee, tis essential to me, that on him you place a mark; 
Whitewash his face, please, cause I cannot see his jazv in the dark - 


Well, they took me out into the ring and I made one rush at Johnson; 

In about two seconds you couldnt tell which was me and which was 


I made him run all round the ring tiddley-o-dee, 
He ran like a deer, but he couldnt catch me; 
I looked at my second there, standing in white, 
Then I suddenly saw Johnson start swinging his right - 

Then I saw the old homestead and faces I loved 

I saw England s valleys and dells, 

On the night I fought Jack Johnson. 

My second took me to my chair on the night I fought Jack Johnson, 

And wasn t I glad to get out there, away from Mr. Johnson! 
The bell for the second went ring-tin g-a-ling; 
They said "The bell s ringing! 11 I said "Let it ring!" 
I trod up to Johnson the way Td been taught, 
And Til give you my word - - in a moment I thought 

I was fighting with the Seventh T(pyal Fusiliers, 

Not the grenadiers, nor the chandeliers! 

I thought I was fighting with the Seventh Royal Fusiliers, 

On the night I fought Jack Johnson. 

Well, in the seventh round I was going strong, but I didn want to 
hurt Mr. Johnson. 

I said to him, "So help my hand, youd better give in, Mr. Johnson." 
He didn t give in but he gave me a whelt 
Just near where the buckle s attached to my belt, 
In about an hour after, I woke up half dead, 
There were forty-nine doctors repairing my head: 

And there was I, lying on the floor, 

How they made me roar, they gave me "what for," 

When they got me up for one round more, 

Lord, how it did upset me! 

Someone said, "Ain t he looking white! 

Isn t he a fright! Who said he could fight 7 ." 

My second shouted, "Hit him with your right!" 

I said, "Johnson won t let me!" 

More Foolish Questions <^^ 

We had been in England long enough now to sort of "fit in" 
and it is easy to recall how exceptionally apt some of our lads 
became. There was rarely an instance when they were not equal to 
the demands placed on their "Can-eye-dian ingenuity." 


Were you one of those Hamilton lads who, when Charley 
Camps, the ex-street-car conductor, thumped his Reveille on the 
tents in the early morning, used to greet him with "Fares, please ! 
Move up to the front, there. Lots of room up front !"? 

Were you there, that dark night when Captain Clark turned 
over the joy-riding horse and gig to Ernie Gilmer and Ben Case, 
with instructions to take them to the transport lines? Instead of 
obeying the captain s orders the two full-bucks drove around to 
Harold Skilling s tent where Gilmer, mimicking Clark s voice, 
shouted out: "Hey, you inside there! Come out here and take 
this horse." Skilly, who had been sound asleep, thought it was 
Clark s voice, so he tumbled, half-dressed, out of his tent and 
grabbed the horse s bridle. Take this outfit to the transport 
lines," ordered an authoritative voice from behind the gig. 
Yes, sir," answered Skilly. And, as two shadowy figures slipped 
away in the inky darkness, Private Skilling took the horse and gig 
to the horse-lines. What he said next morning when Ben and Ernie 
confessed their part in the affair is best left to the imagination. 

Were you one of the fellows who used to help the hop-picking 
girls who came down from "Lunnon" for the Kentish hop 
season? And did you return to camp from some of those hop- 
picking expeditions with a balmy breath that redolently adver 
tised that you appreciated to the full what hops were for? 

Do you remember the day the news from France was some 
what dismaying and one of our lads said, with a sigh of relief, 
Well, the Army might be catching hell, but thank Heaven, 
we ve still got the super-macy of the seas !"? 

Were you on that route march one exceptionally hot and trying 
day, when the Fifth was marched down a shady lane and halted 
near an isolated farmhouse - - where the farmer was discovered 
in the act of broaching a large cask of ice-cold ale? The colonel 
paid the farmer for the ale and ordered it rationed out to his 
men - - pretending that the unit s opportune arrival was entirely 
accidental, and hiding the fact that the whole thing had been 
carefully prearranged by himself? 

Were you the sort of Canuck who searched in vain all over 
Hythe and Folkstone for chewing tobacco, apple pie with ice 
cream, chewing gum, and a cup of decent coffee? 

Many original Fifth men will remember at least one or two 
of the several aeroplanes which made forced landings in the 


level field just west of our camp. Whenever a plane was seen 
about to land, Colonel Farmer would hurry off, either by car or 
horseback, and invariably bring the airmen back to our officers 
mess for refreshments and questioning. It was the Old Man s 
fond hope that some day he would thus capture a German spy 
masquerading in the uniform of our Air Force. 

Perhaps you ll recall how Carl Hill and Mike Bicknell went 
up to London with their expenses budgeted down to the last 
farthing - - and how they had a whale of a time experiencing 
London s sights, sounds and smells? And Pier Morgan s trip to 
"Arf the Bleedin World," when he visited the War Office - 
and later on was pinched and thrown into clink for being with 
out a pass. When word came back to Otterpool about Pier s 
arrest the other ex-Boy Scouts thought it was terrible and that 
they were disgraced beyond redemption ! 

Were you there the day Harry Fryday was boasting about his 
strength and one of the lads bet him he couldn t even lift him 
self off the ground. Harry accepted the challenge. Two buckets 
were brought and with a foot in each Harry tried desperately to 
lift himself. The laughter of the onlookers only served to spur 
him on to greater efforts but he was finally forced to give in 
when the bucket handles had almost cut their way through his 
tugging fists. 

Were you in Tent Number Nine, playing poker, the day 
Orderly Officer Barton happened along and caught the fellows 
with a blanket spread on the floor-boards and a tell-tale "pot" 
of "tanners," thri penny bits," and "ha pennies" awaiting a 
winner? "I hope you men aren t gambling?" said Barton, passing 
on after a brief glance at the sinful layout. "No, sir, we re all 
Methodists in here!" came the answer from one of the scared 
players, and the game went on, thanks to the captain s tolerance. 

Perhaps you know something of that weird night when non- 
coms. Williams, Gardner and Busst played Don Quixote to a 
bibulous damsel in distress - - and the ultimate denouement when 
the irate husband of the more-or-less virtuous young lady ap 
peared unexpectedly upon the scene. All we know is that the 
three chivalrous noncoms. retreated rather timidly and precipi 
tately and didn t wait for the thanks of the grateful husband - 
who happened to be a Guardsman, about six-feet-four in height 
and a yard across the shoulders ! 










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A Qig and Some Qigglcs 

But let s get back to that joy-riding dog-cart. It was in this 
very same gig that the daughter of the Otterpool Manor House 
was being taken for a ride, one Saturday afternoon, by Captain 
Barton. Major Kappele and Captain Burgess, intent on having a 
game of billiards at the Hythe Club, elected to drive to town 
with them and, being trcs gcntils, sat in the front seat with 
Kappele doing the driving. It was a lovely midsummer s day. 
The sun shone brightly, the birds sang sweetly, the breezes blew 
gently and, except for a rather back-firing horse, nothing marred 
the day until the party were about half-way down that steep hill 
just west of Hythe. There they met one of those smoke-belching 
steam tractors hauling a train of wagons up the hill. Their horse 
shied, the maiden cried, and the driver tried (in vain) to control 
the frightened animal. The terrified steed veered over to the side 
of the road; one wheel of the gig ran up the bank, and the gallant 
major was dumped ingloriously out on the dusty road, where he 
was dragged along for some distance, damaging considerably his 
knees, his elbows and his dignity. Burgess gathered in the reins 
with the crook of his cane and stopped the runaway horse. The 
major pulled himself together and remounted the dog-cart, 
leaving the driving to Captain Burgess. As was usual on Saturday 
afternoons, hundreds of foot-slogging soldiers were on their way 
to Hythe and enjoyed immensely the major s temporary down 
fall. However, the laughable upset failed to spoil the afternoon s 
fun for the two billiard addicts. They had their game and in due 
time returned to camp. 

On the following Sunday morning, the church parade was 
called a half-hour earlier than usual, and Major Kappele, not 
having sufficiently perused the orders, found himself in the 
latrine when the officers call was sounded. Not desiring to appear 
late on parade and receive from the irate colonel a public casti- 
gation, he decided to lie low, and totally disregarded several 
frantic bugle calls. Captain Burgess suddenly appeared at the 
latrine entrance: "For heaven s sake, major, the colonel has had 
the officers call blown five times especially for you, and he him 
self is going to blow up if you don t appear on parade!" But the 
major decided to stay where he was. "It s too late, now. I m 
going to remain here until the unit moves off." In due time the 


parade moved off, whereupon the major emerged from the 
redolent retreat and retired to his tent to fortify himself against 
the return of the unit from church parade. 

About an hour later the unit returned. Colonel Farmer strode 
straight to Kappele s tent. "Major Kappele!" he demanded 
hotly, "why were you absent from church parade this morning?" 
The major appeared very contrite. "I am very sorry, sir," he 
answered apologetically, "I intended to ask you to excuse me 
from parade on account of injury to my knees and elbows." 
Colonel Farmer fairly snorted. "It s a damned queer thing," he 
barked, "that you are quite able to go down to Hythe every 
afternoon, after parade, and yet are physically incapable of 
attending church service!" Major Kapelle was again saying how 
sorry he was, when the colonel turned abruptly away and went 
to his tent. A few minutes later, having meanwhile divested 
himself of boots, belt and tunic, the Old Man returned in his 
slippers to the major s tent. "I d like to see you in my tent for a 
moment, Dan," he announced. Over refreshments, they laughed 
about the whole matter and re-established the accord which had 
always obtained between them. The colonel never did explain, 
however, the source of his information about the major s fre 
quent pilgrimages to Hythe - - nor his conviction that billiards 
didn t constitute the total of the town s attractions. Verily, 
twas hard to fool the Old Man ! 

Another time the foot-sloggers had a good laugh was one day 
when we were out on one of our first route marches from Otter- 
pool Camp. We were proceeding blithely along - - on the right- 
hand side of the road ! - - when an Imperial unit came marching 
toward us. They were, as is the English custom, marching on 
their left-hand side of the road and, consequently, that brought 
them on the same side as ourselves. The two units were about 
twenty paces apart when both commanding officers halted their 
men. Colonel Farmer sat his horse, glaring defiantly at the 
English colonel. The English colonel walked his mount towards 
our Commanding Officer and, bidding him a polite "Good 
Morning," suggested that our unit was on the wrong side of the 
road. "They are, like hell!" roared the Old Man, at the aston 
ished Imperial, "I know damned well that you people over here 
keep to the left, but we re Canadians, thank Heaven, and we 
keep to the right- -and we won t budge one damned inch!" 


The English Commanding Officer smiled. "Very well, colonel," 
he agreed. Then, bringing his hand up in a courteous salute, he 
wheeled his horse and went back to the head of his own unit. 
Calmly he gave his men the order to march, right-inclined them 
to the other side of the road and led them past us. It was some 
moments before Colonel Farmer had recovered sufficiently to 
enable him to give the necessary orders to start us on our way 
again - - still on the right-hand side of the road ! As soon as a 
bend in the road hid us from the Imperials, however, we moved 
over to the left-hand side. From that day on, certain officious 
noncoms. kept up an almost continuous warning of "Keep to 
the left!" whenever we were on the march. 

From the aforementioned incident it might be inferred (and 
quite correctly!) that the colonel hadn t very much respect for 
some of the English customs and traditions. Perhaps, like many 
other Canadians, he had been brought up to believe that British 
fair-play, and everything else that was British, was absolutely 
the best in the world - - and had been rather astounded and dis 
appointed to find that many of their habits, methods and customs 
were a trifle below par, when judged by Canadian standards. 

Orderly Upom Episodes *^ 

The fawning, sycophantic, non-thinking type of Imperial 
noncom. and Tommy was, in the eyes of our colonel, an abom 
ination and a fraud. Whatever may have been our Commanding 
Officer s own faults and shortcomings - - and he had many, 
indeed ! - - he never failed to put interfering Imperials in what 
he considered their proper places. For instance, one of our men 
had been arrested in London - - for failing to salute an English 
officer, for unbuttoning his own tunic collar, for entering an 
out-of-bounds officers hotel, or some such heinous offence - 
and when brought back to Otterpool for trial, Colonel Farmer 
read the charge-sheet, then turned to the sergeant-major. "Bring 
in the witnesses against this man?" Sergeant-Major Williams 
paraded into the orderly room two Imperial military police 
corporals. As soon as Colonel Farmer saw that the witnesses 
were English noncoms. he flew into a rage. "Are these the only 
witnesses?" he demanded. Yes, sir," answered the sergeant- 
major. "Discharge the prisoner!" spluttered the colonel. 


wouldn t take the words of a dozen of these blankety-blank Im 
perial policemen against the word of one of my own men ! The 
case is dismissed!" Thereupon the two dumbfounded and dis 
comfited English military policemen were ushered out of the 
colonel s presence, and started on their journey back to London. 
But, just as the erstwhile prisoner was going out the tent door, 
Colonel Farmer called him back. "Damn you, Private Blank, 
you re lucky those witnesses weren t Canadians. I d have given 
you twenty-eight days Number One. And you ll get it, too, if 
you ever come before me again. Now get out!" Needless to add, 
Private Blank got out - - before the colonel changed his mind. 

Another prisoner who came before the Commanding Officer 
that very same morning was also lucky - - but not quite so 
fortunate as the previous one. This culprit was given the full 
twenty-eight days Number One. After he had been marched out 
of the orderly room, Sergeant- Major Williams spoke up: "Beg 
pardon, Colonel Farmer, but ow are we to tyke this man down 
to Shorncliffe?" The colonel favored the sergeant-major with a 
mystified stare. What do you mean - -Shorncliffe?" he de 
manded. ; Well, sir, it s loike this: You ve given this man 
twenty-eight dyes Number One, and that means that he must be 
turned over to the A. P.M. for punishment. Them s our orders, 
sir!" Colonel Farmer tapped a violent pencil-tattoo on the 
orderly room table, and cussed a few of those cusses that went so 
appropriately with his initials - - G. D. At last he looked up. 
"Bring the prisoner back here at once, sergeant-major. No 
blankety-blank-blank A. P.M. is going to have the satisfaction 
of punishing one of my men !" So the prisoner was brought back, 
and the colonel told him that he had been thinking the case 
over and had decided to reduce the sentence - - in the hope that 
the offender might appreciate the leniency and turn out to be a 
better soldier! The man was then given a sentence that would 
not necessitate his removal from our own unit - - twenty-one 
days Number One ! 

One morning Staff Deadman was sitting at his desk in the 
orderly room marquee, after the rest of the unit had marched 
away on manoeuvres. Shortly after leaving camp, Colonel 
Farmer galloped back to give Deadman some final instructions. 
In his typically impetuous manner he galloped his horse right 
into the orderly tent, where the animal reared up on its hind- 


quarters in a sudden halt. Deadman was so startled at seeing the 
horse s fore-legs pawing the air just above his head, he tipped 
over backwards and fell right out of the tent. The colonel 
shouted out the nearly forgotten instructions, wheeled the badly 
frightened and windy horse and galloped away - - leaving a pile 
of fertilizer on the marquee floor-boards as a souvenir of the 
hectic visit. It was only by the presence of the evidence, steaming up 
from the floor, that Deadman could convince himself that the 
whole episode was not a matter of imagination. 

The men used to get a great kick in listening to the reading of 
daily orders on the morning roll-call parades. One orderly ser 
geant read out, "The unit will parade at 8.30 for tactical exer 
cises," but he confused the word tactical with a similar word of 
the same number of letters but with an "s" for its third letter. 
The same noncom. informed the men that when they reached 
France they would not be allowed to send home the name of 
their corpse in a letter - - and he never could understand why the 
lads laughed at him! Later on, in France, he read out that, "In 
the forward areas all gas helmets must be worn at the Albert 
(Alert) position." To the end of the war that position for the gas 
mask was the Albert position to us. It was the custom of this 
same sergeant to order the men not to wash their mess-tins on 
the " absolution tybles." 

After a few weeks at Otterpool the men received word that 
Princess Mary had made a gift of chocolate to the unit, but no 
chocolate ever reached us; and, from then until the end of the 
war, there were expressions of disgust about the manner in which 
we were deprived of this gift. 

Sergeant-Major Williams had his troubles with the signallers. 
These six wigwaggers would leave camp early every week-day 
morning and go away off, and out of sight, into the fields near 
the old race-track. There they would practise with flags, telegraph 
keys and buzzers. Back in camp the unit would fall in for a route 
march. The bugler would blow "Signallers Fall In" - but never 
a signaller showed up. The call would be repeated a half-dozen 
times, but only after the unit had marched off without them and 
was well out of sight would the signallers come from behind 
trees and hedges and proceed, in their own leisurely way, to pass 
the hours until the return of the unit. The colonel promised pain 
ful treatment for their deafness but never cured them. 


Mention of the signallers reminds us that it was the corporal- 
signaller who came back from London with such interesting 
yarns about Jermyn Street, the Leicester Lounge, Piccadilly 
Circus and Effing Forest. How the Rah Rah Boys used to gather 
round when the blonde heart-wrecker told about the mysteries of 
the "Big Smoke" and the famous bush just outside the city ! And 
Old Simmy Simpson, too, never tired asking to hear the cor 
poral s adventures. Evidently old Simmy had been young him 
self, one long-ago day ! And, by the way, this old lad had the 
heart of a lion. We do not know what his real age was, but he 
must easily have been the oldest man in the unit. And, right 
from the day he enlisted to the day he was finally sent back from 
France, Simmy was never heard to grumble about the hard 
ships, and was never known to shirk even the toughest duty 

During our stay in Otterpool we marched over almost every 
road within a radius of twenty-five miles of camp. Ashford, 
Canterbury, Smeeth, Lympne, Hatch Park, Saltwood, Bonning- 
ton, the Romney Marshes, Newchurch, Priory Wood, Alding 
ton, Brabourne, Waltham, Postling, the Royal Military Road 
and Canal, Sandgate, Hythe, Sellindge, Monks Horton route 
marches, manoeuvres and pleasure trips acquainted us with these 
and many more places in the area. 

From Reveille, at 5 a.m., until Lights Out, at 10 p.m., we 
were going all the time. We made at least one route march each 
day, and those route marches weren t pleasure jaunts. They were 
made on very meagre breakfasts and taxed our endurance to the 
utmost. To make us more uncomfortable, our water-bottles were 
always sealed before we left camp and any man caught resorting 
to his bottle before permission was given to the whole unit 
well, he was placed under arrest, punished, and stood an excellent 
chance of being left in England when the unit went to France. 

Two or three times each week we donned fatigue shirts and 
slacks and marched to Dymchurch for a sea bath. Generally the 
sea was so rough it was impossible to enter the water, without 
being dashed violently against the breakwater. One day Staff 
Smith and Tommy Poole, both excellent swimmers, were caught 
in the strong undertow and only prompt help from Private 
Arthur Barker and others saved them from death. Barker jumped 
in, fully clothed, and rescued Poole. Those who didn t swim, or 


found the water too rough, used to strip and sit on the rocks, 
where they passed the time in horse-play and throwing jellyfish 
and other flotsam at each other s naked pelts. After the bath we 
marched the long uphill eight miles back to camp - - and invari 
ably arrived there fagged out, white with road-dust and far 
dirtier than when we left. 

It was while we were on a bathing parade we first got to 
know --and love- "Mother," that kindly, smiling, white- 
haired, old lady who lived at the top of the hill on the Dym- 
church road. She was always on hand to greet us, and who can 
ever forget her, waving a Canadian flag at us the last day we 
marched past her home? 

Various forms of diversion were introduced into camp, in an 
effort to obtain relief from the monotonous training routine. Ben 
Sharpe gathered together all the singers (and would-be singers!) 
and many happy hours were passed trying over the old songs: 
"By the Banks of Allan Water," "Poor Old Jeff," and many 
others. What those choristers lacked in harmony they more than 
made up for in volume, and "Sharpe s Canaries," as the lads 
dubbed them, provided considerable entertainment. 

There was a chess-players league, presided over by Bunny 
Brown, Alex. Wake and Sammy Jacobs. One evening, while 
Rosser and Hare were playing, "Josser" went to sleep for a full 
half-hour, while Bob Hare, unaware that his opponent was in 
dreamland, continued to study the chess-board, waiting for him 
to move. Cribbage tournaments were also organized by Johnny 
Nichols, little Andy Nicholson and droll "Dick" Whittingham. 
There were, too, the usual games of Five Hundred, Poker, Rum 
my, Whist, Pitch-and-Toss, and the "Galloping Dominoes. 

Captain Elliott presented the unit with a set of horizontal bars, 
and organized and trained a class of budding Sandows. We also 
had football, baseball and cricket teams. There was, too, plenty 
of boxing equipment, and many of the lads put on friendly bouts 

- which usually ended up with friendships strained, perhaps, but 
seldom broken. 

The ex-Boy Scout fellows ganged together on jaunts to near 
by historical places, and semaphore signalling was taught to 
the three unit sections by the members of the signalling squad. 
Pick Bridges was the signaller detailed to teach semaphore to 
B. Section, and some of the lads may still recall how he used to 


explain one of the half-circles : "This is ow you myke this circle. 
You commence at Eyetch, gow to Hye, then on to Kye - - ow- 
mitting Jye." The fellows used to ask Pick, over and over again, 
to explain that H. to I. to K. detail - -just to hear him say it! 

Horseback-riding parties, poker games, whist, and charabanc 
jaunts to London, Canterbury and Dover were the diversions our 
officers seemed to enjoy most. Those riding jaunts with the 
robust young lady from a nearby estate seemed to head their list 
of attractions, though, and we would not like to repeat the 
language our Horse Transport lads used when, midnight after 
midnight, they were called upon to rub down two tired and 
lathery horses and polish two sweat-soaked saddles. 

The songs most popular among us during our stay in England 
were "Thora," "I Hear You Calling," "When We ve Wound 
Up the Watch on the Rhine," and "Keep the Home Fires Burn 
ing." The last-named song was the most popular of all. Most of 
the regimental bands played it and it was the one song that 
struck a responsive chord in Colonel Farmer s heart, and would 
invariably bring tears into his eyes. It was, as a matter of fact, 
often referred to as "the Old Man s tune." 

Those who boasted Irish blood - - Frank O Leary, Dean Wil- 
kins, Husband, Cascaden, and others - - went on leave to Ire 
land. The Scots - -Jimmy Henderson, the Lickley boys, Jimmy 
and Jock McLean, Jock McLaren, and others who were Scotch by 
contamination or by absorption, went to Scotland. We don t 
know what they did there, besides drinking heather-dew, eating 
haggis and swallowing bagpipes, but we do know that Hender 
son s trip, at least, was an unqualified success; for he met, wooed, 
won, and ultimately married the talented young lady who 
attracted customers to the Blairgowrie chemist s shop. 

The Lancashire lads, Jimmy Shorrocks, Billy Moore, Arthur 
Wood, Dudley, and all the rest of those sturdy Lancastrians, took 
their seven days of leave to Bolton, Wigan, Manchester and other 
places in the Lancashire and Yorkshire counties. 

On Leave in London**? 

The Canucks, with the exception of a few who went to Ire 
land, Scotland, Wales or other parts of England, spent their 
leaves in London. The old Leicester Lounge, Piccadilly, the 


Tower, Horse Guards, Westminster, St. Paul s, British Museum, 
Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, Petticoat Lane, Dirty Dick s, 
and other famous places, saw plenty of them. A fellow would go 
up to the "Big Smoke," his pockets full of money. On his first 
night there he would register at the Cecil, the Savoy, the Regis 
or the Strand-Palace - - and dine on Filet- Mi gnons, -Bone 
steaks, lobster, caviar, etc. About two days later he would move 
to a cheaper hotel, near Oxford Square, perhaps - - and would 
get his meals (if he took time to eat !) at one of Lyons restaurants. 
The last few days of leave would find him registered at the Union 
Jack Club or sleeping in one of the church huts - - and getting 
about one meal a day at the Beaver Hut or some similar place. 
It was no use asking him what he did with his money, for he 
couldn t tell you. It just used to disappear, that s all ! He may 
have spent some of it unwisely but it is a safe bet that, shilling 
for shilling, no man ever got more fun for his money than did 
the average Canadian soldier on leave in London. Generally 
speaking, he knew his way about town, and, if he didn t, there 
were always close at hand plenty of ingratiating folk very willing 
to show him where the "pye office" and other places were located. 
Of course, the current shows took some of his banknotes. "The 
Maid of the Mountains," "Chu Chin Chow," "Zig Zag," 
"Going Up," The Bing Boys" and Tonight s the Night" 
were a few of his favorites. George Robey, Little Tich, Harry 
Tate and the Lloyd Sisters were some of the artists he liked best. 
His chief theatrical desire was comedy - - to laugh and forget the 
war and whatever fate might be awaiting him. To drive from 
his mind the stark realities of army life - - that was the upper 
most wish of his heart, even at that early stage of the war. 

On Saturday, July 17th, the unit paraded to Beachboro Park 
for an inspection by General Sam Hughes and Sir Robert Borden. 
The complete Second Division was on parade. Many of the 
nurses and wounded from the nearby Queen s Canadian Hospital 
were out to see the show. Everything went off splendidly, except 
ing that it rained most of the day. We arrived back in camp 
shortly after noon and were given the rest of the day off - - but 
were obliged to spend it drying our sodden uniforms, cleaning 
equipment, etc. 

About this time Staff Deadman, Staff Overend, Sergeant Over- 
holt and Corporal Courtice left the Fifth to take commissions 


with Imperial outfits. We were sorry to lose them for all were 
general favorites. Jim McGillivray, too, went to the 28th Bat 
talion, trading places with Pete Howard. 

On August 4th we were once again marched to Beachboro 
Park and inspected by General Sam Hughes and Bonar Law, ex- 
Canadian and at that time head of the Colonial Office. The 
weather man must have disapproved of such inspections for 
again it poured rain and the men arrived back in camp drenched 
to their skins. 

The King s Inspection* 

Outstanding among our experiences was the King s review 
which also took place at Beachboro, on September 2nd, when 
His Majesty, Kitchener, Bonar Law, Sam Hughes and other 
celebrities gave us a final inspection. Preceding this event we 
were trained in "Battalion-Right- Wheel" and other intricate 
movements which were not in the ordinary medical officer s drill 
routine. For this reason the handling of the unit became some 
what involved on these occasions and, although there was much 
perusing of "Infantry Training Regulations" by our officers, our 
attempts to follow the confusing orders were rather amusing. 

The King s inspection itself was marred by a misunderstanding 
that, unimportant as it seems now, after a lapse of so many 
years, at the time was the cause of considerable grousing - - and 
well nigh a mutiny. 

Following the inspection we were given permission to "stand 
easy" and eat our lunches. Packs were thereupon undone and 
haversacks opened. Fellows from the same tent got together, for 
each had brought his share of the common lunch. Little groups 
formed here and there and the serious business of eating was 
tackled with great gusto. No attempt was made to keep any 
semblance of line. Men from A. Section were mingling with men 
from B. and C. The officers were chatting together in front of 
the foremost Section (A.), when General Sam Hughes appeared, 
apparently from nowhere! The colonel thereupon leaped onto 
his horse and, in a voice that was heard by only the few men 
nearest to him, shouted "Attention!" The men who heard the 
command jumped to their feet and hurriedly stood to attention. 
Those who had not heard the order - - at least seventy-five per 


cent, of the unit - - on seeing the others standing up took the 
order to be "Fall In," and proceeded to regain their proper places 
in the line. Packs were hurriedly put on again, haversacks and 
rolled coats were put into place and, quite unaware that they had 
been guilty of a breach of military discipline, three of the four 
sections stood at ease, waiting for further orders. 

Moving off a few minutes later the unit marched back to 
Otterpool. On the way back it rained hard- -not a passing 
shower, but a steady heavy downpour. At the suggestion of some 
of the men, the commander of B. Section was asked by a staff 
sergeant if the men could unroll their greatcoats and wear them. 
The answer was an emphatic "NO!" This decision was made 
when there was still a mile to go to camp; so the troops took the 
law into their own hands, unrolled their greatcoats and wore 
them - - all but one man! 

Arriving at the Otterpool parade ground the unit was treated 
to a lecture by the colonel : "The King was pleased with you - 
but I wasn t!" Then, in his own inimitable manner, our Com 
manding Officer told us what he thought of a lot of "so-called 
soldiers who didn t know what Attention meant, after being 
ten months in the army." In the middle of his exposition of our 
manifold and glaring deficiencies his eagle eye detected Private 
Case chewing gum - - as nonchalantly as only Ben could chew it ! 
With a particularly lurid outburst the colonel yelled: "Sergeant- 
major! sergeant-major! Look at that man chewing gum! take his 
number!" Sergeant- Major Williams searched in vain for the cul 
prit, and the lecture proceeded. It was intimated that, although it 
was the custom to declare a holiday after a King s inspection, the 
Fifth Field Ambulance had so disgraced itself that, not only 
would a holiday not be granted, but the sergeant-major would 
fall in the troops in an hour s time and drill them three hours, in 
marching and standing to attention. This system of training was 
to be kept up for several days, instead of the usual P.T. exercises. 
The troops were then dismissed - - and a loud and unanimous 
chorus of boos and hisses ensued. 

A number of the men talked of refusing to go on parade, but it 
was decided that this would gain nothing, and might lead to the 
intervention of higher powers who would deal summarily with 
the offenders. We were due to go to France in a short time, we 
believed, and to mutiny might mean that we wouldn t get there 


So it was decided that we should go on parade and then lodge 
our complaint. 

An attempt was made to register a complaint through the 
correct channels. Certain men asked their staff-sergeants to parade 
them before their section commanders. It was found that the 
section commanders had left Otterpool. The sergeant-major was 
then asked to parade the men to the colonel - - but the colonel 
had left camp and would not be back for two days. The parade 
was accordingly held and 250 men spent three hours marching 
up and down, back and forth, standing to attention, then at ease, 
and then to attention again. 

A consultation of certain leaders - - one from each section - 
was held after the parade, and plans were laid for bringing the 
matter before Second Division Headquarters. One of the men 
knew intimately in civil life certain headquarters officers with 
whom he volunteered to visit and discuss the situation. This was 
done over the week-end. 

On Monday morning the "punishment parade" was again 
held. With the return of the colonel, the sergeant-major was 
again told that four men (Jack Lumsden, Charlie Scott, Baldy 
Rutherford and Jimmy Lickley) wished to be paraded to their 
Commanding Officer. When the colonel was informed that the 
men wanted to lodge a complaint about the punishment inflicted 
upon them, he went into a tantrum and vented his ire on the 
sergeant-major in no uncertain terms, and ended with the inti 
mation that the four would be put in irons for questioning orders. 
Whereupon there was much rejoicing among the four, for it was 
believed that Army Regulations ensured every man the right to 
be paraded before his Commanding Officer. 

The maintenance of such an attitude on the part of the colonel 
was but strengthening the case for the men. That night there were 
a number of conferences between a member of the Fifth and a 
certain senior officer of Second Division Headquarters. 

Next day the "punishment parade" was again held and, fol 
lowing it, the four men already mentioned again asked to be 
paraded to the colonel - - this time to ask him to parade them to 
the A.D.M.S. Jack Lumsden was the first to enter the orderly 
room. In language that permitted of no misinterpretation he was 
told that to question an order was an offence of the gravest kind, 
and that to persist in such questioning was liable to result seri- 


ously for him. When Jack came out, Charlie Scott was paraded 
and he was told the same thing, as were Rutherford and Lickley 
when they went in. The four men were then paraded in a group 
and informed that their action could easily result in their being 
given No. 1 Field Punishment, and in their being put -in irons! 

The next afternoon, however, General Jones drove up to the 
camp and, after the general had left, Jack Lumsden was called to 
the colonel s tent and told that there had been a misunderstanding 
and that no more "punishment parades" would be held. 

Qeneva Crosses and Bayonets ! <^ 

One interesting phase of the affair concerned the employment, 
by the colonel, of a number of men who were sent to Folkestone 
as piquets, to arrest members of the Ambulance who had taken 
French leave following the first "Attention" parade. Several men, 
feeling that they had been unjustly treated, left the camp and did 
not show up for several days. To round them up, piquets, carry 
ing side-arms! were ordered to Folkestone, with instructions to 
arrest any of the delinquents that might be found. The regular 
military police, on meeting these Red Cross men with side-arms, 
hailed them before the A. P.M. who promptly sent them back 
to their unit - -with the information that he was fully competent 
to police Folkestone, without the aid of the Fifth Field Ambulance. 

Shortly after the King s inspection we were instructed to make 
preparations for going across the Channel. Tales of the hordes of 
lice that abounded in France led many of the boys to have their 
hair cropped prison-style. Blankets were sewn together - - the 
limit per person being two, although some slipped in an extra 
one. Fond farewells were taken of friends we had made while in 
England, and we awaited with eagerness the final orders for 

For a long time now we had again been singing that old "B.S. 
song" we had sung so often back in Canada - -but with the word 
"Channel" instead of "Ocean." During the long months at 
Otterpool we had heard the same old rumors about an early 
move, and there was no faith in us. The revived and revised song 
expressed our sentiments perfectly. 

But finally the order came. On September 14th we were ordered 
to pack up. There was a delay of several hours while the unit 


waited around camp with full packs and complete paraphernalia, 
ready to move off. At last, about midnight, we marched away to 
Westenhanger. There we entrained and about four o clock pulled 
out for Southampton. We arrived at that port about 10 a.m., 
September 15th, and there had an hour s freedom, during which 
time the men shopped, rested or despatched mail to the folks 
back home. 

While we were entraining at Westenhanger the night before, 
two men had watched us from behind some bushes. They were 
Taxi Yates and Lew McAllister, a couple of Fifth fellows who 
had gone on six day s leave about a month before, and had just 
detrained at Westenhanger on their way back to our unit. They 
kept out of our officers sight, however, for their places were now 
filled by other men and there was no chance for them to go with 
us. They remained behind the bushes until our train pulled out of 
the station and thus passed out of our ken. 

At 11.15 a.m., September 15th, we boarded the Transport 
"Indian" (No. 6012), a former cattle boat. The cattle stalls 
served men and horses alike, and reminded us of our old stable- 
homes in Exhibition Camp. We remained on board and stayed 
in dock all that afternoon. At 6 p.m. we slipped away from the 
shores of England and headed for the open Channel. Every man 
was ordered to don a life-belt. All lights, excepting the port and 
starboard signals, were extinguished. Guarded by several fast- 
rushing destroyers with flashing searchlights we made the cross 
ing to France. Again, this night, our signallers were kept busy 
reading navigation instructions from the escorting naval craft. 
At 5 a.m. we docked at Le Havre. Rations of bully and biscuits 
were issued and the men breakfasted aboard ship. 


Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag 

And smile, smile, smile. 

While you ve a lucifer to light your fag, 

Smile boys, that s the style. 

What s the use of worrying? 

It never was worth while. 

SO ! Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag 

And smile, smile, smile. 


(September 16, 1915, to August 25, 1916) 

A Night Attack 


THIRTY o clock 
on the morning of 
Thursday , Septem 
ber 16th, the Fifth 
fell in on the main 
deck of the "Indian," every man carrying his full equipment. 
Roll was called and we then stood at ease, waiting our turn to 
march ashore. 

Before us was the picturesque port of Le Havre, with its fas 
cinating vista of sailing ships, naval craft, transport steamers, 
docks, warehouses and, in the distance, the city itself, backed by 
mist-blown slowly-rising hills. Directly below us was the clam 
orous bustle of a heterogeneous war-time activity. Wherever we 
looked there was some sort of war material - - guns, shells, lor 
ries, airplane parts, mules, horses, wagons, and equipment of all 
kinds. Queerly-garbed French dockworkers worked alongside 
khaki-clad British longshoremen, while on a nearby quay were 
some gray-coated German prisoners, working under the watchful 
eyes and bayonetted rifles of a squad of French soldiers. 

As we stood waiting for the order to disembark, one of the 
khaki-clad dockmen looked up and waved a welcome to us. 
While we were waving in return, he shouted at us that war-time 
morale-builder: "Are we downhearted?" Our answering "NO!" 
had barely died away when back came his prophetic rejoinder: 
Well, you bloody soon will be!" 



Ac eight o clock the unit disembarked. All but those who had 
been on night duty during the trip across the Channel were then 
set to work getting horses, wagons, ambulances and other equip 
ment off the boat. It was well into the afternoon before this work 
was completed and the unit marched off to a camp at the top of 
a long, winding hill about four miles from the docks. Here we 
found bell tents had been hurriedly pitched, but before we could 
occupy them we had to dig drainage ditches around them and 
carry floor-boards from a half-mile away. 

About ten noncoms. and men who had been on duty during 
the previous night and, consequently, did not have to help un 
load the transport, strolled away to inspect uptown Le Havre. 
A friendly French officer showed them through a German pris 
oner camp, and during this trip the gallant son of Gaul treated 
the boys to cognac, wine and beer. Hours went like minutes. 
Finally the party started back to the docks - - and arrived there 
just in time to have one of those jack-knife bridges open up be 
tween them and the main body of the unit. Across the canal the 
colonel was sitting astride his horse, shaking his fist in temporary 
impotence at the party of stragglers on the city side of the water. 
The bridge remained up for about two hours; and when the lag 
gards finally got across they found that the unit had departed and 
left Captain Nicholson with an escort to place them under arrest. 
About three days later the offenders appeared before their irate 
colonel. The privates were let off with admonishments. The non- 
coms, were severely reprimanded for "desertion in the face of the 
enemy," as the Commanding Officer put it. "You re in France 
now and could be shot for this offence," he bellowed. "I made 
you men noncoms. because I thought you had more than com 
mon sense - - but I see I ve made a big mistake," he added. Later 
on we were informed that, immediately after the noncoms. had 
been marched out of his presence, the Old Man had a hearty 
laugh - - and tore up all the crime sheets. 

A Id 40 Hommes-S Chevaux*** 

Next morning Reveille was at three o clock. We breakfasted 
and then marched to Le Havre station and climbed aboard one of 
those famous French "Pullmans" whose capacity was 40 Horn- 
mcs - 8 Chevaux. We were never able to discover why the three 

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1. Jimmy Wilson and his 4/,-lb. Boots. 2. Wilkins, Husband and O Leary kiss the Blarney Stone. 

3. Adshead cuts Whittingham s Hair. 4. Interior of Tent No. 9. 

5. Sellindge Church, to which we paraded for Sunday Services. 


o clock Reveille was necessary, for it wasn t until about eight- 
thirty o clock that we pulled out on our way to the Front. Evi 
dently it was just the usual army stuff of letting the troops do all 
the waiting. 

We passed through Brexute-Beuzeville, Yvetot (remember 
Thackeray s song about "LeRoi d Yvetot?"), Motheville, Baren- 
tin, and stopped just outside Charlemagne s town, Rouen, for 
dinner. From the train the famous three-towered cathedral of 
Notre Dame was visible, and some of us recalled that Joan of 
Arc was also burned there. At one-thirty o clock we were on our 
way again - - through Lerquex, Abancourt, and on to Amiens. 
Outside Amiens, where we stopped for supper, another famous 
cathedral was within view. At 6.30 p.m. we were away once 
more - - through Pont Remy and on to St. Omer, where we 
arrived about three o clock next morning. 

It had been a long, tiresome journey. Those French box-cars 
were conducive to neither ease nor slumber, and we were packed 
in so tightly no man had room to spread himself out on the few 
wisps of dirty straw that littered the quivering floors. The night 
was bitterly cold and the air in the cars so bad that more than one 
wall-board was knocked off for ventilation purposes. 

Until darkness set in, the trip had not been quite so bad. We 
were able to open the sliding side doors and as many as could find 
space sat in the doorways, their feet dangling down and the for 
tunate men enjoying the ever-changing scenery. This also made 
more room for those unable to get near the opened doors. To 
most of us the surrounding country was a very interesting and 
novel sight. Hungry French youngsters accosted us at every 
siding, with calls for "Beeskwee, beeskwee, seel-voo-play ! Booly 
beef, cigarette, seel-voo-play!" To these queer-looking urchins 
we tossed biscuits and cigarettes, and the odd half-penny. From a 
field one old Frenchman, probably a veteran of 1870, rested his 
scythe and waved a greeting to us. He then drew his hand sug 
gestively across his throat, intimating in unmistakable panto 
mime what he hoped we would do to the hated Boche when we 
reached the Front. 

In Le Havre one of the fellows had got hold of a French book 
on "How to Make Love." This book was rather hot stuff and 
was in such demand it was found necessary to divide it into as 
many parts as there were box-cars; and one man in each car was 


delegated to read aloud that car s portion of the book. At each 
stop there was a hurried interchange of the various parts and, 
while daylight lasted, the reading went on. That volume may 
not have been high-class literature but it helped considerably to 
relieve the tediousness of that long train trip. We afterwards 
learned that we owed our entertainment to a rather over-sized 
staff-sergeant who had bought the book while on a surreptitious 
visit to Le Havre s business district the previous day, and that 
the first few pages had been read aloud by him the night before 
we entrained. 

Once during the cold night the train was stopped on a siding 
while the men were given hot coffee and cognac. Here, too, a 
long plank was removed from the floor of the depot platform, 
and officers and men needed no explanation of the timely impro 
visation. Somehow or other, Colonel Farmer s suspenders dan 
gled into the hole and, when his batman indignantly refused to 
clean the soiled gallusses, the Old Man was obliged to leave 
them there. 

At St. Omer we expected to have a few hours rest. The men 
detrained, unloaded horses, wagons and other equipment and 
then fell in. Roll was called - - then Colonel Farmer mounted the 
station platform and informed us that he had orders "to march 
immediately to the firing line.!" A big battle (Loos) was about 
to begin and every man was needed at the Front!* So, tired, 
disappointed and hungry we set out. It was about 4.30 a.m. 
and very dark. We marched on for about one hour, slipping 
and stumbling over the unfamiliar footing of the strangely- 
cobbled road. 

About a mile out of St. Omer we heard someone approaching 
us, loudly whistling "Tipperary." The sun was not yet up and 
there was not sufficient light for us to discern the whistler. We 
thought, of course, that he was an Imperial or one of the First 
Division men. Imagine our surprise when we finally saw before 
us a small French lad, about twelve years of age. He was herding 
before him a half-dozen cows, evidently taking them for the 
morning milking at some nearby farm. He stopped whistling 
long enough to shout "Vive les Canadians!" and then resumed 
his tune, proudly whistling louder than ever. This was our first 
civilian greeting in the battle zone. 

The actual battle did not begin until the early morning of September 25th. 


Gradually appeared the first sign of approaching dawn - 
a diffused and fascinating glow of color, tinting the eastern 
clouds and landscape. The crimson glory of the distant horizon 
impressed us as being a beautiful yet portentous symbol, not only 
of a new day but of a new and tempestuous existence for the 
unit now marching eastward. There lay the answer to questions 
we would never voice and to vague premonitions each and 
every one of us. would have refused to admit ever having experi 
enced. From the same direction came a heavy rumbling of gun 
fire - - the morning hymn of hate. 

Tall graceful elms and poplars lined both sides of the hard 
convex road. Odd-looking farmyards met our eye, and their 
cesspools assaulted our nostrils. The new steel-shod Kitchener 
boots chafed our heels. 

Shortly after daylight came the welcome halt for breakfast. We 
were marched into a field just outside the small town of Arques. 
Here were some newly-made haystacks and over the field lay 
considerable hay that had not yet been gathered. Some of the 
men made themselves comfortable on this straw bedding, while 
others hurried off to the town for supplies of food and drink. 

Messrs. Vin Blanc and Vin Rouge &*& 

In Arques the lads had their first experiences of buying in French 
shops. Most of the bargaining was done in the sign language, 
for, in those early days, epicene, boulanger and/orgeron all meant 
about the same to us. Here, too, some of fellows made their first 
acquaintance with those two future standbys, Vin Blanc and 
Vin Rouge. A few may remember the violent headaches the stuff 
gave them before the day s march was finished. 

Breakfast was over about 8 a.m. and we moved off again, 
arriving at Hazebrouck (Pop. 13,000) about 1 p.m. Here we 
had dinner and rested until three o clock. The day had become 
oppressively hot, so as soon as we halted, off came kits, rolled 
coats, tunics, puttees, blankets and Kitchener boots. Feet were 
bathed and blisters attended to. Here, too, we saw our first evi 
dence of shell-fire. A German Taube flew high over our heads 
and all round it were the fluff-like puffs of bursting anti-aircraft 
shells. The German flew on his way unharmed, however, in spite 
of the shells and our fervid prayers that he would be hit. As a 


matter of fact, during our whole stay in France we never saw one 
enemy plane hit by our ground batteries. Range-finding devices 
seemed unable to keep up with aviation development. 

At 5 p.m. we arrived at a farm between Caestre (Pop. 1,200) 
and Eecke (Pop. 1,200), where we were to stay for the night. 
Some of the men bunked in the stables and lofts but most of us 
slept outside in a beautiful green meadow. All night long the 
guns up front kept rumbling like a distant storm. 

It may have been the long march or it may have been the 
soporific effect of the rumbling of the distant guns, but, what 
ever the reason, Private Piccadilly Bridges was reported absent 
from his guard-post during the night. Some claimed that Pick 
was making a chambre de nuit reconnaissance (whatever that is !) 
while others were mean enough to hint that the boy had merely 
enrolled for a closer study of the French language - - or some 
thing! Pick never did explain. 

Colonel Farmer realized that the men were dog-tired, so Re 
veille next morning was not until eight o clock. We breakfasted 
on tea, biscuits, bully and jam, then the colonel informed us that 
because all the roads to the Front were congested with traffic we 
were to remain where we were for at least one more day and 
night. Permission was given to those not on duty to visit the 
town of Caestre; and one officer and a noncom. were sent up the 
Line by motor ambulance, to reconnoitre that part of the Front 
which was to be taken over by our Brigade. 

Perhaps this is as good a place as any to explain to the unini 
tiated that by "bully" we mean canned corned beef. It invariably 
came in one-pound tins and we received dozens of different 
brands. The best known were Fray Bentos , Armour s, Swift s, 
Cudahay s, and William Davies . There were several South 
American brands but the best of all was Fray Bentos; and the 
worst, we are sorry to admit, was the William Davies brand. 
When the first Davies stuff reached us there was a frantic rush 
for it. We all thought we were going to have a treat - "some 
thing right from home, some good, wholesome Canadian meat !" 
But alack and alas! The Davies stuff we sampled, proved to be 
practically uneatable - - a sort of jellified blob of gristle, fat and 
skin. We had fairly strong stomachs, but simply could not 
swallow it. We actually saw hundreds of tins of it being used for 
paving dugout entrances. 


All the following day those free from duty lounged about the 
farm and rested their chafed and blistered feet. This day will long 
remain in our memories. The weather was clear and mild. The 
rations for the day were good and we received our first issue of 
pipe tobacco (Paisley Flake) and cigarettes - - Ruby Queens, Red 
Hussars, X-Rays, Flags, Arf-a-Mo s, and Trumpeters. We re 
ceived, too, our first pay in France - - twenty francs. And to fill 
our cup to overflowing, several bags of Canadian mail arrived. 

Andy Parker was very anxious to learn French, so at the first 
opportunity he indulged in a talk-test with a French farmer. 
After struggling for a while to make himself understood, Andy 
apologetically confessed to the Frenchman, "Je ne sprachin ce 
Francais verra weel!" 

How They Farmed in Fldnders^^ 

From this time on, the average Flemish farm was a never- 
failing source of interest to many of us. One farm was not fenced 
oft from another and the crops of adjoining farms met. Even 
between main highways and farms there was neither fence nor 
hedge - -no split-rail, tree-root, wire or "snake" fences such as 
we had known back in Canada. Wherever a tiny creek or "beek" 
divided a field, there were dwarfed, fat-trunked willows, stand 
ing like stunted sentinels on both sides of the flowing water, each 
tree reaching out its switch-like branches in a grotesquely futile 
effort to touch the waving fingers of its neighbor. 

Not a foot of arable land went uncultivated. Seeds were sown 
by hand and scattered broadcast out of giant-pocketed aprons. 
Fields were plowed with wooden plows, and crops were culti 
vated with wooden rakes and harrows. Ancient scythes and 
sickles were used to cut the flax, wheat and maize; and hand 
made two-pronged wooden forks were used to stack the hay and 
straw. Old-fashioned wooden flails were used to thresh the 
grain, and clumsy hand-made rotary fanning mills cleaned away 
the chaff. 

When the crop was sugar-beets, turnips, mangolds or potatoes, 
a field pit was dug, large enough to hold the crop. This trench 
was thickly lined with straw and the crop dumped in, care being 
taken that the soil was thoroughly dry. A thick layer of straw 
was put over the crop and the excavated earth heaped high on 


top, making a sort of weather-proof mound, around which a 
drainage ditch was dug. Time after time we saw such storage 
places opened in early spring, and in every instance the crops 
were in excellent condition - - in spite of the fact that they had 
lain there through three or four months of wet, snowy, near- 
zero weather. 

Though the farming methods were crude, the crops obtained 
were simply astonishing, both in quantity and quality. Of course, 
the fertilizing methods had much to do with this - - but enough 
said! Those methods could speak for themselves! Sometimes 
even now we imagine we can smell those great, leaking, barrel- 
like wagons in which the crop-producing fluid was transported 
to the fields. No wonder that open wounds, coming in contact 
with soil so intensely fertilized, quickly became infected and 
brought gangrenous deaths to many men. 

At 8 a.m., Tuesday, September 21st, we started off on the last 
leg of our march to the forward area. We passed through Fletre 
(Pop. 950), Meteren (Pop. 2,400), and Baillcul (Pop. 14,000). 
We crossed the Belgian border around noon, and at 12.35 p.m. 
arrived at Dranoutre (Pop. 1,100). 

Of the march through Bailleul we shall ever have some very 
vivid memories. The day was beautifully mild and the Bailleul 
housewives were flushing down the streets fronting their dwell 
ings. The red-tiled roads were spotless as we marched over them. 
Just behind us some Second Division band struck up the Mar 
seillaise. Old French men and women stood to attention and 
tears trickled down their wrinkled faces as they listened to their 
beloved anthem. Great tubs of soapy water stood in the centre of 
the road unheeded. More than one cracked old voice sang out 
defiantly: Marchons, marchons! Quaintly-aproned urchins clung 
to their parents hands and peeped shyly at "Zes braves Canadians 
who had come from far over the sea to save them from the hated 
Boche." Young girls threw kisses. 

This was the largest town through which we had actually 
marched, so, naturally, the men gave it a thorough looking- 
over, as they paraded through its streets. Tommy Hawkey, left- 
hand man of the first section of fours, was so intent on something 
else, he neglected to see one of the broad tubs of soapy water 
which was right in his path. Into the foamy liquid Tommy fell 
the first Fifth man to "kick the bucket" in France. 


We "Take. Over" at Dranoutre,^ 

At Dranoutre we took over billets in some farm buildings and 
in a nearby field. On September 22nd we relieved the 84th 
R.A.M.C. and took over a main dressing station in the town, 
and an advanced dressing station just west of Wulveringhem. 
Stretcher squads were sent up the Line (Sergeant Wartman and 
Captain Barton in charge) and we settled into the work for 
which we had so long and faithfully trained. For the ensuing few 
weeks we cleared the wounded from various regimental aid- 
posts. At night, parties went on salvaging trips to Neuve Eglise, 
Armentieres and Wulveringhem, for material for the horse-lines 
and for stoves for officers billets. The Nursing Sections looked 
after the sick and wounded in the main dressing station in 

From now on, frequent mention will be made of regimental 
aid-posts, advanced dressing stations, main dressing stations, rest 
camps and casualty clearing stations, so a brief explanation of 
evacuation routine is in order : 

The infantry regimental aid-posts were aid-posts to which 
battalion stretcher-bearers brought their wounded for first-aid 
treatment. These posts were invariably located in dugouts or 
cellars in the quieter parts of the trenches. Here the wounded 
were given emergency treatments by the battalion medical officer 
and his staff of assistants. Either in the regimental aid-posts or in 
dugouts close by were two or more squads of our bearers (four 
men to a squad). Their job was to carry the wounded from regi 
mental aid-posts back to our advanced dressing stations. The 
only regimental aid-post to which our motor ambulances went 
directly and where our bearers were not always used was the 
Brasserie station, near Ridgewood. All clearing from this post 
was done at night, however, as explained elsewhere. 

More often than not, our advanced dressing stations were a 
mile or more behind the Front Line, so relay posts (one or two 
squads to each post) were established at suitable intervals in 
order to make the "carrys" as easy as possible and hasten the 
evacuations. By this method, too, extra bearer squads were 
always close to the regimental aid-posts in cases of emergency. 
Advanced dressing stations were usually established in large 
cellars, dugouts or other suitable places in villages to which our 


ambulances could come at night with a reasonable amount of 
safety. Here were located one or more of our ambulance medical 
officers and some men from our Nursing Sections. The wounded 
were here given secondary treatments; bandages were renewed, if 
necessary; hemorrhages stopped; and anti-tetanus, morphine and 
other injections were given. Fractures were set temporarily and 
minor operations occasionally performed.* 

The next step was the transportation of cases back to our 
main dressing stations. Generally speaking, this work was done 
at night and under cover of darkness. This was the task of our 
Motor Ambulance and Horse Ambulance Sections. In some 
parts of the Front we were able to use our ambulances for this 
work in broad daylight and in perfect safety. 

At the main dressing stations, which were usually located in 
schoolhouses or similar buildings in villages two or three miles 
behind the Front, the wounded were given a very thorough 
examination and whatever further treatments were found neces 
sary. Here were our senior medical officers, most of our Nursing 
Sections personnel, and the bulk of our medical and surgical 
equipment. The colonel, Horse Transport, Motor Transport and 
Headquarters Details were almost invariably located at the main 
dressing station. 

From the main dressing station the wounded were conveyed to 
the casualty clearing stations by motor or horse ambulances. 
Casualty clearing stations were always a few miles back of the 
Line and close to a railroad. It was at the clearing stations that 
most of the operations and amputations were done, and during a 
big battle, casualty clearing station operating marquees were 
gruesome places indeed. 

From the C.C.S. the wounded were loaded onto hospital trains 
and sent back to base hospitals. 

The foregoing routine applies to trench warfare only. From 
Amiens on, our bearers were often grouped with infantry bearers, 
and our ambulance medical officers frequently worked alongside 
battalion medical officers in the regimental aid-posts. Also, 
wherever casualties were numerous, we established aid-posts 
near artillery gunpits. Around Souchez, for instance, we had 
several artillery posts during the Lens operations. 

~*We have a hazy recollection of Major Kappele amputating a man s leg in one 
advanced dressing station, and of seeing the severed limb, still encased in a knee- 
length boot, standing in a corner of the aid-post several hours later. 

5t.Omer The Salient 

/. Brasserie 

1. SpoilBoL^k 

3. Bedford A/oi^se 7 way 

4: AJeniT oe .ShYa,>nvl Corner 

5. //<?// Fire Corner 9. /.///* 


Scale, Mi 


4 Witocu 




Rest camps varied in scope. There were brigade rest camps, 
divisional rest camps, corps rest camps, officers rest camps, and 
rest camps where scabies treatments were given, and special 
delousing baths and ovens were the features. Most of these 
camps were anathema to our Fifth men, for the work was 
always monotonous, often disgusting and occasionally repulsive. 
That word "Rest" was the most misleading word in army 

From the moment of our arrival at Dranoutre Ed. Mahy was 
the envy of all the lads - - due to the fact that because of his 
Channel-Island French he had been appointed official "interrup 
ter," and was installed in the farmhouse with the officers. Con 
sequently Ed s rations - - and his close proximity to the rather 
attractive daughter of the household - - spurred many of the 
fellows on to a more diligent study of the Gallic language. 

Perhaps some of the oldtimers will recall a rather brief fistic 
battle that was fought by one of the Rah Rahs and an Owen 
Sounder shortly after we took over at Dranoutre. Nobody ever 
learned what the battle was about. So far as we could ever find 
out it was simply a hangover from the squabble aboard the 
Northland - - was, in fact, the last intimation that anyone bore 
ill will toward the innocent principals in that awkward affair. 

Immediately over our farm billets there floated an observation 
balloon, or "sausage" as we called it. About the third day we 
were there, Fritz opened fire on the balloon and pieces of high- 
explosive shell showered down on the camp. Fortunately, no 
person was hit, although more than one set of covetous fingers 
was badly burned when some of the lads attempted to retrieve 
chunks of searing-hot metal for souvenirs. 

Those who could get out of camp availed themselves of the 
opportunity to explore the town. The famous "Sutherland Sis 
ters" bakery, behind the church, was soon located and from then 
on it was a popular rendezvous for all those who were suscep 
tible to the blonde charms of the seven buxom wenches who 
there served "pom detair fritz" and "lay-zoof." This household 
was later on under suspicion of being pro-German. The authori 
ties noticed that, although surrounding buildings were hit by 
enemy shells, the bakery was never harmed. Spies or not, those 
girls certainly had everything it took in those days to attract the 
lonesome soldier. 


Another great attraction was the wheelwright in the shop 
down the hill to the south of the town. This craftsman would 
carve out a pair of wooden sabots for two or three francs, while 
the men looked on and marvelled at his dexterity. He did a 
thriving trade while the Fifth was in town and many sent home 
sabots for souvenirs. 

Who can ever forget our first bathing parade in Dranoutre? 
With towels over our shoulders and with our extra underwear 
and clean shirts under our arms we were marched to what had 
been a communal laundry hut. In this hut were about a dozen 
large tubs - - really the halves of one-time beer hogsheads. In the 
tubs was a small quantity of tepid water, while over them was 
suspended a sort of perforated-pipe shower contraption. The men 
were marched into an anteroom where they gave up their new 
clean clothing to an attendant, and then disrobed. In batches of 
thirty-six they were next hustled into the tub-room and three 
men were ordered into each tub. They were given two minutes 
to soap and scrub their bodies and then, down from the impro 
vised showers, a few pails of ice-cold water were sprayed over 
them. Chilled and shivering, they were hurried back into the 
anteroom, a supply of supposed-to-be clean underwear, shirts and 
socks was issued to them and they dressed. 

With the exception of one or two Imperial orderlies, all the 
workers at the baths were Frenchwomen, and it was certainly 
embarrassing for our men to be compelled to disrobe and bathe 
in such close proximity to the dreaded females. It is only fair to 
state, however, that those French girls paid not the slightest 
attention to the men s nakedness, and that the embarrassment 
was all one-sided. The clothing the men received proved to be 
anything but clean and it was not very long before furtive and 
persistent scratching betrayed the fact that more than one man 
now "had company" -company that was to remain faithfully 
with him in spite of Keating s powder, cheese-cloth undies and 
other "sure" cures. 

Mention of the bathing parade reminds us that our favorite 
bath-house ditty was : 

Whiter than the whitewash on the wall, 

Whiter than the whitewash on the watt; 

Wash me in the water that you ve washed the baby in 

And I shall be whiter than the whitewash on the wall. 


It was at Dranoutre that a mock funeral was held for one of 
John Gilpin s so-called dinners. On this day the stew was so 
much worse than usual it just couldn t be eaten. So, forming up 
in "column-en-route," some with stable brooms carried at the 
"reverse arms" position, and to the music of tin pans and a 
dirge that was supposed to be the Dead March from "Saul," the 
men paraded around the camp and in mock mourning dumped 
Gilpin s mysterious concoction into a disused trench. 

Sergeant- Major Williams, in his daily rounds of the main 
dressing station, made things rather merry for the Rah Rah 
Boys, to whom some of his suggested improvisations were a 
revelation. One day, for instance, a wounded man was bleeding 
from the mouth and the sergeant-major ordered Bill Scott to 
put ice on the man s cheeks. "Good heavens!" exclaimed Bill, 
"there s no ice around here!" The sergeant-major nearly ex 
ploded. "No hice! Certainly there s no hice," he retorted, "but 
we ve got hice bags, aven t we? Use them!" For another 
stretcher case he ordered the "happlication of ot formations, 
hevery arf hour." 

Red Sowden also distinguished himself while here. He was 
ordered to give an enema. Red mixed about a quart of soapy 
water and insisted on the patient drinking it. However, the cure 
worked. The man got rid of whatever was troubling him. 

One odd case treated in this dressing station will bear men 
tion. We picked up a man who had been shot in the head by a 
sniper. The bullet had entered just in front of the man s left ear. 
Here there was a tiny dark hole, and on the other side of the 
man s head was a similar hole where it was surmised the bullet 
had emerged, after penetrating the skull. Strangely, however, the 
man was quite strong and there was neither bleeding from the 
wounds nor any other sign of brain penetration. Bandages were 
applied and the patient made as comfortable as possible, and we 
made arrangements to send him to the casualty clearing station 
whenever the ambulances arrived - - if he were still alive. 

Two hours later he was as spry as ever and complained only 
of a headache ! The bandage was removed and we found a nar 
row purplish welt stretching around his forehead, from bullet- 
hole to bullet-hole. Then it was that we realized that the bullet 
had entered in front of the left ear and had not penetrated the 
skull at all, but had made its way between the flesh and the 


bone to the opposite side of the head, and emerged in front of 
the right ear. The bullet, altogether likely, had come from behind 
the man and had hit him at just the right angle and speed to 
make such a result possible. The wounded man was sent down 
the line and, unless infection set in, it is most probable that he 
eventually recovered. 

Shortly after our arrival at Dranoutre we were issued our 
first gas helmets. These were very crude affairs simply a hood 
made of thick grey flannel and saturated with a solution which 
was supposed to neutralise gas. Two celluloid or mica eye-pieces 
protected the eyes, while the helmet was slipped down over the 
top of the head and the bottom ends of the hood were tucked 
under the wearer s tunic and the collar buttoned tightly around 
it. There was no mouthpiece. The wearer was expected to 
breathe through the chemical-soaked flannel. 

So-called "smoke helmets" were also issued. They were similar 
to the gas helmets. Every man was required to have these two 
masks with him at all times; and they were carried in a special 
canvas bag, slung over the shoulder. Until the box respirator 
eventually made its appearance, new and improved gas and 
smoke helmets were issued every few weeks. 

A few of our most venturesome (or foolhardy) fellows went 
up to the front line trenches on sight-seeing or souvenir-hunting 
trips. Who among them doesn t recall his first initiation into 
trench life, with its mud and corruption, ping-ing bullets, whin 
ing ricochets, thudding duds, ear-shattering high-explosives and 
whizzbangs, cracking "wooly-bears," blinding night-flares, eye- 
torturing charcoal braziers, asthmatic rats, lice-infested dugouts 
and staccato machine-gun outbursts? At first there was a temp 
tation to peep over the top and see what the German trenches 
really looked like - - but after giving first-aid or burial to a few 
infantrymen who had tried it, our lads had little trouble in 
curbing their clumsy curiosity. 

Some of the stretcher-bearers had close calls on their first trip 
up but, fortunately, we had no serious casualties. Bill (Red) 
Whitmore had an experience that resulted in temporary shell- 
shock but, after a few days in hospital, Red was as fit as ever. 

The Loos scrap had opened while our men were manning the 
forward stations and regimental aid-posts, and Fritz paid con 
siderable attention to our part of the line. There were quite a 


number of infantry casualties, but our stay on this front was 
more interesting than dangerous. During the time we were at 
Dranoutre the weather was very bad. Hardly a day passed with 
out rain, and the nights were raw and cold. "Sunny" France was 
a case of reverse English, as far as we could fathom. 

We Move to Mont Noir and La Clytte.^ 

On Saturday, October 9th, the unit moved. C. Section took 
over an officers rest camp at Mont Noir. A., B., and Head 
quarters Sections went to La Clytte. 

Shortly after the unit took over at La Clytte, Irving Dyment 
was wounded while returning from a "Cook s tour" to Ypres. 
A pellet from an anti-aircraft shell hit him on top of the head, 
injuring him painfully but not seriously. He was given an anti- 
tetanus inoculation and a few days rest. For a while he was 
Colonel Farmer s especial pride and the envy of us all - - our 
first casualty. 

At Mont Noir the men had good billets in the upper rooms of 
an old chateau located on the top of a wooded hill from which 
the country-side for many miles about was visible. Here were 
many walnut, beechnut and apple trees, so there were some good 
"feeds" of nuts and fruit. The "resting" officers were quartered 
in the best rooms of the chateau, and the duties of our unit 
orderlies mostly consisted of serving food and liquid refresh 
ments, making beds, washing floors, cleaning patients equip 
ment, etc., etc. Tips were plentiful, though, and if this place was 
a rest home for officers it was also a real home for our Nursing 

In the basement of the chateau there was a well-stocked wine 
cellar into which some of the lads more than once forced en 
trance. Consequently, choice champagnes, wines, beers, liqueurs, 
cordiales, and other potent spirits were poured down throats for 
which they were never intended. Here, too, some of the boys 
one day located a large vat of conger eels, and these made a very 
welcome addition to the men s rations. No one has ever repeated 
Quartermaster-Sergeant Busst s remarks when he discovered that 
the jealously-guarded wine cellar had been broken into. 

The loft of the chateau stables also provided an excellent billet 
for about twenty men. Outside the loft window was a sort of 


iron-grilled balcony. On this balcony, Private Husband, after a 
visit to some nearby estaminet, was one evening reciting "The 
Cremation of Sam McGee" to an applauding gang of his 
cronies below, when his too-emphatic gestures caused him to 
overbalance and topple head-first down about twenty feet. It 
was only a score of upstretched fending arms that saved Hubby 
from serious hurt. 

It was in this same loft that Harry Cunningham and Bob 
Hodgkinson used to put on their bean-shooting contests. We can 
still see Bob, sitting there with a handful of beans in one hand 
and a bean-flipper in the other, doing his utmost to get greater 
elevation and distance. Bob would flip a bean and Harry Cun 
ningham (about twenty feet away !) would clap his hand to his 
forehead as if he had been struck by one of the beans. Someone 
just behind Bob would toss a small pebble to the other side of 
the loft, and Bob would think he had flipped a bean the whole 
length of the big room. There were never any arguments about 
who was the "champeen." Bob beat them all, with almost a 
foot to spare. 

In the centre of the chateau woods there was a rather expan 
sive cesspool - - as stagnant and fetid as any in Flanders. One 
night when Bill Scott was making his way down the steep and 
winding path that led to the stables he failed to take the correct 
turn and nearly drowned in the foul-smelling ooze. 

Farther down the hill and past the stables was a shrine or 
grotto - - a local sacred place and a mecca for worshippers from 
the surrounding country-side. Here, in a shallow cave, was a 
large and beautifully -carved wooden altar and crucifix, flanked 
by lighted candles and artificial-flower wreaths and sprays. One 
didn t have to be of any particular religious faith to appreciate 
the reverent earnestness with which the French and Belgian 
peasants worshipped before this humble shrine. Almost at any 
hour of the day and evening, at least one pleading supplicant 
could be found kneeling before the grotto crucifix, petitioning 
for help and strength to enable the pleader to carry on through 
the awful martyrdom of war. 

There was, too, the loge near the main gate to the chateau 
grounds. Back of this loge. and in amongst the trees our guard 
tent was pitched. Late one dark night Charlie Scott heard some 
one approaching in the inky blackness. He brought his bayonetted 


rifle to the challenge position. "Who goes there?" he demanded. 
An indistinct mumble came from the dimly-outlined figure about 
a foot from the point of Charlie s bayonet. "Advance and give 
the countersign!" roared Charlie, "and that countersign consists 
of three rousing British f - - ts !" The challenged person proved 
to be Major Kapelle and, if he failed to break wind and accom 
modate the discomfited sentry, he did not neglect to give the 
enterprising and inventive Charles a severe dressing-down. 

St. Jans Cappd 

About a mile to the south of Mont Noir was the village of 
St. Jans Cappel. Here were a church, and a few shops in which 
hand-made lace, shawls, collars, etc., were for sale. On Sundays 
our Roman Catholic church parades went to this village. There, 
too, at almost any hour of the day Its pommes dc tcrrcs frittcs ct 
Ics oeufs could be purchased. Another of St. Jans Cappel s 
attractions was an open-air comfort station, right on the main 
street. Our men were amazed at seeing French men and boys 
there obeying calls of nature, while other men, women and 
children walked nonchalantly by, paying not the slightest atten 
tion to them. Someone has truly said that "Morals are only a 
matter of geography." What was quite decent and customary in 
St. Jans Cappel would have brought a long prison term (and 
possibly, sterilization!) in Toronto the Good. Yet it is safe to 
say that the morals of that little French town were every bit as 
high as those of Ontario s Queen City. Incidentally, it was 
noticed that within a few days many of our Canadian soldiers 
also patronized these wayside shrines to liberty, equality and 
fraternity. Similar open-air urinals were invariably to be found 
just outside the vestry doors of most Flemish churches and public 
buildings, so the troops always knew where to go when occasion 

The Roman Catholic church parade to St. Jans was always 
well attended - - for the simple reason that, after church, the 
men were dismissed in the village and could enjoy themselves as 
they saw fit. Bill Ferris was one who made the most of his time 
and opportunities. A very pretty mamselle named Bertha was the 
apple of Bill s eye and he "hung around" her every spare minute. 
Finally her mother took a hand and asked Bill just what his 


intentions were. Of course, Bill convinced her that they were 
entirely honorable and, assisted by his pal, Arthur Reeves, told 
some very glowing stories about a gold mine in Burlington and 
a ranch near Clappison s Corners. He mentioned casually the 
magnificent sum the old lady would get in the form of a sepa 
ration allowance if the daughter were to marry him, and of the 
high pay a married soldier received in our army. The "line" 
peddled by these two consummate liars was avidly swallowed 
by the greedy mother and lovesick daughter. Bertha s mother 
agreed to a wedding and suggested it take place toute dc suite. 
Bill and Arthur then explained that it was necessary to get the 
colonel s permission before a wedding could take place. Bertha 
and her Ma agreed that, while Bill was getting his Commanding 
Officer s consent, they would have the banns posted in the local 
church. Finally, Bill left, to attend to his part of the arrange 
ments - - and that was the last little Bertha or her mother ever 
saw of William ! He gave St. Jans a wide berth ever after. What 
had started as a joke on his part had taken a serious turn - - and 
besides, Bill had a wife and family back home in Canada. 

Some of our ex-officers will, no doubt, recall Captain Silcox s 
experience when down at St. Jans Cappel one day. The captain 
entered a small grocery store- -un petit magasin. The rather 
presentable young mademoiselle in charge greeted him with the 
customary French greeting: "Bon jour, M sieur, que voulez- 
vous? The captain returned her greeting in his recently acquired 
French: "Bon /our, mmsdle. Je desire me peser, s il vous plait." 
The young lady smiled politely. ".A/i, oui, M sieur le Capitaine 

- le cabinet est le has" and she pointed to a toilet in the rear 
of the shop. Captain Silcox blushingly stepped to a large set of 
scales and with considerable difficulty explained that he merely 
wanted to weigh himself. For a few days thereafter his fellow- 
officers overheard him practising the pronunciation of the French 
word peser, "to weigh." 

About one hundred yards from the chateau gates, and at the 
corner of the road leading to St. Jans Cappel, was the "Pot-du- 
Lait" estaminet where lived the famous mesdemoiselles,Suzanne 
and Claire - - two exceptionally handsome and buxom girls in 
their early twenties. During legal hours of opening, the Pot-au- 
Lait was the rendezvous of thirsty and ambitious noncoms. and 
other ranks. During "closed" hours several officers vied with 

1. Courcelettc Sugar Refinery (Can. Official War Photo). 

2. A Rest Period at Sandling. 

3. Jerry McDonald and Lew Taylor Entertain the Boys. 


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each other for the girls favors and for the excellent champagne 
which was stored in the estaminet cellar. One captain, in par 
ticular, would slip stealthily away to this corner thirst-parlor 
and, hour after hour, exert all his well-known and peculiar 
powers of persuasion on Claire, the younger and less guileful of 
the two sisters. Of course, his intentions were strictly honorable 
for he was a married man, an officer and therefore a "Temporary 
King s Gentleman." His chief handicap was his inability to 
speak French. The girl knew no English at this early stage of the 
war, so things were more or less at a standstill when, like a gift 
from the gods, a certain French-speaking corporal took a hand 
in the affair. Mile. Claire asked the corporal for something nice 
to say in English to the ardent capitctine when next he came to 
visit. The blond corporal spent one whole afternoon teaching 
the girl to say, "Oh, you are a nice captain. I love you. You are 
one son-of-a-something from Omaha!" She had just mastered 
the sentences to the corporal s satisfaction and her own delight 
when, who should drop in but the philandering captain himself! 
Fortunately, the corporal was able to slip unseen into an adjoin 
ing room where he could hear all that went on between Claire 
and the officer. Hardly had the captain got comfortably seated 
alongside his eager idol when the girl proudly spoke the all- 
important sentences. The effect, however, was not exactly what 
she had anticipated, for the captain jumped angrily to his feet 
and demanded to know where she had learned such shocking 
language. "Le caporal," answered the startled Claire. What 
corporal?" fumed the officer. "Le blond caporal!" explained the 
girl. The corporal thought this an ideal moment to slip out the 
back door and away to the chateau. It so happened that there 
were three blond corporals in the unit at this time and the captain 
never did discover which was the guilty one. Naturally, the luck 
less officer was obliged to be very guarded in his enquiries. 

Between the chateau and the Pot-au-Lait there was another 
favorite spot called the "Soap Box." Why and by whom it was 
so named we never found out; nor can we remember just what 
the lads liked about this place. A barking white terrier, a big 
wooden butter-bowl and a crippled Frenchman are all we can re 
call to memory - - excepting that the place was eventually closed 
to the troops, after some of the Lancashire lads introduced Bob, 
the Crown-and-Anchor king, to the boss of the establishment. 


Other meeting places at Mont Noir were the estaminet near 
the Frontier cross-roads, the small farmhouse near the grotto, 
and the large farmhouse in the woods about four hundred yards 
south of the chateau. In the Frontier estaminet lived little Jeanne, 
a bright and beautiful wee miss of twelve. At the small farm 
house was a slovenly old Flemish farm-woman with a heart of 
gold. Almost at any hour of the day or night one could get hot 
coffee and cognac or a bowl of soup there. A big iron pot always 
hung over the hearth-fire; and more than one chunk of mutton, 
tin of bully or hunk of bread was contributed to the humble 
menage by grateful Fifth boys. At the large farmhouse lived 
Mile. Georgina - - one of the best-looking girls we were ever to 
see near the Front. An excellent chicken dinner could be had 
there for about two francs a plate, and if you were really nice, a 
bottle of wonderful champagne could be coaxed from the family 
cellar for about five francs. 

The Horse-Transport Fdrm^s 

The Horse Transport were billeted at a farm on the main 
Bailleul road and about five hundred yards southeast of Mont 
Noir proper. There the horses were comfortably stabled and the 
men had good dry billets in a large barn. It was on this farm that 
Sergeant Kelso demonstrated his plowing ability. The farmer had 
a plow, but no horses to pull it, so Max kindly offered to hitch 
two of the transport steeds to the old wooden plow and show the 
Flemish sod-buster just how we did things in Canada. Max s 
intentions were of the very best but the two transport horses were 
rather wild and, when Max chirped "giddap," they gave one 
wild plunge forward, the wooden blade of the old plow sank 
deeply into the heavy soil, Max was dragged halfway across the 
field - - and the ancient plow went all to pieces, like Oliver 
Wendell Holmes "One Hoss Shay!" 

Max ended up with only a couple of broken plow-handles in 
his hands, and about a hundred-weight of smelly soil clinging to 
his person. Part of the wooden plow-blade was found buried in 
the ground, but of the rest of the ancient implement nary a trace 
was ever found. The farmer shed copious tears. The Fifth lads 
laughed. Max swore never again to give a similar exhibition or 
to attempt to mix Canadian ideas with Flemish farm equipment. 


The Fall and Winter of 1915-16 were about the stormiest of 
the whole war, and our first taste of nasty weather in Dranoutre 
had not quite prepared us for what we were to experience at 
Mont Noir and the farm. On looking back at our stay in those 
two places we can recall scarcely a day when it didn t rain, snow 
or blow - - or do all three simultaneously. For once, the supply 
people showed good judgment and we were issued leather jerkins 
and rubber rain-capes. These two articles of clothing helped a lot 
to fend us from the raw climate, but in spite of their help many 
of the lads contracted heavy chest colds and coughs, which, be 
cause of the prevailing conditions, they had a hard time getting 
rid of. 

One of those who took unto himself a very severe cough and 
cold was Henderson. Jim s horse-line duties had brought him a 
cough that seemed to come from down near his boots, and a 
chest cold that promised to get him either a funeral or a long 
spell back in some tuberculosis hospital. But he fooled every 
body, and got neither a six-foot plot of ground nor a trip down 
the line. He was merely "excused duty" and kept lying around 
the farm barn for a few weeks, while he coughed and spat and 
shivered and shook till we thought the billet must topple over. 

Just to cheer him up and help him on his way, one of the lads 
made up a parody to "O Canada" and everybody got a great 
kick out of sitting around the sick man and singing him towards 
recovery. Here is what they sang : 

Poor Henderson! His race is almost run. 

He has the con. - We mean con-sum-shee-un. 

For he coughs all night and he spits all day 

And his eyes are growing dim. 

And just about next Saturday we ll have to bury 

poor Jim (Qor-blimey!) 
Poor Henderson! Poor Henderson! On his grave 

well have to put "He died of the Con!" 
On his grave we ll have to put "He died of the Con!" 

Who can ever forget Louise, the sturdy daughter at this same 
farm? There was a girl for you! She was rather pretty in her 
rough way: bright-eyed, rosy-cheeked, broad-shouldered, and 
with a sitter-down that would crowd the largest washtub. She 
was extremely good-natured and, while she would put up with 
an extraordinary amount of teasing, she would not stand for 


any rough stuff. More than one venturesome lad found himself 
picked up bodily and heaved into the cesspool that perfumed the 
farmyard, when he "tried his luck" with Louise. And we know 
a rather amorous lance-corporal who spent a whole afternoon 
turning the mangold chopper for her, in the hope that she would 
listen to reason when the rest of the unit had left camp. The art 
ful Louise kept him working so hard, though, that by the time 
they were alone together his only desire was to lay his weary body 
down for a good long rest. We recall, too, one day at the farm 
when Louise was holding a litter of young pigs while her dad 
performed a sterilizing operation on them. Our men formed a 
ring around the two rustic surgeons, laughing and passing broadly 
humorous comment. But Louise didn t mind. She merely smiled 
and, as each little porcine victim squirmed under her father s 
knife, she would look up at the grinning spectators and call out : 
"Beaucoup bon for cochon, eh? Plentcc bon for Canadian soldats, 
aussi!" Louise s remarks were typically Flemish- -not pretty, 
perhaps, but refreshingly blunt. 

In comparison with our Canadian horses, those of the Flemish 
farmers were extremely docile and tractable. Giant Percherons 
were the favorites and it was astonishing what complete control 
the farmers had over these beautiful animals. Only one rein was 
used for driving and that was a mere string. By jerking this string 
and by spoken words of command, "Geet Ho!" etc., these huge 
entires were easily persuaded to perform the most intricate 
movements. Usually they hauled gigantic, creaking, three-wheeled 
carts. These carts had two six-foot wheels, revolving on axles 
placed slightly behind the centre of the box-body. A small, pivot- 
ting wheel was attached well out in front for steering. The wheel 
tires were about one-half inch thick and made of hand-wrought 
iron. The horse was hitched about ten feet in front of the cart 
and the driver invariably walked. In going downhill the heavy 
iron-shod whiffle-trees dragged on the ground, while the driver 
applied an immense hand-brake to the metal rims of the big 
wheels. The whiffle-trees, trace-chains, breast-yoke or collar and 
harness were hand-made and they and the empty cart alone would 
have been a heavy load for an average-sized Canadian horse; but 
one of those magnificent Percherons could pull without apparent 
effort one such cart, even when the vehicle was piled high with 
sugar-beets or turnips. 


La Clytte and the Brasserie ^> 

At La Clytte, A. and B. Sections took over a main dressing 
station located in a half-ruined brick schoolhouse on the main 
street of the village. To this place we cleared wounded from an 
advanced dressing station in an old brasserie just east of Ridge 
Wood. In the cellar of this old ruined brewery were the regimental 
aid-posts of whatever battalions happened to be in the line at 
that time. 

From the Brasserie the village of St. Eloi was 2,000 yards due 
east; Voormezeele was about 1,000 yards northeast; Spoilbank 
was 3,000 yards northeast; Bedford House was two miles north 
east; and Vierstraat was 1,200 yards south. The part of the Line 
nearest to the Brasserie was that of the "M. cV N." trenches 
which lay about 1,000 yards southeast and was reached during 
the daytime through long tortuous communication trenches. 
After dark, ration parties, reliefs, working parties and infantry 
stretcher squads took the overland route, preferring to take their 
chances of being killed, rather than endure the slow and weari 
some trench route. 

To reach the Brasserie by foot we usually went by way of 
Hallebast Corner, across the duck-walk over the lower end of 
Dickebusch Lake, past Gordon Farm, through Ridge Wood and 
along about 500 yards of a much-shelled road. Every evening, 
and as soon as darkness would permit, our ambulances went up 
to the Brasserie by way of the Kemmel and Vierstraat roads and 
brought back the sick and wounded collected there during the 
day. Early each evening a despatch rider would bring down word 
as to how many wounded were waiting, and only on two nights 
during our long stay in the Salient were there no cases to be 
brought out. Usually we sent from two to four motor ambu 
lances up, but many times it was found necessary to send ail our 
cars and make more than one trip. All cases were brought to the 
La Clytte schoolhouse, where they were given secondary dress 
ings or emergency treatment and then sent to clearing stations at 
Bailleul and Poperinghe. 

From October 9th the unit carried on at Mont Noir and La 
Clytte. On the 27th of October His Majesty King George and 
the Prince of Wales visited the area and inspected the Canadians. 
The Prince held the rank of lieutenant. A few days later, a 15-inch 


naval gun was installed near the crossroads at the northern 
end of La Clytte village. After it fired a few rounds Fritz retali 
ated, missing the gun but killing a family of civilians. The 
young daughter died in our dressing station, after having both 
legs and one arm blown off. The suffering of this poor girl con 
vinced many of us that Sherman had the right idea about war. 

On October 28th, "The La Clytte Bladder and Empire" made 
its first appearance. Editor, Pete Wise. The career of the news- 
sheet as a daily was short-lived. It very soon evolved into a semi- 
weekly, then into a bi-weekly. Later on it appeared "just every 
so often" - or whenever there was sufficient news material and 
the extra duties given to its editor and his assistants permitted 
publication. Several of the Rah Rah Boys gave its editor a help 
ing hand and, through their combined efforts, a very interesting 
little paper was produced. Their many sly digs at officers, non- 
coms. , cooks, mail men and quartermaster stores hangers-on did 
much to curb abuses and make life a little more worthwhile for 
the lowly buck privates. 

Perhaps some of the oldtimers will recall the B. Section gang 
which was billeted in a half-ruined estaminet near the Kemmel- 
Reninghelst crossroads. These fellows formed themselves into a 
mock unit. Slim Russell was colonel; Baldy Rutherford, major; 
Ben Case, staff-clerk; Bob Hare, staff-sergeant; and Dick Thomas, 
sergeant-major. They posted their own Orders of the Day, held 
orderly room, sentenced various culprits to weird punishments 
and carried on generally in a manner that just about drove 
B. Section s official staff-sergeant to distraction. The "Bladder 
and Empire," as well as the mock Daily Orders, were written in 
longhand. Several copies were made and circulated freely through 
the ranks of the various Sections. 

On November 13th the Brigade gave a rousing send-off to 
Lord Brooke who was leaving to take a Third Division com 
mand. Bands played in the street. Enemy observers noticed the 
commotion and shells came over into an infantry billet and there 
were about a dozen casualties. On November 17th and 18th the 
village was again shelled, but there were many duds (marked 
"Made in U.S.A.") and no casualties. 

On November 20th A. Section went to the Mont Noir farm 
for a rest. B. Section took over the chateau; and C. Section moved 
to La Clytte, where they remained until December 17th, when 


A. returned to La Clytte; C. took over the chateau; and B. moved 
to Godewaersvelde and opened a rest station. 

While B. Section were running the chateau, Captain Barton 
was called to attend a maternity case. Sergeant Wartman accom 
panied him to a nearby farmhouse where they found a young 
farmwife stretched out on the kitchen floor, with a rather slov 
enly old woman performing the duties of a midwife. Barton and 
Wartman had little to do but watch as the old woman performed 
her duties with no other instrument than an old pair of scissors 
and some cloths that looked anything but clean. Two days after 
ward the young mother was out working in the fields - - much 
to the surprise of our medicos and contrary to all the laws of 
modern medicine and surgery. Hardy stock, those Flemish farm 

Perhaps some of the B. Section lads will recall the champagne 
party they pulled off at Mont Noir - - when Tom Morgan man 
aged to hide away a bottle for his own private consumption 
next morning? 

It was, too, while B. Section was at Mont Noir that the 
chateau well became polluted. The Commanding Officer decided 
that it should have a thorough cleaning. A long piece of hose was 
used for siphoning out the water. Some of the fellows may re 
member the strenuous fatigues they had for a few days, scouring 
and scrubbing the well walls. 

Early in December Major Kappele left the Fifth, to take com 
mand of a cavalry field ambulance. While we were glad he was 
receiving a well-deserved promotion we were sorry to lose him. 
He was our original major, and as such, had every man in the 
unit for his friend. 

Our First Christmas in Flanders **& 

While the three Sections were carrying on at La Clytte, Gode 
waersvelde and Mont Noir respectively, they celebrated their 
first Christmas in Flanders. The weather on the 25th was wet, 
misty and cold, but in the hearts and minds of the men there 
was that glow of happiness which only Christmas can bring. 
For many weeks there had been buying-trips to Bailleul and 
other towns and hundreds of presents were sent to loved ones 
back home. Hand-made lace, aprons, d Oyleys, table pieces, 


hand-carved crucifixes, sabots and similar articles were des 
patched through the Field Post-Office. 

What money remained the boys dedicated to Bacchus, in the 
form of vin blanc, vin rouge and champagne, so that when the 
great day finally arrived, it found everybody ready and prepared 
to enjoy themselves. Extra rations had been brought up and all 
had a good Christmas dinner. 

At Godewaersvelde, Christmas found B. Section with the jute 
fabrique. well on the way toward being ready for the reception 
of patients. Time out was taken for the erection of a stage and 
a very creditable affair, complete with drop curtain and wings, 
was rigged up. Tables were set in the hall and the men enjoyed 
the novelty of seeing real china dishes and home-like cutlery 

At 6.30 p.m. the Section sat down to dine, Captain Nicholson 
at the head of the table. The menu was as follows: 


Dec. 25, 1915. 



Tomato Soup 
Roast Chicken with French Dressing 

Roast Sirloin of Beef 

Boiled Potatoes Green Peas 

Canadian Cheddar Cheese 

Pickled White Onions 
College Pudding Mother s Own Pudding 

Apples, Oranges, Dates, Figs, Walnuts 
Champagne (real pain) Cherry Wine 


Toasts : The King Captain Nicholson 

The Canadians Captain Barton 

The Commanding Officer and Officers of 

the Fifth Staff Alden 

Loved Ones at Home Staff Patterson 

The Boys in the Trenches Private Rostron 


After dinner a special performance was given by an Imperial 
Concert Troupe, "The Mudlarks," assisted by some of the lads 
from B. Section. The hit of the evening was a song, "My Ain 
Folk," sung by a Scotsman with all the feeling the song and 
occasion demanded. It was after midnight when festivities stop 
ped and the men tumbled into their stretcher bunks to sleep. 

Considerable difficulty had been encountered in obtaining an 
adequate supply of chickens for the dinner, but Jack Lumsden 
called for volunteers, went out into the night and returned with 
fowl enough for the banquet. Goodness only knows where or how 
Jack got them, for he never explained and no person dared ask him. 

For the first time our cooks utilized the new cook-kitchen 
which had arrived at Godewaersvelde on December 24th. This 
kitchen was a gift from the people of Dundas, Ontario. Colonel 
Farmer was well known in Dundas and, through the instru 
mentality of his many friends, including the late John S. Fry, 
beloved magistrate and former town clerk, a local Ladies Organ 
ization launched a subscription campaign and bought the cook- 
kitchen - - after first consulting the colonel as to what would be 
the most acceptable gift. Dundas was also a sort of second home 
town to Staff Patterson, so perhaps the citizens consideration for 
Andy s bulky frame and gastronomic capacity had something to 
do with the Dundas folks gift. However, a more acceptable 
piece of equipment could not have been chosen. Thousands of 
meals were cooked and served by this kitchen and throughout 
the war we had excellent reason to be grateful to the kind 
folk of Dundas. 

At Mont Noir, C. Section, under the command of Major 
Jones, enjoyed Christmas by having a Christmas Tree and an 
impromptu program of entertainment by members of the Sec 
tion. Bill Ferris was in rare form on this occasion and his Sal 
vation Army skit was a great success. Happy Carlisle thumped 
the piano and sang his Jack Johnson song and several other favor 
ite ditties as only Happy could sing them. Perhaps the lads of 
C. Section will remember the surprise they got when Staff- 
Sergeant Smith was called upon for a song and obliged with 
"A Perfect Day," in a manner that won the admiration and 
unstinted applause of all present. The dinner served C. Section 
was along lines similar to those provided at La Clytte and Gode 
waersvelde. The "resting" officer-patients, of course, had a 


special menu - - but every day was a sort of fete day with them 
while at the chateau. 

At La Clytte special food and refreshment was provided for 
the few patients who were awaiting disposal. For their amuse 
ment a motion picture machine was borrowed and some humor 
ous films thrown on a sheet hung on the ward wall. Our officers 
dined in their own messroom to which the orderlies had given a 
very homey atmosphere by hanging bunting, tinsel, evergreens, 
holly, etc. 

The officers menu was as follows: Oysters on the half-shell, 
roast goose with dressing and applesauce, potatoes, cauliflower, 
lobster salad, plum-pudding with brandy sauce, blanc mange, 
jelly, apples, oranges, grapes, Scotch shortbread, cheese, raisins, 
nuts, stout, tea, coffee and port wine. The men s dinner con 
sisted of a shot of rum, potatoes boiled with the jackets on, 
roast beef, plum-pudding, tea, oranges and nuts. The plum- 
pudding was a present from Princess Mary, and the oranges and 
nuts came from various Canadian Soldiers Comforts groups. 
Not a bad old war, eh? 

Almost everybody enjoyed their dinners, with the possible 
exception of Dean Wilkins. Dean was at the end of the line-up 
at La Clytte, one half of his mess-tin in each hand. John Gilpin 
had filled one half of Dean s utensil with meat, vegetables, etc., 
when he noticed that his cookhouse fire needed replenishing. 
Stooping down, and with his bare hands, Jack threw a few 
chunks of soft coal on the fire. He then wiped his fingers on that 
inky-black coal sack he wore for an apron, and stuck his grimy 
hand into the pudding pot and brought out a great blobby fistful 
of pudding which he dropped into the lid of Wilkie s mess-tin. 
Next he poured over the pudding a ladleful of what he said was 
butter sauce. Dean s jaw dropped. The corners of his mouth took 
on their well-known droop and his face, from the top of his 
expansive forehead down to near his Adam s apple, turned a 
hectic red. He stood for a moment glaring venomously at the 
unconcerned cook - - then disgustedly turned his mess-tin upside 
down, dumping the whole vile contents on the cookhouse floor. 
Corporal Gilpin payed not the slightest attention, but calmly 
went ahead stirring a "dixie" of tea with a fast-melting wax 
candle! John s South- African experiences had evidently brought 
him a resourcefulness we "amateur soldiers" couldn t appreciate. 


It was shortly after this that Gilpin began to "work his 
ticket," because of failing eyesight. Colonel Farmer had just 
about decided to recommend Jack s discharge when one day the 
corporal-cook forgot himself. The colonel was standing near the 
cookhouse when John pointed a murky finger skywards. "Lor 
lummey !" exclaimed the excited cook, "them blawsted jerries is 

Powin to it that bloody bloke if ee eye-nt shawp!" Colonel 
armer looked in the direction Jack was pointing. "Hit who?" 
he asked, searching the sky. "Why that eye-viator over there," 
pointed John. "Cawn t you see im, sir?" But the colonel was 
unable to see any planes overhead - - until he got his binoculars ! 
Even then he had some difficulty in locating the British plane 
around which white shell-puffs were clustering, about two miles 
up. Needless to add, perhaps, that Gilpin s bad break about his 
eyesight didn t hasten his discharge. Jack, too, was about the only 
one of us who was ever able to read the time by that sundial on 
the south wall of the old La Clytte church. He had good eyesight, 
too, when anyone tried to swipe food from his cookhouse. 

Bob Tillotson was another laddybuck who didn t enjoy the 
Christmas festivities. Bob was sick in hospital and had been put 
on a diet, being allowed only a few ounces of liquid food each 
day. To add insult to his illness, several bulky boxes of Christmas 
cheer had arrived for him and were piled beside his stretcher, but 
he was forbidden to open them. Whether the contemplation of 
so many unopened boxes aggravated his condition we never 
knew, but Bob grew steadily worse and heroic methods were 
undertaken to bring him back to normal. One night Captain 
Silcox ordered an enema for Bob - - and Roy Flynn and Jim 
Henderson were nominated to perform the heroic deed. They 
filled one of the schoolhouse fire-buckets with tepid water. Into 
this they stirred about two pounds of soft soap. Henderson stood 
on a pannier and held the frothing pail aloft while Flynn put the 
business end of the tube where it belonged. Poor Bob groaned in 
frightened anticipation of the probable denouement, but the two 
enthusiastic orderlies poured soapy fluid into him until he seemed 
about to burst. It may have been just a coincidence, but at that 
very moment the whole Ypres salient was aroused by a gas alarm. 
Gongs clanged, bells rang, horns tooted and flappers flapped. 
Fritz put over a defensive barrage and our infantrymen donned 
their gas respirators. There was a breeze from the west blowing 


at the time, so it is quite possible that the troops up the Line got 
wind of what was going on in La Clytte. 

And while we are writing about Bob we must explain how he 
got the nickname of "Maconachie." Twas simply because he 
was fond of that well-known meat-and-vegetable ration. Know 
ing his liking for the succulent M. 6V V., our old friend Hender 
son one night wakened Tillotson out of a sound sleep. "Hey, 
Bob," whispered Jim, shaking the sleeping Robert, "wake up 
. . . wake up ... I ve got something for you!" Bob roused 
himself. "Hello, what s up?" he asked, crawling half-way out 
of his blankets. "Could you eat some Maconachie?" enquired 
Henderson holding out two warm tins to the now fully-awake 
Bob. "Aye, that I could, Jim! I do love a bit o Maconachie!" 
exclaimed Bob, reaching for his can-opener. And as Henderson 
looked on in awe, the two tins of M. fie V. disappeared down 
Tillotson s appreciative throat, well earning for their consumer 
the monicker of "Maconachie Bob." Any man who could wake 
up out of a sound sleep and eat two tins of M. cV V. deserved 

Bailleul was a Mecca for everyone on pass. There could be 
seen men of every rank in the Corps, and an afternoon in Bailleul 
was considered something to look forward to and long remem 
ber. Of course, our officers had many excuses for their visits - 
the mess caterer marketed there and a visit to the casualty clearing 
station was always in order. Some of us, too, loved to sit and 
meditate in the quaint old cathedral. 

One morning Colonel Farmer was on his way to Bailleul 
when, just north of Hyde Park Corner, the motor ambulance was 
brought to a halt by a large tree which had fallen across the road 
way. The colonel, followed by Corporal Hutchinson and Andy 
Parker, Motor Transport driver and orderly respectively, de 
scended from the car and walked over to the obstruction. There 
they found about a dozen Imperial soldiers in charge of a cor 
poral, leisurely lopping off the smaller branches of the tree. That 
traffic was being held up didn t seem to bother the easy-going 
Imperials. They were quite unconcerned about the long line of 
vehicles already forming behind the barrier. Colonel Farmer 
looked on for a minute or two, then he stepped forward. "Hut 
chinson! Parker! Damn it to hell! Show these blankety blanks 
how to move this tree !" 


Hutch and Andy turned their car around, tied a tow-rope to 

one end of the tree and swung it over far enough to permit 

traffic to pass. The colonel glared at the dumbfounded Imperials. 

We ll never win this damned war with men like you. You ll 

have to wake up or we ll be out here fifty years !" 

Just before the Commanding Officer s car reached Bailleul 
some tractors approached, pulling two fifteen-inch howitzers. 
The colonel ordered the car stopped and asked the tractor officer 
where and when the guns were going into action. The informa 
tion he received pleased him immensely. He turned to the ambu 
lance driver with a smile. "All right, Hutchinson - - drive to the 
Square. The war will soon be over now!" Truly was the Old 
Man very mercurial in his temperament and reactions. 

Mention of the Old Man s trip to Bailleul reminds us of an 
earlier day when he was at Mont Noir. He climbed into an am 
bulance and in his best Parisian accent ordered the driver to drive 
him to La Place, and to get there in a hurry. Away sped the car. 
The driver turned to car orderly Bill Brown: "Where s La Place, 
Billy? That s a new village to me!" Billy scratched his head. 
"Damned if I know! Maybe it s one of those little villages near 
Ypres." On went the car, past La Clytte, Hallebast Corner and 
Dickebusch. They were within a mile or so of Ypres when, from 
inside the car, came a roar that made the engine seem quiet in 
comparison. "Stop the car! Stop the car! Dammitall! Where in 
hell do you think you re going?" The car stopped! "I m taking 
you where you ordered, Sir. La Place is near here somewhere." 
The colonel was purple with exasperation. Turn around and 
drive back the way we ve come," he yelled. "I said La Place - 
La Place - - the Square in Bailleul ! Didn t you ever hear it called 
La Place before?" 

Those who remember the sort of temper the Old Man pos 
sessed can imagine the scene when one day Private Roen and 
another lad carried a big dud air-bomb into the colonel s La 
Clytte billet. As soon as the Commanding Officer spotted the 
dangerous missile he rushed for the door. - Get that damned 
thing out of here. Hurry up, get it out, get it out, get it out," he 
roared. The two lads took the bomb over to the bombing school 
where it was discovered that the bomb s detonating pin was 
within one-hundredth part of an inch from the exploding point. 
Roen was quite unconcerned about the danger involved - - had, 


in fact, been experimenting on the dud with a wrench and a 
screw-driver before he decided to turn it over to the colonel ! 

"Hicks of B. Section," the Unit "Qoat" <*** 

Now that we ve accounted for one well-known character, we 
might as well explain the origin of another celebrity - - the unit s 
most mysterious member - "Hicks of B. Section," also some 
times known as "Ball Hyphen Hicks." 

In army life, as in civilian life, it is always handy to have 
someone to blame for everything that goes wrong. For the first 
year of the Fifth s existence the unit struggled along, somehow, 
with no one to blame for all its woes, each man shouldering his 
full share of responsibility for all that went amiss - - which was 
plenty! At La Clytte, however, we accidentally discovered one 
on whom we could throw the onus of all our misdeeds, short 
comings and crimes - -a sort of official "goat." The discovery 
came about as follows : 

One morning, when Orderly Sergeant Smith was making his 
rounds, he discovered in one of the huts a bed roll that was very 
untidy. "Whose blankets are those?" shouted Reggie, as soon as 
he entered the door. "Tell him they belong to Hicks," whispered 
Corporal John McRae to Bill Taylor, and Bill did as he was 
prompted. "What Section does this man Hicks belong to?" de 
manded the indignant staff-sergeant, taking out his notebook and 
pencil. "B. Section!" replied Taylor. "All right, Private Taylor," 
announced Reggie, "Private Hicks will help you on sanitary 
fatigue this morning," and away he went. 

About an hour later the orderly sergeant returned to the hut 
and found Taylor sitting unconcernedly on his blanket roll. "Why 
aren t those latrine buckets emptied, Private Taylor?" he de 
manded. Si Taylor s face took on a very concerned look. "I m 
very sorry, staff," he confided, "but I couldn t find Hicks, and it 
takes two men to carry those buckets on a pole, you know, so I 
just had to leave them where they were." 

Reggie was furious. "I ll find him," he declared, and hurried 
off to the sergeant-major s billet, where he laid a charge of "being 
absent without leave" against the missing Hicks. Jack Williams, 
sensing that the lads were having some fun with Staff Smith, 
agreed that the missing offender should be punished and he told 


the angry staff to put Hicks under arrest as soon as possible. 
Poor Reggie hunted for the man high and low and for two or 
three days before he realized that there was no such person in 
the Fifth. 

One or two of the original officers knew about the Hicks gag, 
but more than one new officer and noncom. had his "leg pulled 
by the same stunt. And more than one guilty lad escaped punish 
ment by blaming his misdemeanor on "Hicks of B. Section." 
From that time on, everything that went wrong was credited to 
"Hicks," and the Fifth had a "goat" at last- -a goat that 
stayed with us until the end of the war and relieved us of con 
siderable just retribution - - and contributed greatly to our merri 
ment. We should like to have a record of the number of times 
new noncoms. and officers made out crime sheets against this 
mythical culprit. 

We well remember the time, later on in the war, when a 
wounded man was carried into our dressing station, and one of 
our officers who had been gulled by the "Hicks" joke, bent over 
to read the wound tag. There was the wounded man s name, 
"Hicks!" The medical officer had a good laugh and explained 
the joke to the wounded man. "Why you must be that fellow 
Hicks we ve been looking for all over France!" suggested the 
doctor. "If you had done half the crimes credited to Hicks of 
B. Section you would be in a military prison, instead of on your 
way home with a nice blighty ." 

Jim Henderson was the original "Hicks," but not the B. Sec 
tion character invented at La Clytte. In our old training-camp 
days, Henderson and Bill Taylor used to put on a "rube" act for 
the amusement of the lads, and the fellows had nicknamed them 
"Hicks" and "Si" respectively. The names stuck to the pair of 
them, but Henderson had gone to A. Section at Otterpool camp, 
and that left room in B. Section for the introduction of the 
"Hicks" which became so famous throughout the ranks of the 
Fifth. As a matter of fact, one of our men afterwards married 
into a Hicks family. 

Our First 1{eal Taste o 

The 29th day of December was one of our red-letter days. 
Major Jones (posted as major, Christmas Day) had come over 
from Mont Noir to pay A. Section, and had just nicely started 


to hand out the long-awaited francs when Fritz began to shell 
La Clytte. The first two or three shells fell in nearby fields but 
the next one landed right into the centre of the village. The pay 
parade was disbanded and the men rushed to their posts in the 
dressing station. 

Soon the little schoolhouse floors were covered with wounded 
civilians, 18th Battalion men, Princess Pats, and men from 
other units. Our bearers went unhesitatingly into the shell-swept 
streets and brought the wounded into the dressing station for 
treatment. The noise and vibrations from the shell explosions 
were terriflic and, added to this, were the shouts and cries of 
fleeing and wounded civilians. 

The local Belgian cure helped bring in a ten-year-old Flemish 
boy who had both legs and one arm fractured and half his 
buttocks blown away. A minute later the cure was back, helping 
our men to carry in the little lad s uncle. The uncle died shortly 
after admission and the boy the following day. Some of the men 
may remember the poor boy s grief over losing his watch. 

Shells fell all around the school but didn t hit it. Every window 
in the village was blown out or shattered. One large shell landed 
in a big coal pile just opposite the dressing station and soft coal 
flew in every direction, but no other damage was done. After 
about two hours the shelling ceased. Our little station was like a 
shambles but, strange to say, not one Fifth man was hit. 

There is no doubt that Fritz was trying to put out of action 
the 15-inch naval gun and a battery of six-point-twos which had 
been firing from the village. There used to be a lot of newspaper 
talk about the enemy firing on our hospitals and dressing stations, 
but hardly ever did we establish an aid-post or advanced dressing 
station without someone setting up an artillery post, a supply 
dump, or a machine-gun emplacement close to us. This hap 
pened so often it just couldn t have been accidental. 

An odd coincidence of the bombardment had to do with the 
building of the station morgue. Chief Engineer Jimmy Lickley, 
assisted by Construction Expert Francesco Restivo, had barely 
completed the mortuary when the shelling started. Within a few 
minutes the morgue was filled to capacity. 

It was about this time that the Fifth lost four of its Rah Rah 
boys -- Charlie Scott, Bill Scott, "Red" Irvine and Walter 
Barnes who returned to Canada to complete their studies in 


















1. La Clytte Church. Destroyed by Huns, 1918. 
3. Locre Church. Destroyed by Huns, 1918. 

2. Mont Noir Windmill, near our Chateau billet. 
4. Mont-St.-Eloy Tower as it was before the war. 


medicine. Evidently the powers-that-were felt that many more 
medical officers would be urgently needed before the war ended. 

New Year s Day came and went without much of importance 
transpiring. The day was wet and windy but not cold. Up to 
January 1st our unit had no casualties in its own ranks, excepting 
Dyment, of course. 

Shortly after the New Year, Padre Carlisle and Captain Elliott 
were reported missing. Rumor had it that they had been shot (or 
was it half-shot?) in Armentieres. The rumor was merely half 
correct, however, and only timely identification saved them from 
ignominious deaths as spies, for they had been arrested as such by 
the Imperial police when they were sight -seeing in the English 
troops area. Thus was Joe Irwin robbed of promotion. 

It is more than likely that for a few days the two captains 
were twitted about their visit to Armentieres. Whether Elliott 
and Carlisle had met the city s famous mademoiselle we never 
learned, but it is a strange coincidence that just at that time we 
first heard the rather bawdy song about Armentieres famous 
lady. There was an ever- increasing number of verses to the song 
and the further the ditty went the worse (or better !) it seemed to 
get. Our soldier-minstrels vied with each other in composing 
additions to this army classic. The thing was bellowed in every 
estaminet and billet on the Western Front. Here are a few of the 
verses we eventually knew - - slightly censored, of course : 

Mademoiselle from Armentiers, parley-voo. 
Mademoiselle from Armentiers, parley-voo. 
Mademoiselle from Armentiers, 
She hasn t been kissed for forty years - 
With her hinky pinky parley-voo. 

O madame, have you a daughter fine, parley-voo? 
O madame, have you a daughter fine, parleyvoo? 
O madame, have you a daughter fine 
Fit for a soldier of the Line - 
And his hinky pinky parley-voo? 

O yes I have a daughter fine, parley-two. 
O yes I have a daughter fine, parley-voo. 
O yes I have a daughter fine 
Fit for a soldier of the Line, 
And his hinky pinky parley-voo. 


O mademoiselle has eyes of brown, parley-voo. 
Her golden hair is hanging down, parley-voo. 
With her golden hair and her eyes of brown 
Shes been kissed by all the troops in town - 
And their hinky pinky parley-voo. 

The colonel called on Mademoiselle, parley -voo, 
His carriage erect and his head as well, parley-voo. 
The colonel called on Mademoiselle, 
But she told him to go plump to hell - 
With his hinky pinky parley-voo, 

The padre called on Mademoiselle, parley-voo. 
To save her from the flames of hell, parley-voo. 
The padre called on Mademoiselle, 
He started to preach but damn soon fell 
For her hinky pinky parley-voo. 

The Yanks are having a damned good time, parley -voo. 
The Yanks are having a damned good time, parley-voo. 
The Yanks are having a damned good time 
Kissing the Waacs behind the Line 
With their hinky pinky parley-voo. 

It was about this time that the Fifth was becoming acquainted 
with death as it used to strike at the Front. A few men had died 
in our station at Dranoutre and many more passed out in our 
ambulances and forward station while we were in La Clytte. 
There we learned to throw off the morbidness which is usually 
associated with the Grim Reaper during times of peace. Instinct 
warned us that to dwell overmuch on the darker side of war led 
to despair and defeat. Consequently, we almost subconsciously 
turned our thoughts elsewhere even when, later on, some of 
our closest friends and comrades passed on. 

In this connection we recall that one night our officers were in 
the middle of a game of bridge, with an infantry colonel as their 
guest, when an orderly brought a despatch to that officer. Hands 
had been dealt and the game was in abeyance while the infantry 
colonel read aloud the despatch, which informed him that his 
regimental medical officer had just been killed up the Line. After 
a moment s silence, Colonel Farmer picked up his cards. "Poor 
old George killed, eh! That s too damned bad!" he remarked. 
"What s trump?" 


Our First Men Qo On Leave 

On January 8th orders were received that leave was open - 
two men a week and one officer every third week. This was good 
news to those whose names fell within the first few letters of the 
alphabet but not such great news to those down around the Ws. 
However, away went the first lucky devils, while the rest of us 
wondered if our turns would ever come. 

Leave, especially in later days, used to come like a miracle. 
To a man up the Line or about to go into a battle or closer danger 
it was like a reprieve from the ever-present imminence of death. 
It was like another life, almost - - something he wouldn t believe 
and couldn t conceive of until he was actually far away from the 
theatre of war. And when he got back up the Line his recent 
leave seemed like something he had dreamed - - a few days lived 
in an obsolescent world. 

Colonel Farmer was first to go on leave from La Clytte and 
when he returned we hardly recognized him. He came back 
sporting a black-ribboned monocle, a goatee, and a completely 
new uniform of decidedly English cut and texture. To see him 
walking about the old schoolhouse dressing station was a sight 
indeed. He would be screwing his mouth into all sorts of out 
landish shapes, in trying to hold the elusive monocle to his eye. 
On his feet were a pair of great clattering Flemish sabots, and. 
in the early morning or very late at night, he usually discarded 
his uniform and donned a suit of vivid red pyjamas. Over these 
he wore a bright crimson dressing-robe and the ensemble was 
more terrifying than Fritz himself. 

When the pompomming of anti-aircraft batteries announced 
the overhead presence of enemy aircraft, the colonel would grab 
a rifle and rush into the backyard court and blaze away merrily 
at the high-flying Boche. How many rounds of futile "rapid- 
fire" he sent skywards Heaven only knows. 

One day Colonel Farmer and some of our fellows were follow 
ing the movements of a British plane as it emerged from a battle 
over the Line. The machine was obviously out of control as it 
made its way erratically towards the rear. Suddenly, it went into 
a sickening spiral dive. Colonel Farmer ordered an ambulance 
and set out to where the machine had crashed. The dead pilot, 
Captain Saunders, M.C., a Britisher, was brought to the dressing 


station where it was found that a bullet had penetrated his 
abdomen. The colonel ordered a grave to be dug and the pilot s 
body was buried with due respect and full military honors in the 
little cemetery behind the La Clytte church. A day or two later 
Colonel Farmer received a severe dressing down from the R.A.F., 
for not consulting them about the place of burial. Eventually the 
R.A.F. removed the body to another burial ground. What the 
Old Man said about unappreciative, snobbish ungratefulness 
must be left to the reader s imagination. 

Some of the Fifth may remember that night in La Clytte when 
three of our most exalted noncoms. visited the 19th Battalion 
quartermaster - - when it took the soberest one of them until 
nearly dawn to guide the other two back across the water-filled 
fields and ditches? They may, too, remember the hyena-like 
laughter with which one of the three awakened almost every 
body in the area. 

Orders were received about this time to paint on our ambu 
lances a unit identification mark. The colonel was wearing a 
masonic ring when the order came in. He used the triple-taw 
design the ring bore for the motif of the identification mark - 
a sort of three-armed figure. 

Late every night the colonel would make a final trip around 
the dressing station wards, inspecting every case. He had a won 
derful way with a wounded man, and never was there a case of 
severe suffering that didn t receive merciful relief from pain 
through the colonel s miracle-working hands and sympathetic 
ministrations. If there were a dozen groaning, cursing, stretcher- 
cases when he entered a room, there were at least ten quietened 
and sleeping patients before he left. At his orders this man s lying 
position would be altered; the bottom end of another man s 
stretcher would be raised; the knees of still another patient would 
be elevated and a few sandbags tucked under them. He made a 
close study of each individual case and, without morphine or 
other sedative, soothed and comforted almost every badly- 
wounded man with whom he came in contact. 

The colonel loved to question every conscious wounded man 
and ask about his battalion, home, relatives, etc., in such a way 
as to win the love and confidence of the patient. He delighted to 
find a man proud of whatever unit he happened to belong to. 
One night we had a particularly severe case - - an Irish-Canuck, 


if we remember correctly. Both legs and one arm were badly 
shattered. What unit do you belong to?" asked the colonel. 
The T wenty- First - -the best bloody battalion in the Line!" 
proudly asserted the wounded man. "That s the spirit!" smiled 
the Commanding Officer. "You II get better all right," he added; 
"but I m afraid you ll lose one of those legs, my lad!" The 
wounded man forced a painful grin. "Oh hell, that s all right!" 
he explained, "I m going to run a poolroom back in Kingston, 
but I ll sure be a damn funny-looking gink, hopping around 
those tables on just one leg, eh?" It is doubtful, though, if with 
all his courage, this lad pulled through. 

It was in La Clytte that Privates Husband and Carruthers re 
galed the rest of A. Section with their tempestuous arguments 
over Sam Hughes, the Ross rifle, and politics in general. Car 
ruthers had an exasperating habit of egging Hubby on and then 
grinning at him. Never were they near each other without a 
resumption of the argument; and never did the argument stop 
for the day without Hubby telling his vis-a-vis that he was a 
"dirty, lowdown, jeedee, Scotch, Presbyterian Grit" - that being 
Hubby s idea of the lowest thing in the world. 

Dick Mitchell and Sam Baxter were another great pair who 
philosophized long and earnestly in the old Nissen-hut billet. If 
ever two soldiers loved each other, those two did. Both were 
well-read, cultured and broadminded and either would have died 
for the other - - and almost any man in the unit would have just 
about given his all to either one of them. 

On February 1st, Captain Nicholson moved to La Clytte and 
took charge of A. Section; Major Jones taking command of B. 
Section, over at Godewaersvelde, where that Section had been 
carrying on since the middle of December. 

The "Qood Old Days" at (jodewaersi dde<^ 

Godewaersvelde (we called it "God Wears Velvet!") was a 
town of about two thousand population, back near Mont des 
Cats.* There B. Section opened a rest station in an old jute mill. 

*Prince Max of Hesse, the Kaiser s cousin was killed and secretly buried at Mont 
des Cats in 1914. The Kaiser tried to find out the location of Max s grave but the 
monks refused to divulge it until the war was over and Germany had done something 
toward compensating the monastery for damage done by the Huns in their first mad 
rush to the Channel. 


Jute was piled high in the only rooms suitable for patients, and 
to B. Section fell the delightful task of removing the stuff. It 
was carried into the machine room and piled ceiling-high on top 
of the machines. 

A few days after this laborious work had been completed, the 
mill-owner s wife, accompanied by two very attractive daugh 
ters, appeared on the scene and requested that two especially 
valuable machines be removed and taken to her home for safe 
keeping. B. Section thereupon commenced removing the jute in 
an effort to locate the two wanted machines. Naturally, it wasn t 
until nearly all the jute had been cleared away that the machines 
were found in the remotest corner of the room. Tired hands un 
bolted them from the floor. They were then hauled outside and, 
once more, B. Section carried and piled the jute back into the 
machine room. 

Next morning there was considerable competition among the 
boys to decide who should have the honor of carrying the 
machines to the owner s home at the top of Mont des Cats. 
Eventually Ben Case and Mike Bicknell were the ones chosen. 

Those machines were heavy enough for four men but the two 
Rah Rah lads decided that they alone would carry them and thus 
have a delectable tete-a-tete with the mill-owner s daughters. 
It was, therefore, with eager expectancy that they shouldered one 
of the machines and set out to deliver it. They could have taken 
the two machines by car but this was a job they wanted to 
last as long as possible. 

When they arrived at the owner s home they were given a 
great welcome. The girls received them with open arms and the 
mother regaled them with wine, cakes and coffee. When Mike 
and Ben finally left for their billets it was with the feeling that 
they were making great headway with the impressionable young 
ladies and the fond wish that there were twenty more machines 
to be delivered instead of just one. 

The next afternoon was rather warm as up the long steep hill 
the two Sir Galahads bore the remaining machine. Their arms 
ached and their backs bent under the increasingly heavy burden. 
Perspiration seeped into their smarting eyes, but the memory of 
the previous day s welcome and the anticipation of an even 
warmer reception spurred them on. Finally they reached the 
owner s house and rested their machine before the front door. 


From inside the house came sounds of revelry. Music, laughter 
and the shuffling of dancing feet could be heard through the 
partly-opened windows. Their knocks on the house door were 
finally answered. Out came Yvonne, the girl who had taken 
Mike s particular fancy, followed by a grinning crowd of French 
friends. Holding her hand was a stalwart French corporal whom 
she introduced as her husband! He had come home on leave the 
day before and they had just that morning been married. It was a 
wedding celebration that the arrival of our two Don Juans had 

The girl s mother brought the two dazed lads some wine with 
which to toast the newlyweds, but Mike and Ben were too 
chagrined to do the toast justice. After stammered adieus they 
meandered back down the hill with a new understanding of 
"Love s Labor Lost" and a very strong suspicion that all women 
were fickle. 

If Mike was unlucky in love, there were many of the lads who 
were more fortunate. John McRae and Bert Pearson were the 
worst (or best!) heart-breakers. Redheaded Gabrielle, Martha, 
Rachel and Zenobie were wonderful girls - - all of them. And 
the girls in the white house on the Steenvoorde road weren t hard 
to look at, either ! Our boys had a lot of good clean fun and the 
mamselles received a lot of attention. 

Long Jawn and Little Pick.<^ 

Piccadilly Bridges, because of his well-known French accent, 
was official "interrupter" for the boys. Corporal McRae used him 
as an intermediary when he went courting Gabrielle. If Pick 
pressed McRae s suit he did not neglect to press his own, and it 
was rather laughable to see and hear the giant corporal and the 
diminutive ex-signaller making their bids for the fluttering heart 
of the gentle Gaby. And, to make the thing funnier - - whenever 
Pick and Mac weren t with the girl, another B. Section heart- 
breaker was on the job, and succeeded in starting in where they 
left off. 

It was in this town that Doug. Cascaden was rather badly 
burned in a cookhouse accident. When the medical officer asked 
Cass the usual question, "Where were you born, etc.," Doug., 
regardless of his terrible suffering, didn t forget his Irish origin. 


Twas at Legation, on Ballyshannon, County Donegal - - twas 
years and years ago!" he added, with a wistful far-away look in 
his eyes. Needless to add, Old Cass recovered. You just can t kill 
that kind of an Irishman. 

Apropos of the questioning given a sick or wounded man it 
must be mentioned that the patient was generally fed up and not 
interested in statistics, particularly as to his religion. We remem 
ber one badly wounded fellow who, when asked about his re 
ligion, replied, "Oh, put down any damned thing you re short 
of!" He was put down as an Anglican. Headquarters demanded 
complete information in every case so, rather than pester the 
patients, our clerks oftentimes marked them "C. of E.," and 
hoped the classification wouldn t prejudice the patients chances 
of salvation. No doubt, our army casualty records showed an 
odd preponderance of C. of E. wounded. We knew, too, a couple 
of Fifth men who used to change their religions (if any) ! to suit 
whatever parade promised the most liberty at the moment. Some 
even declared themselves as atheists, to escape church parades. 

All B. Section men will recall the many boxing bouts that 
were put on about this time. Captain Elliott, Staff Patterson, 
Staff Mott and Staff Alden used to put on the gloves and treat 
the lads to many enjoyable exhibitions of the manly art. Every 
thing was hunky-dory in the fisticuff line until an Imperial ser 
geant-major arrived in town and a bout was arranged between 
him and Frank Alden. Frank was lightweight champion of some 
place or other "over ome" but after a short session with the 
doughty sergeant-major Frank thought of many pleasanter ways 
in which to spend an evening. The B. Section lads, though, 
enjoyed this bout immensely. 

B. Section had a busy time running the rest station for it was 
always full of patients. In front of the station our men did a 
24-hour armed guard. One day Carl English Hill was marching 
up and down on his beat, red-cross brassard on one arm and a 
rifle over the other, when along came a Welsh Guard regiment. 
The colonel halted his battalion, came over to Carl and demanded 
to know why a red-cross man was carrying a rifle. Private Hill 
willingly explained. The dumbfounded Welshman then hurried 
to the officer in charge of B. Section and ordered the immediate 
removal of all rifles from the guard. And that was the end of our 
ridiculous breaches of the Geneva conventions. 


Pete Wise Publishes a Newspaper *** 

At Godewaersvelde, Pete Wise produced the first numbers of 
his Weekly Eye-Opener," a sixteen-page news-sheet written 
entirely by hand and dedicated to the proposition that all men 
were born equal - - excepting noncoms. and officers, who were 
works of the devil. A footnote to the first number informed us 
that the paper was "to be published every Saturday, at twelve 
o clock." Pete asked for suggestions of suitable names for his 
publication and the "Latrine Gazette" and "La Clytte Bladder" 
were suggested. Pete compromised by calling the paper "L Echo 
de Godewaersvelde." To every issue the men looked forward 
with delightful anticipation; the officers and noncoms. with mis 
trust and dread, for the editor s pen was often dipped in acid. 
Following are some excerpts from various issues : 


1. The making of a hero: Veni, vidi, V.C. 

2. Hurrah for President Wilson! He s all write. 

3. Slackers who shunned the call will soon be called to "shun." 

4. The Ford Peace Doves knew they played a losing game when 

they lost that rubber at Kirkwall. 

5. An "Ardent Patriot" writes, complaining that the Cabinet 

still contains a Foreign Minister. 

Feb. 1 Germany floats new war loan. 
Feb. 12 Two men from the Fifth go on leave. 
Feb. 28 Bread and potato riots in Berlin. 

Mar. 1 Private Windsor continues to draw his pay for "working." 
Mar. 6 Hilaire Belloc proves that Germany has already lost twice her 

entire male population. 

Mar. 30 Two men of the Fifth go on leave. 
Apr. 1 Kaiser announces that he will eat his Easter Egg in Casa Loma, 


Apr. 15 Private Windsor resumes "work." 
May 1 Peace rumors are strong. 

May 15 Henry Ford succeeds Carnegie as the world s adviser. 
May 30 Two men from the Fifth go on leave. 
June 15 Private Windsor still "working." 

June 20 -Order of the "Laughing Hyena" conferred on Sergeant C ps. 

July 15 Private Rosser takes commission in Boy Scouts. 


Aug. 1 Private Windsor "resuming work." 

Aug. 15 Kaiser expects to eat Christmas Dinner in Buckingham palace. 

Aug. 30 Two men from Fifth go on leave. 

Sept. 9 Private Rosser resigns commission in Boy Scouts. 

Sept. 15 Private Windsor still "working." 

Oct. 15 Chelsea pensioners ordered to re-enlist. 

Oct. 30 Two men from Fifth go on leave. 

Nov. 15 Private Windsor has breakdown. Life pension mooted. 

Nov. 30 The remainder of the Fifth go on leave. 

Dec. 1 Kaiser decides to eat Christmas dinner in Potsdam. 

Dec. 22 Hilaire Belloc admits he estimated Germany s army eight 

million too many. 

Dec. 24 Kaiser fears he will eat Christmas dinner (if any) on St. Helena. 

- Your Brother-in-the-Lord, 

(Son.) H.C. WISE, Editor. 


There will be a mass meeting of the Ward Sweepers Union tomorrow 
evening at eight. 

If you can t get a bath, just change the string of your identity disc. 

It is most refreshing. 

The Orderlies Christian Association will meet tomorrow night in the 
Parish Hall. The Rev. R. J. Cooke will give an address. His Grace, Lord 
Bishop Merridew will also speak. 

Private R. Rutherford s moustache was burned. What took nine months 
to grow was destroyed in nine seconds. 

Lance-Corporal Lumsden is taken on the staff as official Eye Witness 
and War Correspondent. 

Pastor Cooke will lecture on the "Christian Example," by special 

request of Ben Case. 

No dogs allowed in the hospital - - especially if they are someone else s 

dogs. (Signed) B. Pearson. 


This is not a dry-cleaning laundry, and if all clothes handed in to my 
agents in quarter-stores are not accompanied by a drink, they will be 
handed over to the incinerator detail for disposal. Li FLUNG SOL, Prop. 

I am willing to give lessons and train men in surgery practice. Only a 
limited number can be accommodated. Apply immediately to 




A few good Studebakers; good cars-- going down hill! Watch them 
coming round the mountain (Mt. des Cats) every day. Come and inspect 
them. Drivers will give them away at your own terms. 


Learn to be a cinema operator. I teach you how to handle the oil can, 
take films from the box and fuss round in general. 

- FRANK G. BEATTIE (late Corporal), 
rue Mont des Cats. 


The only capital the Allies are in need of is Berlin. 

We read of a "Typewriter Battalion." Is Wilson mobilizing? 

Who put the mess in Mesopotamia? 

A bun-feed to be a success must be held with a bun dance. 

N.C.O.s -- Not Conscientious Objectors. 

The illness of the Austrian Emperor is causing grave anxiety. [It is 

feared he may recover. 

The height of folly - - a Zeppelin raid. 


There was a young fellow named 
Up the hill to his girl he did hike 

On being rejected 

He said "I m dejected - 
A French guy s wed the girl that I like!" 

No foe can affright us; 
No strafing can blight us; 
No racket excite us 

A jot, 

No bully-beef harm us 
(It never could charm us 

A lot). 

Hun snipers amuse us, 
And rarely ill-use us; 
Their "wides" just induce us 
To laugh. 


But Phyllis, lament us 
That pudding you sent us 
Has jolly well rent us 
In half! 


From his home in Amsterdam, 


Sends to try us 
Every day a telegram. 

Monday s wire is full of pep - 

Just to say, 

Yesterday , 
Someone wrecked a bloody Zepp. 

Tuesday. Kaiser very ill. 

Francis Jose 

Hardly knows 
If he d rather cure or kj.ll. 

Wednesday s wire our senses jolts - 

News from Denver 

Says that Enver 
Wont put up with Von der Qoltz. 

Thursday. Kaiser s quite restored, 

Very perky, 

Leaves for Turkey, 
Francis Joseph very bored. 

Friday. Comes the startling wire, 
Straight from Wilhelm, 
That some villain 

Set the Vatican on fire. 

Saturday. We hear from Rome 

And Madrid. 

Wire says: "Afo kid! 
Winston is returning home." 

Sunday is a day of peace. 


Qives to guy us 
Monday s lies - - all fresh, from Qreece. 



Dear Editor, I arn greatly troubled. My height is only five feet, three 
inches. How can I increase my height.- - Yours truly, "Scotty. 1 

Answer:-- Dear "Scotty," take some exercise and don t lead the idle 
and despised life of a batman. Editor. 


It must be distinctly understood that I am in no way responsible, nor 
can any action for slander be brought against me, for statements or articles 
not bearing my signature. H. E. Wise. 

* * * * 

Only a few editions of the paper appeared. Pete didn t get the 
support and encouragement he deserved, and the conditions under 
which the paper was published were not conducive to journalistic 

Sergeant Wartman was the genius behind most of the activi 
ties while B. Section was in Godewaersvelde. The officers very 
wisely left everything to Wart and he never let them down. Of 
course, Staff Alden was always available for assistance and ad 
vice. One day the staff asked Wartman to explain the purpose of 
a newly-arrived ethyl-chloride syringe. Wart explained that it 
was "a new invention to be used for the extraction of fish-bones 
from the rear ends of Irishmen after Lent." 

Afore Queries 

Do you remember the moving-picture machine we had at 
Godewaersvelde, and how envious everyone was of the staff s 
ability to turn the crank and tangle the film - - and how quickly 
Andy unloaded those duties on someone else as soon as the 
novelty wore off? 

Remember that sign in an estaminet window, not far from 

Perhaps some of the lads may recall the dinner the fellows 
billeted at Zenobie s put over around New Year s - - when a 
roasted suckling pig was the piece de resistance, and Tom 
Morgan piped a few tunes on his whistle; George Grindley 
recited; and Red Sowden impersonated Slim Russell s girl in a 
You Made Me What I Am Today" skit. 

Some of our C. Section lads may recall the time that Willie 
Hanney nearly blew up the Mont Noir chateau and himself along 


with it. Hanney was in charge of the establishment s acetylene 
lighting plant, and those who knew the apparatus will remember 
what a cantankerous contraption it was. One day the tank sprang 
a leak and when Willie lighted a match to search for the trouble 
he found it instantly ! There was an explosion that put the light 
ing equipment completely out of commission for a few days, and 
brought immediate demands from the "resting" patients for ad 
ditional liquid stimulants. 

On March 2nd, B. Section moved to La Clytte; A. went to 
Mont Noir and C. to Godewaersvelde. 

La Clytte is Shelled Again*** 

On March 7th La Clytte was again shelled. One shell burst in 
the farrier s shop, killed the horse being shod, and so badly 
wounded Jack Barron, our farrier, he died shortly after being hit. 
He was buried the following day, in Bailleul cemetery. 

Just before the shelling started, a few B. Section lads had been 
seated back of the dressing station, discussing the merits of vari 
ous types of army footwear. One fellow said that his favorites 
were those long rubber hip-boots which the Salient mud and 
water made so desirable. Another man voiced his preference for 
those knee-high laced boots, such as worn by officers, batmen 
and transport men. It was at this moment that the first shells 
landed and, being free from duty, the gang beat it away into the 
open fields. As soon as they recovered their breath, Scotch Gordon 
informed his companions in no uncertain manner that they could 
have all the hip-boots and knee-high footwear they liked but 
that right then what he desired most was a pair of blankety- 
blank running shoes! 

Baldy Rutherford was one of this same party and, as they ran 
into the field, a chunk of shrapnel ripped a hole in the back of 
Baldy s rain cape. For a long time thereafter he was not per 
mitted to forget that he had been hit in the rear at the Front - 
and that a hit in the back required much explanation. 

Billy Sellen was badly shellshocked this same day. Billy was in 
between two exploding shells and the concussions affected his 
eyesight. He was evacuated to England shortly after. 

One lingering memory of our stay in La Clytte is of Captain 
Silcox s procedure whenever a sick man was brought into the 


schoolhouse for treatment. The captain would stand with his 
hands clasped behind his back, and, regardless of whether the 
man was supposed to have pneumonia, or influenza or some 
other sickness, he would silently gaze at the patient for a minute 
or two. "All right," he would then order, "let down your pants 
and show me your tongue." As the surprised patient did so, Cap 
tain Silcox s next remark was, "How long is it since you were 
with a woman?" The poor ailing men became so flustered it was 
all too often that they blurted out the enlightening truth. The 
captain s face would then relax and he would prescribe the 
necessary treatments. 

We must here record that when La Clytte received the heavy 
shelling of December 29th, Captain Silcox was in charge of the 
schoolhouse and acquitted himself wonderfully well during the 
whole affair. He was cool and resourceful under fire and, along 
with Captain Burgess, did some remarkably fine work over the 
wounded. Eventually Silcox was given charge of Advanced 
Medical Stores and was separated from our unit. 

La Clytte was again shelled on March 14th. None of our men 
was hit, but that same evening Corporal Udell was badly shell- 
shocked - - and thereby hangs a tale. Just about twilight, some 
long-range guns were shelling, over towards Kemmel Hill. The 
shells were landing harmlessly in the long valley south of La 
Clytte, and at considerable distance from the village. A number 
of Fifth men were out back of the schoolhouse, listening to the 
approaching shrieks of the shells and watching their ground- 
blasting bursts in the distance. The giant corporal, who had been 
in the pack-stores when the farrier s shop had been hit one week 
before, was seen crouching behind the wooden schoolhouse latrine. 
One of the boys got an infantry entrenching tool and, just as one 
shell reached the zenith of its shrieking arc, our practical joke- 
smith hit the boards near Udell s head a resounding whack. Out 
tore the corporal, his blond pompadour erect with terror. He 
dived into the dugout at the front of the schoolhouse and there 
after (if not before) was a total loss to the Fifth. He was evacu 
ated "shell-shocked" the following morning. 

We Move, to Remy Siding and 

On March 23rd the whole unit moved. A. and B. Sections 
went to Remy Siding, in charge of Major Jones and Captains 


Nicholson, Barton, Kenney and Jenkins. C. Section went to 
G.15, in charge of Colonel Farmer, Major Philp and Captains 
Turner, Newton, Burgess, Kelly, Lough and Clarke. The Motor 
Transport and Horse Transport also located at G.15, which was 
merely a map location between Busseboom and Poperinghe. 

At Remy Siding we took over a field hospital from the 73rd 
Imperial Field Ambulance. Here in a large muddy field were five 
immense huts, connected to each other by duckboards. The Fifth 
men billeted in the farm barns. 

The first day we were at this place the 73rd colonel severely 
reprimanded Sergeant Irwin for spitting in the farm cesspool! He 
must have thought Sharkey had galloping halitosis - - or some 
thing. The same Prussian-like Imperial officer also bawled out 
many of our lads for not having their brass buttons polished to 
the brightness of those of his own men, and for failing to salute 
with the promptness and deference to which he had been accus 
tomed by the Imperials. Once again we thanked our lucky stars 
that we were in the Canadian army and not in his. We often 
called our own army "Coxey s Army," but were mighty glad 
that we were in it and in no other on occasions like this. 

Across the road from our camp there were two casualty clear 
ing stations and, throughout our stay in the Salient, many of the 
wounded were brought to these stations for treatment.* 

Perhaps You Can Answer These! < 

Were you one of the fellows who stuffed absorbent cotton into 
Major Jones stethoscope just before he went the rounds of the 
sick wards one morning? 

Did you parade to the Commanding Officer and complain 
that the staff-sergeant had more personal cooks, batmen and 
billet orderlies than there were men looking after over two 
hundred patients? And do you remember the cleanout that fol 
lowed, and how some of the staff s pets had to do real work for 
the first time in their army lives? 

How many times did you visit that house almost directly 
opposite the Remy Siding gate - - for coffee, eggs and chips, 
etc., avec? 

*Not far from where the two clearing stations then stood there is now located the 
second largest British cemetery in Belgium Lijssenthoek Cemetery. Sad evidence of 
the great number of men who died in this region. 

a A 



1. Horse Ambulance at A.D.S., Somme. (Can. Official War Photo). 

2. Ready for Bathing Parade, Dranoutre. 
3. B. Section wears new Oliver Equipment, Godewaersvelde. 


































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Were you there the day Restive became fed up with his sani 
tary fatigue work and requested Sergeant-Major Williams to put 
him on some other duty? "Please-a, sarja-maij.," pleaded the 
disgusted Italian, "put someone else-a for do dees-a job. I get 
too much-a deeg-a de grave, fix-a de wash-a-base and run de in 
cinerate. All-a time dump-a latrine buckets no good! - - Phew!" 
Poor Restivo held his nostrils between his thumb and forefinger 
and rolled his eyes in eloquent pantomime. Jack Williams, if he 
couldn t catch all the words, was convinced by Francesco s gesti- 
culatory illustrations that Restivo deserved a change of duties. 

Perhaps you remember the broad-hipped Flemish lass who 
used to come to our G.15 camp for garbage. She carried over 
her ample shoulders one of those heavy hand-hewn yokes from 
which dangled the usual buckets. One day when she had her head 
and shoulders down in the swill barrel Jack Gilpin sneaked up 
behind her and tipped her up into the barrel. She was quite a 
sight, what with her broad expanse of red drawers, her violently 
kicking legs and her waving sabots - - and more of a sight when 
she extricated herself. 

The sequel was that her father came roaring vengeance a few 
minutes later, carrying a wicked looking sickle. Cook Gilpin 
armed himself with a meat cleaver and at about sixty paces from 
each other they threatened murder - - the farmer in guttural 
Flemish and Gilpin in nasal cockney. Jack Williams appeared on 
the scene and succeeded in getting rid of the excited Flamand, 
promising him that Gilpin would be fittingly punished. That 
evening some of the lads visited the farmer and in eloquent 
pantomime explained that Gilpin had been lined up before a 
firing squad and shot. The father and daughter were so delighted 
they supplied free beer to the artful tale-bearers. 

Were you at Remy Siding the day one of the lads came into 
the dining hut with a bulging mail-bag, and instead of giving 
out the mail as was his usual custom, calmly sat down and began 
his dinner? Corporal Morgan decided that the fellows should not 
be kept waiting for their mail, so he grabbed the bag and pro 
ceeded to hand out its contents - - and discovered that the bag 
contained only imitation mail and that the day being April 
First, some of the lads had successfully pulled his leg. 

Remember that house with a large shining ball in the window 
- and the mouthy old dame who waited on customers? 


At G.15, C. Section ran a main dressing station in some 
Nissen huts. The men occupied one hut and a number of bell 
tents. The Horse Transport lines were well sheltered by galvan 
ized wind-breaks, while bricks and tile from ruined Ypres made 
an excellent flooring for horses and wagons. To G.15 we 
brought casualties from the old Brasserie, Ypres Asylum, Ouder- 
dom, Spoilbank, Maple Copse, Dickebusch, and other advanced 
stations and regimental aid-posts, as they were successively estab 
lished by us during the next few hectic weeks. 

Tiny Ineson Holds the Bridge ^^ 

At the Spoilbank post was where Tiny Ineson got his first big 
thrill. Just to the left of the dugouts there was a narrow bridge 
crossing the canal, and beside the bridge was a sign "Be Careful. 
This Bridge Under Enemy Observation." One evening, just as it 
was getting dark, our party was making its way across the bridge. 
All had crossed but the rotund sergeant. He was just about the 
centre of the bridge when "rat-a-tat-tat," a machine-gun went 
into action. Tiny flattened himself, stomach down, against the 
bridge floor, his face buried into the muddy planks and his bulky 
body blocking the bridge. About a half-minute went by. Loud 
carefree whistling was heard and an infantryman approached and 
started across the bridge. Coming upon Tiny s body he was about 
to step over what he thought was a corpse when he noticed a 
slight movement. He kneeled down and rolled Tiny over. 
What s the matter, chum? Are you pretty badly hit?" he en 
quired. "Not yet!" whispered Ineson, "Get down, man, get 
down! Don t you hear that machine-gun?" Tiny added. "Sure 
I hear it," laughed the lighthearted rifleman, "that s one of 
ours!" The Front Line was 1,500 yards away. 

Colonel Farmer happened to be in Dickebusch during a very 
heavy shelling. A five-point-nine shell landed in a nearby latrine, 
nearly smothering the colonel with its odoriferous contents. His 
much-disgusted horse carried him back to Headquarters and for 
a long time he had to put up with many sly digs about the rotten 
time he spent in the Dickebusch mess one offal day in Spring. 

On March 25th we cleared sixty wounded from the Maple 
Copse post alone. Two days later the Imperials blew a mine at 
St. Eloi and from then until we pulled out of this area we had 


all the wounded and sick we could handle. Night after night all 
our ambulances came back crowded. The three Canadian Divi 
sions were now together for the first time and our Maple Copse 
post was terribly busy. To make matters worse, Fritz shelled 
daily all the routes along which wounded could be carried back. 
Dickebusch, Vlamertinghe, Ouderdom, La Clytte - - all were 
heavily shelled by day and bombed by night. Poperinghe was 
the target for high-calibred long-range guns and many civilian 
and army casualties came from that city. At night G.15 was 
bombed, for here, too, some master minds ran up a big railway 
naval gun and Fritz searched for it very diligently. 

It was about this time that Billy Brown and some of his pals 
stole a case of rum from the 2nd Pioneers, near the Brasserie. 
Jack Shepherd, Tommy Cunningham and a few other Motor 
Transport fellows were relieved of their duties at the Dickebusch 
milkery for the ensuing forty-eight hours. 

The Scrap at St. Eloi^ 

From the night on which the Imperials blew the mine at St. 
Eloi the Second Division was involved in a series of operations 
long drawn out and extremely costly in casualties. The whole 
St. Eloi scrap was fought on a front of not more than one thou 
sand yards; on ground that had been blasted beyond description 
by mines, bombs, minnenwerfer and high-explosive shells; and 
churned by continuous rains into a deep morass of stinking, 
brown, muddy batter. High ground was flattened out and the 
valleys blown high, until the territory bore no resemblance to its 
former condition. All was mud, corruption and debris. 

Every shell-hole and crater was a fetid pool. Prevailing mists 
and rain hid landmarks from view, or revealed them so distorted, 
location identification was well nigh impossible. 

Seven craters on top of the St. Eloi mound were the centre of 
almost endless attacks and counter attacks. Fogs and storms pre 
vented accurate observation and, at times, it was not known 
which craters were held by us and which by the enemy. One 
writer (Aitken) has summed up the affair as follows: "The story 
of the craters is like that of most of the St. Eloi battle - - one of 
misfortune for the Second Division. But it is not one of blame. 
The successive regiments who held the outposts were, from the 


very outset, at a great disadvantage, compared with their ene 
mies. They were not, and could not be, properly supported by 
their gunners, while the enemy s artillery was pounding them 

to pieces. 

On April 6th all our motor and horse ambulances and most of 
our bearers were sent, in charge of Major Philp, up to Maple 
Copse, to help the Sixth Field Ambulance who were already in 
that part of the Line. The Imperials had recently moved out and 
the Canadians now held the whole Ypres Salient. 

It was while clearing the wounded from Maple Copse that 
first night that one of our men remarked that the woods was 
full of bees, buzzing around overhead. His pal, Jimmy Shorrocks, 
answered, "Aye, lad, an if one of them bees stings you we ll 
blewdy well have to carry you out, too, so keep your blinkin 
head down, thou long goormless booger, thou!" 

On April 14th, A. and B. Sections were relieved by the Ninth 
Field Ambulance, Third Canadian Division, and moved to Ren- 
inghelst (Pop. 2,500), where they were followed next day by 
C. Section. By this time we considered ourselves veterans and it 
pleased some of its to tell the new arrivals what warfare really 
meant! All leave was now called off, so we expected trouble. 
Many of our men were at this time posted to other duties. Several 
went for commissions, and some transferred to other units. 

Staff Patterson applied for a commission and was sent up the 
Line with the 28th Battalion, for a month s training. Pat spent 
a few nights out in No-Man s-Land with wiring and working par 
ties and then decided that prudence was the better part of valor. 
Much to the amusement of all the lads, Pat returned to the Fifth 
shortly after. After all, he had applied for a commission as 
quartermaster in a field ambulance and they had not done right 
by our Andy in putting him out in No-Man s-Land. The ob 
servant Pat knew that quartermasters never went such places, so 
who can blame him for objecting to such a glaring breach of 
military practice and tradition? 

Jack Lumsden went to the Y.M.C.A., attached to the Fourth 
Artillery Brigade; Bob Hare to the 28th Battalion; Dick Mitchell 
and Slim Russell to the newly-formed Machine Gun Company; 
Jim Henderson, Patsy Sargeant and Sammy Jacobs to Leather s 
Trench Mortar Battery; Fred Noyes and Garnet Noble to the 
Corps Water Patrol; Staff Truswell to the 18th Manchesters; 


Irv. Dymenc to the 18th Battalion; Staff Mott to the Irish 
Fusiliers and later to the Air Force; Carl Hill to the 24th Bat 
talion; Baldy Rutherford to the 27th Battalion; George and 
Ronny Brookes to the Air Force; Harry Lang to the Imperials 
and Ernie Gilmer to the Royal Irish Fusiliers. Staff Mott had 
always had a desire to be an aviator and, on his very first flight 
over the Line, he was shot down and killed. As a matter of 
record, a glance at the nominal roll at the back of this book will 
show how many of those who transferred to other units were 
killed or wounded. 

When he heard that one of the fellows was leaving for a com 
mission, Staff Smith came to say goodbye. "Well, my friend, I 
understand that you are about to take a commission. I hope you 
will - - 1 know you will - - in fact, I am positively sure you will 
- prove to be a better officer than ninety-nine per cent, of the 
damned non-competent arrogant sons of b - - s who call them 
selves officers around here!" 

Some of the Motor Transport lads may remember the steam 
roller that marked one of the turns on the route to Busseboom. 
At night our drivers depended on this and similar landmarks. 
One inky black night Ernie Smith got lost and when he reached 
G.15, hours later, he explained that "Somebody moved the 
steam-roller- -it was there last night!" 

La Clytte, Dickebusch, Vlamertinghe and Hallebast were now 
being systematically flattened by enemy shell-fire. Jack Lumsden 
was killed in Dickebusch on May 9th, a shell making a direct 
hit on the house where Jack was on duty. On May llth he was 
buried in Reninghelst cemetery, six of his closest chums, Ruther 
ford, Hill, Hare, Hooper, Bicknell and Noble acting as pall 
bearers. When it came time for Colonel Farmer to say a few 
words at Jack s graveside, the Old Man was so overcome he 
could not utter one word. He simply stood with bowed head 
and with tears streaming down his cheeks. 

It was in the schoolhouse billet at Reninghelst that Orderly 
Sergeant Charlie Camps "pulled a fast one" on the sergeant- 
majors and several of the senior noncoms. One night the non- 
coms, put on one of their real old-time card parties. Everything 
went off so well it was long past midnight before the party broke 
up and the noncoms. made their way to their sleeping quarters. 
Staff Alden was first to reach the room which served as noncoms. 


boudoir, and he tiptoed to his bunk in order not to awaken the 
few non-roistering noncoms. who were already asleep. Just as 
Alden was about to disrobe, Sergeant Camps wakened and in a 
very sleepy sort of voice enquired the time. Alden told him the 
hour and with a pleasantly yawned "Goodnight, Frank," Camps 
turned over and apparently dropped off to sleep. 

Next morning the two sergeant-majors and about a dozen 
sergeants were hailed before the colonel, charged with being 
absent from their proper billets and with failure to obey the order 
of "Lights Out." Colonel Farmer had no option in the matter, 
for the exact time had been vouched for by Alden himself. All 
the culprits were found guilty and given reprimands. The shrewd 
and conscientious Charlie, however, did not get off scot-free. The 
Commanding Officer gave him a very pointed lecture on diplo 
macy - - and he was somewhat ostracised for a few days by his 
indignant fellow noncoms. 

Shepherd and the Colonel s Monocle*?* 

Our colonel s monocle was the indirect cause of Jack Shep 
herd s lapse into crime while we were in Reninghelst. Shep was 
under arrest for some trivial offence and, when he came before 
Colonel Farmer for trial, the colonel treated the matter very 
lightly and, no doubt, was about to dismiss the case. Unfortu 
nately, for Shepherd, the Old Man chose that particular moment 
in which to adjust the monocle in his much-inflamed eye. The 
sight of him, screwing his face into all sorts of weird contortions, 
was too much for Despatch Rider Shepherd ! He broke out into 
one of his well-known spontaneous guffaws - - and right away 
got twenty-one days of First Field Punishment. He was tied to 
the wheel, but after about two days, Colonel Farmer had him 
released, cancelled the whole charge, and returned him to his 
status quo ante guffaw. 

On May 14th we heard that the Mayor of Dickebusch had 
been shot as a spy. Perhaps there was more wish than truth in the 
rumor, for we never heard authoritatively about the matter. 

On June 2nd, Fritz blew some mines under the Third Division 
trenches and made a deep narrow salient, reaching as far back as 
Maple Copse. The P.P.C.L.I., C.M.R.s, 42nd and 49th Bat 
talions had many casualties and the whole Canadian Corps was 


ordered to stand to. The colonel and both majors of the Tenth 
Field Ambulance were wounded and Major Philp left us to take 
command of that unit. On the following evening Captains Bur 
gess, Barton and Kenney took all our bearers up to Maple Copse. 
We also established stations at Voormezeele, Bedford House 
and the Brasserie. 

We cannot pass without mention of the fact that for consider 
able time after the Third Division arrived in France, Major 
Philp had been, by special request, attached to that Division, in 
order that his exceptional organizing ability and extensive ex 
perience in actual warfare evacuation work might be utilized in 
whipping the Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Field Ambulances into 
shape, and organizing them into the working establishments 
required by conditions then existing at the Front. That he was 
entirely successful in the task entrusted to him is borne out by 
the fact that Second Divisional senior medical officials received 
a despatch from the Staff of the Third Division, thanking our 
Divisional Medical Services for the assistance rendered by Major 
Philp, stressing the importance of the services contributed and 
also complimenting the Fifth on the great work of our bearers up 
in Maple Copse. From this it will be appreciated that his choice 
as Commanding Officer of the Tenth was eminently fitting and 
an honor to the Fifth. 

During the whole of June we carried on in these several loca 
tions and were very busy. Our ambulances, as well as our men, 
were kept on the go, day and night, and they had many perilous 
trips to and from the advance posts in and about Ypres. On 
June 25th Fritz got a direct hit on one motor ambulance and 
Jack Walters was wounded and sent to the Base. 

Night after night we were roused by false gas alarms, and had 
to stand to until word came that the "alerts" were called off. 
A gas alarm had to be experienced to be appreciated. Cries of 
"Gas!" -and a near-panic spread like wildfire. Shell-case gongs 
would be thumped; whistles would be blown; klaxon horns 
would be sounded; and the average gas alarm would spread for 
miles. When someone yelled "Gas!" almost everybody in Flan 
ders put on a mask! And what uncomfortable, stifling contrap 
tions they were, particularly those first pullover affairs we were 
issued. The eye-pieces soon became opaque. Slobbers of saliva 
drooled from mouth-corners and dripped from sweating chins. 


Sense of direction was quickly lost, and then it was "To hell with 
the mask! - -I d rather be gassed!" It would be ripped off and, 
more often than not, the air outside would be found sweet and 
clean as compared to that inside the detested respirator. 

Dominion Day came. Promptly at twelve o clock noon every 
Canadian gun fired five rounds at Fritz, by way of celebration. 
That night our men came down the line and, by July 4th, the 
whole unit had moved back to Boeschepe. 

One of those unable to march off from Reninghelst with the 
rest of the troops was a certain bulky staff-sergeant who had a 
bad attack of rumitis and was stretched out for drying when the 
unit moved off. The quartermaster-sergeant, the staff-sergeant 
and the bandmaster of the 20th Battalion had been holding an 
all-night seance with some Essardee, and the spirit had moved 
the staff-sergeant until he couldn t move any more of the spirit 
or himself, either. Incidentally, the bandmaster was so enamoured 
of Fifth hospitality he followed the unit to Boeschepe in order to 
continue the seance, for he and the quartermaster-sergeant had 
become "boozem" friends. It is no wonder our fellows used to 
put such feeling into their singing of that old song : 

If the sergcdnt drinks your rum, never mind; 

If it puts him on the bum, never mind; 

He s entitled to a tot but he takes the bleedin lot - 

If the sergeant drinks your rum, never mind. 

We Summer at 

Boeschepe is a French town of 2,500 souls. It lies about one 
mile from the Belgian frontier and approximately the same dis 
tance northeast of Mont des Cats. Here the men had a real home 
and it remained our headquarters until late in August. 

The Fifth s job was to run a rest camp, consisting of a marquee 
and about a dozen bell tents; and a "self-inflicted" hospital in 
the local schoolhouse, where those men who had deliberately 
wounded themselves received treatment. 

Opposite the schoolhouse was an orderly room where courts- 
martial were held and we regretfully record that some of the 
scenes therein enacted left us stunned with horror and sickened 
with disgust. It seemed to us that many of the poor lads who 
came before their military judges in this place received very un 
sympathetic hearings from the officers appointed to try them. We 


wondered whether any consideration ever was given to the fact 
that a prisoner was a volunteer soldier, had borne himself bravely 
in many battles and was no longer in control of his mental and 
physical reactions - - that he was merely a physical and mental 
wreck because of many terrible months of exhausting trench life. 
We used to wonder (and still do !) what some of those well-fed, 
comfortably-billeted, all-powerful trial officers would have done 
had they been through the same tragic circumstances their pris 
oner had experienced - -had been obliged to eat the same food; 
undergo the laborious work of digging trenches, dugouts, etc. ; 
carry the same weight on long marches and in the Line; depend 
on the occasional issue of rum, instead of having the ever-avail 
able bottle of Scotch from the Officers Supplies Stores; and go 
through in general all the innumerable dispiriting ordeals reserved 
for the common soldier only. 

All too often were medical officers called upon to officiate at 
the post-mortem of some young lad who had been shot for 
"desertion" -some mother s son who had enlisted with the 
ideal to uphold all that was good and noble and righteous, and 
had carried on until his brain and body had reached the breaking 
point. Surely there must have been some other way out, than by 
having him shot down in cold blood by his own comrades. 
"Shot for desertion" was the way the court records closed such a 
case, but we wondet if the correct entry should not have read 
"MURDERED, by the Prussianism in our own army!" 

We have in mind one young infantryman, under twenty, who 
was shot for desertion. A Field Ambulance lad who was waiting 
to bring the boy s body away, became sick at his stomach and 
attempted to avoid witnessing the actual execution. The officer 
in charge of the shooting party forced him, under threat of 
severe punishment, to remain and watch the poor victim s fright 
ful death. The padre who was with the infantryman during his 
final few hours was hysterical for many hours afterward. A 
brother of the executed lad was a member of the same unit. His 
reaction to the trial and execution of his unfortunate brother 
must have been terrible. 

It might be said that these officer judges were, themselves, 
victims of the military machine. To a great extent they were - 
but their very rank implied a certain amount of willingness to act 
as trial officers and acquiesce in the verdicts of courts-martial. 


Humphrey Cobb has stated that a soldier always looks through 
lenses made of the insignia of his own rank. We are trying to 
present the case for the victims of such courts as seen through our 
lenses - - even though those lenses showed us a distorted picture. 
Surely similar injustices should not be permitted to take place in 
any future war ! 

Shortly after we arrived at Boeschepe, Colonel Farmer, in com 
pany with Albert Armes and Bill Atkinson, visited Remy Siding 
cemetery and placed a large wooden cross on the grave of the 
colonel s nephew, Lieutenant James Belt, who was also a nephew 
of Canon Belt, the Anglican clergyman at Ancaster. 

As for the lads in general, they quickly settled down and got 
acquainted with the local "natives." There was a very comely 
barmaid by the name of Marie, whom almost the whole unit, 
from the sergeant-major down (and up!) courted with great 
enthusiasm and with varying success. 

It was, too, another Marie in this same town, with whom one 
of our sergeants became somewhat involved, with the result that 
Colonel Farmer considered an official investigation was neces 
sary. Andy Patterson and Jack Williams were delegated a com 
mittee of enquiry. They paid a visit that evening to the gentle 
Marie and found her most attractive, amiable and receptive - 
so amiable, in fact, as to cause the two noncoms. to linger well 
into the late night hours. 

Jack and Pat were about to pull out for camp, and make due 
report, when hoofbeats were heard on the road which ran about 
twenty feet above the level of the estaminet roof. Peeping out 
through the windows, the two noncoms. could see, silhouetted 
against the skyline, four horsemen (Barton, Nicholson, Burgess 
and Clark). As the noncoms. watched, the riders halted their 
mounts and one of the quartet called out: "Ou est la route a 
Boeschepe, mademoiselle? -just by way of introduction, of 

Marie ignored the officers shouts, and after several repetitions, 
the four horsemen wheeled their mounts and trotted away. Next 
morning one of the noncoms. bumped into Captain Barton. "Ou 
est la route a Boeschepe, mademoiselle? mimicked the non- 
com. Barton glared at the questioner. "So you were the blankety- 
blank who was there last night, eh? No wonder we couldn t get 
in ! ! . . . But, of course, Staff, we were there on official business 


only!" he added, somewhat shamefacedly. "Oh, yeh! Well so 
was I !" chortled the grinning noncom. Was Barton embarrassed! 

During the first couple of weeks in Boeschepe the boys were 
pretty free to come and go - - parades and drills being off the 
agenda. Many of the lads took advantage of the opportunity to 
visit Reninghelst, Poperinghe, Mont Noir, and other familiar 

Shortly after taking over the camp, notice was posted that the 
"extra duty pay" which had been allowed to cooks and motor 
mechanics, was to be discontinued, and the air was somewhat 
bluer around the cookhouse and Motor Transport quarters for 
many weeks thereafter. 

One of the important happenings was the building of an incin 
erator. Captain Nicholson, Dick Thomas and Tommy Poole de 
vised a wondrous brick structure that was the temporary envy of 
every sanitation squad for miles around. Weeks of strenuous 
labor, by tired grousing fatigue parties, were put into the build 
ing of the masterpiece, and there were rumors of prospective 
decorations and promotions for those responsible for the con 
ception and erection of the imposing contraption. Unfortunately, 
however, after a few days trial the incinerator proved a "flop." 
And although Godewaersvelde had launched Messrs. Thomas 
and Poole on their road to renown, it was the Boeschepe master 
piece that really established their fame as the "Incinerator Kings." 

Some More. Questions ** 

Do you remember Captain Harris, who was our padre at 
Boeschepe? He was very popular with all ranks and was killed 
not long after, while serving with an infantry battalion. 

Can you recall that church festival which took place here, when 
the whole civilian populace turned out in gorgeous costumes of 
lace, velvet and spangles, and paraded behind quaintly-garbed 
chanting priests? 

Do you remember how one of our Horse Transport men 
served first field punishment at this place, being tied to a wheel 
and undergoing all the other indignities of this manifestation of 
so-called army justice? 

Were you there the day Solley showed his rations to Captain 
Silcox, complaining that there was not sufficient for a man to 


live on - -and the captain remarked, "I would consider that an 
ample ration for myself.?" Solley looked his disgust. There 
might be enough for you, sir, but not for a man!" Solley, of 
course, meant there wasn t sufficient for one who had to work as 
hard as he was working just then. 

Were you there that dark night at Zillebeke when our bearers 
were busy collecting wounded from the Maple Copse area? 
Happy Carlisle was stumbling about in the inky blackness when 
an infantryman told him to stop walking on the bodies of the 
dead! "What do you mean?" retorted Happy, stepping gingerly 
off what he took to be some bundles of sandbags. "Why, that s 
our corporal in one sack and our sergeant in the other," com 
plained the infantryman, "and you ve been walking all over 

Do you remember the sergeant from the A.D.M.S. head 
quarters, who used to leave our camp, carrying away with him 
sacks of canned chicken, Red Cross supplies and rum - - and did 
you overhear the Williams-Busst confab over this same affair? 

Were you on that route march when Staff Smith ordered Teddy 
Gilmore to stop smoking on parade, and Teddy told him to go 
and perform an interesting operation on himself? If you were 
there, you might recall, too, that Reggie had Ted pinched and 
charged with "conduct to the prejudice of military order and 
good discipline," in that he failed to obey a lawful command; 
and with "insolence to a noncom." When the case came before 
the Commanding Officer, the colonel found Teddy guilty on the 
first charge only. He dismissed the second - - after hearing Reg 
gie s repetition of Gilmore s rather rude admonition. That s a 
physical impossibility," exclaimed Colonel Farmer, "the case is 

After about the middle of July, route marches and drills became 
almost daily occurrences. Rumor had it that we were to go south 
and join in the Somme offensive. 

On July 17th word reached us that Bob Hare was a prisoner in 
Germany. This was welcome news, for Bob had been reported 
missing on June 13th and was presumed dead. 

On July 23rd we sent working parties up to Bedford House 
and Spoilbank, in charge of Captain Neilson. 

On July 24th, Mike Bicknell was wounded while on the Spoil- 
bank working party. The day was Mike s twenty-first birthday 


anniversary. His present from Fritz removed his presence from 
the Spoilbank job. 

On August 14th, King George and King Albert of Belgium 
toured the Canadian area and were given a great reception by 
many of the lads who were working for them. 

On August 25th the Fourth Canadian Division joined the 
Corps. On the following day we, with the First and Third Divi 
sions, set out for the Somme. 

During the spring and early summer, several of our Fifth 
fellows had very close calls. Some of them suffered shell-shock, 
but our only casualties in addition to those already mentioned 
were Privates A. H. Barker and W. J. Leigh. These men received 
rather severe blighties and were evacuated to the Base. 


The Eleventh of November in the year Nineteen- Eighteen, 
Was the day the Allied monkey-wrench gummed up the Hun machine. 
From that day to the present, nearly all this wide world o er, 
People have been questioning, "Who was it won the war?" 

Some have argued this way and some have argued that; 
Their theories have been quite thin, their contradictions flat. 
Enough of useless argument --we can t stand any more! 
We ll now admit (choose which you will): 




The Quarter Bloke 

The Profiteers 

Mae West 

The P.B.I. 

Amos l n Andy 

Mile, from Armentieres 

The Qreybacks 

won the war! 


(Tune Sea, Sea, Sea, why are you angry at me?) 
Jam, Jam, Jam .--Have you ever seen Carlisle eat Jam? 
Gooseberry, Strawberry, Damson, 
Marmalade, Apricot--then some 

Jam, Jam, Jam!--Down his chroac many tins he can cram! 
He has no appetite! He just eats day and nights- 

Jam, Jam, Jam! 

(Sung on way back from the bomme.) 


(August 26, 1916, to January 20, 1917) 

Morning at the 


on the morn 
ing of Au 
gust 26th 

we were relieved by an Im 
perial outfit. We moved off in 
a pouring rain and marched to 
Steenvoorde (Pop. 4,500), where we stayed that night in a large 
barn. Captains Elliott and Newton were sent ahead as billeting 
officers and continued in that capacity until we arrived at the 

At four o clock next morning we were away again. We stop 
ped for our mid-day meal near Cassel and saw the famous hill 
where once a Duke of York marched up and then marched down 
again. After dinner we continued on to an old chateau just out 
side Noordpeene. A plaque over a door told us that the chateau 
was built in 1718. This day s march was one of the most inter 
esting we ever made. Beautiful, fertile valleys and graceful hills 
met our eyes from daylight to dark. 

The following day we marched to Eperleques. In a field close 
to the Watten road we erected tents and tarpaulins and settled 
down for the night. This day s march had been particularly try 
ing. As the crow flies, the distance was not great, but as we were 
obliged to detour over many back roads to make way for faster- 
moving artillery, transport, etc., we covered that day a remark 
ably long distance. All afternoon we had been marching over very 



hilly country. The day was stifling hot, and an approaching rain 
storm made the heat more oppressive. Captain Elliott came out 
to guide us the final two or three miles to camp and it was a 
fagged-out, limping, weary, and grumbling Fifth which made 
camp that night. 

From August 29th to September 3rd we remained at the Eper- 
leques camp. It rained nearly every day, but that didn t prevent 
us from having daily "conditioning" marches and drills. 

While we were at Eperleques, Captain Kenney left us, to go 
to the Second Stationary Hospital at Taplow. The captain had 
been with us from the start and was well liked. He always had 
shown great interest in the younger men of the unit, the Boy 
Scouts being his especial care. 

It was at Eperleques camp, under our tarpaulin bivouacs, that 
the unit minstrels put some of the final touches to our marching 
song, which we used to sing to the tune "D ye Ken John Peel?" 
We give the words of this song and we hope that you who sang 
them while marching along those old French roads can recapture 
some of the wholehearted zest you used to put into them during 
the old days. There were many verses but we give only the 
printable ones. 

(Tune D ye Ken John Peel?} 

D ye ken old festive and his comrade Covell - 
They run the "incinerate" and they make, him go like hell 
They burn up all the garbage and other things as well, 
And they get steam up early in the morning. 

D ye ken Tommy Poole with his six-foot rule - 
Built an incinerator near Boeschepe school; 
Tommy, Dick and Nicky suffered something cruel 

When the damned thing would nt function in the morning. 

D ye k&n Sid Humphries mending all the shoes - 
He whistles and he sings and he never has the blues, 
But he always seems to have the latest news 
From the Latrine Qazette every morning. 

D ye ken Bill Jones - - he s a bleedin bag of bones, 
And the Qood Book says that his kit-bag s full of stones 
And weighs ten pounds; neath the weight of it he groans 
When he hoists it to his shoulder in the morning. 







t o 

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M J 



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Canadian Official War Photos) 
1. A Big One lands close to Advanced Dressing Station at Somme. 

2. A Typical Stretcher-Bearing Party. 
3. Loading the Motor Convoy at Somme A.D.S. 


In the. quartermaster s store are a dozen men or more, 
And it makes the fellows sore to look through the open door 
And see them sitting eating what they never ate before - 
But the men get just bully in the morning. 

D ye ken Wilfy Wager always saying "seek" for look~ 
You re S.O.L. if your name is in his booookj 
It s a dollar to a doughnut you ll be detailed to a cook- 
House fatigue if he spots you in the morning. 

D ye ken old McKillop, he blows the bugle fine - 
He blows Last Post when he wants them into Line, 
And he blows the "Lame and Lazy" when it s dinner time, 
And Lights Out for Reveille in the morning. 

D ye ken Sergeant Camps when in your hut he stamps 
And details you to fatigue, when your scowling face he lamps; 
Then you hope he ll catch itch, scabies, leprosy or stomach cramps, 
And wear a blanket at a funeral in the morning. 

D ye ken old Restive and his comrade Covell - 
They carry up the rations and runna like-a hell, 
And they tell the sarja-maije all the men go through the haige, 
And they all get C.B. in the morning. 

There s the incoming myle, and the houtgoing myle, 
The hofficers myle, and the sergeants myle - 
You must come and get your myle at the proper time, 
Or you cawnt ave your myle till the morning. 

On September 4th we route-marched in the morning, and in 
the afternoon packed up and moved to Houlle, where we had 
supper and slept in an old flour mill until one o clock next morn 
ing, when we marched off again, through St. Omer and on to 
Arques, where we entrained. 

One week of marching had been plenty for everyone, and had 
left impressions which time can never eradicate from our minds. 
Even now we can see those shaded old Roman roads, where, on 
a bright day, a gridiron of sunshine sifted through the tall, 
majestic poplars and elms that stretched their never-ending double 
row along the roads deep-ditched edges; roads over which a long 
vista of interlocking branches met in a sort of Gothic arch, from 
which great drops of cold, sparkling moisture dropped on to our 
heads in the early morning or on a rainy day. 


Mile after mile we would march along, the colonel mounted 
and away out in front - - before us the red, sweating necks and 
the swinging legs of the men immediately ahead, their steel-shod 
boots sending up sparks from the flinty uneven cobbles - - every 
man of us longing for the next ten-minute halt when we could 
sag down on the right-hand side of the road, using out packs for 
pillows and elevating our aching feet as high as possible. Cigar 
ettes and pipes would then be smoked, water bottles would be 
broached and hunks of chocolate or hardtack hungrily devoured. 
The ten-minute rest sped like lightning. "Fall In !" would sound; 
men would stagger painfully to their feet; packs would be 
hitched back upon aching shoulders; straps would be again thrust 
into burning armpits; cigarettes would be tossed away - -or "but 
ted" and tucked behind dusty ears - - and away we would go once 
more, for another fifty minutes of the same thing all over again. 

Once Afore a la 40 Hommes - 8 Chevaux^s> 

It was now about one year since we had made our first 
40 Hommcs-S Chevaux train trip, and needless to mention, per 
haps, the celebrated pullmans were considerably more acceptable 
because of our intervening experiences. 

The train pulled out of Arques about 3 a.m. We made our 
way via Calais, Abbeville, Boulogne and Etaples, to Conteville, 
where we detrained late in the evening and marched to Long- 
villers, where we stayed for the night. 

No doubt the Horse Transport lads will remember the horse 
that was killed while our train was going through one of the 
many long tunnels en route south - - and the lengthy explanation 
Max Kelso was subsequently obliged to give. Which reminds us 
that whenever a horse or vehicle was lost a very exhaustive re 
port was required, and there was hell to pay if any negligence 
was suspected. But whenever a man passed out, a brief "K. in A." 
sufficed. It was easy to get men, but horses and equipment cost 

Our train journey had been very interesting. Just about dawn 
we passed Calais, and many of the lads imagined they could dis 
cern the chalk-like cliffs of Dover. Then we came to Abbeville, 
Ruskin s favorite town, where a thousand years before, the First 
Crusaders had gathered to be harangued and exhorted by Peter 


the Hermit of Amiens. We remembered reading somewhere that 
Caesar had once camped here. From our box-cars we saw the 
famous old Saint-Riquier church. We also saw several citizens 
fishing from their bedroom windows. Next came Boulogne and 
we glimpsed the ramparts and gateways of the upper city. We 
also saw the famous column Napoleon built to mark his "inva 
sion" of Britain. It was dusk when we reached Etaples, so we 
didn t see much of that place. 

On September 6th we marched from Longvillers to Halloy- 
Pernois, where we stayed overnight. Next day we moved on to 
Fermes-de-Rosel, near which were located a German prisoner 
camp and a large R.F.C. aviation field. We slept that night in 
barns. From there we could once more hear the rumbling of guns 
and we knew we were getting close to the Somme front. 

On September 8th we moved to Val-de-Maison, where we 
were billeted about the village, and took over a divisional rest- 
station from the Sixth Field Ambulance. For five days we re 
mained there, running the rest-camp, whitewashing walls, clean 
ing streets, etc. Back of the rest-station was an apple orchard and 
many of the boys climbed the trees to write letters and read, 
because there was nowhere else to sit in comfort. Little Andy 
Nicholson wrote his last letters home in one of those trees. Here, 
too, we were issued the blue shoulder patches and the C-2 badges 
which from then on were to identify Second Division troops. 

At Warloy-Baillon and Up the Line^ 

On September 13th the Eighth Field Ambulance relieved us 
and we moved to Warloy-Baillon, where we cleaned out several 
barns for use as a main dressing station during the coming battle. 

On September 14th all our bearers moved up the Line, ready 
for the big push which was to commence the next morning. 

The days following were momentous indeed. Up the line our 
bearers labored almost incessantly, clearing the wounded from 
around Contalmaison, Courcelette, Casualty Corner, The Sunken 
Road, Pozieres, Gibraltar Point, Thiepval, La Boiselle, Orvillers, 
Martinpuich and other famous Somme battlefields. 

The weather during the whole series of Somme battles was 
exceedingly wet. Dirty, grey, chalky mud was everywhere. The 
clothing, shoes and equipment of the wounded men and our 


bearers were plastered with this clogging "goo." At night the 
men resembled staggering grey ghosts. The artillery fire had 
churned up all the roadways and trenches until they were well 
nigh impassable. Most of the time our wheeled stretchers were 
useless. All too often were wounded men dumped from stretchers, 
when those carrying them fell or were bogged in the chalky 

Stretcher-bearing under such conditions was quite different 
from the parade-ground stuff in which we had been so carefully 
drilled during our training days. Of all the ridiculous drill we 
had then received, the loading and lifting of stretchers by num 
bers was the most useless. Rarely, here, did we have four men to 
a stretcher. More often than not, only two men were available. 
Under actual battle conditions we simply picked up our wounded 
man as tenderly as possible, bandaged him as quickly as circum 
stances would permit, and carried him out as fast as his weight, 
the terrain, and our own fear and legs would let us go. 

What man who carried wounded under these circumstances 
could ever forget the terrible groaning, cursing and pleading of 
the poor fellow, half-rolling off a shoulder-high stretcher? Who 
could ever forget the dark brown and purplish stain that seeped 
through the stretcher canvas, and all-too-often dripped down on 
to our backs and arms? Who can t remember the seeming futility 
of the whole mad business, as we were unable to take cover when 
shells blasted the chalky ooze all over us, or when a bearer was 
hit and fell, dumping perhaps a compound-fracture case, shriek 
ing with the additional pain, into a ruddy, stinking trench or 
shell-hole? And how many times did we go through all this, only 
to find, on reaching the aid-post, that the wounded man had 
died on the way, and that all our efforts to save him were futile? 
Nothing grand or heroic about all that, was there? It was simply 
a matter of carrying on as long as you had sufficient strength and 
fortitude to do so. 

The nights were very cold and, when a day without rain did 
come along, the hot sun baked the chalky uniforms into hard, 
chafing, misshapen masses. 

For the first few days the bearers rations failed to reach them 
properly, and if it had not been for the food they took from the 
haversacks of the dead, our lads would have gone hopelessly 
hungry. After the first phase of the attack, we established ration 


dumps at the Contalmaison Chalk Pits and at Casualty Corner. 
These posts were in charge of the Dental Captain and for the 
rest of the Somme scrap the men got their rations and rum more 
or less regularly. To these posts, too, the bearers not on duty 
came for rest and sleep. 

Sleep, to these fagged, nerve-shattered men was just like dying 
for a short time. Their faces would then show strange sights. 
All facial lines were relaxed; all pettinesses, weaknesses and vices 
stood out in brutal detail. Jaws and chins fell open and drooped, 
and cheek furrows grew deeper. It was difficult to recognize in 
these sleeping caricatures of men the comrades of our training- 
camp days. 

In Warloy-Baillon, the Nursing Sections were busy day and 
night. The wounded fairly poured in - - from motor ambulances, 
horse ambulances, general service wagons and commandeered 
farm conveyances. Many walking cases, too, found their dazed 
way back to this town - - too shell-shocked and bewildered to 
understand that there had been no need for them to come so far 
back for treatment. To these men, no doubt, the paramount 
thought was to get out - - to get back, as far as possible, from 
the hell up forward. Every barn was filled with wounded. They 
came in faster than we could get them attended to and evacuated 
to the clearing stations. Most of the wounded were so exhausted 
they slept for hours on the straw-covered barn floors, too spent 
to have their wounds re-dressed and too tired to remain awake 
long enough to take nourishment. 

We Suffer Some. Casualties <^ 

On September 15th, Dick Mitchell was killed, and Slim 
Russell and Baldy Rutherford, who had gone to infantry units, 
were wounded. The following day Willie McFarlane, Lewie 
Finch, Herbie Grant, Andy Nicholson, Willie Hanney, Andy 
Parker, Tommy Pender and George Grindley were killed. Fred 
White, Corney Weiler, Garnet Noble and Sergeant Wartman were 
wounded. Colonel Campbell of the Sixth Field Ambulance, the 
officer in charge of Second Division evacuations, was also killed 
on this same day. 

The deaths of Privates Parker and Nicholson were strangely 
co-incidental. The two Andys friendship was a very beautiful 


thing, a sort of Damon-Pythias relationship. They just about 
idolized each other and it was odd that after chumming together 
for about two years they should practically die together. 

Another sad coincidence was the arrival on this very day of 
a transfer order for George Grindley to take a commission with 
an Irish Line Regiment. 

Sergeant-Major Jack Williams left us shortly after we arrived 
at Warloy-Baillon. Word came that his wife had become very 
dangerously ill and that he was urgently needed at home. Most 
of the men were up the Line at the time so had no opportunity 
to bid him farewell. Headquarters noncoms., however, gave him 
a send-off party and he left Warloy with the good wishes of 
every man there. 

All were sorry to see Jack go, for he had the respect ot every 
body. Jack played no favorites and got things done with a mini 
mum of fuss and grousing. In our mind s eye we can see him 
even now as he used to walk on to the parade ground - a stubby 
toothbrush sort of moustache on his upper lip, his chin snuggled 
into his short, thick neck, his shoulders squared back, and his 
stocky frame straight as a poker. Williams looked like a middle 
weight boxer, talked like an Aldershot noncom. and walked like 
a man who knew where he was going. He kowtowed to neither 
officers nor men, treated everybody like human beings and con 
ducted himself as a he-man and gentleman. We do not think he 
had an enemy in the unit and when that is said of a regimental 
sergeant-major it means plenty. 

On September 28th Captain Barton and Roy Skillmg were 
wounded. On October 2nd Frank Terrio was killed and 

Adshead wounded. 

On October 3rd the Headquarters Sections at Warloy-baillon 
were relieved by the Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Field Ambulances 
and they moved to the Brickfields, near Albert. To this place our 
bearers came the day following - - for a few hours rest .reinforce 
ments and kit-refittings. Here we occupied bell tents, 
area was a sea of mud, for the rain had continued to pour down. 

While we were at Warloy and the Brickfields the men learned 
to love a certain Captain Bell, an American doctor who joined 
us at Eperleques and was only temporarily attached to the t 
This officer was an astonishingly human character. He had abso 
lutely no "side" and seemed totally indifferent to military usages 


and traditions. His spare moments he spent amongst the rank 
and file whom he entertained and instructed in many different 
ways. He was really the most remarkable character we knew - 
next to Colonel Farmer, of course ! He was ambi-dexterous, and 
could write and perform delicate surgical operations equally well 
with either hand. 

Captain Bell had a wonderful memory and was an accom 
plished elocutionist - - could recite long passages from Shakes 
peare, Longfellow, Hugo and other authors, as well backwards 
as forwards. He would ask his listeners to mention a chapter, 
paragraph or stanza from any prominent book and he would 
recite it forthwith. He could give the date and circumstances of 
almost any outstanding event in Biblical, British or American 

Captain Bell s uniform wasn t exactly what the High Com 
mand would have approved of; his boots, belt and other harness 
were not what Sandhurst would consider correct; his misshapen 
cap was tilted at an angle that would have brought tears to the 
eyes of a drill-master; his attitude toward full-buck privates and 
junior noncoms. was a challenge to army traditions, but - - he 
was a real man, one of Nature s Gentlemen, to whom militar 
ism, snobbery and class distinctions were repugnant. He was, too, 
an exceptionally clever surgeon and a shrewd physician. We have 
no idea where he came from or where he went when he left the 
Fifth, but we do know that with him went the best wishes, 
admiration and respect of every man in the unit. 

We Meet Our Reinforcements <^ 

It was at the Brickfields, too, we got our first opportunity to 
become acquainted with our reinforcements. As a matter of fact, 
a considerable number of new men had joined us shortly after 
our arrival at Warloy, but as most of them were sent up the 
Line the same night they arrived, we had little chance to greet 
or chat with them. Some of them became casualties on their first 
trip up front and we never did meet those lads where we could 
get to really know them. 

Our first reinforcements had reached us when we were in La 
Clytte and Mont Noir. Bob Gray, Herb Gilbert and Norm 
Heidman were in the first draft to the Fifth and it must be 


confessed that they were, for a week or two, treated more or less 
as outsiders. This attitude was quite understandable, for the "orig 
inals" of the unit had been together for over a year and had 
become somewhat like a large family. They had learned most of 
each other s strong points and weaknesses, their likes and dislikes, 
and much of their past histories. Almost every "original" had his 
own chum and favorite cronies, and there was a natural hesitancy 
toward taking an unknown newcomer no matter how fine a chap 
he might be - -into the long-established and select inner circle. 

Gradually, however, each reinforcement was "sized up," ap 
praised, and accepted as a chum and equal. No doubt he passed 
a rather uncomfortable time, until he found his bearings and 
"fitted in," but, after all, that applies to every situation in life. 
And - - we Canadian soldiers were brutally blunt and frank in 
most of our relationships! 

Throughout the war the Fifth received approximately five 
hundred reinforcements and it is doubtful if any other unit ob 
tained higher-class types of men than did ours. With very few 
exceptions, they finally measured up to the standard of our 
"originals" and proved themselves A-l men in every particular 
- whether they were officers or privates. 

It must be remembered, too, that the "originals" were on trial 
by the newcomers. New arrivals had to "size up" our officers, 
noncoms. and men. They had to learn a whole new language - 
a weird vernacular of war-slang, pidjin-French, barrack-room 
jargon and front-line wisecracks - - all rolled in together, with a 
confusing admixture of Lancashire, Scotch, Irish, Cockney, 
Italian and other brogues and dialects. Through all this strange 
and somewhat repellant crust of language, habits and pretence, 
the new men had to pierce deeply to find and understand the real 
man hidden underneath. That nearly every reinforcement "found 
his man" is proven by the many life-long friendships born of 
those days when college graduate and rich man s son dug a 
latrine, humped a stretcher or occupied a funk-hole alongside an 
unschooled day-laborer or lad from a humble cottage home. 

Just before the end of our stay at the Brickfields Colonel Farmer 
paid what must have been a memorable visit to Divisional Head 
quarters. Our bearers had been up the Line since September 14th. 
We had suffered several casualties and had "carried on" through 
out one of the most sanguinary periods of the Somme offensive. 







I \evcoor-t 



The Old Man had forwarded recommendations for awards for 
bravery, but, so far, the Fifth had apparently been ignored. Our 
unit had not been allotted any of the decorations which were at 
that time being awarded to other units of our Division. Colonel 
Farmer was determined that his men were not going to be dis 
criminated against so he dictated a blistering-hot despatch to the 
powers-that-were, telling them what he thought of the apparent 
slight. When the letter was finished he decided that it didn t say 
half what he wanted to say so he tore it up, jumped into a car 
and went to deliver his message personally. What transpired at 
the interview we do not know, but in due time the awards as 
recommended by the Old Man came through. He may sometimes 
have been undiplomatic, but he always got results ! 

On October 7th word reached us that Sergeant Wartman, then 
in No. 3 Imperial Casualty Clearing Station, at Puchevillers, 
had been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. We were 
also notified that we were to march north next day. 

The Sommc Battles in Brief $**** 

The Somme battles began on July 1st. Canadian Cavalry and 
Artillery were at Bazentin and Guillemont. The First Division 
fought at Pozieres on August 31st. On September 3rd the Cana 
dian Corps occupied 4,100 yards east and west of the Bapaume 
Road. Tanks were first used on September 15th when the Cana 
dians advanced, captured the Sugar Refinery and Fabeck Graben 
and took Courcelette. On September 17th Mouquet Farm fell 
into our hands. Further advance was made on September 20th 
and 22nd. On September 26th the First and Second Divisions 
took Zollern, Hessian and Kenora Trenches. Within the follow 
ing three days our line was advanced nearly 1,000 yards. 

On October 1st the Second and Third Divisions took Regina 
Trench. Only the Canadian Artillery remained at the Somme 
after October 17th, along with the Fourth Division which had 
now come south. The first three Divisions had moved back to 
the Lens-Vimy sector. By November llth the Fourth Division 
had advanced 500 yards. On November 18th they captured 
Desire Trench. By November 28th all Canadian units were out 
of the Somme, having gained 4,000 yards on a front of 3,000. 
Our casualties numbered 24,029. 


The Germans called the Somme scrap "The Blood Bath." It 
was called by our Staff "a part of our policy of attrition" an 
attrition on the wrong side of the balance sheet, for the Germans 
held nearly all of the dominating positions along the Front, and 
had, generally, a vast superiority in ammunition and equipment. 

During the Somme scrap the authorities were particularly 
alert in their search for pocket cameras. Frank O Leary continued 
to carry his, nevertheless. One day Frank was in the act of snap 
ping a battle scene near the Sugar Refinery when two intelligence 
officers nabbed him. Frank tossed his camera into a water-filled 
shell-hole. "Give me your paybook!" ordered one of the officers. 
O Leary reached into his pocket and handed over the paybook 
but it happened to be one he had just a few minutes before re 
moved from a dead body for identification purposes. He was 
unable to retrieve his camera but heard no more about the affair. * 

Just before our motor ambulances pulled out of Contay an 
aeroplane crashed nearby. The two injured airmen were loaded 
into one of our cars, with orders to the driver to take a reserve 
road that had just been newly surfaced and drive as fast as possi 
ble to a clearing station a considerable distance in the rear. Cor 
poral Hutchinson and Private Imeson were in charge of the ambu 
lance and lost no time on the way. They were going at almost 
top speed when they heard a car coming behind them. Hutchinson 
stepped on the accelerator but after a mile or so the other car 
pulled alongside and a blue-tabbed Transport Service officer 
ordered the corporal to stop. 

Where are you from?" demanded the officer. "Flying Corps, 
sir!" answered Hutch. "I should damwell think you were!" 
fumed the officer. What do you think this road is - - a race 
track for your amusement? Is this war merely something for your 
fun? Orderly, take this man s name and number. ... I ll make 
an example of him!" The orderly wrote down the information 
and the ambulance once again got under way, with the staff car 
going ahead at a fast clip. 

The two wounded aviators had taken in every word of the 
altercation, but ordered Hutch to hurry again. "Open her up, 
Canada. To hell with that bloody bluebeard!" So, the corporal 

*Frank had another kodak in his pocket when he lost his foot at Passchendaele , 
but one of his bearer pals took charge of the camera and it was returned to him in 
Canada, without the ever-alert authorities being any the wiser. Our book owes many 
of its illustrations to the cameras carried by Frank and other Fifth kodak-toters. 


opened her up and in no time at all was close to the staff car. 
Again the bluetab stopped the ambulance. Then for the first time 
he spotted the C-2 and Fifth identification mark on the car. "Ah 
. . . now I understand! You are Number Five Canadians \ No 
wonder you re driving like hell ! Come on, away you go. Follow 
my car and drive slowly." 

Next morning, Colonel Farmer came to the corporal. "Good 
morning, Hutchinson - - I ve just received a very serious report 
about one of our cars being on a reserve road and driving at a 
terrific speed. It must have been that man Fryday." Hutchinson 
explained the incident and handed the Old Man an explanatory 
note from the two injured aviators. Up in the air went the 
colonel. "Damn those officious meddling Imperial Transport 
blankety-blanks ! How do they expect us to win the war with 
their interference! I wish I d been there - - I d have shown that 
damned blue-tabbed son-of-a-something he couldn t talk to my 
men that way." 

On Sunday, October 8th, the unit moved out of the Brick 
fields, on its way north. We arrived at Vadencourt at 9 p.m., 
after a seven hours march. Here we stayed overnight. It was 
while we were here that word reached us that Max Kelso s 
ambulance had been hit and his horses killed, but that the 
popular noncom. himself was, miraculously, uninjured. Less 
fortunate was Bob Tillotson who on this same day received a 
chunk of shrapnel in his side. Bob was evacuated to the Base, 
then to Blighty and finally back to Canada as the result of his 

The next day we marched to Talmas. Near here there was a 
pursuit plane aerodrome to which our men went and witnessed 
the landing of several badly shot-up planes and wounded aviators. 

We left Talmas around noon on October 10th and marched to 
Beauval where we stayed overnight, sleeping in barns and houses. 
This was a fair-sized place and the men were not too tired to get 
about and have some fun. 

Austin Booth, our cycle orderly, was evacuated sick, being sent 
down the Line from Talmas. Andy Patterson immediately ap 
propriated Booth s bicycle and accompanied by Joe Irwin who 
had also wangled a wheel from somewhere, obtained permission 
to pedal the road from Talmas to Beauval. The distance was 
only about six miles. The unit marched it in about two hours 


but it was not until long after dark that Pat and Sharkey arrived. 
None but themselves ever found out where they went or what 
they did during the time they were en route. All we know is that 
they turned up in Beauval, minus their bikes, fagged out, but 
exhilarated and happy - - and with a tiny French poodle answer 
ing to the name of "Museeka." The poodle disappeared during 
the night following their arrival. Evidently the poor dog pre 
ferred gentler speech than that emanating from the unmusical 
masculine throats of the hard-boiled noncoms. in our sergeants 
billet and was determined to return to a home where "a dog s 
life" was really worthwhile. 

Some of the senior noncoms. may remember the big night 
they enjoyed in their Beauval billet - - how they were all bunked 
down on the hallway floor and too excited by the evening s 
horseplay to sleep. Whether the hard floor, the hard Beauval wine 
or the long day s hard routine had anything to do with their gay 
wakefulness we cannot say. We do remember, however, that 
they all had a very hard time getting to sleep. We also have a 
rather hazy recollection of a borrowed wrist watch figuring some 
what dramatically in the evening s comedy. 

During one of the many overnight halts on the march north 
ward we heard for the first time that song which became such 
a great favorite of Canadian troops, "Roses in Picardy." One of 
our men (little Arthur Shore, we believe) was heard singing it 
one night in a barn billet. Rain was pelting down outside and 
Lights Out had sounded some time when, out of the darkness 
came Arthur s low, sweet tenor voice, with the words which had 
such a timely and peculiar significance : 

Roses arc shining in Picardy, 

In the. hush of the silver dew. 

Roses are flowering in Picardy, 

But there s never a rose like you, and 

The roses will die in the Summer time, 

And our roads may be jar apart, 

But there s one rose that dies not in Picardy, 

That s the rose that I keep in my heart. 

On Wednesday, October llth, we marched to Bonniere. It had 
rained every day since we left Albert, so on this night and in this 
town we were given a rum issue. A miracle of miracles ! 


On the following day we marched off at 8 a.m. and billeted 
that night in the barns of Mont-en-Ternois. Next day we reached 
Dieval, where we again occupied barns overnight. On Saturday, 
October 14th, we bade goodbye to Dieval about 8 a.m., and 
hoofed it to Hersin. Here we passed the night, being billeted in 
several houses - - the first dry and sanitary billets we had seen 
since leaving Warloy-Baillon. 

On October 15th (Sunday) C. Section was sent up the Line, 
in charge of Major Pentecost and Captains Burgess and Neilson. 
On this day more reinforcements reached us. 

October 16th found the remaining two Sections still at Hersin. 
Here we were notified that Sergeant Wartman, D.C.M., had 
that day died in No. 3 Casualty Clearing Station at Puchevillers; 
and that Captain Nicholson had been awarded the Military Cross, 
and Sergeants Max Kelso and A. Hogg Military Medals for 
their work at Casualty Corner. We were ail deeply saddened by 
Wartman s death. A whiter, better man never lived. He was the 
most respected and best-loved noncom. our unit ever had, and 
there was not a man among us who wasn t poorer because of 
Wart s passing. He was buried in Puchevillers Cemetery. Poor 
old Wart, by the way, had a premonition of death, for on the 
night before he was hit he pledged Andy Patterson to look after 
his personal effects and write to his mother. Even after he was 
wounded he was firmly convinced that there was no hope for him. 

Not a few members of the Fifth were present at Wart s funeral ; 
and there were no dry eyes as his body was being laid away. 
Sergeant Wartman s remarks to a wounded infantryman, away 
back in La Clytte days, are typical of the man. The grateful rifle 
man was thanking Wart for his care and kindness when Wart 
stopped him: Why, that s what we re here for. We re not 
fighting-men ! You fellows are the real soldiers, and it s our job 
to help you. Our hats are off to you lads - - there s nothing in the 
world too good for you!" 

The long march north from the Somme was not without its 
share of memorable incidents. It was Colonel Farmer s invariable 
habit to go ahead by motor ambulance each morning and inspect 
the billets alloted to his men for the evening halt. Roy Flynn and 
his partner in crime, Art Beven, accompanied him on these trips 
and always had their eyes peeled for anything to their own ad 
vantage. One morning, Flynn discovered a half-case of whisky 


hidden in the car and, during the day, he and Beven managed to 
purloin it. They removed it to a safe hiding place and its loss 
was not discovered by the colonel until late in the evening. He 
blamed everybody but the right persons, because Beven and 
Flynn had not been out of his sight all day, so far as he could 
recall - - and it was they who helped the colonel most earnestly 
to search for the thieves and the stolen spirits ! 

It wasn t until about ten years later that Colonel Farmer 
learned the truth, and then Flynn and Beven were (fortunately for 
them !) out of the army and beyond the colonel s reach. 

Fosse Ten, Bully Qrencty, Calonne., Etc. <^> 

On October 17th, A. and B. Sections moved to Fosse Ten- 
Here they took over a main dressing station to which wounded 
were brought from advanced stations at Sains-en-Gohelle, Cal 
onne, Pont Grenay, Bully Grenay and Maroc, all small mining 
villages about five miles west of Lens. In these places we were 
exceptionally comfortable. This part of the Front was very quiet. 
The casualties were few and our duties not too arduous. We were 
in a coal-mining district so there was a goodly supply of fuel 
available for our oil-drum braziers. At all the advanced posts our 
men occupied deep and fairly bomb-proof dugouts and cellars, 
while at Fosse Ten the upper storey of a schoolhouse served as 
an excellent billet. 

This village consisted of a few streets of brick houses in which 
lived the mine workers of the adjacent mine or Fosse. The mines 
in each district were numbered and Fosse Dix was number 10 
mine or pit of the Lens district. The rather hybrid name "Fosse 
Ten" was merely the army s appellation for the place. 

In Fosse Ten one day was much like another and the men 
carried out their routine duties with the fond hope that their 
stay there would continue indefinitely. There were many good 
estaminets in the neighborhood and the townspeople welcomed 
us into their homes and readily sold us vin rouge, vin blanc, bicrc 
Anglaise, cafe noir, pommcs dc tcrre frittes et ks oeufs. 

French-Fried Potato Chips, Eggs, Etc. % 

In our mind s eye we can still see the kitchen of one of those 
humble old French homes - - the red-tiled floor - - washed clean 


by having pails of water thrown over it and then swabbed dry 
by broad-backed bent-over women swishing big pieces of gunny 
sacking or other material back and forth over it; the tiny, round- 
bellied, red-hot stove with its square suspended oven and its 
highly-polished pipes leading into a chimney-hole over an open 
hearth; the whitewood dinner table with its top scrubbed spot 
lessly clean; the great iron soup-pot that always hung suspended 
over a faggot fire in the wide, low, smoke-blackened fire-place; 
the glass artificial flower globes on the mantel; the quaint old 
wooden whatnot in the corner, holding odd pieces of brass, 
pewter goblets or a velvet plaque to which were attached the 
medals of some 1870 war veteran. 

What soldier didn t thrill to the sound of eggs frying in a big 
iron skillet, and potatoes sizzling in an immense pot of boiling 
fat? Who among us didn t gaze in awe and concern the first time 
he saw some stout Flemish housewife rest a bulky round loaf of 
Belgian bread, or a long crusty French loaf, against her ample and 
aproned tummy, while she sliced it (the bread !) with a curved, 
scythe-like bread knife? And how often did the freshly-cut slice 
drop to the floor, to be retrieved, brushed off and smeared with 
margarine? Eggs, chips and bread would be washed down our 
hungry throats with a generous amount of thick, inky coffee r 
chicory, served in large handle-less cups. And - - if you were 
lucky - -a slug of rum or cognac would "lace" the coffee and 
make your happiness complete. 

A Canadian soldier had a wonderful "way" with these French 
and Flemish home-folk. He would burst into a home, tramp all 
over the recently-cleaned tile floor with his muddy boots and 
proceed to make himself thoroughly at home with all who hap 
pened to be there. To the old man of the house he would give a 
handful of pipe "tabac." The elderly Madame, he would grab 
round the waist and make her dance with him an impromptu jig. 
If there happened to be a daughter in the menage, all was jake ! 
He would try to kiss her and unblushingly extend his ever- 
ready invitation : "Promenade, ce soir, mademoiselle!" And he in 
variably received the same laughing response : "Apres la guerre!" 
In a few minutes he had won the friendship of the old man, the 
love of the old woman, and the admiration of the daughter. 
They might call him "Vaurien, cochon, polisson," or "mauvais 
soldat" and tell him he was "no bon" -but they did so with 


laughter in their eyes and the warmth of understanding in their 
voices. Before long the housefolk would be grouped about their 
bon ami, asking him questions about his fiancee back in Canada 
and looking at the snapshots of his friends and loved ones. He 
invariably had a pocketful of snapshots to exhibit; and who can 
forget the genuine interest those Flemish people manifested in 
our persona] affairs, and their sincere grief whenever they heard 
that their friend "Billee" or "Johnnee" had been killed up the 
Line, and would not be visiting them any more? 

Where, oh where, in this whole wide world, could a soldier 
be better received and have all his manifold shortcomings more 
tolerated than in any one of those humble homes just back of the 
Front? Surely were these kindly French folk and our men kindred 
spirits. Verily, those poor people had learned well the import of 
the parable of the good Samaritan. We shall bless them to 
our dying day. 

It was in Fosse Ten that Teddy Blair proved that the "Fight 
ing Fifth" came by its name honestly. One night Teddy and a 
few of his A. Section buddies found themselves in an estaminet, 
among a lot of heavy-artillery gunners. One of the gunners was 
pestering a twelve-year-old girl and when Teddy asked him to 
desist, a battle broke out. A regular free-for-all ensued and, by 
the time Teddy and his Lancashire pals got through with them, 
the men of the "Heavies" had a lot more respect for "bomb 
proof, noncombatant stretcher-bearers." 

Colonel Farmer Leaves the Fifth ^ 

On November 4th we heard that Colonel Farmer was to leave 
us on the following day. For many weeks there had been vague 
rumors that he was to be given a higher command but, as time 
passed without anything more definite happening, we had ceased 
to pay much attention to the rumors. 

At 9.30 a.m., November 5th, however, a muster-parade was 
called and our old colonel said goodbye. He spoke briefly to the 
whole unit and then went through the ranks, shaking hands with 
every man. Tears made their way down his ruddy cheeks and 
there was a huskiness in his voice and a tremor in his hand 
clasps as he said his farewells. When he had passed through the 
ranks and taken his leave of every man individually, he stepped 

- 4 m 

1. Bully Grenay Dressing Station. 

3. Rear View, Bully Grenay A.D.S. 

5. Front of Bully A.D.S. 

6. Julie, of Estree-Cauchie. 

2. Orderly Room Staff. 
4. Fosse Eleven, ne*r St. Pierre. 
7. Major O. A. Elliott, D.S.O. and Bar. and 
Captain W. E. Sinclair M.C. 






O - 



5 V- 





< 2 

"* 3 

2 c 

C re 










to the front of the parade while Major Pentecost led three cheers 
from the officers and men. The Old Man stood for a moment, 
his right hand quivering at the salute; then he turned and walked 
briskly to an awaiting ambulance, and was driven down the 
road and away. 

Our reaction to the departure of our original Commanding 
Officer was decidedly interesting. Colonel Farmer was a remark 
able character - - as you will have found out from the many 
things we have written about him. He had a terrible temper, and 
never seemed desirous of controlling it. He would fly into a rage 
over the most trivial and picayune matters. He would never 
brook a denial - - but he himself would deny point-blank the 
assertion of another. He would vent his spite and relieve his 
anger on anyone or anything that happened to be near him at the 
moment. He would punish an erring officer or man without any 
consideration for the fitness of the punishment to the offence. 

Nearly every officer and man in the unit thought he hated 
the colonel - - but every officer and man truly loved him, although 
we were totally unaware of our deep regard for him until after 
he had left the Fifth. Then we remembered many of his admir 
able and good qualities. We recalled that if in temper he had 
abused us, he later made up in some way for his unfairness. We 
realized that if he had cursed and punished us he had also made 
better men of us and had looked after our comfort and welfare 
like a real colonel should. We knew that if he had given us C.B., 
first field punishments, fines, reprimands and admonishments, he 
had, in most instances, torn up our crime sheets and given us 
new and clean starts in our future army existences. 

We appreciated that he had welded us into a unit which, man 
for man, was the equal of any in France. He had by sheer ability 
and driving power - - and without much help or encouragement 
from those senior to him in the medical services - - recruited, 
trained, instructed and brought to France an organization to 
which every other unit could proudly point and on which all 
could confidently rely. 

Colonel Farmer was an exceptionally capable physician, a well- 
trained and long-experienced army officer, an accomplished horse 
man and an extraordinary good judge of human nature. Who can 
ever forget the Old Man, weeping unashamedly whenever one 
of "his boys" as he called them, was killed. Invariably, he would 


call for the dead man s history sheet, sit and gaze at it for a few 
moments, then erase any unfavorable records it might contain. 
"This man had no crimes!" the Old Man would say sadly, then 
he would go and write to the man s next-of-kin a kind, com 
forting and sincere letter of condolence. 

It was not very long before we realized that we had lost one 
of our best friends. We also had a very strong suspicion that the 
Fifth had been the innocent victim of a vindictive dislike some 
one of higher command had entertained for our departed Com 
manding Officer. 

A New Commanding Officer** 

On November 6th, Major Chester Fish McGuffin, of the Fourth 
Field Ambulance, took over command of the Fifth. He started 
right in, with extra parades, drills and daily route-jnarches to 
bring our unit up (or down !) to his conception of efficiency and 

discipline. , 

One week later we received an issue of official green envelopes 
envelopes in which we could mail letters we didn t want cen 
sored On the outside of these envelopes there was a statement 
signed by the sender to the effect that nothing subversive or ot 
military import was in the letter. It is feared that more than one 
man took advantage of these envelopes to pass on none-too- 
favorable opinions about the new Commanding G thcer. 
were the first issue of green envelopes we had received 

* Captain Nicholson left us on the 14th of November, and went 
to No. 2 Casualty Clearing Station. From there he was trans 
ferred to the Fourteenth Field Ambulance at Witley Camp, 
he became A.D.M.S. of Witley and held that rank until de 
mobilization. We were sincerely sorry to see him go tor he nac 
been with us from the start and was a general favorite. After he 
left the Fifth he was once mentioned in despatches. ?> 

It was about this time that Captain Sinclair or 
was to become popularly known, joined the Fifth, along wii 
another captain named Taylor. Captain Sinclair brought with 
him a banjo-mandolin and, from then on, he gave officers and 
men many happy moments with his playing of the mstrument. 
Who can ever forget him, singing "The Man Who Done Me 


Wrong" and "The Slim-Backed Fusiliers?" How the lads used 
to join in with the chorus of that "Eyes right, foreheads tight, 
noses to the front" song! He introduced "Franky and Johnny" 
to our unit, but the words as we knew them were slightly differ 
ent to the version popularized later. We would give you the 
words as we once knew them, but, thank goodness, we cannot 
recall them now ! 

Whenever passes were available our men visited the town of 
Bethune. This mining-centre metropolis was one of Joe Irwin s 
favorite haunts. One day the Imperial police in Bethune arrested 
Joe for being without his puttees. Joe, unfortunately, had no pass, 
and, fortunately, no identification material such as an army pay- 
book or other document. 

Right from the moment of his arrest Sharkey kept up a steady 
stream of French, and all the questioning of the brave redcaps 
failed to elicit from Joe an answer in English. The police could 
speak no French and our sergeant apparently could speak no 
English, so, after a lot of blustering by the military police and 
much gesticulating by Joe, the puzzled police gave it up as a bad 
job and released their prisoner. "Gorblimey," exclaimed the 
police corporal to his patrol mates, "we ll ave to let the bloody 
blighter gow ! Ees just one of them blawsted hignorant Can-eye- 
dians what cawn t speak or hunderstand the Hinglish lang- 
widge!" Needless to add, Joe hurried away, but before he left 
town he bought a bottle of Martini cocktail for his friends back 
at Fosse Ten. 

That Martini was potent stuff! After about two drinks of it, 
Max Kelso and Frank O Leary regaled their comrades with a 
long and loud dissertation on the "Origin of the Species." The 
scope of their discussion took in everything from the amoeba to 
a team of wonderful German coach-horses Kelso said he once 
owned. Max continued to talk about these horses far into the 
night and long after Frank had forgotten what the discussion 
was about. 

It was Max Kelso, too, who made an unfortunate contact 
with some lysol deodorant when he sat on top of the night 
bucket which stood just outside the sergeants billet. Max let out 
one awful yell and went bounding down the loft steps and over 
to a nearby well where he stood stark naked in the frosty night 
air, pumping ice-cold water over his stinging posterior. 


Some of the senior noncoms. may remember the night one of 
our staff-sergeants returned to his billet bragging about the hit 
he had made with Darkey the Belle of Fosse Ten. The staff, who 
was rather short in height, informed his listeners that Darkey 
had kept murmuring "Trop court, trop court, trop court m his 
ear all evening. He did not understand French and when his pals 
informed him that he had misconstrued the meaning of the dis 
appointed girl s exclamations, he was considerably chagrined 
and embarrassed, for, like most short men, he was very sensitive 
about his lack of stature. 

From the time of our arrival in France and right through to 
the Somme we had been able to buy fairly good beer back ot 
Line Of course, it never was as good as we desired but it was 
palatable, potent, and better than chlorinated water. About the 
time we reached Fosse Ten, however, the beer was becoming 
very poor. As a matter of fact, we began to suspect that it was 
being made in those huge barrel-like wagons used for conveying 
field fluid. And as the quality went down the price went up 
urge for self-preservation forced more than one ultra-loyal and 
accomplished beer drinker to switch his allegiance and devotion 
to those two styptic demons, Vin Rouge ct Vin mane. Our old 
chorus about madame and her beer voiced our feelings: 

Madame., your beer s no bon, 
Madame, your beer s no bon, 
Life your pommes-de-terres fritz 
It gives us the pip - 
Madame, your beer s no bon. 

Our Second Christmas in 

Christmas found us carrying on in Fosse Ten and at the 
previously-mentioned advanced stations. This was our second 
Christmas in France and we celebrated it in a manner similar 

that of the first. , 

New Year s Day came and went without anything unusual 
happening. Shortly after the New Year, our new Commanding 
Officer was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel. 

During our long stay in this area we had but few wounded to 
look after. The weather was cold and wet, but in our good 
billets we didn t suffer. Periodically the three Sections changed 
places so there was plenty of variety to our activities. 


On January 17th, 1917, our unit had charge of the clearing 
of wounded in the great daylight raid which was pulled off by 
our Brigade on the Bully Grenay-Calonne front. About ten col 
lecting and relay posts were established throughout the trenches 
and all our bearer squads were in the Line for this show. A false 
raid had been carried out on the 16th, to put Fritz off his guard. 
That it succeeded in doing so is proven by the fact that the real 
raid was a complete surprise and success, and that comparatively 
few of our own men were wounded. We carried out more 
Germans than Canadians. 

Back at Fosse Ten that morning things didn t go off quite so 
smoothly. Our new Commanding Officer had given a big party 
the night before and when the first patients - - mostly Germans, 
fortunately - - arrived at Fosse Ten not one medical officer was 
on duty. Arrangements made previously called for immediate 
contact with an Imperial casualty clearing station at Aubigny. 
This casualty clearing station had an unlimited number of ambu 
lances available and these were held, awaiting word from our 
orderly room. Soon our dressing station was filled up and with 
no means of evacuation. The acting sergeant-major persuaded 
Sergeant-Major Harry Williams of the Horse Transport to saddle 
his horse and ride to Aubigny and notify the casualty clearing 
station of the tie-up. 

Not until long after the ambulances arrived and the snarl was 
untangled did the new Commanding Officer appear on the scene. 
Even then, his efforts consisted chiefly of blaming everyone else 
but himself for the cruel delay. Perhaps the fact that one of the 
unit s most exalted officers had inadvertently sat down on a red- 
hot stove during the all-night party and burned the seat out of 
his breeks deprived the Commanding Officer of some of the 
assistance he had depended on for the clearing of the wounded. 

No doubt many of the oldtimers will remember Alf. Pount- 
ney s return to the unit after a short course at the Gas School - 
and the corporal s lecture on gas-helmets, etc. : Ere s ow you 
tykes old of the mawsk. You grabs the lastic in bowth ands, 
shoves your fyce into it, and puts the mouth-piece in your mouth, 
tyking a firm old on it with your teeth; and my king sure the 
lastic owlds toightly round your fyce," etc., etc. 

Three days after the raid we were relieved by the First Divi 
sion and the whole Second was moved by trucks and busses, back 


to the Pernes-en-Artois neighborhood. We were rather sorry to 
leave the homes which had been ours for the previous three 
months. In Fosse Ten and Bully Grenay we had enjoyed many 
happy times. In the former place les pommes de terre frittcs and 
Ics oeufs could be had at Madame Louise s, Darkey s and at 
other well-known retreats. Back of the horse-lines was another 
popular rendezvous where Elaine and Jeannette waited on (and 
for) the boys, and where one could always buy a tot of Fifth 
Field Ambulance rum, which the household obtained regularly 
from a certain non-too-popular captain who was a worshipping 
habitue of this tin-roofed meeting place; and cigars, too, which 
another gallant had given to the girls dad as a peace offering. 

A Bombardment at the Horse-Lines ^ 

It was near this humble home that a capital crime was almost 
perpetrated one dark and foggy night, when one of our officers 
went to make his nightly rounds of the horse-lines. Just as this 
much-becussed officer reached the pathway along by the galvan- 
ized-iron windbreak, he was the target for bricks, rocks, chunks 
of coal and other formidable missiles. The metal windbreak rat 
tled with the force of the pelting objects but, fortunately, the 
officer went unscathed. As the first missile whanged past his head 
he threw himself flat on the muddy ground, and so escaped what 
might have been sudden death had he been hit. As soon as the 
mysterious bombardment ceased, the captain rushed to his feet 
and ran into the horse-lines, where he was brought to a sudden 
halt by an alert sentry. The captain identified himself and he and 
Sergeant Max Kelso did their utmost to get to the bottom of the 
affair but without any success. All the transport men were found 
in their proper places and the identities of the miscreants respon 
sible for this outrageous attack were never determined. 

No doubt many of the Fifth will recall, too, the night a certain 
sergeant was on his way down the long steep stairs from the 
men s billet - - and a heavy fire-bucket came hurtling down, 
nearly decapitating him. Max Odessky had many s the laugh 
over this incident. 

Bully Grenay, too, had provided some never-to-be-forgotten 
fun. Although the town was intermittently shelled, and there 
were very few houses undamaged, many of the townspeople still 


remained, living in the deep and spacious cellars beneath the 
toppled houses. 

Who could ever forget the much patronized bathhouse, the 
several egg-and-chip places where they served cognac avec; and 
the old fellow who could always find a bottle or two of ancient 
vintage if you had the money to pay for it; or the home into 
which one of our athletic officers climbed one dark night, through 
a tiny window in the top storey? Or "Madame Machine Gun" 
who used to take in washing? 

No doubt some of the fellows remember the time Bill Ferris 
found in Bully Grenay a dog somebody recognized as belonging 
to Sergeant Camps. The poor animal appeared to be dying from 
abuse and starvation, so Bill took care of it and nursed it back to 
health. When his squad returned to Fosse Ten he brought the dog 
to Camps, who was at a loss to account for its presence in Bully 
Grenay. Charlie was positive his dog was still in Fosse Ten. 
Search was made and sure enough, Camps dog was found in its 
kennel. The animal Ferris had rescued was its exact counterpart. 
Even Charlie couldn t tell the two dogs apart. 

The subject of pets reminds us of several that belonged to our 
fellows at various times. There was Brett s dog, Bessie, which 
was never seen after a bombing raid on Amiens. One of Bessie s 
pups was killed by a German police dog at Caix. There was 
George Bailey s dog Sam, always dressed in a pearl-buttoned coat. 
There was Nigger, Tim Eaton s and A. B. Smith s dog when we 
were at Gouy-en-Artois. Some of the Motor Transport boys may 
remember how this dog was always at A. B. s heels when the 
corporal came to wake his gang in the morning. It was always : 
"Come on boys, show a leg there! Show a leg! Nigger, come 
here!" There was, too, the kitten Harry Fryday found at Vier- 
straat. It died down near Contay in 1916, after eating a mess of 
bully beef Fryday prepared. Later on, of course, there came Major 
Elliott s police dog and a pair of Dachshund pups somebody 
found a few weeks before the armistice. 


(Published at time of Sir Arthur Currie s Death) 

The QeneraVs gone. (Qod rest him!} 

Qone to his last parade; 
Qone in a fanfare of trumpets 

To the ranks of his ghost brigade; 
Qone to the great Commander -in-Chief 

For his final accolade. 

And now "he belongs to the ages," 

With those who marched on before. 
Heavy with grief is a nation s heart - 

A heart deep-scarred in war - 
A heart whose solemnly fervent prayer 

Is that war may come no more. 

The QeneraVs gone; but with us 

Are thousands of those he led - 
His soldiers --broken, despairing, 

But envying only the dead! 
Baffled, bewildered, soul-sickened - 

Called "traitor," called "sluggard," called "red"! 

The QeneraVs gone. (Qod rest him!) 

But - - what of the QeneraVs men? 
Can a QeneraVs soul repose in peace 

While, his warriors march again - 
Battling more bitterly, merely for bread, 

Than they battled for dollar-ten? 

Were those tributes paid to Currie 

Just so many words to be said - 
Or an honest and reverent homage 

To be shared by the legions he led? 
Is there only the Cross for the living? 

Has the Torch journeyed on with the dead? 

* N YARDS: 9-A.D.S. 


I want to go home. I want to go home. 

The whizzbangs they rattle, the cannon they roar, 

I don t want to go to the Front any more! 

Take me over the sea, where the Allemand can t get at me -- 

Oh my, I don t want to die, I want to go home. 

I want to go home. I want to go home. 

I don t want to crouch in a trench any more, 

When flying pigs hurtle and Jack Johnsons roar. 

Take me over the the sea, where snipers cannot snipe at me, 

Oh my, I m too young to die, I want to go home. 


(January 21, 1917, to November 17, 1917) 

The End of a 
Perfect Day 

>Y SATURDAY, January 
20th, the whole unit had moved 
to Pernes-en-Artois, a small 
town about fifteen miles back. 
Here we took over a Rest Sta 
tion in a sadly dilapidated con 
vent. A corner-stone informed us that the building was erected 
in 1649; and the accumulation of filth about the place hinted 
that it hadn t had a thorough cleaning since the start of the war. 
The patients occupied the convent rooms, while our men camped 
in bell tents pitched on the grounds fronting the building. Snow 
and wet weather set in and we were very uncomfortable. 

Our new Commanding Officer ordered route marches, discip 
linary drills, physical training parades and other unpleasant activi 
ties for us but, strangely, he himself never drilled the unit nor 
took charge of one parade - - to Major Pentecost and the ser 
geant-major being delegated the onerous task of drilling the unit 
in the town square. 

On our very first day in Pernes several Fifth lads were arrested 
for being out after 10 p.m. The Imperial A. P.M., who controlled 
the area informed our colonel that local official time was a few 
minutes in advance of Canadian Corps time and that the men 
should be excused for the first offence; but the A.P.M. s inter 
cession was of no avail. The innocent delinquents were hailed 



before our Commanding Officer and given C.B., fines and repri 
mands - - all in the name of "efficiency." The esprit de corps of 
the Fifth began to approach the vanishing point. 

As a matter of fact, in the orderly room was about the only 
place the majority of the men ever saw their new colonel. The 
lads of the Motor Transport Section may have seen more of him 
than did the rest of us, for they used to entertain us with astound 
ing stories about long-past-midnight trips they were called on to 
make to St. Pol; and of a besotted dead-to-the- world passenger 
they brought back to Pernes during the nine days we were there. 

We Capture Auchel <^^ 

On January 29th we moved about five miles northeast to 
Auchel and, for the ensuing two weeks, occupied exceptionally 
good billets in two schools, one at either end of the town. Auchel, 
a prosperous mining town and at that time undamaged by the 
war, gave to our men the most hospitable reception they had 
ever been accorded in forward areas. The townspeople were par 
ticularly well-to-do, for the coal mines were being operated to 
their utmost capacities. There were many good-sized and well- 
stocked shops, and the estaminets were fully supplied with what 
it took to please the troops. 

Our two weeks stay in Auchel saw the Fifth getting more 
physical training parades, infantry drill, equipment-polishing and 
lectures than it had received in the whole preceding sixteen 
months. From Reveille to Retreat the men were kept on the go 
- by ridiculous parade-ground stuff that was about as helpful 
up the Line as the one who ordered it proved to be while he was 
with the Fifth. Here, too, our new colonel never drilled the unit, 
and seldom during the daytime was he seen by the rank-and-file. 

The lectures consisted of weird, theoretical, academical dis 
sertations on what should be done under circumstances such as 
never had existed (and never were to exist!) in actual battle. 
One lecturer, who never had been with us up the Line, instructed 
our stretcher-bearers that if ever they ran out of iodine, bichloride, 
or other antiseptic solution during a battle, they could cleanse 
wounds by bathing them with whisky or brandy ! During one 
lecture the didactical lecturer stood on a small platform in one of 
the schoolrooms, his braces dangling down from beneath the back 


of his tunic and swinging about his boot tops. That evening the 
men regaled themselves in estaminets and billets by singing : 

(Tune - - Phil the Fluter s Ball) 

Oh, the men smiled and snickered and the quarter-bloke he swooned 
When old Major Ings suggested whisky for a wound. 
Staff Alden got so rattled his future fun was ruined - 
Down at the lecture -we received this afternoon. 
There were sterile bandages and sterile lints, 
Sterile gauze and sterile splints, 
Sterile basins and sterile towels - 
Soon the men are going to have sterile bowels! 
We looked at the major and he looked at us; 
We all began to fidget and to make a fuss, 
When down towards his boots the major chanced to glance- 
There his damned old suspenders were dangling from his pants. 
(Now, gorblimey, what do you think, of that?) 

Sharkey Irwin, Frank O Leary and Harry Williams were only 
a few of the lads who found good homes for themselves in 
Auchel. Bully Beef Dupont s place, a milliner s shop, and the 
"Estaminet of Mirrors" were some of the favorite meeting 
places. There was, too, that mysterious retreat where one of the 
A. Section sergeants used to get a bottle of Black and White pre 
sented to him each night at closing time. Incidentally, Frank 
Alden and Harry Williams were so anxious to discover the source 
of this liquor supply they shadowed the lucky sergeant night after 
night, but to no avail. 

It was with sincere regret that the lads of the Fifth moved 
from Auchel; and it was a very resentful unit (about one year 
later) when word reached us that Auchel had been heavily shelled 
and bombed, and many of our kind civilian friends killed or 
wounded and their homes destroyed. 

We moved to Cambligneul, a small town about ten miles 
northwest of Arras, on February 12th, and relieved the Ninth 
Canadian Field Ambulance, taking over a main dressing station 
in the middle of one of the muddiest fields imaginable. A few 
leaky Nissen huts and ragged bell tents served as hospital and 
billets. The town was squalid and ugly and most of the buildings 
were in ruins. Only a handful of the former inhabitants remained 
and they were pathetically poor and miserable. For many days it 


had rained or snowed almost incessantly, so town and camp were 
in a sea of mud. 

T^euvilh St. Vaast and Aux Riet Cave ^ 

While the Nursing Sections remained to run the hospital, some 
of the bearers, about sixty-five in all, were sent up the Line as a 
working party. Their job up there was the digging of a large 
dugout at the corner of Denis-le-Rock and Combow trenches on 
the western slope of Vimy Ridge. This dugout was to be used as 
an advanced dressing station in the approaching Vimy battle. 

For six or eight weeks the bearers stayed on the dugout job - 
working by night and sleeping (or trying to sleep !) by day, in the 
heavily shelled cellars of Neuville St. Vaast.* As soon as dark 
ness came, the men made their way up long muddy communica 
tion trenches to the dugout. There, with pick and shovel, they 
worked until just before daylight, when they would spread grass 
and net camouflaging material over the mined chalk and then 
make their way, tired, lousy, hungry and soaking wet, back to 
their cellar hiding-places - - to sleep the sleep of exhaustion. 
These cellars stank and were alive with vermin and rats. Water 
seeped through floors, walls and ceilings, so that it was not very 
long until many of our men "went sick" and had to be sent down 
the Line. In all the weeks we were up there the men had no 
proper rest, no baths, no change of underwear or socks, and 
totally inadequate rations. No officer was with us - - a sergeant 
and a few corporals being given all the responsibilities. Never 
once did our Commanding Officer visit his men to see where 
they worked and slept and the conditions under which they were 
existing. During the whole time of their stay not one issue of 
rum reached them, although they were wet through and half- 
frozen day after day. 

Before the working party completed the Denis-le-Rock job, 
other work was undertaken on posts in Territorial Trench, Abri 
Boche and one or two other places. More of our men came up 

*French troops under Foch had taken Neuville St. Vaast from the Germans earlier 
in the war, and it was in the ruins of this town that Foch set up his guns during the 
repeated but unsuccessful French attacks on the Ridge proper. As a matter of fact, 
Foch s troops had more than once won their way to the top of the Ridge but were 
forced to retire because of the failure of flanking armies to advance. Neuville St. Vaast , 
when we were there, bore ample and tragic evidence of the sanguinity of the Poilus 
struggles for Vimy. There was, too, nothing to show that the town had once been 
the "Petit Monte Carlo" of the north. 


from Cambligneul and were quartered in Aux Rietz Cave. They, 
too, went to work every night, but during the daytime were able 
to sleep safely and dry in the cave. Eventually, one or two officers 
were available at Aux Rietz to attend to sick parades, supplies, 
discipline, etc. 

Perhaps a little parody which was popular at the time will give 
some idea of what our Neuville St.Vaast billets were like: 

(Tune Little Qray Home in the West) 
There s a little wet home in a trench, that the rainstorms 

continually drench; 
A dead mule close by, with its feet towards the sky, gives off 

a most terrible stench. 
Underneath us the mud makes a floor where asthmatic rats 

squeal and snore. 

Oh, quite gray is my hair from the shells that plump there - 
Near my little wet home in a trench. 

There are snipers who keep my head low. There are crosses 

and graves, row on row. 
The star-shells at night make a hell of a light they cause 

putrid language to flow. 

just bully and biscuits to chew no jam, no Maconachie stew! 
H.E. shells drop down there --oh no place can compare 
my little wet home in a trench. 

The work at the dugouts was done well within the range of 
rifle and minnenwerfer fire. We were only about 200 yards from 
the Front Line and, until we had dug well down, were ail-too- 
frequently targets for ambitious and alert enemy snipers. The 
swish-swish-swish of machine-gun bullets and the earth-shaking 
explosions of flying pigs were our nightly accompaniment. Al 
though one or two of the Engineers in charge of the work were 
hit, our only casualty was Jesse Dawkins, who stopped a sniper s 
bullet one early morning and was sent down the Line with a nice 
blighty in the shoulder. Sickness, however, took its toll and, out 
of the sixty-five men who started the dugout, only about forty 
were on the job when it was finished. 

Major Jones Passes 

It was about this time that Major Jones was taken ill with 
pneumonia. He lay in his billet at Cambligneul for a few days, 


but gradually grew worse and was taken to hospital at Aubigny. 
He failed to rally, however, and to the dismay of the whole unit, 
passed away on Monday, March 5th. Two days later he was 
laid to rest in Aubigny Cemetery, Colonel Farmer and Captain 
Kenney coming from Boulogne for the funeral. Major Jones was 
a well-liked officer. He was considerate of the men and they felt 
his death very keenly. 

Colonel Farmer, during his visit to Cambligneul, passed a few 
hours with the officers of his old command. During the evening 
they discussed the probable duration of the war, and the Old 
Man predicted that hostilities would end in November of the 
next year (1918). While none took the colonel s prediction seri 
ously at the time, one or two thought it interesting enough to 
note in their diaries - - and promptly forgot about it until the 
end of the war when the uncanniness of the Old Man s accuracy 
was brought home to them. 

By way of injecting a lighter note, we must mention that 
immediately after Major Jones funeral two of our lads possessed 
themselves of his greatcoat and cap and, as they had been taught 
to improvise and exercise their Can-eye-dian ingenuity, they pro 
ceeded to do just that. They made their way, by motor ambu 
lance, to the officers canteen in Aubigny where one of the lads, 
attired in the major s cap and coat and accompanied by an ambu 
lance orderly as batman, presented an order for a case of whisky. 
Very good, sir," said the canteen sergeant, "please fill in the 
official slip, sir, and you can ave it right away." The pseudo- 
major filled in the slip, signed the dead major s name to it and 
passed it over the counter, along with the necessary money to 
pay for the order. "I wonder if you would mind putting the case 
in the car for me?" asked the fake major. "Right-o, sir!" agreed 
the obsequious three-striper. So, under the watchful guidance of 
the acting batman, the liquor was loaded into the car and brought 
to Cambligneul where, for a day or two, a lot of exhilarated 
privates and noncoms. vouched for its potency. Major Jones him 
self would have appreciated that sort of improvisation and in 
genuity. A. B. Smith and Johnny Hay were the acting-major and 

Leave was now in full swing. Paris was thrown open to the 
troops and several Fifth men put in for leave to the City of Light 
(diversions). One noncom. (we forget whether he was sergeant, 


corporal or private at the time - - he was promoted and demoted 
so often!) put in for Paris leave; but his idea of Paris was a farm 
not far from Cambligneul and the chief attraction was red 
headed. There among the cows, pigs, ducks and chickens, he 
passed his ten days - - and then came back to the unit with won 
derful tales about the Folies Bergeres, Casino de Paris and the 
Boulevards. Another good improviser ! 

Joe Irwin and Frank O Leary were the first two "Other Ranks" 
to go to Paris, and the tales they told on their return regaled their 
cronies beyond description. Many of us had been dubious about 
how we were going to find our way about Paris, but Joe and 
Frank assured us that nearly everybody in Paris could speak at 
least a little English. They told us about one young Parisienne 
who proudly displayed her linguistic ability by saying "beef 
steak" and "water-closet" -two words known to every person 
in Paris, but the only two English words she could say. 

One of the outstanding features of our Cambligneul camp was 
the daily arrival of a little "chocolate girl." No day was too wet, 
snowy or cold for this teen-aged mamselle, and very few were 
the days when she didn t succeed in selling her stock-in-trade. 
She carried a large covered basket in which were chocolate, 
writing materials, fresh eggs and many other articles, and she is 
the only girl we can recall who had unrestricted access to one of 
our camps. Even in the coldest weather she went barefoot and 
hatless, a rough dress and a thick coat of grime being her only 
protection from the weather. It was sympathy for her wretched 
ness, no doubt, that caused her to be permitted in the bell tents. 
Shortly after we left Cambligneul we heard that this girl had 
been placed under restraint by the military police who suspected 
her of being a spy. 

About the end of March the dugout at Denis-le-Rock and 
Combow was completed and the bearers moved back to Cam 
bligneul headquarters. There they were given lectures on how to 
bandage wounded and carry stretchers during the coming Vimy 
scrap. These lectures were given by two captains who had just 
recently joined the Fifth and had, as yet, no actual experience up 
the Line. According to these two officers, the evacuation of 
wounded from the Salient and the Somme had been bungled, so 
new methods of stretcher-bearing and clearing from aid-posts 
were to be used in the coming battle. The two strategists had the 


prettiest diagrams, charts and plans imaginable; and our bearers 
listened with awe and wonderment to how easy it was all going 
to be when our two new captains took charge of this work during 
the Vimy show. 

Our Commanding Officer also had his senior noncoms. intro 
duced to him (for the first time!) and he delivered to them a 
fierce harangue on how it had been done at the Somme, etc. , and 
how it should be done at Vimy - - or else! To show that he 
meant business, the colonel ordered the sergeant-major, a staff- 
sergeant and a sergeant to make a thorough survey of the Vimy 
Front and sent them up in daylight to the Front Line trenches. 
All of which was a splendid idea - - excepting that the part of 
the Front he sent them to was in First Division territory and 
whatever topographical knowledge they obtained was entirely 
useless to them in Second Division operations. However, the 
three noncoms. spent a very interesting day, for Fritz chose that 
part of the Line for his daily artillery strafe. The noncoms. passed 
most of the time with the infantrymen - - cowering in funkholes, 
sheltering under elephant-iron and dodging around traverses to 
escape flying pigs and other hardware. 

It was at this time, and just before the Vimy battle, that three 
of our original noncoms., Staff Alden and Sergeants W. Wager 
and A. Hogg, left the unit. Alden went to England and the other 
two returned to Canada. A send-off party was given to the de 
parting noncoms. and, helped by a couple of jars of rum stolen 
from a nearby Army Service Corps canteen, and a few bottles of 
Irish whisky bought in Bethune, a very merry evening was passed. 
It was at this party that Dean Wilkins burst for the first time into 
the high-powered oratory which was later on to become so 
effective in the politico-legal world. 

During the first week of April the unit moved from Camblig- 
neul and took over stations at Hersin-Coupigny, Mont-St.-Eloy 
and in Aux Rietz cave. By the night of April 6th all our bearers 
were located in the cave and the attack was expected to com 
mence the next morning. The cave was to be used as a main 
dressing station for wounded from the advanced dressing dugout 
at Denis-le-Rock and Combow trenches, and another post to be 
established at Parallel Eight. 

Aux Rietz cave was a gigantic affair. About two hundred 
steps led down into it and it was large enough to accommodate 

1. Bringing wounded by narrow gauge trucks from the top of Vimy Ridge. 
2. A Shell bursting close to our A.D.S. in Vimy Village. 

(Official Can. War Photos) 

1. Road fronting our A.D.S., Vimy. 2. Stretchers piled at back of Vimy A.D.S. 

3. German Trenches to right of hill-road leading down to Vimy Village. 
4. Body in Blanket, ready for burial. 5. Entrance, Brewery A.D.S., Vimy R.R. Station. 


five or six thousand men. It was lighted by electricity developed 
by a miniature power plant which also pumped a supply of fresh 
water from wells sunk within its confines. Double-tiered chicken - 
wire bunks were built against the chalk walls of the several vaults 
and galleries which made up the interior, and a few ventilating 
shafts were bored through its hundred-foot chalk roof. Our 
bearers were already well acquainted with the place, for it was 
here they had billeted or come for rations during the time they 
were on the Neuville St.Vaast working party. 

It was quite easy to lose oneself in this immense, smoke-filled, 
dimly lighted cavern, for all the galleries and tunnels looked 
alike. Rats and lice were plentiful in the place, but it was bomb 
proof. Even the largest shells exploded harmlessly on its roof, so, 
in spite of its many shortcomings, the cave was a "jake" billet 
and our men slept and ate in comparative comfort and safety. 
Consequently, they were not a bit disappointed when the Vimy 
attack was postponed for a day or two. In the meantime our pre 
liminary bombardment of the enemy s reserve and support posi 
tions continued throughout every hour of the days and nights. 

It was while our Headquarters were in Hersin that Pete Joyce 
came to the Fifth. Pete was an Irish Canuck from Eastern Canada, 
and his chief objections to the war were officers and noncoms. 
He was rather fond of a drop of good stuff and, on the day before 
we moved into Aux Rietz cave, Pete celebrated his arrival by 
visiting all the estaminets in the district. Returning to the chateau 
billet, he ran full-tilt into our Commanding Officer and, not 
having heard very good reports of the colonel, Pete proceeded to 
tell him just what the men and he personally thought of him. 
The Commanding Officer called out the guard and the outspoken 
Peter was thrown into the clink. Next morning he pleaded for a 
postponement of trial and to be sent up the Line with the bearers, 
and his plea was granted. On the morning of the 9th, when we 
were in the support trenches waiting for our turn to go forward, 
Pete noticed that we had back of us some Imperial troops. "What 
a hell of a spot I m in!" exclaimed Pete. "There s the English 
behind me, the Germans in front of me, and a bunch of bloody 
noncoms. and officers beside me. What a hell of a place for an 
Irishman to be in !" Here let us record that Pete remained with us 
for over a year and turned out to be a first-class soldier and a 
general favorite. 


The. Battle of Vimy fydge. < 

About three o clock on the morning of April 9th (Easter 
Monday) our bearers climbed out of Aux Rietz cave and took up 
position at the Pill Work in Parallel Eight, in Abri Boche, and 
in other support trenches. Zero hour was set for five-thirty and 
the minutes went fast, indeed. Promptly on time our final bom 
bardment opened and hell was let loose. Only a few answering 
shells came our way, but one of these landed on the steps of a 
dugout, killing Charlie Stagg and burying the other occupants. The 
survivors were rescued and the bearers went forward shortly after. 

By this time hundreds of German prisoners were coming in. 
We used many of them for stretcher-bearing throughout the day, 
turning them over to the prison cages when darkness set in. 

The first attack was a huge success and we had little occasion 
to use the dugout we had worked so long and laboriously to 
build. It is to be hoped that it made a comfortable billet for 
those who came after us and it is hard to understand the reason 
ing that led to its building. If the Vimy attack had failed, Aux 
Rietz cave, Abri Boche and the Pill Work could have accom 
modated all our wounded, so it seemed like just one more 
example of "fool orders" by someone miles in the rear - - some 
one who had no personal knowledge of the actual terrain over 
which the battle would be fought, and didn t care to visit the 
Line and investigate. The net result of our long and useless dug 
out job was that it left our bearers fagged out and weary for the 
work entailed in the actual battle. 

One of the hardest things a junior officer or noncom. had to do 
was to enforce a stupid or useless order, when the men were in 
telligent enough to know better. That was where so-called "dis 
cipline" generally (and in most cases - -fortunately) fell down in 
the Canadian Corps. It is a safe bet that our casualties would 
have been much greater in number if our junior officers, non- 
coms. , and the men themselves, had not exercised commonsense 
and very often ignored and disobeyed fool orders issued by some 
red-tabbed higher-ups whose only idea of battle terrain and con 
ditions was gleaned from a gaily colored map spread before them 
on a liquor-stained table. No doubt the whole thing appeared 
simple on a map, where a smooth strip of white was no-man s- 
land and a double or treble row of X s marked the German 


barbed wire. Maps didn t show shell holes, twisted wire, blasted 
roadways or recently-made obstacles of any kind. They showed 
no stinking corpses, slime-filled depressions, and all the other inv 
pediments that set traps for our feet and made progress almost 
impossible. Neither did they show any signs of the grim, alert 
and efficiently equipped enemy who would be watching our 
every move from aeroplanes and kite balloons and relaying the 
information to troops prepared and determined to blast us into 
Eternity. It was a great war - - on a map ! 

Only officers and men who were through it can tell how many 
times they were ordered to occupy posts and trenches that didn t 
exist; how many times they were commanded to make their way 
over roads that weren t there - - and hadn t been there since the 
first few weeks of the war; how often they were instructed to 
carry cases from aid-posts that were actually in territory still held 
by the enemy ! It is no wonder that our frequent and fervid com 
ment was "Thank God we ve got a Navy!" and that the lads 
used to put a lot of feeling into their singing of: 

Oh, it s the Navy -- the T(pyal Navy, 

That keeps our foes at bay. 

Our old song "Britannia J(ules the Waves" 

We all can sing today. 

Weve got a Navy --a fighting Navy - 

The enemy knows that too; 

For it keeps him in his place 

When he knows he has to face 

Our gallant little lads in navy blue. 

Apropos of our subject, we must mention that, during a 
severe winter in the Salient, we ran across some fellows from the 
Marine Division. They had just done a spell in the Front Line 
trenches, and weren t a bit backward in admitting that they 
wished they were back with the Fleet. 

While we are on the subject of foolish orders we must mention 
a general inspection that was made of our Horse Transport during 
the desperate Spring of 1918, when Fritz was making his last 
advance into allied territory. Many days were given over to 
brass-polishing, harness-cleaning and all the other drudgery that 
precedes an inspection. When inspection day finally arrived, our 
general service wagons, water-carts and horse ambulances were 


loaded onto motor lorries and conveyed to the inspection ground, 
in order that not the slightest speck of mud could get on them! 
All this in the name of "efficiency" -while, up Front, every 
man, horse and conveyance was urgently needed to help clear the 
thousands of wounded from clearing stations and dressing sta 
tions which were in danger of falling into the hands of the 
advancing Hun.* 

Siegfried Sassoon, the eminent English poet who served in the 
Imperial infantry and had first-hand knowledge of how things 
were bungled, has written as follows : 

If I were fierce and bald, and short of breath, 
Yd live, with scarlet majors at the Base. 
And speed glum heroes up the line to death. 
You d see me with my puffy petulant face, 
Quzzling and gulping in the best hotel, 
Treading the Roll of Honor. "Poor young chap," 
I d say, "I used to know his father well; - 
Yes, we ve lost heavily in this last scrap." 
And when the war is done and youth stone dead 
I d toddle home and die - - in bed. 

Thdus Cave and Vimy*^ 

During the second night of the scrap, the bearers, led by Cap 
tain Hart, moved up into the village of Thelus. This was the 
captain s first trip with the Fifth squads so, before we started out, 
he had the men fall in in company formation while he gave them 
a talk on the duties of stretcher-bearers, the seriousness of the 
task ahead of them and the dangers involved. Just to cheer them 
up, he told the men that many of them might not come back 
alive. However, the lads were too tired and sleepy to pay much 
attention to the captain s remarks, for they had not slept for at 
least forty-eight hours. They had, as a matter of fact, been re 
lieved only about a half-hour before and had just nicely got 
settled in some old German dugouts when the order to fall in 

That the Canadian troops were not the only sufferers from incompetency at Head 
quarters is proven by the tragic fiasco at Bullecourt, on April 11, 1917, when tanks 
were late in arriving for an attack and then, when they did arrive, they fired from 
the rear into the backs of the advancing Australians! A highly respected Australian 
officer, too, informed the Home authorities in the Fall of 1916 that in the Somme 
battles he saw many of his friends "murdered through the gross incompetence, callous 
ness and personal vanity of those high in authority." This indignant officer was killed 
in a later battle but the facts are recorded in the Australian official war history. 


was given. The dugouts were scattered along blown -up trenches 
and, when Captain Hart received the despatch ordering the ad 
vance, he had difficulty in locating any of his men. He eventually 
noticed a dim light wavering up from one dugout entrance, so 
he shouted, "Who s down there?" Back came the answer, "Hicks 
of B. Section," and the voice was Tommy Hawkey s. "All right, 
Private Hicks. Come up here and help me to find the sergeant. 
We have to move farther forward. Tell him to have all the men 
fall in at once." Being a newcomer, Hart wasn t aware of the 
Hicks gag. And, although he was somewhat inclined to be 
demonstrative during the first few days of the Vimy battle, he 
soon settled into the work and eventually became one of our 
best leaders up the Line. 

We remained in the ruins of Thelus for about two hours, but 
were finally shelled out. Just before dawn we made our way over 
to the left and took shelter for the time being in Thelus cave. 
This cave was similar to Aux Rietz, excepting that it was un- 
lighted, but for a few guttering candles. It was also smaller. We 
had no sooner entered than the fagged-out men threw themselves 
down on the chalk floors to sleep. In the dark, Teddy Blair cud 
dled up to someone next to him - - someone whose blanket 
Teddy wanted to share. In the morning Blair discovered that his 
bed-mate was a dead infantryman whose shattered body some 
comrade had covered with a blanket but had not had time 
to bury. 

Some of our bearers may remember that small-calibre revolver 
Blair carried everywhere he went. The only time we ever knew 
him to use it was during the Vimy battle. Teddy was on one of 
two squads located at one of our sunken-road posts, when a pack- 
mule was found standing nearby. The poor brute was badly 
wounded. In its pack-saddle some shells still remained - - mute 
evidence of the work the poor animal had been doing when hit. 
One of the mule s flanks had been practically blown away, so 
Blair whipped out his revolver and undertook to give the animal 
a coup dc grace. Three times he fired into the mule s forehead 
before the animal fell to its knees. Teddy was preparing to give 
it a last and finishing shot when the mule rose to its feet and 
dashed madly out of sight. 

Near La Targette corner we erected a large dressing tent about 
the second day of the fight. Dean Wilkins and Andy Patterson 


were the two noncoms. in charge of the carrying parties to and 
from this station. Almost all the actual carrying was done by 
Hun prisoners. A nine-point-two shell landed in the midst of a 
bunch of these men, killing or wounding all the Huns, but 
strangely enough, missing the stretcher cases and Dean Wilkins 
who was in charge of them and standing close by when the 
shell burst. 

Some of our bearers may remember the lone infantryman they 
found seated on the roadside near our sunken road post. He was 
seated very naturally, with his arms folded around his rifle which 
was upright between his knees, the butt resting on the ground. 
He appeared to have fallen asleep, but investigation disclosed 
that he was dead. There was no wound on the corpse. Evidently 
he had sat down for a brief rest and been killed by the concussion 
from a shell or bomb. 

We made Thelus Cave our dressing station until just before 
dawn on the morning of April 14th, when we went down the 
eastern slope of the Ridge, passed through Petit Vimy and estab 
lished relay posts at intervals along the winding hillside trail. 
An advanced aid-post was established in a deep artillery dugout 
from which the Germans had been routed the day before. The 
place was littered with empty shell-cases, discarded equipment, 
and other evidence of Fritz s precipitate departure. On a table 
were the remnants of an interrupted meal and, in a small passage, 
several brand new dress helmets were found. In gunpits nearby 
were some six-point-nines with the gun crews and horses lying 
dead about them. Captains Hart and Sinclair were the officers in 
charge of the advanced post; while Captain Churchill, another 
newcomer, looked after the relay posts. Later on in the day, 
Captain Elliott joined Hart and Sinclair and with the bearers 
worked feverishly to get the various posts ready for the handling 
of wounded. A working party also proceeded to put the Vimy- 
Farbus road in repair. We were now in full view of the Germans 
on the other side of the valley and they presented us with shells of 
almost every calibre and description. 

Now began the long, slow and laborious evacuation of 
wounded from the eastern side of the Ridge. From Thelus, Far- 
bus, Petit Vimy, Vimy, and other points on the eastern slope, 
our cases had to be carried by stretcher - - up, over and back 
across the winding roads and trails to collecting stations at the 


top of the Ridge. From there, horse ambulances, motor ambu 
lances and lorries took them back to dressing stations at Zivvy 
Cave, Parallel Eight, Aux Rietz Cave and La Targette. There 
the wounded received secondary dressings and treatment from our 
Nursing Sections and were sent down to various casualty clearing 

On April 14th our Commanding Officer moved up to Thelus 
Cave and made it his headquarters during the Vimy operations. 
From then on the lads named the place "McGuffin Cave" in 
honor of the colonel. 

By April 15th we had established another and larger advanced 
post in the ruins of a brewery at Vimy Station, relaying our cases 
back by stretcher. Around this station and on our side of the rail 
way embankment we were subjected to very heavy shelling, night 
and day. Fritz had occupied the territory so long he knew the 
range to an inch, so the casualties among our Canadian troops 
were very heavy. Our relay posts, too, were under a continuous 
strafe. Whizz-bangs, high explosive and naval shells searched 
every road, trail, and corner. Most of our wheel-stretchers were 
smashed and the men had to shoulder the wounded back to the 
collecting posts. Fritz put over tear and poison gases just often 
enough to make the boys wear their respirators; consequently, the 
bearers put in some hectic days and nights. 

On April 17th Captains Dunlop and Burgess relieved Hart 
and Sinclair. On this same day Max Kelso brought one of our 
water-carts up to the Vimy aid-post. Evidently, Fritz s observers 
mistook the water-cart for a piece of artillery, for enemy gunners 
opened fire on it and came close to blasting it off the map. 

This was also the day on which occurred the "Wilson Offen 
sive" or the "Battle of the Notes," as the wags called it. It 
seems that Captain X. and Captain Z., who were in charge of 
the relay posts near Petit Vimy, became separated. Each officer 
was accompanied by his batman and had taken shelter in a cellar 
dugout. During the heavy shelling of the long afternoon one 
captain wanted to consult with his fellow officer, so he sent his 
batman with a note asking the other captain to "come over for 
a conference." The note was delivered but the batman returned 
alone - - with an answering note from the second captain, asking 
the first officer to come and see him. And there they remained 
until late in the evening, each sending notes to the other. Of 


course, the shell-fire wasn t considered too heavy for the two 
tired runners. Next morning Captain X. reported "sick" and was 
sent back to Mont-St.-Eloy and eventually reached the Base. 
Captain Z. left us later on and under similar circumstances. Thus 
we lost the !two Cambligneul tacticians who were going to 
show us how things should be done up the Line ! 

On April 23rd one of our planes was brought down not far 
from the entrance to Thelus Cave. Some of our men grabbed a 
stretcher and rushed over to the wreck. The observer was already 
dead but the pilot only wounded. Our boys put the aviator on 
the stretcher and were starting back to the cave when Fritz 
landed a shell right amongst them, killing the pilot outright and 
wounding Alfie Roe so badly he died shortly after. Alfie was 
carried to the trench at the cave entrance and a sergeant hurried 
below and informed the Commanding Officer of what had hap 
pened. He reported that Roe was dying and wanted to give the 
colonel a last message to his next-of-kin. Whether the Command 
ing Officer was unable to climb the cavern stairs we do not know, 
but Aifie died without his colonel getting to see him, although 
the sergeant made repeated efforts to induce his Commanding 
Officer to come to the cave entrance, if only for a moment. 
Finally the colonel threatened the noncom. with arrest if he 
bothered him further. The lads who rushed over to the plane were 
told that they had been recommended for decorations but the 
only medal awarded went to an officer of another unit. He went 
nowhere near the plane ! 

On April 25th two officers of the Sixth Field Ambulance man 
aged to get a Ford ambulance up to Vimy, but had a terrible 
time getting through, even with the light car. 

On April 27th George Graves and Arthur Rich got through to 
Vimy with an ambulance and thereafter some of our cases were 
sent out by motor transport. For the first few days the cars ran 
only under the cover of darkness but, later on, daylight trips 
were also made. 

From this date our slow, dangerous and back-breaking carrying 
up and over the Ridge was considerably lessened. A corduroy road 
and a light-railway line had been laid up the western side of the 
Ridge, and the Thelus-Farbus road had been put into passable 
condition. The Lens- Arras road across the top of the Ridge was 
the collecting point to which most of our cases were carried. No 


1. Menin Gate 

2. Lille Gate 

3. Shrapnel Corner 

4. Bedford House 

5. Maple Copse 

6. Sanctuary Wood 

7. Bellewaarde Lake 

8. Hellfire Corner 

9. White Chateau 

10. Dixmude Gate 

11. Marsh Bottom 

12. Tyne Cot 

13. Hillside Farm 

14. Heine House 

15. Vienna Cot 

16. Crest Farm 

17. Snipe Halt 

18. Peter Pan 

19. Fleet Cot 

20. Calgary Grange 

21. Kronprinz Farm 

22. Abraham Heights 

23. Bordeaux Farm 

24. Seine 

25. Thames 

26. Springfield 

27. Alma 

28. Dochy Farm 

29. Vansakere Farm 

30. Toronto 

31. Riverside 

32. Fokker Farm 

33. Frost House 

34. New Cot 

35. Square Farm 

36. Grey Ruin 

37. Oder House 

38. White Cot 

39. Mill Cot 

40. Summer House 

41. Paradise Alley 

42. Cork Cot 

43. Railway Wood 

44. Railway Farm 

45. Ypres Prison 

46. Kitchener Wood 

47. Clapham Junction 

48. Hellblast Corner 

49. Larch Wood 

50. Belgian Bty. Corner 

51. Salvation Corner 

52. Vancouver 

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doubt many of our bearers will remember the hubbub and con 
fusion that reigned at this road. Here were ammunition dumps, 
pack mules, narrow-gauge trucks, engineer supplies, motor lor 
ries, wheel-stretchers, general service wagons, water-carts and 
about everything that went to make up the material equipment 
and machinery of an attacking army. 

Off the roads, the ground was a deep bog of slushy, stinking, 
chalky mud. Dead men, horses and mules lay everywhere, half 
covered with mud and water. Tangled barbed wire and water- 
filled shell-holes made progress by foot almost impossible. For 
every two steps forward at least one backward step was slipped. 
Consequently, our stretcher-bearers and ration parties had their 

As at the Somme, the men in the advanced posts failed to get 
their rations regularly for the first few days. The Fourth and 
Sixth lads with whom our bearers often worked were even worse 
off for food, but they received about four issues of rum to our 
one during the few weeks we were together. 

Thelus Cave, from the first night we moved into it, served the 
bearers as a supply and relief base. From the 14th on it was a 
sort of advanced headquarters. Here were our colonel, sergeant- 
major and whatever bearers were temporarily on rest. Here, too, 
were our advanced Quarter Stores, with Sergeant Woodburn in 
charge. The cave entrance was shelled intermittently, day and 
night, and, in addition to our own men, the place sheltered Fourth 
and Sixth Field Ambulance men, infantrymen, artillerymen, and 
men from almost every other branch of the service. 

Unlike Aux Rietz, this cave was unlighted, except for the few 
candles the men were able to obtain. It had no running water 
and there was no latrine accommodation. Drinking and cooking 
water had to be brought in petrol cans, and the men had to climb 
a hundred or more steps to the outside latrines. One night Max 
Odessky, one of our very best bearers, was unable to find his way 
to the stairway in the inky blackness. He wandered about until he 
became lost. Thinking he was in one of the cave s many unused 
galleries, and unable to hold out any longer, he urinated against 
the wall. Unfortunately, our Commanding Officer chose that 
moment to open the door of his specially-built, boarded-in, well- 
lighted and private cubicle. He discovered Max in the act, and 
ordered him under arrest. Next day Odessky received from his 


Commanding Officer twenty-eight days first field punishment 
for his terrible crime. Yet, to our knowledge, the same Com 
manding Officer, from the 14th of April until the day he went 
back to Four Winds after the Vimy scrap was finished, never 
once went outside the cave. An old oil-drum served him day and 
night - - his batman being obliged to climb the long cavern 
stairway and empty the receptacle. 

Throughout the battle we also had squads at the various regi 
mental aid-posts and some of our officers were sent as temporary 
medical officers to battalions. 

On April 29th, Bill Plowright was killed by a dud shell that 
came in through the upper wall of the Vimy aid-post. Both he 
and Alfie Roe were buried in Ecquoivres Cemetery. On May 3rd, 
Bob Ellis was killed and Larry Kelly wounded when a shell 
landed in a battalion regimental aid-post. On May 4th, Dave 
MacGlashan was wounded. Another original Fifth man, Lieu 
tenant Carl Hill, of the 24th Battalion, was wounded on the 
first day of the scrap. 

On May 5th came the welcome news that we were to be re 
lieved by the Sixth Field Ambulance. That evening we gladly 
turned over our posts to the Sixth and moved back to Four 
Winds, where our headquarters were established, and where the 
unit settled down for a "rest" consisting of drills, parades, equip 
ment-cleaning, physical training and inspections. 

Those bearers who were in the brewery advanced dressing sta 
tion at Vimy Station will hardly forget that final hectic twenty- 
four hours they put in, when Fritz strafed all day long and at 
three-minute intervals. 

In the meanwhile, the First Canadian Division was attacking 
on the Fresnoy part of the Front and many casualties came pour 
ing into the Second Division area. On May 10th, Captain Hart 
took A. and B. Section bearers up to Willerval to help the Sixth 
Field fellows clear the wounded. There they stayed until the 17th 
when they returned to Four Winds. 

On May 18th we received word that Sergeant Dick Thomas 
had been awarded the Military Medal. Three days later Captain 
Elliott received his majority. It is more than likely that the night 
of the 18th saw Dick Thomas or "Confidential" as the lads 
affectionately dubbed him, wetting his decoration in some nearby 
estaminet. No doubt he gave his favorite recitations, "The Face 


on the Barroom Floor" and "The Shooting of Dan McGrew." 
Dick loved to recite. "Us must have a concert," Dick would 
begin - - and the concert was on - - with Dick s contribution 
having a leading part. No doubt Elliott also celebrated his 
promotion in a befitting manner. 

The Battle, of Paris *** 

It was about this time that leave was opened somewhat more 
freely than hitherto. The capture of Vimy Ridge had put new 
confidence into the higher-ups in France and at home, and it was 
considered that more men could be spared from the Front - - for 
a while at least. Because of the great loss of shipping tonnage 
through enemy submarine activity, and the heavy demand for 
ships to transport American troops, our men were encouraged to 
spend their leaves in France. The Mediterranean cities and Paris 
were thrown wide open to them. Some of the Fifth men went to 
Nice and Monte Carlo, but Paris was the city that attracted 
the majority. 

Leave to Paris! There was a prospect to set the imagination 
working overtime; and when, just after the Vimy show, we had 
our chance to see the town, many were the applications to go 
there. We wanted to visit and see for ourselves what many 
famous men have called the "Capital of the World." It has also 
been said that every man has two "home-towns" -the city of 
his birth, and Paris. So far as Canadian soldiers are concerned, 
the saying is a truism for if ever they made a city their second 
home-town, that city was Paris. They not only captured the city 
but were captured by it. 

Who, of those who got Paris leave, doesn t recall the pain 
fully slow train trip to the French capital, and the old Gare du 
Nord, where we pulled in shortly after midnight - - to be met 
by taxi drivers eager to drive us to the Meurice, The Moderne, 
The Mont Tabor, The Continental, or some other hotel? And 
how the hotel clerk s eyes would pop open when a simple soldat 
or sous-officier would ask for a room with bath something 
that only wealthy officers had been in the custom of demanding 
from him. And that wonderful breakfast of delicious chocolate 
and crisp breadrolls that was served to us in bed each morning - 
there was a great idea ! 


Those who were lucky enough to get there immediately after 
the capture of Vimy will remember the cordial welcome they 
received from the Paris people. Who could ever forget how 
elderly men would stop us on the boulevards and invite us into 
the nearest cafe to drink to les braves Canadians who had taken 
a Ridge which had cost the lives of over one hundred thousand 
Frenchmen earlier in the war? Our questioners wanted to hear, 
over and over again, how the battle had been won; and if, under 
the inspiration of several bottles of champagne and excellent 
Cafe de la Paix dinners, some of the men laid it on rather thick, 
who can blame them? For a few days our money was no good at 
all, and we basked in the glory of the captured Ridge with all the 
nonchalance and abandon of seasoned veterans. 

Springtime in Paris was the time of year when you could sit 
on the terraces in front of Poccardi s, Fouquet s, Brasserie Uni- 
verselle and other cafes, while you sipped a grenadine, un bock or 
a Scotch-and-soda. There you saw the world go by. Officers and 
soldiers in the uniforms of every branch of all the Allied armies 
paraded past your table. And the women ! Every girl that came 
along seemed the most beautiful you had ever seen - - until the 
next one passed! 

In Paris we saw no hotels or cafes marked "Officers Only," 
such as were so common in England and in the British Army 
area in Northern France and Belgium. There was here none of 
that class distinction which had galled free-born Canucks else 
where. In Paris one could see French colonels and privates sitting 
at the same dinner tables, drinking at the same bars and dancing 
on the same floors. The humble poilu or simple soldat was 
"Somebody" to the French people and, invariably, was treated 
with as much respect and consideration as an officer. The poilu 
would address his superior officer as mon colonel or mon capitaine 
and was addressed in return as mon vicux, mon brave or mon 
enfant - - and we never noticed anything disrespectful or patron 
izing in the relationship. 

When the first Canucks arrived in Paris they encountered much 
difficulty in getting their leave pay. It was necessary for them to 
go to an Imperial Pay Officer in the Caserne Pepinierre and line 
up at the tail-end of the pay parade. Then, like as not, just as it 
came their turn to be paid, it would be lunch time, or tea time, 
or snack time, or some other quitting time, and the pay officer 


would close his office and tell the Canucks to come back next 
morning. The following day they would take their place at the 
end of another Imperial line-up - - and go through the whole 
exasperating farce all over again. 

After wasting two whole precious days in a fruitless attempt 
to get money from the British pay officer, a group of about 
twenty Canadians decided to have a "show down." They deter 
mined on a parade of their own - - not to the A. P.M., not to 
the officer in charge of British troops, but to the British Am 
bassador himself! Away they went to the offices of that great 
gentleman, Lord Bertie, and had a hectic half-hour getting past 
a small army of attaches, flunkeys and office factotums. Eventu 
ally they were informed that the Ambassador would give an 
audience to two spokesmen, whereupon the group delegated a 
Fifth noncom. and an infantry full-buck as spokesmen. These 
two men were then ushered into the presence of the kindliest old 
gentleman imaginable. After hearing their complaint he was in 
dignant at the cavalier treatment they had received and said he 
would see that Canadians were paid first thereafter - - that their 
victory at Vimy had earned them that consideration. He phoned 
immediately to Pepinierre Barracks and gave instructions to that 
effect. Then he asked the two delegates to sit down, help them 
selves to cigarettes, and tell him about the Vimy scrap. Almost 
an hour went by before he would let them leave his office. On 
their return to the Caserne their pay was waiting for them and, 
shortly after, a Canadian Pay Officer was always available for 
Canucks on Paris leave. 

The theatres our men seemed to like best were the Folies Ber- 
geres, Casino de Paris, le Petit Casino, Grandes Guignolles and, 
of course, the great Gaumont picture palace. The Opera, too, 
drew its share of devotees. The Montmarte and Quartier Latin 
folk saw much of the Canadian on leave - - and he saw much of 
them! He sat in the Rotonde; he strolled the Boul. Mich, and 
Montparno; he lounged on the terrace of the Dome; he loitered 
along the banks of the Seine and browsed over the volumes in 
the open bookstalls; he visited the Invalides, Notre Dame, the 
Trocadero, the Madelaine, Sacre Coeur, the Pantheon, Les Halles, 
Versailles, the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, 
Luxembourg, St. Cloud, and other places of interest. He ate in 
whatever cafe or restaurant happened to be nearest when he was 


hungry - - and enjoyed every meal. It was almost impossible for 
him to find poorly cooked food in Paris. No matter how much 
or how little the meal cost, the food was always excellently well 
prepared. When he wanted English-speaking company - - which 
was seldom - - he patronized Henri s American Bar* and re 
newed acquaintances with his almost-forgotten friends, John 
Collins, Sherry Flip, Horse s Neck and others. 

Fortunately for those on Paris leave we received what seemed 
like an awful lot of francs for a pound note and our money went 
considerably farther than in London. A good room cost about 
seven francs a day; an excellent meal from three to ten francs; 
and very palatable beer or wine a franc a bottle - - and up. 

What Canuck could ever forget the cadets near the Place de 
1 Opera, with their suggestive postcards and their offer to guide 
us to the high-spots in the Paris Tenderloin? Or the petites pouks 
who used to tell us in their peculiarly quaint way how gentillcs 
et propres they were and^boasted that they were blondes naturelles 
- et partoutes 7 . Or the old one-horse fiacre we could hire for 
next-to-nothing to take us leisurely out to the Bois de Boulogne > 
or the Bois de Vincennes? Or the trips for the literary minded to 
the homes of Balzac, Hugo, Voltaire, Rousseau and other famous 
writers? Or the conducted visits to the scenes of many Les 
Miserables incidents - -the Picpus Convent, the Sewers, etc.? It 
may safely be said that once a Canuck went on leave to Paris 
he afterward showed comparatively little interest in London or 
Old Country leave. 

Mention of Paris brings to mind the fact that several Fifth 
fellows had the good fortune to run into Canon Scott, the be 
loved padre of the First Division, while there. It was not un 
usual for the padre to be standing outside the Gare du Nord when 
the leave train disgorged its load of pleasure-bound men from the 
Front. In an understanding, sympathetic manner he oftentimes 
joined in the rollicking, care-free pranks of men on leave and in 
an adroit way saved them from becoming involved in the ques 
tionable night life and myriad temptations of the great city. 

The padre was the biggest boy of the lot. It mattered not 
whether it was a jaunt to Versailles, a trip to Sacre Coeur or a 
night at the theatre, he remained with the boys. "I ve been with 

*It was reported after the war that Henri was a German Spy and committed sui 
cide when detected and faced with arrest. 


them through the hell of the trenches," he would say, "I guess 
we ll have a little bit of heaven together, too!" 

It was the privilege of one of our men to spend the last night 
of his Paris leave in the company of Canon Scott. Several full- 
buck privates were in the party. First they had an excellent 
dinner. Then they went to hear "Thais" at the famous Paris 
Opera. From the opera there was a grand last-minute rush to the 
Gare du Nord, where all piled into the cold, dingy railroad coach 
which was to house them for the ensuing twelve-hour trip back 
to the Front. Rather than enjoy the comforts of the officers 
coach, the padre remained with the rankers. The compartment 
was crowded. Not a pane of glass was intact in the coach win 
dows. The night was intensely cold. But, in spite of the wretched 
circumstances, the padre sat crowded into a seat and hummed a 
few bars from "Thais" until he finally fell asleep with his head 
resting in the lap of one of his companions. When Canon Scott 
awoke he remarked with a shiver that the lap of a soldier made 
a "very poor emplacement for a canon." His drolleries did much 
to brighten the painful trip back to the war. 

When the padre stated that he had been with his men through 
the hell of the trenches he spoke the truth. He lived the sort of 
life he preached about. He practised Christianity in the everyday 
contacts and circumstances of army life. The great heart of the 
man showed itself in his every act and word and it is no exag 
geration to say that thousands of men attended his services at the 
Front simply because of their love for the padre personally. 

Everybody admired and respected the old Canon - - even the 
crown-and-anchor addicts whose games he so frequently broke 
up. We cannot resist comparing him with the other type of army 
chaplain who used to preach to us so fervidly and tell us before 
each scrap to go forward unafraid, that our faith would pull us 
through and that a Great Award awaited us if we were killed in 
battle. We remember only too well how often we were com 
pelled to chase this type of chaplain from our advanced dressing 
dugouts, to make room for wounded. We never could under 
stand why this sort of bible-thumper was so reluctant to face 
Death if he really believed all the stuff he poured into our ears. 
We must add the names of five other padres : Carlisle, McGilli- 
vray, McDonald, Harris and Kidd, to that of Canon Scott as army 
chaplains we knew who, by example, tolerance, humility and 


kindness inspired us to the utmost. Thank Heaven, the Fifth 
was fortunate in its choice of padres. 

Mention of Paris recalls to our mind that it was one of our 
own officers who took over the leadership of a famous Paris 
music-hall orchestra, one eventful night, and led the musicians 
so successfully, the stage show was unattractive in comparison. 
Eventually, it was found necessary to relieve him of his leader 
ship, in order that the audience would pay attention to the per 
formance behind the footlights. 

We Celebrate the 24th of May ^s 

On May 24th the unit enjoyed a celebration that marks the 
event as one of its red-letter days. The whole twenty-four hours 
were given over to sports and amusements of every description. 
A few barrels of beer were obtained and the Fifth had one of the 
best times it had enjoyed since arrival in France. In the evening 
a stage was rigged and the C-2 Concert Party put on a perform 
ance that excelled anything we had before seen near the Front. 
Who could ever forget McKenzie, with his Yiddish, Irish and 
Italian monologues; or Clapham, with his Lancashire and York 
shire character bits; or Leslie Benson and Ashton, in their im 
personations of the fickle females, Gertie Allbut and Marie; or 
the two Hagen boys, in their "General Factotum" skit; or Cap 
tain Burke s tenor solos? We also had some of the 20th Battalion 
musicians, led by their popular leader, Bandmaster Moore. Those 
who entertained us had such a good time themselves, very few 
of them were able to get back to their own billets until the 
following day, so all through the night the merriment went on. 
One or two of the entertainers who just had to get back to their 
own quarters were loaded into wheelbarrows or general service 
wagons and transported to their homes under cover of a rather 
moonlight night. 

On May 26th, Colonel McGuffin rejoined his old unit, the 
Fourth Field Ambulance; Major Burgess becoming Commanding 
Officer, pro tern, of the Fifth. 

It was at Four Winds that Bob Hodgkinson put on the foot 
races and gave the winners money prizes - - with money they 
themselves had lost on Bob s crown-and-anchor games. Bob was 
our unit s leading "gamboleer." From the day we arrived in 

The Towers of Mont-St.-Eloy, a famous landmark on the Vimy front. Hundreds of crows nested in 
these ruins and, when our observers climbed up to look across the Ridge, the Germans saw the dis 
turbed crows fly away and immediately the towers were the target for enemy high explosives. 

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France, Bob had carried about with him a canvas crown-and- 
anchor "board" and a set of dice. No sooner were we settled in a 
place than out would come the board and dice and Bob s voice 
could be heard shouting, "Come on me lucky lads! Have a franc 
on the old mudhook. How about a little bet on the sergeant- 
major? Come on me lucky lads! You can t lose. You come in 
with a sandbag and go away with a bloody dugout!" Bob must 
have taken thousands of francs from the Fifth lads but they got 
it all back again, one way or another. It was the game and not 
the money that fascinated Bob. He promoted foot races, wrestling 
bouts, boxing bouts and other contests, and gave back thousands 
of francs in cash prizes to the contestants. The money was eventu 
ally spent on beer and vin rouge, so what was the difference ! 

Our Daily Orders of June 5th informed us that Colonel 
McGuffin had been awarded the Distinguished Service Order in 
the King s Birthday Honors. On June 9th, Sergeant- Major Jack 
Gardner s name was posted as having been Mentioned in 

Just to show how fleeting and temporary such honors could 
sometimes be, we must mention that within one week after 
Jack was Mentioned in Despatches he was placed under arrest 
for "Insubordination." The charge was the result of a misunder 
standing, brought about by the attempt of one of the men to 
escape a muster parade. The sergeant-major was tried by Major 
Burgess, who dismissed the case when Jack and the officer in 
volved agreed to shake hands and forget the incident. 

brill not look pou ober for me&ate, but for 

Elbert Hubbard wrote that line long before the war, and he 
didn t necessarily mean physical scars. He no doubt had in mind 
those invisible scars from wounds of the soul, of the heart, of the 
mind and of the memory - - scars received in the many desperate 
and bitter conflicts of life, and not in the clashes of war only. 

Each and every one of us knows, deep down in his own heart, 
whether or not he earned a decoration. We all know men who 
earned medals and didn t receive them - - and men who got 
decorations and didn t earn them. It may safely be said that, 
next to Fritz himself, the allotment of decorations caused more 
strife, envy, jealousy, discontent, disgust and discord than any 
other feature of army life. But those were the reactions of army 


days - - of the Past. Now, thank Heaven, we can laugh about the 
whole silly medal business, for we know their true worth. 

Only civilians ask questions about medals. Veterans rarely 
mention them, excepting in a joking sense. Those of us who 
have decorations have been repeatedly embarrassed when asked 
to explain how, when, where and why we received them. And 
some of us who did not get medals have spent many uncomfort 
able and painful moments trying to explain why we were so 
long overseas without getting ourselves decorated for bravery. 
Every veteran who received a medal knows that his comrades 
helped him to earn it; and every soldier who was actually at the 
Front, did his bit and didn t get a decoration, knows he is the 
secret sharer of whatever honor and glory go with his com 
rade s medals. 

On June 12th our unit joined other field ambulances in a 
Field Day at Hersin-Coupigny. The Fifth won as many races 
and fights ! - - as any unit participating. Colonel McGuffin repre 
sented the Fourth and won the fat man s race, the prize for which 
was a bottle of Scotch whisky. To the same officer fell the honor 
of distributing the prizes and in doing so he began telling about 
some of his experiences as a hockey player. "Perhaps many of you 
don t recall that in my younger days I played hockey!" he began, 
when from the middle of the crowd Teddy Blair interrupted him. 
"Sure, I remember- -and you were the dirtiest player I ever 
saw!" The gang simply roared in laughter. McGuffin asked the 
interrupter to step forward and Teddy mounted to the platform. 
The colonel, to his credit be it said, laughingly gave Blair his 
own bottle of Scotch, threw up his hands and sat down, thor 
oughly squelched, but much better thought of for his act of 

On June 23rd, Divisional "Vimy Ridge" Sports were held at 
Hersin-Coupigny. Here our soccer team lost its game in the finals 
to the 18th Battalion by the score of 2 to 1. 

Short Summary of Vimy Battle, <^> 

The preliminary bombardment for the Battle of Vimy opened 
on March 27th. The first stage of the battle was from that date 
to April 2nd. The second stage was from April 2nd to April 9th, 
when the main assault took place. The third stage ended on 


May 5th. Zero hour on April 9th was 5.30 a.m. By 6.02 a.m. 
the first objective was reached. Between 7.45 a.m. and 9.30 a.m. 
the second objective was taken. The third objective was reached 
by 1 p.m. 

Ludendorffsaid no troops could take the Ridge. General Nivelle 
was of the same opinion and quite opposed to the attack. But the 
Canadian Corps captured it, penetrated 10,000 yards on a front 
of 7,500 yards and defeated nine German divisions. We took 
7,000 prisoners, 67 guns and hundreds of machine-guns and 
trench mortars. Our casualties were over 20,000. 

The attack progressed as follows : 

April 9th -Thelus captured. 

April 10th Farbus captured. 

April 12th Hill 145 and trenches south of Farbus Wood cap 

April 13th Petit Vimy, Vimy, Willerval and Givenchy 

April 14th Lievin captured. 

April 15th Cite St. Pierre taken. 

April 28th Arleux taken. 

Colonel K.dppele, Our New Commanding 

On June 28th, Colonel D. P. Kappele returned to us as Com 
manding Officer, and on the following day a muster parade was 
held when the new Commanding Officer inspected his command. 
As an original officer of the Fifth the colonel had won the respect 
and admiration of everybody and it was with fervent thankful 
ness we greeted his return. Since he left us in December, 1915, 
while our headquarters was in La Clytte, he had been Command 
ing Officer of the Seventh Cavalry Field Ambulance (Seeley s 
Brigade) and had won the Distinguished Service Order while 
with that Command. From the time he left us we had followed 
his varying fortunes with kindly interest, hoping that one day he 
might come back to us as Commanding Officer. 

Afore Questions ** 

Did you fall for that "Tizzy Whizzy Bollakateevo" game 
which Jimmy Shorrocks, Cecil Eldridge and Billy Brown in 
vented and used to garner francs and centimes whenever they 


found themselves broke? And were you there the day Bob Hodg- 
kinson broke the wily inventors - - and was given the weird 
gambling paraphernalia as part payment? 

Were you one of the gang which went on leave to Braintree - 
when Cecil Eldridge s horse slobbered all over Billy Moore s 

Some of the oldtimers may remember the morning Spud 
Thompson appeared on parade wearing a steel helmet on which 
was stuck the candle by which he had lighted his way to bed the 
night before. 

Do you remember those red-letter days on which Tommy 
Dalton received his periodical remittance check - - when he used 
to collect his cronies, Billy Brown, Horace McKillop, Tommy 
Hawkey, et al, and adjourn to the nearest estaminet until the 
money was all gone? 

Were you there that morning the colonel inspected the Quarter 
Stores and was confronted with Solley s original and graphic 
masterpiece - - a sign on which were nailed the two unmention 
able parts of a rabbit, followed by the words "TO YOU"? 

Perhaps some of the fellows will remember the day a huge rat 
crawled inside Spud Thompson s tunic while Spud was asleep - 
and the hectic few minutes he put in beating the ferocious rodent 
to death. Spud was badly bitten but a liberal use of the stuff used 
for snake-bites prevented blood poisoning. 

Some of the senior noncoms. may recall the bridge-whist 
tournaments they ran while at Four Winds and Estree Cauchie - 
and t owd sojer who, when he was well primed, used to play a 
finger tattoo on the table and bravely "shoot the works." And 
the stuttering affliction a certain warrant officer brought back 
from Paris and used as a means of reaching Blighty. 

On July 1st (Dominion Day) we celebrated the fiftieth anni 
versary of the Confederation of the Provinces of the Dominion 
of Canada. In the morning we attended a monster drumhead 
church service in which all the Canadian units not in the Line 
participated. The weather was ideal. In the afternoon a make 
shift team played a 5 to 5 tie baseball game with a team from 
the Third Field Ambulance. In the evening our soccer team beat 
the Third s by a score of 4 to 1. 

On July 3rd, C. Section, with Majors Burgess and Elliott and 
Captains Sinclair and Petrie, moved to Bully Grenay. Next day 


A. and B. Sections moved to Fosse Nine, near Barlin. Working 
parties from all three Sections went up the Line on the St. Pierre 
Front, to prepare aid-posts and relay stations for the coming 
scrap at Lens. 

At Fosse Nine most of the men were billeted in private homes 
throughout the little mining town. Here they were quite com 
fortably quartered, the only drawback being that they had to 
clean block after block of the local streets, gather garbage and 
do all the unpleasant jobs of a street-cleaning and sanitary de 
partment. Early morning drills, physical training, and route 
marches made the lads wish they were up the Line with the 
working parties. Several wrote complaining letters home and 
when the censoring officers read the epistles a few doses of 
Number One Field Punishment were meted out. 

At Bully Grenay, C. Section passed some eventful nights and 
days. Fritz was now concentrating artillery fire on the town, and 
civilian and army casualties were very heavy. Gradually the 
place began to resemble Dickebusch and Vlamertinghe and only 
a few of the more venturesome townspeople remained. Our 
station was hit repeatedly but only the upper part of the building 
was penetrated by shells. 

On July 13th a shell got a direct hit on Ed. Mahy s ambulance. 
Mahy and Doug. Joycey were seriously wounded, while Barney 
Woods received many painful but not severe wounds in the face 
and upper parts of his body. 

Perhaps some of the oldtimers know the identity of the two 
officers who stayed overnight in one of the Bully Grenay billets - 
when one of them substituted for his comrade at a very import 
ant rendezvous? The version current at the time, had it that the 
junior officer had fallen into the arms of Morpheus after an 
exceptionally heavy nightcap of army rum or something, and 
that his conscientious pal carried out the extremely important 
survey of dangerous terrain which had been reserved for his mate. 
The full details of the affair never leaked out, but it was under 
stood that the incident had no untoward aftermath. All con 
cerned seemed fairly satisfied to let things rest as they stood - 
excepting the junior officer who had a hard time reconciling him 
self to the somewhat humiliating substitution. 

Some of those concerned may recall the day one of our non- 
coms, was instructed to erect a sign forbidding conveyances from 


entering our Fifth Headquarters grounds. When the noncom. 
submitted a sign bearing the word "vehicle," an officer ordered it 
changed - - said nobody would know what the word vehicle 
meant ! 

^ Bully Grenay, too, afforded those three A. Section inseparables, 
C. C. Jones, Alex. Waite and Bunny Brown, opportunity for 
many interesting experiments in art. The abundant supply of 
chalk provided unlimited material for the sculpture of heads, 
busts and figures, while the diversified scenery offered a fascin 
ating study for their pencil sketches. Fred White, of the Motor 
Transport, was another lad whose artistic tendencies are well 

Qctting Ready for Hill 70 ** 

Sergeant- Major Alf. Pollette, of the Horse Transport, came to 
us on July 19th, while our headquarters were in Fosse Nine. 
Right from the beginning he made a good impression on the 
men under his command, and on the other noncoms. with 
whom he came in contact. 

On July 25th headquarters moved up to Hersin where the 
intensive drills, marches, and physical training stuff continued. 
The working parties remained up the Line. 

On August 2nd Sergeant- Major Gardner was evacuated to 
a casualty clearing station, making the fourth sergeant-major the 
unit had lost since mobilization. 

On August 14th the Fifth again took over our old station at 
Fosse Ten, and all our bearers were transferred to posts in St. 
Pierre, Fosse Eleven, Lens Hospital and some other locations 
over toward the Hill 70 Front. 

On the morning of August 15th the main Lens attack devel 
oped and during the ensuing week our men were kept on the go, 
day and night. The whole area was heavily strafed with every 
sort of shell in the Hun repertoire. It was here we received our 
first real taste of Fritz s Yellow Cross mustard gas. Every road, 
pathway, shell-hole and trench was saturated with the blistering 
stuff and we had considerable trouble trying to treat the resulting 
gas cases effectively. 

To our St. Pierre station we cleared wounded from Lens 
hospital and one or two pillbox posts over toward Hill 70. 


From St. Pierre our cases were sent back by narrow-gauge trains 
to Bully Grenay, and by a wide-gauge road to Fosse Ten. Both 
railheads were well within enemy vision and whizzbang range, and 
several already-wounded men were killed near our loading places. 

In a half-ruined house on a corner near the wide-gauge loading 
point we had a cookhouse and bearer headquarters for a few days. 
Bill Sowden was the cook and Corporal Pountney made his 
abode close to the cookhouse. Perhaps some of the fellows may 
recall the rum issue they nearly had at this spot. Unfortunately, 
the rum jar was found empty when it came time for the issue - 
but not Alf Pountney! He was happily immune to the tirades 
directed his way by the incensed officer and disappointed bearers. 

On August 17th Allan Hill was wounded by a shell which 
landed close to where he and other bearers were loading stretcher- 
cases on the wide-gauge railway trucks. On the night of the 
18th, Bob Hodgkinson, Ban Johnson and Tommy Sampson were 
wounded and their stretcher-case killed when they were about 
half-way between two of the St. Pierre posts. This "carry" was 
one of the worst we had ever encountered. 

Ban Johnston and Tommy Sampson were two of our youngest 
bearers. We had scores of fellows who had not yet reached voting 
age. We knew at least two who celebrated their sixteenth birth 
days in France. Among those who were at the Front at a very 
tender age we recall the following : Mike Bicknell, Austin Booth, 
Ernie Cavey, Jesse Dawkins, Chick Faryon, Norm Foy, Herbert 
Gilbert, Stew Grieve, Willie Harrington, Sammy Jacobs, Curly 
LeRoux, Toots Meisner, Reggie Mofford, Pier Morgan, Max 
Odessky, Alf Ralph, Billy Sellen, John Smith, Frank Temperton. 
There were, of course, several others; but their names escape us. 
Many, too, gave "official" ages which wouldn t have stood test 
if the authorities had cared to investigate. 

Back at Fosse Ten the Nursing Sections and Headquarters 
Details were kept very busy. Every available officer and man 
was pressed into service. Even the batmen and mess-orderlies 
were taken off their customary duties and put to work in the 
dressing station wards. Perhaps some of the men who were there 
at the time will remember the bawling-out the acting sergeant- 
major received from two of the officers who flew into a violent 
rage when they learned that the mess-orderlies had been used for 
hospital fatigues during the emergency. One of the officers 


vehemently declared that he wouldn t have men handling his food 
who had been employed carrying hospital buckets ! 

The Hill 70 scrap lasted about ten days, the main attack taking 
place on August 15th. Three Divisions, the First, Second and 
Fourth took part. Our casualties, including the preparations for 
the main battle, were nearly 11,000. Before the capture of Lens 
could be completed, the whole Canadian Corps was moved 
north for the Passchendaele affair. 

On Wednesday, August 22nd, all the bearers were relieved and 
came down to Fosse Ten, where they remained overnight. The 
next day the whole unit moved to Four Winds and Estree- 
Cauchie. Here, once more, began the discouraging routine of 
route marches, drills, physical training and equipment-cleaning. 
Sir Douglas Haig was due to inspect us in a few days time and, 
until the inspection was over, a rotten time was experienced. 

Shortly after Haig s inspection we took over a dressing station 
in Neuville St. Vaast, and a working party went up to Chaudiere 
to build an advanced dressing dugout at Betty s Gap. This was to 
be another useless task for, after about seven weeks of nasty 
weather and laborious effort, we abandoned the capacious dugout 
to the rats and vermin. 

On September 8th Billy Moore, Red Whitmore and L. O. 
Brown were awarded Military Medals for their work in the 
Hill 70 fight. 

On October 4th Fred White was wounded near Chaudiere. 

On October 18th the Imperials took over our Chaudiere post 
and the Fifth gathered together at Mont-St.-Eloy. All surplus 
equipment was stored in barns at Villers-au-Bois and, exactly 
one week later, the unit marched to Aubigny and entrained for 
our old stamping ground up in the Ypres Salient. On our way 
north we passed Tinques, Hazebrouck and Caestre and went on 
to Pradelles where we stayed for four or five days of drill, route 
marches and kit inspections. 

During the few days at Pradelles, many of the lads got passes 
and permission to visit Godewaersvelde and renew acquaintances 
with Gaby, Zenobie and other friends in the district. Our return 
to the Salient seemed like getting back home - - back to the well- 
known haunts of a long-ago day. But we were very soon to 
change our minds about the old stamping ground, and wish with 
all our hearts that we were back in the Lens- Arras sector. 


The Battle of Passchendaele ** 

On November 1st we moved in trucks to Ypres, where the 
Nursing Sections took over a main dressing station in the base 
ment cells of the old ruined prison. The bearers continued on up 
to the White Chateau,* Frost House, Zonnebeke and Thames 
advanced posts. The Horse Transport lines and Quarter Stores 
were located between Poperinghe and Vlamertinghe. During the 
ensuing three or four days we also established aid-posts at 
Bavaria House, Bremen House, Mitchell Farm, Levi and Tyne- 
cot. Stretcher cases were to be taken to Vlamertinghe Mill 
station; sick to Red Farm, Vlamertinghe; and gas cases to 

Who could ever forget those two weeks of the Passchendaele 
show? Looking back now it all seems like one long, weird, and 
terrible nightmare of water-filled trenches, zigzagging duck- 
walks, foul slime-filled shell-holes, half-buried bodies of dead 
men, horses and mules, cement pillboxes, twisted wire, shrieking 
shells, flying humming metal, crashing aerial bombs, stinking 
mud, water-logged and blood-soaked stretchers - - a Slough of 
Despond such as even a Bunyan couldn t conceive of. 

That long, wearisome "carry" from Tynecot to Frost House 
was like a never-ending Via Dolorosa to all who made the 
journey. Passchendaele was the Somme multiplied and intensified 
ten times over. Dark, wet, hopeless days were followed by almost 
endless, cold, marrow-congealing nights of despair and exhaus 
tion. Every man was soaked through to his skin the whole time 
we were there, and the added weight of his sodden, muddy uni 
form and equipment seemed to sink him deeper into the pre 
vailing mire. After the first few hours we moved about like so 
many dazed automatons, stumbling, staggering, blundering 
along the heaving duck-walks and erupting roads - - almost too 
stunned to care whether we lived or died and totally indifferent 
to the volcanoes of smoking shell-craters about us. The hours and 
days and nights seemed to merge with one another into a cruelly 
indefinite whole and it is doubtful if any man was afterward able 
to distinguish one Passchendaele day s experiences from another. 

On November 5th Bill Elliott was fatally wounded. Next day 
Captain Colbeck, Frank O Leary, Harry Rowley, Jack Burrill and 

*White Chateau had been Haig s headquarters during the 1914 Ypres battle. 


4ank Cheesman were wounded; and Bill Bateson, Percy Mover, 
Harry Thurston, Max Odessky and Jimmy Blackwood were 
killed. George Mulligan of the Motor Transport was also fatally 
wounded. He died on November 18th. Most of these casualties 
occurred near Frost House and Bremen House. The following 
day Hugh Lickley was wounded, while on November 12th, our 
last day in the Line, C. C. Jones was killed by an aerial bomb. 

All through the battle our burial parties were kept very busy. 
The condition of the terrain made it unnecessary to dig many 
graves, for there were shell-holes enough for burial places. The 
fact that the British missing totalled approximately 30,000 
would suggest that most of those missing thousands foundered 
in the muddy morass that was the scene of battle. 

Near Frost House one of our staff-sergeants was assisting an 
Imperial padre to bury a man who had been decapitated by a 
chunk of shell. "Poor fellow," exclaimed our noncom, "he never 
knew what hit him!" The very correct padre favored the non- 
com, with a cold, supercilious stare. "Isn t that perfectly obvi 
ous?" he retorted, in a tone that betrayed his attitude was "Dear, 
dear ! those crude Colonials again !" 

No doubt many of our bearers will recall the Y.M.C.A. can 
teen near Frost House, where hot tea, coffee, biscuits and choco 
late bars were handed out to all who came along. It is possible 
that the Y >: people fell down in some instances, but who 
didn t? Their great work near Frost House compensated for a 
lot of shortcomings. 

A more or less remarkable incident during the battle was the 
trip up the Line of one of our most senior noncoms. He was 
located at Frost House during one of the worst periods of the 
scrap. Things quietened down somewhat about two o clock in 
the morning so the noncom., who was suffering from a violent 
headache, took advantage of the lull and came down to head 
quarters for some aspirin and an hour or two s sleep. Just before 
dawn he awoke and made his way back to Frost House, much 
to the surprise of one or two officers who were all set to charge 
him with cold feet. 

On November 13th the whole unit was gathered together at 
the Ypres prison. From there it entrained and moved to Toronto 
Camp, back near Busseboom. Here it remained for two days 
while the men slept once more the sleep of utter exhaustion, in 


cold, barren, fireless huts. On the second day out, a few of the 
more-rested lads made their way to Reninghelst, Ouderdom, La 
Clytte and Locre and visited civilian friends in those places. 

If ever the Fifth was glad to be out of a battle, that battle 
was Passchendaele. Never had our men been more weary, dis 
couraged and frankly pessimistic than during the two days halt 
at Toronto Camp. Their one fervid, freely-voiced wish was that 
they might never return to the Salient. Never before had they 
sung so feelingly their old Ypres parody : 

Sing me to sleep, where the bullets fall - 
Let me forget the war and all. 
Deep is my dugout, cold my feet, 
Nothing but biscuits and bully to eat. 
Sing me to sleep where shells explode, 
And shrapnel and "sausages" are la mode. 
Over the sandbags bodies you II find - 
Corpses before you and corpses behind. 


Far, far from Ypres, I long to be, 
Where Qerman snipers can t snipe at me. 
Think of me crouching where the lice creep, 
Waiting for someone to sing me to sleep! 

Sing me to sleep in some old shed 
Where rats are running over my head. 
Stretching out on my waterproof, 
Dodging the rain that pours through the roof. 
Sing me to sleep where the star-shells glow, 
Full of French beer, and Cafe a I eau, 
Dreaming of home and the girl I love best - 
Somebody s muddy trench boots on my chest! 

To add to our misery many of us who had been in the German 
pillboxes picked up a multitudinous supply of Pcdiculus Pubus. 
When these were added to our already abundant stock of Allied 
and enemy greybacks - - and, in many instances, scabies and gas 
sores - - our unhappiness was complete. Goodness only knows 
how many pounds of blue ointment and how many disinfectant 
baths were necessary to remove from our bodies the pesky rest- 
disturbers. During the time we were battling this terrible army 
of bran-like ticklers we knew what Napoleon meant when he 
spoke of armies marching on their bellies. And we appreciated 


the message contained in that familiar picture which shows 
Napoleon standing with one hand thrust underneath the breast 
of his tunic. Bonaparte, no doubt, was reaching for some of the 
same sort of pests that were troubling us. 

The inadequacy of our anti-aircraft gunfire during the Pass- 
chendaele show was a subject of very bitter comment. Fritz s 
planes came over at will almost every hour of the day - - and 
most of the night. They flew so low we could distinguish the 
features of the airmen and they bombed and machine-gunned us 
to their hearts content. Our "Archies" impotently and furiously 
banged away at them but nary a one did we see brought down 
by ground gunfire. Invariably the enemy flyers remained overhead 
until all their "eggs" were laid and their ammunition exhausted. 

A Brief Summary of the Battle <^ 

The Passchendaele battle was one of the bitterest, hardest and 
most exhausting fights that armies ever fought. Many eminent 
authorities assert that it was, too, the most useless and wasteful 
battle of the whole war. Lloyd George and others have written 
scathingly about the numerous bungles, poor staff work and 
general futility of the affair; while Haig s defenders have nothing 
but praise for that general s conception, strategy and conduct of 
the battle. Somewhere in between lies the real truth, so we will 
leave our readers to decide for themselves just what that truth 
may be. 

A brief summary of the Passchendaele operations follows: 
Military authorities call it the Third Battle of Ypres and have 
divided it into eight distinct battles : 

1. Pilkem, July 31st to August 2nd. 

2. Langemarck, August 16th to 18th. 

3. Menin Road, September 20th to 25th. 

4. Polygon Wood, September 26th to October 3rd. 

5. Broodssinde, October 4th. 

6. Poelcappele, October 9th. 

7. First Passchendaele, October 12th. 

8. Second Passchendaele, October 26th to November 10th. 
Total number of divisions engaged: British 51, German 78; and 
the total number of British and Dominion casualties: killed, 


49,611; wounded, 232,292; missing, 29,068; making a grand 
total of 310,971. Canadian casualties approximated 13,000. 

There is no authentic record of the number of German casual 
ties, but our best authorities are agreed that the enemy losses were 
much lighter than ours. The Germans were helped tremendously 
by the extremely wet weather that set in. The month of August, 
1917, was the wettest in twenty years. 

By November 10th, when the battle ended, the British and 
Dominion troops had advanced their line an average depth of 
three miles on a seven-mile front. Perhaps some indication of 
the severity of the fighting may be found in the large number of 
decorations awarded during the engagement. There were fifty- 
nine Victoria Crosses alone. 

On November 15th we climbed aboard busses and, two days 
later, after staying overnight at Robecq and Labeuvriere, were 
back in our old billets at Estree Cauchie. Here we were to remain 
for a month - - and a welcome stay it proved to be. There was 
now a considerable let-up in parades, drills, etc. Leave was again 
thrown open and the men were given plenty of time to clean from 
their uniforms and kits the foul mud of Passchendaele. 


Unwilling Passenger. 

Unforgotten Prisoner. 

Spanish Farm Trilogy. 

All Quiet on the Western Front. 

The Case of Sergeant Grischa. 

Medal Without Bar. 

A Farewell to Arms. 

Ten Thousand Shall Fall. 

Soldiers Pay. 

One Man s War. 

Now It Can Be Told. 

Paths of Glory. 

Enormous Room. 

Cabaret de la Belle Femme. 

The Great War as I Saw It. 

Generals Die In Bed. 

Cry Havoc. 

Le Feu. 

They Who Take the Sword. 


Here we are, here we are, here we are again. 

Here we are, here we are, here we are again. 

We licked you on the Marne, 

We trimmed you on the Aisne. 

We gave you hell at Neuve Chappelle - 

And here we are again ! 


(November 18, 1917, to August 22, 1918) 

; Christmas 

3= M.ail Arrives 

the 8th of 
we had the 
of voting 
e while on ac- 

For a few weeks we had absorbed political propaganda favoring a 
vote for conscription. We were told that, if conscription passed, 
all men who had served two or more years in France would be 
given furloughs to Canada, and that more frequent leaves would 
be given to those who didn t rate furloughs. Gross misrepre 
sentations were made to us about the condition of affairs back 
home, and it is no wonder that most of us fell for the bunk and 
voted accordingly. A remarkable feature of the election was the 
voting of our teen-old youngsters. 

On election day orders were posted informing us that Frank 
O Leary, Percy Chadwick, Jimmy Bell, Art Lansdowne, Jim 
Erskine, George Waddington and Jimmy Archibald had been 
awarded Military Medals for their work at Passchendaele. 

On December 20th the Fifth boarded busses and moved back 
to Nedonchelle, Ames and Ammettes for a so-called "rest." And 
what a rest we had! At first the unit was billeted in the sparsely 
boarded barns of the three adjoining villages, and before we were 



there two days the men were talking of parading to our Com 
manding Officer and asking to be sent back up the Line. The 
weather was bitterly cold and our billets offered scant protection 
from the biting winds and snowstorms. About the fourth day 
the condition of the men grew so serious the noncoms. were 
given permission to get their men into houses wherever possible. 
Within a few hours nearly every man was billeted in a house and 
from then on were appreciably more comfortable. 

The poor transport horses were much less fortunate. They were 
tethered right out in the open and suffered terribly. Near-zero 
weather prevailed and the severe cold was intensified by cutting 
winds and hard-driven snow. Night after night the pitiful whin- 
neying of the half- frozen animals could be heard throughout the 
villages, and several of the poor brutes died of exposure. It must 
be mentioned, however, that no effort was ever spared to ease 
the suffering of horses and mules at the Front. Sick and wounded 
animals were cared for with a concern and tenderness that did 
credit to our horsemen and Veterinary Services. 

At Ames we spent our third Christmas in France. The men 
had a fairly good dinner in the local schoolhouse. Afterwards they 
hied themselves to their several billets and to the few drab 
estaminets and passed the rest of the day playing cards, reading, 
or wrestling with their old friends Messrs. Vin Blanc and Vin 
Rouge. The day after Christmas, Captain Sinclair s name was 
posted - - with the information that he had been awarded the 
Military Cross. 

Some men from our Nursing Sections were temporarily at 
tached to the 131st Field Ambulance (Welsh) at Lillers, and were 
able to join the Imperials in their celebration of Boxing Day. 
The potency of Lillers wine and army rum was such that, by the 
time the celebration was over, our lads understood for the first 
time why the day was named so appropriately. 

Most of our time on "rest" was spent shining brass, cleaning 
leather, scrubbing Webb equipment and tidying-up in general. 
One more inspection was due, so there was the usual frantic 
hustling and ordering by the officers and noncoms. --and the 
customary cursing and grumbling by the other ranks. At last the 
big day arrived and General Burstall gave us the once-over - 
with the usual result : Everything was lovely, excepting the trans 
port rifles, which were found in their well-known condition. 





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The Business of Qoing on Leave 

The one bright feature about our stay at Ames was the re 
opening of leave. Many went on leave from this place and they 
couldn t have been more pleased to get away if they had been up 
the Line at the time. Ames was a mighty good place to go on 
leave from! Several went to Paris, but at this particular time the 
majority went to the Old Country. Perhaps the heavy casualty 
list of the Passchendaele battle decided some of the lads - - par 
ticularly the Old Country fellows - - to go over to Blighty and 
visit relatives and friends who had lost men in the recent fight. 

Some may recall that exalted feeling which swept over us 
when we were warned to get ready to go on leave - - and we set 
out to obtain presentable uniforms, boots, puttees, etc. Remem 
ber how difficult it was to get stuff through official channels and 
how, eventually, you had to borrow various articles of raiment 
from your chums? This fellow would lend you a pair of officer s 
breeks he had swiped somewhere. That fellow would bring you 
a pair of brand-new Fox s puttees he owned, or a pair of tan 
shoes that just fitted you. Another lad would lend you a snappy 
British Warm and cap he had wangled from a friend in the 
Artillery. From one source or another you were fitted out quite 
smartly and were able to go on leave looking as spruce as any 
batman or Base Detail. 

Then, when you finally had your leave warrant in your pocket 

- remember how anxious you were to get away before Fritz got 
you; and your hideous presentiment that, at the last minute, some 
thing would prevent you from going? And the well-meant advice 
from your comrades to "keep away from wine, women and song 

- particularly the music!"? And the numerous commissions en 
trusted to you - - which you forgot until you returned? And the 
fervor in your voice when you sang : 

Take- me back, to dear old Blighty, 
Put me on the train for London Town. 
Take me over there drop me anywhere - 
Liverpool, Leeds or Birmingham, oh I don t care! 
How I d like- to see my best girl - 
Cuddling up again we soon shall be! Oh, 
Hy-tiddley-hy-tee, take- me over to Blighty, 
Blighty is the place for me. 


Nearly every man who went on leave to the Old Country will 
remember, too, the "gone" feeling we had when our seven or 
ten days frolic was over and we went down to the station to 
entrain for the Front. Old Country lads were almost invariably 
escorted to the depot by relatives, sweethearts or other friends. 
Canucks were accompanied by acquaintances or sweethearts met 
while in training or on leave. There was always the same forced 
gaiety and hollow laughter, however, when train time approached. 
Who could ever forget the hysterical merrymaking which took 
place outside the iron-grilled track barricade, when just as the 
"all aboard" warning was given, some overwrought woman 
would suddenly break down, sob and frantically cling to her 
man, as he gently tried to force her rigid arms from round his 
neck? Remember the brave banter of that song which those 
already aboard would be singing from the open train windows 
while the farewell scenes were going on outside : 

Qoodbye-ee! Don t cry-eel 

Wipe the tear, baby dear, from your eye-ee. 

It s hard to part I know, 

But I ll be tickled to death to go! 

Don t cry-eel Don t sigh-ee - 

There s a silver lining in the sky-ee. 

Bon soir, old thing! 

Cheerio, chin chin! 

Napoo-- toodle-oo - - goodBYE-ee! 

On January 17th, 1918, our "rest" came to an end- -much 
to the men s delight. Off we marched to Bruay, where we bil 
leted overnight in the civic theatre. The next day - - after clean 
ing up the theatre and ridding it of muck that had accumulated 
since the war first started - - we continued on our way eastward. 
Headquarters were established at Villers-au-Bois and the bearers 
proceeded up the Line to stations at Souchez, La Coulotte, Fosse 
Six, Angres, Crump Post and Artillery Post. 

Of Souchez nothing remained except a few uninhabitable 
cellars. The town had been flattened early in the war and par 
ticularly during the many attacks the gallant French Poilus had 
made in their efforts to capture Vimy Ridge. The Battles 
of the Lorette Valley" was what the French called their series of 
attacks, and they were bloody affairs, indeed. The whole Souchez 
area was dotted with the graves of brave Frenchmen who fell 


there. It is estimated that over 160,000 Frenchmen fell in their 
futile efforts to capture the Ridge, and the estimate is quite be 
lievable by anyone who has seen the multitudinous graves cover 
ing the district. 

Nearly every shell that fell while we were in the Souchez 
Valley exposed the bodies of dead Frenchmen. Many skeleton 
hands still grasped long triangular bayonets, and hundreds of 
broken skeletons were unearthed, partly wrapped in the long red 
breeches and buttoned-tail coats worn by the Poilus during the 
early days of the war. It is said that in their final assault on the 
Ridge many of the French were without rifle ammunition and 
rushed to the attack with bayonets and clubbed rifles as their 
only weapons. 

ViHers-dii-Bois, Souchez and La Coulotte^ 

At Villers-au-Bois our Nursing Sections, Transport Sections 
and Headquarters Details passed a quiet and rather dull time. 
The village was very small, drab and squalid. Here the C-2 
Concert Party had its theatre and, if it had not been for the Con 
cert Party, some rather good estaminets and an infantry battalion 
canteen, our headquarters fellows might have died of boredom. 
Canucks called this place "Villers of Booze," and it came by its 
name honestly. Dean Wilkins, Joe Irwin and Harry Hutchinson 
could tell some great yarns about this village - - if they would. 

And mentioning Joe Irwin reminds us of a certain morning in 
Villers-au-Bois. Dean Wilkins was lying in the dental chair, re 
ceiving treatment from the dental major. About eleven o clock 
in walked Joe, from his sleeping quarters in an adjoining room. 
He was in his sock feet. Around his head was a cold, wet towel, 
indicating that Joe was experiencing the morning-after pangs of 
a successful night-before. Without even glancing at the major or 
Wilkie, Joe shuffled over to a corner where his boots had been 
deposited. Two pairs of boots were there - - an ankle-high pair 
and those swanky knee-length laced boots that Sharkey generally 
wore on his hunting trips. He reached for the long pair but, dis 
consolately shaking his head, decided he was not able to do all 
the lacing their wearing would involve. Slowly, and with elo 
quent grunts and sighs, Joe bent over and succeeded in putting 
on the shorter shoes. Then, silently contemplating the well-loved 


knee-length boots, he sat for a few moments, his elbows resting 
on his knees and supporting his bowed and throbbing head on 
upturned hands. Gradually he raised his eyes and, with a startled 
look, focussed them on the forehead of Dean Wilkins who was 
still tipped back in the dental chair. Painfully Joe rose to his feet 
and walked across the room. Reverently placing a verifying hand 
on Wilkie s broad, expansive forehead, Joe broke the silence. 
"Merciful Heavens," he groaned, "what a hell of a headache 
you could have inside that skull!" That was one morning Joe s 
boss didn t have the heart to bawl him out for being late for duty. 

It was in Villers-au-Bois, too, that Corporal A. B. Smith and 
Captain Clark fought their famous "Battle of the Round Table." 
The corporal had purloined a table from the 20th Battalion, and 
when the captain tried to take it for his own use, A. B. refused 
to give it up. Clark had Smith arrested and charged with malice 
aforethought, conduct to the prejudice of military order and good 
discipline, failure to obey a lawful command and several other 
heinous offences. The war was now on in earnest. A. B. demanded 
a court-martial and after about ten days of attack, counter attack, 
and a lot of red tape - - and red faces ! - - the case was dismissed 
and the table returned to the 20th Battalion. It was important 
things like this that hastened the winning of the war ! 

Meanwhile at Souchez, La Coulotte and other posts the bearers 
carried on. "Carried" is the right word! They humped stretchers 
from every regimental aid-post in that part of the Line for a 
whole month. The usual wintry weather prevailed - - and the 
customary shortage of rum continued at our forward posts. 

About this time the Canadian infantry carried out many of 
their "black-faced" raids. Perhaps some of our bearers will re 
member their weird experiences of carrying out wounded men 
who had every appearance of being negroes. 

On February 19th the bearers were relieved. They joined the 
rest of the unit back at Four Winds and Estree Cauchie. A full 
month was put in at these two places. About twenty of our men 
ran a rest station, while the remainder of the unit paraded, route- 
marched and carried out all that disheartening routine which used 
to go with the word "rest" back of the Line. 

On March 21st we had another general inspection and once 
again everything was satisfactory to General Burstall - - except 
ing the rifles and some of the wagon tool-boxes of the Horse 


Transport. While our inspection was going on, about thirty-five 
miles south of us the Germans were launching their great and 
final offensive. Disquieting rumors about the Fifth Army debacle 
reached us but we were rather unconcerned. To us a general 
inspection was apparently more vital than the threat of an over 
whelming enemy victory. We heard that after the Fifth Army 
debacle General Fayolle had been given command of the British 
Divisions fighting at Peronne. Two days later we learned that 
the Peronne bridgehead had been abandoned and that a gap of 
twelve miles was left open between the British and French forces. 
On March 23rd all leave was cancelled. The Fifth was ordered 
to "stand to," ready to move off at short notice. For three days 
and nights this "stand to" continued, and it was very evident 
that our High Command was somewhat panicky over the disaster 
south of us. 

A Forced March South ^^ 

On March 26th, at 10 p.m., we fell in and moved off towards 
the south. We had been issued extra emergency rations, iodine 
ampoules, and shell dressings; so there was a feeling that we 
were going to see some excitement. Rumors of all sorts were 
coming in thick and fast. We heard that the Germans were close 
to Paris; that the British were backing up to the Channel ports; 
that Foch was now in charge of the Allied armies: and several 
similar reports. The old reliable Latrine Gazette was very active, 
but we were sure of only one thing and that was that things were 
going decidedly wrong for our armies. 

What a weird march we had that night ! Shortly after leaving 
Estree Cauchie, Fritz s planes flew over us in the darkness, drop 
ping bombs. Although the bombs fell harmlessly into nearby 
fields, the roar of plane and torpedo propellers, the deafening 
explosions and high-pitched detonations of bombs and anti-air 
craft shells were terrifying to the troops which clogged every 
roadway leading south. The whole Corps seemed to be on the 
move. Not a single unit was singing or marching to music. 
There was a dread expectancy and suspense in the very air. Time 
after time the Fifth was forced to the roadside while mounted 
troops and artillery thundered past. 

Just before dawn we met the remnants of Gough s Army strag 
gling their weary way northward. Many of them were drunk 


with rum and wine looted from abandoned army stores and 
wrecked estaminets. Not a few tried to sell us watches, fountain 
pens, cartons of cigarettes and other supplies they had looted from 
Fifth Army canteens. Only a small percentage of these fleeing 
troops carried rifles or other equipment and their frenzied haste to 
get away from the advancing Hun was only too apparent. A 
more demoralized rabble would be hard to imagine. 

When we first met this retreating mob we were almost too 
disgusted to even speak to them. There were we, marching into 
a spot that was too hot for them, and our opinion of the Fifth 
Army that morning was low indeed. Of course, at that time we 
didn t know what these poor devils had been through, nor how 
they had been let down by their higher-ups. We couldn t help but 
notice, too, that there were only a few officers along with them, 
and that those officers were lieutenants. Apparently these men had 
been deserted by their senior officers, so it is small wonder that 
their retreat resembled a rout. 

The roads over which we marched were rapidly being mined 
by the Engineers, and at every bridge was a squad of sappers with 
demolition charges laid and ready to blow it up at the first sign 
of an advancing enemy. The giant roadside elms and poplars 
were being sawn partly through, so that they might be toppled 
across the roads when occasion demanded. 

Shortly after daylight we began to meet thousands of frantic 
civilian refugees making their pitiful way out of the shelled and 
threatened district. Old men, women and children passed us, 
carrying bundles and pushing baby carriages and wheelbarrows 
loaded with their humble belongings. In some instances young 
women were between the shafts of farm-wagons on which were 
piled all the household goods they had been able to salvage from 
their toppling homes. Generally these pathetically miserable 
refugees were forced to flee across the fields because the roads were 
already blocked with fleeing and advancing soldiers. 

At ten o clock on the morning of March 27th we arrived at 
Bienvillers-au-Bois - - after marching about three miles past it 
and sneaking up on it from the south ! Bienvillers-au-Bois is about 
halfway between Arras and Albert and, by direct route, the 
distance from Estree-Cauchie was twenty-six miles; but the 
Fifth was forced to take many detours over side-roads. We must 
have marched about thirty-five miles during the night. 


We were supposed to relieve the 75th Imperial Ambulance but 
when we arrived we discovered that the 75th had relieved them 
selves and, with the exception of one officer, had pulled out for 
more congenial surroundings many hours before. 

We breakfasted in the town and then about thirty-five of our 
bearers, in charge of Captain Muir, were sent up the Line to help 
the Fourth Field Ambulance. Three of our officers and as many 
senior noncoms. then set out across the fields to the west of Bien- 
villers-au-Bois, to chart out a route of retreat in case we, too, 
were obliged to fall back suddenly. 

During our first day at Bienvillers-au-Bois the Special Order of 
General Currie, Corps Commander, was posted. After reading it 
we were sure that things were in a very bad way. Here is the 

Order : 

27th March, 1918. 

1. In an endeavor to reach an immediate decision the enemy has gath 
ered all his forces and struck a mighty blow at the British Army. Over 
whelmed by sheer weight of numbers the British Divisions in the Line 
between the Scarpe and the Oise have fallen back, fighting hard, steady 
and undismayed. 

2. Measures have been taken successfully to meet this German on 
slaught. The French have gathered a powerful army, commanded by a 
most able and trusted leader, and this army is now moving swiftly to our 
help. Fresh British Divisions are being thrown in. The Canadians are soon 
to be engaged. Our Motor Machine Gun Brigade has already played a 
most gallant part and once again covered itself with glory. 

3. Looking back with pride on the unbroken record of your glorious 
achievements, asking you to realize that today the fate of the British 
Empire hangs in the balance, I place my trust in the Canadian Corps, 
knowing that where Canadians are engaged there can be no giving way. 

4. Under the orders of your devoted officers in the coming battle you 
will advance or fall where you stand facing the enemy. 

5. To those who will fall I say, "You will not die but step into im 
mortality. Your mothers will not lament your fate but will be proud to 
have borne such sons. Your names will be revered forever and ever by your 
grateful country, and God will take you unto Himself." 

*Paragraph 5 is very interesting! We doubt whether many of the "poor bloody 
infantry" were interested in the immortality awaiting them. Pretty phrases didn t 
alter the fact that death, shattered bodies, blindness or madness awaited not a few 
of them. And we know many mothers who still lament the fate of their sons. As for 
our "grateful country" revering our names, well just observe the thousands of 
poor, suffering, down-and-out, pensionless, burned-out wrecks who were once those 
heroes to which the Order referred. Most of them will be e;lad when the time comes 
for God to "take them unto Himself." Apparently, He is the only One who has 
any further use for them. 


6. Canadians, in this fateful hour, I command you and I trust you to 
fight as you have ever fought - - with all your strength, with all your 
determination, with all your tranquil courage. On many a hard-fought 
field of battle you have overcome this enemy. 

7. With God s help you shall achieve victory once more. 

(Signed) A. W. CURRIE, 

Lieut. -General, 
Commanding Canadian Corps. 

The whole atmosphere of the district was very depressing. 
Men and horses were tired out. Shells were pouring into the town 
and buildings were being rapidly demolished. Only a few civil 
ians were still there and they were making frantic preparations 
to leave. One brave old Frenchwoman called to some of our lads 
and pointed to a great cask she was leaving behind in her half- 
ruined dwelling. The cask was quickly broached and for once 
our men had more good red wine than they, their mess tins and 
their water bottles could hold. 

The lads of the Motor Transport reaped a harvest here. On 
their first night in town Harry Hutchinson, Stan. Dumont and 
some more of the mechanics "discovered" an abandoned but 
cher s establishment where some chickens, rabbits, pigs and a 
goat had been left behind. To save the poor fowls from starva 
tion, their necks were wrung and the Motor Transport fellows 
had a great feed of poultry. The butchering of one of the pigs 
was postponed for another day, so a tow-rope was tied to one of 
its hind legs and the prospective roast tethered to an ambulance 
wheel. The squawks of the chickens and the squeals of the pro 
testing pig drew the attention of an infantry colonel, who came 
to investigate. "Who are you men, and what s going on here?" 
he demanded. Back came the answer: "We re Fifth Field Ambu 
lance men !" By this time the officer could see what was going on. 
"Oh ho! - - I see - -rendering some first-aid, eh! Well, carry on, 
boys - - there ll be far worse things happen before we get out of 
this place, I fear!" Needless to say the fellows carried on. 

Another "find" of the Motor Transport consisted of the funeral 
apparel in an undertaker s establishment. The boys appropriated 
the clothing and, next noon-time - - under the professional eye of 
Hutch - - A. B. Smith donned the mourning garb and took his 
place in the ration line-up. Wearing a long black coat and tie, a 
high silk hat on his head, and leading a squealing pig, A. B. held 





out his mess tin to the cook. The startled chef informed the 
funereal gentleman that rations were very scarce and that he 
couldn t spare any food to civilians. Sergeant Woodburn was 
appealed to, but it was only after Smith revealed his identity 
that he was fed. He then offered the pig to the sergeant, but Sam 
had enough troubles already so the offer was declined. There was 
a strong suspicion that the Motor Transport fellows had had 
more than their full share of the juice of the grape and that this 
was another time when M. T. didn t mean empty. 

For two days the main portion of the unit remained in Bien- 
villers-au-Bois, "standing to" and ready to pull out on a mo 
ment s notice. Nobody seemed to know where Fritz had been 
stopped or if he had been stopped. If ever an army was in panic - 
this was the army ! 

On March 29th, however, the powers-that-were discovered 
that the enemy had actually been brought to a halt, for the time 
being, at least. There are several books telling how, when and 
where this was accomplished so there is no need for us to explain. 
What interests us is that the Fifth left Bienvillers-au-Bois on 
March 29th and marched north. Headquarters were established 
in the town of Bretencourt. The bearers were sent up the Line to 
the Wailly Front. Horse Transport headquarters were located, 
temporarily, at Bac du Sud. 

Our reactions to the forced march south and the spectacle of a 
British army in rout are well remembered. The Passchendaele 
success (?) was still in our minds, while faith in our generals was 
at a low ebb. Fervently we hoped that the appointment of a 
French Generalissimo would bring us better leadership. Rightly 
or wrongly, we distrusted the ability and strategy of our General 
Staff. It looked just then as though the war was going to go on 
and on forever - - or end in a German victory. 

At Bretencourc we heard for the first time that delightfully in 
decorous song, "It s the Syme the Ole World Over." Some 
guardsmen were singing it in an estaminet, beating time on the 
table with their beer mugs and mess tins, and doing their utmost 
to drown out the raucous strains from a piano which was sup 
posed to be playing the accompaniment. The song voices the 
soldiers peculiar love for poking fun at parsons, padres and 
other members of the cloth. Here s one version of me song - 
considerably expurgated : 





It s the Byrne the 




ole world o-ver It s the pgor what gets the 

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blyme; While the rich as all the 

ply- sure s, Now eyerit that a bleedin shyme 1 

She was poor but she was honest; 
Pure, unstyn-ed was er fyme, 
Till a wicar s son betrayed er 
An the poor girl lorst er nyme. 


So she ups an gows to Lunnon 
For to ide er guilty shyme; 
There she met an army chaplain 
An agyne she lorst er nyme. 


Eard im as ejored is Tommies, 
I^yevin bout the flymes uv ell. 
Wither ole eart im she trusted 
Ow e fooled er s ard to tell. 


See im in is ridin britches, 
Untin foxes in the chyse, 
While the wictim uv is folly 
er livin by er wice. 



So she plyes er gyme in Lunnon, 
Sinkin lower in er shyme; 
There she met a politician, 
An agyne she lorst er nyme. 


Now e s in the ouse uv Commons 
My kin lors to put down crime, 
While the wictim uv is passion 
Walks the streets each night in shyme. 


Next th&re cyme a blowted bishop - 
Marriage was the tyle e towld! 
There was no one else would tyke er, 
So she gyve erself for gowld. 


See er in er orse an carriage, 
Lykc the lydies in the park! 
Though she s myde a wealthy marriage, 
Still she ides a brykin eart. 


In a tiny ouse in Amspead 
Sits er parents old an lyme, 
Drinkin champyne what she sends em - 
But they never speaks er nyme. 

It s the syme the ole world over - 
It s the poor what gets the blyme, 
While the rich as all the plysures - 
Now eyen t that a bleedin shyme! 

There were hundreds of verses to the ditty as we heard it. And 
the further the song went the more heartrending did the poor 
wayward girl s adventures become. One fairly good soloist usu 
ally sang the verses and, after each verse, all those present joined 
in the chorus, "It s the Syme the Ole World Over, etc." This 
was one way in which men forgot the fate awaiting them, 
perhaps, on the morrow. 

Sergeant- Major Pollette, of the Horse Transport, left us and 
returned to the Divisional Train while our Headquarters were 
in Bretencourt. He, too, had "got in wrong" with the officer in 
charge of transport and had spent the previous few weeks under 
open arrest, with Heaven only knows what serious charge against 


him. However, Alf. spent his "open arrest" days lounging about 
in comfortable chairs, eating excellent food, free of all duty, and 
leading the life of Riley in general. His case never came to trial. 
Those in authority thought it best to let well enough alone, so 
he was transferred back to the Train and out of reach of our 
Transport Captain. 

Wailly, Beaurains and M.crcatd*3> 

Wailly village had been pretty well flattened by the time we 
located there. Only five or six villagers remained, and they lived 
in their cellars. On our first trip up the Line in front of Wailly 
we were unaware of the exact location of the enemy trenches. 
The Imperials from whom we took over were not in touch with 
Fritz and had only a vague idea where his front line was. We 
took over during the night and settled down in a sunken road 
just to the north of Mercatel. On our left was Beaurains. Imme 
diately in front of us was the Arras-Bapaume road, and we soon 
discovered that Fritz s line ran just east of this road and cut 
through the village of Neuville Vitasse, over on our left. 

In the sunken road our fellows dug in for the night, each squad 
making its own funkhole against the eastern bank of the road. 
Our biggest squad, Heavy Cardwell, Turkey Elliott, Alf Ralph 
and Albert Somers, walled up their funkhole so tightly they 
couldn t get into it, and were so tired by their building efforts, 
after the long night march, they sagged down disgustedly on the 
roadway and slept. Even the salvos of whizzbangs Fritz sent 
over during the night failed to rouse them to the point of making 
their funkhole inhabitable. Which reminds us that work often 
times had more terrors than death for many of the boys. 

We remained in the sunken road throughout the following day 
but, on the next night, moved over to the left and established 
posts at Beaurains Corner and in an old German pillbox on the 
right-hand side of the road leading from Beaurains to Neuville 
Vitasse. We also manned some regimental aid-posts east of Mer 
catel. This whole front area was dotted with ruined Nissen huts 
and tumbled-in dugouts, and Fritz knew their locations to a 
nicety. He continued to shell and bomb the place all the time we 
were there. It was near here that the padre of the 22nd Battalion 
was killed and that the same battalion s regimental aid-post was 


blown up. Several of our men were near the place at the time and 
well remember their experiences. 

For three months our bearers stayed in this part of the Line. 
During that time the Second Division carried out over forty 
raids - - and our men carried out Heaven only knows how many 
wounded ! We used a quarry near Wailly as a bearers headquarters 
and ration post. An additional post was established later in a hut 
on the north side of the Ficheux-Mercatel road. No doubt many 
of the bearers will remember this hut - - and the nice deep dugout 
behind it which was out-of-bounds to them. Some may recall, 
too, the inky black night when Roy Flynn got separated from a 
party of bearers which had become hopelessly lost on their way 
into the Line. Flynn found it more expedient to spend the night 
in an infantry dugout than to be senselessly slogging over territory 
blanketed in Stygian darkness. 

The Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Field Ambulances alternated in 
taking charge of evacuations, but our bearers were left in the 
Line the whole ninety-two days. Here once again our men were 
thankful when the Fourth and Sixth took over, for then we got 
better rations and an occasional issue of rum. 

On April 4th two bearers of the Sixth were killed and one of 
our Motor Transport lads was wounded. 

At Qouy-en-Artois ^ 

On April 6th our unit headquarters moved from Bretencourt 
to Gouy-en-Artois where the Nursing Sections took over a Corps 
Rest Station. The station was built in an immense apple orchard. 
The patients quarters were in large Nissen huts, while one or 
two smaller huts and some bell tents served as billets for our 
own men. These huts and tents occupied the lanes between large 
apple trees and, shortly after our unit moved in, the trees blos 
somed and made a beautiful fragrant picture. 

Gouy was a real home for those fortunate enough to be 
located there. There were several first-rate estaminets in the 
village where the men found what they wanted; and in a nearby 
chateau our officers found relief from boredom. The estaminets 
were veritable Monte Carlos. Crown-and-anchor, banker, poker, 
craps, and about every other gambling game known to the 
troops went on from opening to closing time. What form of 


indoor sport occupied the hours of those in rhe chateau we do 
not know. It was very noticeable, however, that those enter 
tained there were loth to leave the place. 

At the suggestion of a padre who was temporarily attached to 
the Fifth, a dry canteen was opened and a concert party organ 
ized. Right from the start the canteen was a huge success. For 
the first few days the stock of cigarettes, chocolate, soap, etc., etc., 
was sold out within a couple of hours of opening time. But, 
gradually, an increased stock was carried and as much as thirty- 
five hundred francs was taken in daily. Sergeant Sharpe and 
Private Rosser were the canteen clerks and had some great trips 
back to Prevent, St. Pol and Abbeville on buying expeditions. 
Eventually, an extensively assorted stock was carried. Even 
cigarettes and other supplies from faraway Toronto changed 
hands over the canteen counter. 

On April 16th a new Horse Transport sergeant-major, O. O. 
Wilson (Joey), came to the unit and things began to hum omin 
ously for the lads at the horse-lines. New orders and more 
stringent disciplinary instructions came thick and fast - - much 
to the disgust of the experienced old-timers and the unit per 
sonnel generally. 

About this time things looked rather black to the north and 
south of the Canadian area. Reports told us that Paris was being 
mysteriously bombarded by a gun seventy miles away. Fritz; had 
advanced to within a few miles of Amiens and there was danger 
of a break-through between the French and British forces. Lloyd 
George had attended a conference at Beauvais and was pressing 
for the confirmation of Foch s rank as Commander-in-Chief. 
The Germans had advanced to the outskirts of Cachy. Things 
certainly were going badly to the south of us. In the north, the 
enemy had captured Dranoutre, Kemmel, La Clytte, Locre and 
Bailleul - - all old homes of ours not so many months before.* 

About the only bright ray of news was that the Virgin s statue 
had been toppled from the Albert cathedral, and according to an 
ancient French legend, the war was to end soon after the statue 
fell. We might as well admit that, so far as we were concerned, 
we didn t then care an awful lot how the war ended, just so 

*Dranoutre was captured by the Germans on April 25, 1918, and recaptured by 
the British on August 30. 1918. The enemy entered La Clytte temporarily but was 
forced out. The Allied line settled down just east of the village at the end of the Lys 
battle of 1918. 


long as it did end, and soon. We were pretty well fed up about 
this time and the old propaganda stimulants had long ceased to 
enthuse us. 

To make matters worse, many of our lads contracted that 
mysterious malady which was first called P.U.O., but was later 
to become known as the Spanish Flu. At first those taken ill 
thought the three letters meant "Placed Under Observation." 
They were considerably relieved when told that P.U.O. stood 
for Pyrexia Unknown Origin. Sick and wounded men were 
always anxious to read their casualty tags. They used to puzzle. 
over the clerk s hieroglyphics, trying to decipher them and find 
out what the doctor thought of them. 

Several of our bearers came down sick from the Wailly Front 
and not a few of the Nursing Section fellows were admitted to 
hospital. Of course, all were treated by our own medical officers 
and it was a serious case, indeed, that was ever sent down the 
Line. Desperately sick men from our unit were kept in our own 
camps and carried on the unit strength week after week. Accurate 
record of these cases was very rarely kept and this neglect was to 
have a tragic effect later on when men applied for pensions or 
medical treatment. Very few Fifth history-sheets recorded ill 
nesses, unless the men concerned were actually evacuated to 
clearing stations or base hospitals. That the practice of keeping 
our own men lying around ill for weeks at a time was very un 
fair, goes without saying; and it galled our lads no little to lie 
seriously sick and see outside cases, not nearly so ill as they, 
sent down the Line. 

Even a fairly severe wound wasn t a guarantee that you would 
get away from the Fifth. What actually happened to a wounded 
Fifth man is told in the following song far better than we 
could tell it: 

(Tune: And They Called it Ireland) 

Sure a little bit of shrapnel fell from out the sky one day, 

And it nestled in my shoulder in a quaint and loving way; 

And when the M.O. saw it, oh, it looked so sweet and fair, 

He said, "Suppose we leave it, for it looks so peaceful there! 1 

Then he painted it with iodine to keep the germs away; 

He injected anti-tetanus that hurts me to this day - 

I had visions of old Blighty -- thought the Base at least was mine - 

But he marked me "Fit for Duty" and he sent me up the Line! 

Our Successful Soccer Team 

While Headquarters were at Gouy, the Nursing Section lads 
were able to indulge in several workouts in soccer. Only make 
shift teams were available, but several pleasant evenings were 
spent in kicking the ball around. Many of our best players were 
up the Line with the stretcher-bearers, but if they had been able 
to participate, the old Fifth would have been able to more than 
hold its own with a few of the teams which were throwing their 
weight about in the Gouy area. 

As early as 1914, in Exhibition Camp, some of our soccer 
enthusiasts got together and with more or less scrub teams 
played a few games with teams from other units. The coming of 
winter prevented anything definite being done in the way of a 
permanent team, however. At Otterpool the men were too tired 
to do much playing and there was very little opportunity for 
such, except for an occasional workout with teams hastily chosen 
from our own ranks, and scrub teams from our neighbors, the 
Sixth Field Ambulance. 

At Dranoutre, La Clytte and Reninghelst there were a few 
games. The West Lanes beat us 4 to at La Clytte, but we had 
only a makeshift team. It was not until we were at Boeschepe 
that the first real start was made. A collection was taken up and 
money sent over to Blighty for boots, uniforms and equipment. 
The first team was, as near as we can remember - -goal, Red 
McKenzie; backs, Nobby Clark and Sid Simpkins; halves, Billy 
Moore, Johnny Hay and Jimmy Shorrocks; forwards, Teddy 
Gilmore, Arthur Wood, Billy Bryant, Willie Hanney, and an 
other lad whose name escapes us. 

There was no regular competition, most games being inter- 
sectional affairs. Only a few games were played with outside 
teams. Perhaps some of the fellows will recall a game played 
against a swanky bunch of Imperials who came to Boeschepe, 
all dolled up in big league uniforms, to play a Canadian team 
which didn t turn up. The Imperials fielded a wonderful looking 
team and were very impressive in practice, but we gathered 
together a scrub team and gave them a bad beating. In this game 
Red McKenzie, who had been a star in Canadian football, was 
with difficulty restrained from leaving his goal and rushing up 
the field for a touchdown ! He did score one goal for the opposite 

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side by reaching back over his own goal line in an effort to give 
a terrific heave to the ball. 

While we were at Four Winds, a lot of soccer was played - 
mostly by pick-up teams from our own Sections. Some of the 
lads may remember Chic Faryon who then weighed about 115 
pounds soaking wet, getting into one of the games for a brief 
spell. A few minutes was enough for Chic ! Weary, bruised and 
lame, he retired to his hut to nurse his hurts. When asked why 
he quit playing, his response was, "Oh, they put me out of the 
game because I was too rough!" 

We entered a team in the Second Division playdowns during 
the summer of 1917. In our final game, played at Hersin on 
June 23rd, we lost to the 18th Battalion, 2 to 1. Our team at 
this time was --goal, Jimmy McLean and Stan Thompson; 
backs, Nobby Clark, Harry Thurston, Bill Crompton; halves, 
Billy Moore, Johnny Hay, Ernie Saunders, Sid Bridges; forwards, 
McKerror, Billy Bryant, Jimmy Shorrocks, Arthur Wood, Harry 
(Jock) Simpson. We beat several good teams en route to the 
finals, notably the Second Divisional Pioneers and Second Divi 
sional Ammunition Column. Billy Tribe was the team s trainer. 

On September 7th our team played a one-all tie with the First 
Entrenching Battalion, at Camblain 1 Abbe. This was one of the 
best teams on the Western Front. An immense crowd of Imperial 
and Canadian soldiers witnessed this game, which was played in 
the evening. 

On September 12th, we played against the champions of the 
First Division, also at Camblain 1 Abbe. Five minutes from the 
end of the game, neither team had scored. Arthur Wood made a 
bet with an opponent that he would score a goal. A few seconds 
before full time was up Arthur breasted the ball into the net and 
won his bet and the game. Considerable money changed hands 
over this contest, for a large number of Canadian Corps staff 
officers were present. Second Division Headquarters staff backed 
our team to the limit and made a clean-up. Those in charge of 
the team were complimented and the players themselves given a 
great ovation. The photograph shown in this book presents the 
team as it was at this time. 

In the spring and early part of the summer of 1918 Major Elliott, 
our Sports Officer, arranged games with various outside teams. 
Elimination games were played with several Corps units in order 


to produce finalists for the Dominion Day sports at Tinques. Our 
team failed to reach the finals. The 27th Battalion won the Corps 
Soccer Championship on July 1st, 1918. 

Our last soccer competition in France was at Auvelais in the 
spring of 1919. Our team again reached Second Division finals 
but was beaten by the 31st Battalion, who went on to win the 
Corps Championship. At Witley Camp a scrub team was entered 
in a five-a-side competition, the game being played at Guilford. 

The soccer team originated in the "Other Ranks" and was 
managed by a committee of non-players: George Graves, Sid 
Hill, Archie Rich, Arthur Rigby, Jim Lickley, Ben Sharpe, and 
Jimmy Walker. Major Burgess and Captain Sinclair were active 
and keen supporters. Altogether, the team had an outstanding 
record. Most of the players were fellows whose duties took them 
up the Line and they didn t get any special favors or coddling 
because they played on the soccer team. More than once fellows 
were brought down the Line just long enough for them to go on 
the field and play the game, after which they went back immedi 
ately to their stretcher-bearing jobs up Front. 

Several Field Days were held at Gouy, when wrestling, boxing, 
football, baseball, tugs-of-war, and almost every other form of 
sporting event were enjoyed. Pipe bands and an occasional Amer 
ican Army band entertained the troops. It was hard to believe 
that only a few miles away the Allies were battling for their 
very existence. 

While we were on the Wailly Front some of our bearers were 
brought down the Line to play a baseball game. Our pitcher, a 
lad barely out of his teens, was breezing a fast ball over the 
plate when his arm snapped in two places - - a very painful 
injury but one that took him out of the war. 

Two of the many memorable sports happenings about this 
time were the wrestling bouts in which Major Elliott, former 
125-lb. champion of University of Toronto, participated. Many 
of the fellows will remember his bout with an Imperial sergeant- 
major whom he succeeded in pinning to the mat after a very 
weird contest. Another bout which brought the crowd to its feet 
was that between Elliott and a chap named Lougheed. This was 
the most hectic battle imaginable, for the major s opponent had 
been Varsity s 125-lb. champ the year after Elliott held the 
crown. The two wrestlers were very evenly matched - - and each 


was exceedingly surprised by the terrific battle put up by his 
opponent. No quarter was asked and none was given, so the 
onlookers saw one of the best bouts ever staged. 

We Organize, a Concert Party* 

The Fifth Concert Party was in full swing shortly after it was 
first thought of. One or two patients and two or three men from 
other Field Ambulances were included in the troupe but otherwise 
it was wholly a Fifth affair. Bill Ferris, Wes Ivory, Pickles Clarke, 
Billy Mills, Red Sowden and Joe Irwin were some of the artists 
and they succeeded in putting on a pretty fair show. Bill Ferris 
was the star comedian and this American-born Lancashire lad 
from the Canadian army did much to brighten the war, with 
his droll dialect monologues and his songs, "I m Not So Young 
as I Used to Be," "Try a Little Piece of My Wife s Cake," That 
Was Me Last Night in Poper-in-jee," "I Was Standing on the 
Corner of the Street," etc. We also got hold of a movie machine 
and some films, so what with the stage performance and the 
pictures our little theatre was crowded for every show. The 
favorite revue was "Shall Us - -Let s," and many of our men 
and patients will long remember the happy evenings provided by 
the troupe. Gilbert Watson, now a well-known orchestra leader, 
was our female impersonator and the genius at the piano was 
a fellow named Putnam, if we remember correctly. 

On June 22nd Sergeant- Major Hodder took over his duties 
with the Fifth; and George Graves was awarded the Meritorious 
Service Medal on the same date. The next day was given over 
to Divisional Sports and these brought to a close the many 
athletic events our Headquarters Sections had enjoyed during 
their stay in Gouy-en-Artois. 

While we were in Gouy, Happy Carlisle once again distin 
guished himself. He and another sergeant occupied a tiny Arm 
strong hut in which there were two chicken-wire bunks, one 
above the other. The weather was so mild, no blanket covering 
was necessary. In the upper bunk jHappy slept night after night 
with scarcely anything over him, and merely his rubber ground- 
sheet between him and the wire. One early morning, after a 
rather big night-before, Happy awakened to find himself lying 
in a pool of water. There were no leaks in the roof so Happy 


decided that he had had some sort of accident in his sleep. He 
lay for a few moments, then reached for his claspknife and 
jabbed some holes in the rubber sheet. The welled -up fluid 
drained through the holes; and Happy, with a satisfied grunt, 
rolled over for another snooze - - totally forgetting that there 
was someone in the bunk beneath him. It was the same Carlisle, 
too, who had one of the Motor Transport fellows running around 
in circles because the happy-go-lucky sergeant had given him an 
application of iodine in mistake for argyrol. 

During all the good times back at Gouy-en-Artois, the bearers 
remained up the Line in front of Wailly, clearing wounded from 
regimental aid-posts as far to the left as Telegraph Hill and as 
far to the right as the Cojeul River trenches southeast of Mer- 
catel. There were night raids, dawn raids and daylight raids, and 
only an extensive system of approach trenches and some conveni 
ent sunken roads saved our bearers from becoming casualties. 

It was while we were on this Front that attempts at blood 
transfusion were made in some of the regimental aid-posts. 
Blood tests were taken and bearers with blood of varying cate 
gories were located near the posts so that they would be avail 
able if needed. While we saw several attempts at transfusions 
about this time we regret having to admit we didn t see more 
than one or two which were successful. Our bearers volunteered 
quite readily for donations of blood. Perhaps the fact that every 
donor was given forty-eight hours rest and a half-dozen bottles 
of Bass s Ale had something to do with their eagerness to help. 
Dozens put their names on the waiting lists. 

On Sunday, May 12th (Mothers Day), Bill MacKenzie was 
killed. Fritz was shelling a kite balloon that flew over our 
Wailly funkholes and a big chunk of eight-inch shell struck Mac 
and narrowly missed Cecil Byrne, who was lying beside him. 
MacKenzie was a general favorite and it was a sad party of men 
who buried him in Wailly Cemetery on their way up the Line 
the following evening. 

Qrdnd Rullecourt<^ 

On June 29th the bearers were relieved by the Tenth Field 
Ambulance. They rejoined the other Sections at Gouy and on 
the following day the whole unit marched back to Grand 


Rullecourc. Here the officers occupied a large chateau while the 
men billeted in huts and bell tents on the chateau grounds. 

The chateau must have been of some importance at one time. 
Now, alas, it was in a sadly dilapidated condition. Its marble 
floors were chipped and stained; its oak-panelled walls splintered 
and warped; its frescoed ceilings blackened and broken by brazier 
smoke and leaking rains. But over it all there seemed to hang the 
intangible atmosphere of a glorious past. No furniture remained 
in any of the rooms, excepting one or two broken-down bed 
frames and chairs. There remained everywhere the distressing 
evidence of innumerable occupations by rude and destructive 
soldiery. On nearly every wall were etched and scrawled the 
names and ribaldries of French and British fighting men. 

The rear of the chateau looked out on a level spacious tract of 
land, bordered on two sides by woods, and at the far end by a 
screen of graceful poplars. This tree-enclosed area (about five 
adres) was to be our parade ground. 

It was rumored that we were to be given at least one month s 
rest - -to compensate us for our long stay on the Wailly Front. 
And again the word "rest" had an ominous portent, for, what 
with a new, inexperienced, yet zealous sergeant-major, and an 
ambitious disciplinarian in the person of Captain Dunham, the 
lads were soon wishing they were back at Beaurains and Mercatel 
where there was "a war on." 

The ensuing two weeks (excepting one day) was given over to 
intensive squad and company drill and a lot of parade-ground 
stuff that was useless up the Line. And, as was invariably the 
case, those who proved to be the best on the drill square were the 
very laddy-bucks who were not so valuable up where a different 
sort of proficiency was needed. All this barrack-square stuff was 
particularly irksome to the stretcher-bearers and left them fagged 
out and embittered at the beginning of nearly every battle. 

Here we were, forming fours, marking time, and doing over 
and over again all the old elementary stuff we had done back in 
1914. If the idea of those in command was to get us so fed up 
that we would welcome a trip up the Line, they succeeded. They 
little understood - - and seemed to care less ! - - that we were 
totally different men from the enthusiastic, inexperienced and 
tractable youths of training camp days, when one of our most 
earnest songs was : 


At the halt on the left form platoon - 

Oh we ve tried it the whole afternoon! 

If the odd numbers don t mark, time two paces - 

How the hell can the rest form platoon? 

It is the only fair to explain that the position of our new 
sergeant-major was far from enviable. There he was, dropped 
into the middle of a unit which had been in France since 1915. 
He was expected to create harmony in the ranks of men who 
were openly resentful of an outsider being placed over them; he 
was persuaded to carry out a routine of barrack-square discipline 
by one or two of his immediate superiors; he had the unveiled 
hostility of most of the senior noncoms.-- almost every one of 
whom considered himself capable of making a better fist of the 
sergeant-major s job; he had had no experience with a battle 
unit previously. Small wonder that his position was almost un 
tenable. He must have spent many unhappy hours, after the first 
few days, when he realized what a tdugh spot he was in! Per 
sonally, he was a very decent, likeable sort of fellow and made 
many friends before the end of the trip to Germany. Whoever 
was responsible for his being put in charge of the Fifth played him 
a dirty trick, undermined the Fifth s esprit dc corps and did the 
unit a grave injustice. 

Dominion Day Sports at Tinqucs ^> 

The one welcome break in the two weeks of "rest" came on 
July 1st, Dominion Day, when Corps Sports were held at Tin- 
ques, a tiny village on the St. Pol road and about eight miles 
from our camp. Two motor lorries were provided to transport 
our two hundred and more men to the games, so it will be 
appreciated that most of the fellows had to ride "Shank s Mare" 
and do some lorry-hopping if they wanted to get to Tinques for 
the celebration. 

The Corps Sports will long remain in the memories of those 
who witnessed them. The whole afternoon and evening were 
given up to games and merrymaking. Lacrosse, baseball, foot 
ball, sprints, walking races, distance races, wrestling, boxing, and 
almost every other sort of athletic contest took place. In the 
early evening some of our best aviators flew over the crowd and 
put on an exhibition of aerial acrobatics which, for daring and 


recklessness, may never be beaten. The pilots were said to be some 
of our most famous Canadian aces, but their identities were not 
disclosed to us at the time. The Duke of Connaught, Sir Robert 
Borden, Hon. N. W. Rowell, General Currie and many other 
celebrities were present ; also many of our Canadian nursing sisters. 

When darkness stopped the field sports, a composite Canadian 
concert troupe put on a three-hour open-air performance, and the 
troops saw the stars of our various concert parties at their best. 

There was, we regret to mention, one drawback to the great 
celebration : Tinques was DRY ! And so were the twenty thou 
sand soldiers who raided the village in their frantic search for 
good stuff! The day was hot and dusty and what little liquid re 
freshment the village boasted had been exhausted since early in 
the morning. However, from some mysterious source, many of 
our fellows succeeded in getting enough beer and wine to sustain 
them during the long trek back to camp. 

On July 13th the unit marched out of Grand Rullecourt. 
A. Section went to Warlus; B. to Beaurains; and C. to Achicourt. 
An advanced dressing station was also established at Ronville, a 
suburb on the south of Arras. All three places were being heavily 
shelled and bombed at this time, and night after night many 
of us took to the roadside drainage ditches for cover from the 
roaring Gothas. 

After five days at Beaurains and Achicourt, B. and C. Sections 
joined the rest of the unit at Warlus. There the Fifth remained, 
not doing much of anything in particular, until July 23rd, when 
it marched back to Grand Rullecourt. Throughout the whole of 
this march it rained heavily and the men arrived at their destin 
ation wet through. Their greatcoats, blankets, kits and uniforms 
were wringing wet, and when they paraded and asked for an 
extra blanket per man, for the one night only, their request was 
turned down. Of course, our quartermaster-captain had made the 
trip by car, had all the blankets he cared for, and slept in a com 
fortable bed in the chateau, so naturally he couldn t understand 
why a soaking-wet, tired, foot-slogging man should want a 
blanket between himself and the cold bare floors of the leaky huts 
and tents. Eventually, however, the men raised sufficient hell, and 
dry blankets were issued by the colonel s orders, and in spite of 
the quartermaster-captain s heated protests that such procedure 
was contrary to the wav it had been done in South Africa. 


Once again the old routine of drills, etc., got under way. Men 
were "crimed" for petty and trivial technical breaches of King s 
Rules and Regulations. For instance, four were arrested for being 
a minute or two late for night roll-call. They refused trial by 
their own Commanding Officer and requested a court-martial. 

It is quite possible that the cursing and swearing of our men 
was heard as far back as Divisional Headquarters, for, on July 
30th, General Burstall sent a letter to every unit under his com 
mand, complaining about the terrible profanity prevailing among 
the troops, and asking all commanding officers to do everything 
in their power to discourage the use of such language. It must be 
admitted that the general s request didn t meet with any great 
success, so far as our unit was concerned. 

For a week or two there had reached us the welcome news 
that, in the north, the British and French had stopped Fritz s 
advance and that the French had attacked with considerable 
success in the southern part of the Front. Rumor had it that we 
were due for a move, and every mother s son of us hoped for 
some sort of change - - no matter what - - as relief from our 
Grand Rullecourt martinets. 

On July 30th the Fifth marched to a spot between FosSeux and 
Hauteville. Th ere we boarded old London busses and travelled 
south, by way of Doullens and Briquemesnil, to Breilly, a small 
village on the River Somme and about six miles west of Amiens. 
There we had a wonderful time for four or five days. The Somme 
supplied us with excellent bathing, boating and fishing, and in 
spite of the racher strong currents, our lads spent a lot of their 
time in and on the historic river. 

On the morning we set out for Brielly some official war artists 
set up their easels and proceeded to sketch our lounging unit. 
We ve never been able to trace the results of their efforts. Perhaps 
we were like the subject of an old song - "a picture no artist could 
paint!" Water was very scarce at the morning halting place and 
very few men were able to shave. Those who did rid themselves 
of whiskers had to buy their shaving water from a nearby farmer. 

We "Take. Over at Amiens ^ 

On August 4th we were off again and marched into Amiens, 
where we established our headquarters in a large, abandoned 


college for ladies. The Horse Transport lines were located on the 
outskirts of the city and about a half-mile from the college. 

Some of the men may remember the very life-like stuffed dog 
found in the college dormitory - - and the excellent cornet found 
hanging on a cubicle wall. Sergeant- Major Hodder entertained 
the troops by playing several solos on the cornet with which 
instrument he proved himself strangely familiar. 

Amiens, when we arrived there, was being shelled rather freely. 
Very few citizens remained in the city. The central and residential 
districts were barricaded off and troops were not permitted to 
enter the city proper, without special permission. Armed sentries 
guarded the shops and homes from molestation by looters and 
souvenir hunters. The famous cathedral could be seen quite read 
ily from our billet. It was generously protected by sandbags and 
concrete buttresses but there were a few gaping holes in the roof 
and walls when we first saw it. 

For two days the whole three Sections remained in the ladies 
college, cleaning its many rooms, cubicles and cellars and getting 
them ready for use as a main dressing station. Our men were kept 
under cover as much as possible during daylight hours, but after 
dark they were permitted to move about in the open. 

As a matter of fact, as soon as dusk arrived, all roads and main 
arteries leading into and through Amiens were alive with moving 
troops of all descriptions. Infantry, tanks, artillery, machine- 
gunners, pontoons, lorries, service wagons, tractors and ambu 
lances - - marching men and horses from every branch of the 
service were moving eastward from dusk until dawn. Yet, when 
daylight came, there was little visible evidence that thousands of 
troops had been on the move during the night. It was as though 
some weird phantom army was in motion, and for the first time 
in the whole war, the men seemed to gain confidence because of 
this long-needed innovation of secrecy in movement. Ail night 
long many of our largest planes flew back and forth over the 
German line, drowning out the noise of our moving army. 

Another clever ruse fooled the enemy: The 4th Canadian 
Mounted Rifles and the 27th Battalion were sent into the Line 
at Kemmel for two or three days. As soon as the enemy had been 
permitted to identify them and conclude that the whole Corps 
was in the vicinity the two regiments were rushed south and 
joined the rest of the Corps on the second day of the scrap. Two 


casualty clearing stations were also moved into the Kemmel 
area and the nursing sisters warned to keep the movement secret 

- with the logical result that Fritz was quickly aware of their 
presence and jumped to the desired conclusions. 

On the afternoon of August 7th our bearers moved up to 
Villers-Bretenneux, leaving behind them the Transport and 
Nursing Sections to run the main dressing station. Colonel Kap- 
pele, Major Elliott and Captains Parker and Clark were the only 
officers left at headquarters. All the other officers went forward 
with the stretcher squads or to various regimental aid-posts. 

Just before our bearers marched out of Amiens, Joe Irwin made 
the rounds, saying goodbye to everybody. Orders were in for Joe 
to return to Canada - - and how we envied him ! He was going 
home, while we were going into we did not know what. We 
were all glad for Joe s sake, though, for he was one of the old 
originals, and had been in France since 1915. At the start of the 
war the lads nicknamed him "Sharkey" and thus will he be 
known to them as long as they live. He and the dental officer 
had waged a private, yet friendly war of their own, from the 
day we reached France - - and the war ended with honors about 
even. Whether Sharkey did most of the dental work we cannot 
say, but we will assert that he got the best results from the use 
of the dental quarters and equipment. Joe spoke French very 
fluently and, consequently, had to attend to most of the civilian 
patients. And how he did look after them ! 

The bearers waited in Villers-Bretonneux until dark. Then 
they moved over to their right, into the ruined village of Cachy. 
Here in cellars they took shelter until three o clock in the morn 
ing, when they moved up into the support trenches, ready for the 
opening of the battle. 

At 4.20 a.m., August 8th, the barrage opened. Hundreds of 
guns that had been moved in almost overnight sent their shriek 
ing shells over to the enemy. Tanks moved into jumping-off 
positions; and artillery and engineers with their guns, limbers and 
pontoons edged closer to the Line, waiting for the lifting of 
the barrage. 

After a few minutes our men moved forward. And along with 
them moved second-wave infantrymen, machine-gunners, artil 
lerymen, tanks and engineers. Just in the rear of us could be seen 
approaching cavalry, while over our heads roared low-flying 


battle planes. From the moment our barrage opened only a half- 
dozen enemy shells came at all close to us. 

The whole show appeared, at the start, more like a wel 
staged pageant than an actual battle. Here was the Canadian 
Corps, over 120,000 strong, going into a scrap that was different 
from anything it had known in the past. Here a man could stand 
up. He could move about on top of hard, dry ground - - not 
under it or through it, in knee-deep mud. He could see, too, 
alongside him all the supporting forces that went to make up an 
attacking army, and the sight gave him added strength and con 
fidence. He had the Aussies on his left and the French Poilus on 
his right, so was satisfied that his flanks were securely protected. 

A heavy ground-mist hung over the old Front Line as the 
troops started forward, but this gradually lifted and exposed to 
view a panorama of blown-in trenches, uprooted wire, wrecked 
gun-pits and a terrain dotted with shell-holes and dead bodies. 
There was ample evidence that our preparatory barrage, while 
not as heavy as at Vimy and Passchendaele, had been far more 
accurate and effective. Enemy guns were found with their muzzle- 
covers still on and their crews killed before they could get them 
into action. In some of the deepest dugouts Germans were found 
still asleep and they were dumbfounded to find themselves our 

Our bearer squads moved forward almost a mile without en 
countering any difficulties, other than tangled wire and machine- 
gun bullets. Fritz was firing from a small woods just northeast 
of Hangard Wood and our infantry was held up for a while. 
Here we were kept busy giving first-aid to the infantry casualties 
which were occurring immediately in front of us. Suddenly some 
of the new fast whippet tanks came to the help of the infantry 
men and quickly put the hidden Hun machine-gunners out of 
action. None of the Fifth men was hit at this point, but several 
of our attached regimental bearers and some of the Sixth and 
Fourth men were killed or wounded. 

By this time the sun was well up and the ground mist had 
lifted. As we moved forward to Marcelcave we could see numer 
ous groups of the fleeing enemy on the high ground about a 
thousand yards aHead of us. In Marcelcave B. Section established 
a dressing station, while A. and C. Sections moved forward 
toward Wiencourt. Just in front of the latter village was another 


small wood, the Bois de Pierret, where hidden machine-guns 
held up our infantrymen once more. At this time we were right 
amongst the attacking riflemen, our men lying flat on the ground 
while the crouching fighting men and bombers attacked the 
machine-gun posts. Here again we were fortunate, but all around 
us riflemen were being hit and their casualties were many. Once 
again whippet tanks came to the rescue and blew the hidden 
gun crews out of action. Those new fast tanks "put the wind up" 
Fritz in no uncertain manner. 

It was at this time we received one of our greatest thrills of 
the whole war. Our cavalry came into action and they made a 
most comforting and inspiring sight. Lances, sabres and carbines 
had been the subjects of foot-soldiers jokes for so long, it was 
difficult for us to believe our own eyes when we saw them going 
into action. Yet here they were, and as the cavalrymen dis 
mounted, knelt and opened fire in support of our infantrymen, 
we gave them a rousing cheer of appreciation. 

All through the day the advance went forward. Past the 
wooded heights on the west bank of the River Luce; over the 
almost-dry river-bed itself, and on through Cayeux, Guillau- 
court and Caix our Division swept. Darkness found us about 
one mile east of Caix and word reached us that the whole Corps 
had made a similar advance. 

It was in Caix that Billy Brown and Yorky Coates found their 
"potof gold. " In a ruined cellar the two lads discovered a metalbox 
containing twenty-five golden Louis - - five hundred francs. Evi 
dently the money had been buried by some French householder 
and dislodged from its hiding-place by the recent bombardment. 
Billy and Yorky each took twelve of the coins and gave the odd 
one to the first man who followed them into the cellar. In Arras, 
a few weeks later, the twenty-four Louis d Or were spent on the 
stuff that cheers, and all the pals of the two lads shared in cele 
brating the lucky find. 

A. and C. Sections moved back to Wiencourt for the night. 
B. Section stayed at Marcelcave and Guillaucourt. At the latter 
place an advanced post had been established during the afternoon 
and wounded were being sent back by rail. All through the pre 
vious night and day French railway troops had been busy repair 
ing the railway on our immediate left and it was due to their 
great work that we were able to evacuate our cases by rail. 


Although the stretcher squads had been on the move since 
practically the afternoon of the 7th, their work had been con 
siderably lessened by the assistance of hundreds of German pris 
oners. From about five o clock in the morning of the 8th, an 
immense number of captured Huns had been arriving and we 
utilized them to the limit. Our own men gave first-aid to the 
wounded and then had them carried back to Marcelcave, Caix 
and Guillaucourt by the gray-coated prisoners. When our supply 
of stretchers ran out we used German ground-sheets as litters. 

From zero hour until dark we had advanced about eight miles. 
The weather was intensely hot and there was a shortage of drink 
ing water. We had been warned against using water from cap 
tured wells, so our men were in dire straits until a well of clean 
water was discovered in the ruins of Wiencourt. Here we were 
able to satisfy the cravings of our wounded fighting-men and 
replenish our own water-bottles. 

As was the case in nearly every battle, we failed to get proper 
rations up the Line. Once again, if it had not been for food taken 
from haversacks of the dead we would have had scarcely any 
food at all during the first twenty-four hours of the battle. Of 
course, the long and rapid advance was somewhat unexpected 
and might have caught the commissary people unprepared, but 
to the fellows up the Line there seemed little excuse for the 
shortage. Roads had been repaired quickly and our ambulances 
had no difficulty in getting up to our advanced stations. Even 
general service wagons had been sent up to transport wounded, 
so it was hard to understand why some of these conveyances 
hadn t been utilized to bring up rations when they came for cases. 

About ten o clock in the morning of August 9th, B. Section 
bearers joined A. and C. at Wiencourt and all moved forward 
once more, keeping close to the railway embankment on their 
left. On an open plain just west of Rosieres another dressing 
station was established. From here we watched the infantry and 
tanks capture Rosieres. For a few hours, only the left portion of 
the town was in our hands and in the fight for the right portion 
our tanks and infantry suffered very heavily. Immediately in front 
of us a tank was hit and burst into flames. Some of our bearers 
rushed over and hauled out a wounded officer, but he was so 
badly injured and burned he died soon after we rescued him. 
The other occupants of the tank died horrible deaths inside their 


steel pyre, for the flames and exploding shells made further 
rescues impossible. 

Shortly after the tank blew up we were again joined by the 
cavalry. Right beside us they manoeuvred into charging forma 
tion and galloped away through the Rosieres- Vrely valley. In a 
few minutes we followed them along the valley, gathering their 
fallen and picking up the wounded infantrymen who had made 
the breach through which the mounted troops charged. 

Dead horses lay everywhere along that valley. Fritz had left 
behind him dug-in machine-gun crews and these had created 
havoc in the ranks of the charging horsemen. But not one German 
that manned the machine-guns escaped. The gun crews lay dead 
or wounded beside their weapons. Here we had our first experi 
ence in dressing sabre slashes and lance wounds. Every sabre cut 
seemed to be at the point where a man s neck joins his shoulder, 
and the heavy downward slashes had cut deep diagonal wounds 
which were difficult to treat. In most instances the lances had 
pierced the Germans throats but not a few had entered the 
breast. One or two shattered lances still pinned their victims to 
the ground. Many hopelessly wounded horses lay and threshed 
about the valley but we picked up discarded rifles and put the 
poor animals out of their misery. 

In the afternoon of August 9th we moved into Vrely and set 
up a dressing station in some German dugouts. While some men 
stayed here others continued on to Meharicourt, in front of which 
village our infantry were digging in for the night. A few long- 
range naval guns searched for our dugouts. 

Between Vrely and Meharicourt the fighting had been very 
severe. Our bearers here found hundreds of Canadian and German 
dead and wounded. We established an aid-post in a ruined brew 
ery cellar in Meharicourt and, until darkness fell, collected our 
wounded there. As soon as dusk arrived we sent our cases back 
to Vrely, utilizing German prisoners for that purpose. 

From the night of August 9th, and right through to August 
15th, we cleared wounded from an area to the left of Rosieres 
and to as far right as Rouvroy.* During this period the enemy s 
resistance had stiffened considerably and our infantry were occu 
pying captured German trenches. To the south of us the Third 

*In Rouvroy we noticed that the Germans had used the local church as a stable 
for their horses. The building was in a filthy condition. 


Division continued to attack, while on our left the Fourth Divi 
sion approached Chilly and Hallu. For five days there was a 
series of attacks and counter-attacks and the whole area was 
heavily shelled. Every night enemy bombing planes came over 
and the cavalry in the valley suffered heavily. Gradually, how 
ever, the Canadian Corps pushed forward. Our Division cap 
tured Fransart and Chilly; while the First took La Chavette and 
joined hands with the French at Fresnoy-les-Roye. 

By August 16th we had established other posts in Warvillers 
and in Fouquescourt, and were evacuating cases from these posts 
when Imperial troops relieved our bearers during the night of 
August 17th. The Front Line at this time was almost parallel 
with and just west of the Chaulnes-Roye railway line. Lorries 
carried our men back to Amiens and the whole unit was together 
once more in the college dressing station. 

During that final night in the tunnels of Fouquescourt a new 
captain came to us - - a very well-groomed and meticulously- 
dressed officer who, when he saw some of the lads delousing 
themselves over a few sputtering candles, delivered a very pointed 
lecture on the lack of cleanliness. "There s absolutely no excuse 
for vermin among men of a field ambulance," he declared, "and 
a man who permits himself to become lousy should be placed 
under arrest!" A few minutes later this self-same captain had his 
own shirt and undershirt off and, with the aid of his flashlight, 
was picking louse after louse off his clothing and person. While 
he had been busy lecturing the men, some of the lads had dropped 
a few of their own lice on the newcomer s blankets. From that 
night on he said no more about uncleanliness. Apparently he had 
troubles of his own - - plenty of them and big ones. 

Throughout the ten days of the battle our Amiens dressing 
station was crowded with wounded. A casualty clearing station 
had been set up in a nearby asylum and this, too, was full of 
wounded. For the first few days cases came in faster than they 
could be cleared. There was a shortage of blankets, stretchers and 
medical supplies and hundreds of wounded men lay on the hard 
cold floors of the dressing and clearing stations, without even a 
great-coat to keep them warm during the chilly August nights. 
Gradually, however, the clearing convoys caught up with the 
work and by the time the battle was over everything was 
running smoothly. 


The Fifth lads must have worn horseshoes in the Amiens scrap 
for, although other ambulance units suffered several casualties, 
we had not one man killed. Two or three of our bearers were sent 
back shell-shocked or gassed. 

Among other casualties, our friends of the Sixth Field Ambu 
lance lost Captain MacKechnie and, if he had been a Fifth officer, 
our bearers couldn t have felt worse. He had worked with us so 
often up the Line he had become like one of ourselves. Mac 
Kechnie was a strapping big fellow, well over six feet, so the 
men had nicknamed him "The White Hope." An officer or non- 
com. had to be either very much admired or greatly detested to 
be nicknamed by his men. This captain was greatly loved by all 
who served under him. 

A Brief Account of the Battle 

Between August 8th and August 22nd, 1918, the Canadian 
Corps defeated sixteen enemy divisions, captured 10,000 pris 
oners, 201 guns and 1,000 machine guns, and had 11,725 casual 
ties. Our attack started on a front of 8,000 yards and was widened 
out to 10,000 yards. Total penetration was fourteen miles. Sixty- 
seven square miles of territory and twenty-seven towns and 
villages were liberated. 

The battle opened on August 8th at 4.20 a.m. By nightfall the 
enemy s defenses had been penetrated over eight miles and the 
following towns and villages captured : Hangard, Demuin, Beau- 
court, Aubercourt, Courcelles, Ignaucourt, Cayeux, Caix, Mar- 
celcave, Wiencourt, 1 Equipee and Guillaucourt; and the Corps 
also helped the French troops in the capture of Mezieres. On 
August 9th the Corps advanced four miles, capturing Rouvroy, 
Le Quesnel, Folies, Bouchoir, Beaufort, Warvillers, Vrely, Rosi- 
eres and Meharicourt. 

General Rawlinson remarks in his memoirs that "the spirit of 
his Colonial troops was the deciding factor in the splendid 

The Amiens "show," according to General Currie, was the 
conception of General Rawlinson, and was undertaken with the 
three-fold objective of: 

1. Lessening the possibility of a German break-through at 
Amiens, where the Fiuns had been attempting to drive a wedge 
between the British and French Armies. 

, . 

1. Major McGill and assistants dressing wounded in the open. 

2. Two of our Stretcher-Bearers improvised a bayonet-entrenching-tool splint in Cherisy 
quarry post. Alec Lewis lights patient s cigarette. 

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2. The freeing of the Amiens-Paris railway, that invaluable 
artery of communication crossing the entire Allied rear area and 
for many weeks under enemy gun-threat and domination. 

3. The preservation of the city of Arras, to the north - - Arras, 
the old cathedral city which had received a terrific bombardment 
and hammering ever since the enemy advance of March 21st. 

The battle ended with all goals attained and with the deeply- 
rooted conviction of our High Command that the war could be 
waged to a successful conclusion before the end of 1918. To 
Ludendorff the battle brought the realization that the "jig was 
up," for he mentions in his memoirs that "Amiens painted for 
Germany the. black day of the war." To Haig it brought tears 
of thankfulness. It was the definite turning-point in the war. In 
General Currie s own words: "Haig came to me at Pernes. We 
sat alone and discussed Amiens and the dark days during the 
spring set-backs. He told me that his one comforting thought 
during the terrible days of reverses was that his army could not 
be defeated so long as his Canadian Corps was undefeated. On 
many occasions, he told me, he was tempted to throw the 
Canadians at the onrushing Boche but something had always 
whispered No to him, and so he saved us for the counterblow." 

Additional evidence of the importance the High Command 
placed in the Amiens victory was the visit to the Canadian 
Front of the King, Foch, Haig, Weigand and Petain on August 
13th. We were up the Line and, consequently, didn t see them, 
but we knew they were in the neighborhood, and we felt that 
we must have done something exceptionally big to attract such 
an illustrious group of visitors. 

On Sunday, August 18th, a thanksgiving service was held in 
the great Amiens cathedral. Many of our men attended and 
joined the grateful citizens in offering thanks for the remarkable 
victory and the relief of the long-threatened city. 

The ensuing two days were spent in cleaning up and in kit 
refitting, etc. At 9.30 p.m. on August 20th the unit said goodbye 
to Amiens and marched to Boves, where it entrained for the 
north. After riding all night a la 40 hommes, 8 chevaux, we de 
trained at Wavrans and marched east to Ambrines where we 
billeted overnight. On the 22nd we went by busses to Achicourt, 
and once again took over the dressing station we had established 
before going south. 

Famous army abbreviations perhaps you know what they mean. 

Some of them puzzle us : 





F.U.F.U. &F.F.H. 





M. & D. 




Oh where do we go from here, boys? 

Where do we go from here? 

We ve been from Ypres to the Somme 

And haven t found good beer. 

We re sick as hell of shot and shell 

And generals at the rear 

We ve got no rum and we re feeling bum, 

Where do we go from here? 


(August 23, 1918, to November 11, 1918) 

A Miracle 



next two days the 
Fifth was kept 
rather busy refit- 
ting and making 
arrangements for 
the coming Battle of Arras. One very noteworthy innovation 
was introduced at this time : Our officers were thoughtful enough 
to go over their battle maps with the senior noncoms. and 
acquaint the sergeants with the plans of the coming action. We 
believe that the smoothness with which posts and stations were 
established from that time on fully vindicated the confidence 
placed in the Bearer Sergeants. They were immeasurably helped 
by their newly-acquired knowledge of the battle terrain. 

By the night of August 25th, battle organization was com 
pleted and the stretcher squads moved up to Beaurains Corner, 
ready to go forward behind the infantry on the following morning. 
Zero hour had been originally set for 4.50 a.m. but was 
changed to 3 a.m. in order to effect a greater surprise and allow 
our troops to pass through the enemy s forward machine-gun 
defences before dawn. 

Shortly after the opening barrage our bearers moved forward. 
The first waves of our attacking infantry were already a few 
hundred yards ahead of us and everything pointed to another 
victory. The few wounded men we attended to were highly 
jubilant over the success of the initial phase of the attack. Captain 



Hart, with most of the squads, moved over to the left, through 
Tilloy-lez-Mofflaines and then eastward, along the south side of 
the Arras-Cambrai road. Major Elliott and Captain Moses, with 
our other bearers, moved ahead in a south-easterly direction. 
They established an advanced dressing station near our old aid- 
post just west of Neuville-Vitasse. All our evacuations were 
made through this station until late in the afternoon, when an 
other post was established just east of Neuville-Vitasse. 

Although we had a great many wounded to handle throughout 
the day, our bearers work was considerably lightened through 
the help of hundreds of German prisoners. The captured Huns 
were so glad to be on our side of the Line they willingly shouldered 
stretcher cases and, in charge of one or two of our men, made 
their way across country to the Neuville-Vitasse clearing points. 
So anxious were some of the unescorted German carrying parties 
to get as far toward the rear as possible, they kept right on going 
and carried their burdens right into Arras. 

During the night of the 26th Captain Hart s party made its 
headquarters in an old German dressing station just west of the 
captured village of Guemappe. In this station we found several 
dead and wounded Huns. Scattered about the place was con 
siderable first-aid material and among it we found a lot of paper 
shell-dressings, paper bandages, etc. The wounded Germans 
seemed quite pleased at finding themselves in our hands. Evi 
dently, there had been a tragic shortage of medical supplies in 
their own army. 

The first day of the scrap had passed with only one bearer, 
Frank Laflin, being killed and without any of our men being 
wounded. Our only other casualty was a water-cart which had 
been run over by an advancing tank near the Neuville-Vitasse 
station. Once again our troops had met with success. By 7 a.m. 
the infantry had captured Chapel Hill and Orange Hill and were 
in Monchy le Preux. By 11 a.m. they had taken the strongly held 
trench system east of Monchy and were in Guemappe at 4 a.m. 
Wancourt and Heninel were in Canadian hands by nightfall. 
The day s advance was an average of about six thousand yards, 
and over two thousand prisoners had been taken. 

On the morning of August 27th the attack opened about five 
o clock and once again our bearers moved forward, closely 
behind the infantry. To our unit fell the task of clearing all the 


wounded south of the Arras-Cambrai road. We found the second 
day of the battle far different from the first. Fritz; had brought up 
fresh troops. His resistance was greatly stiffened, and our wounded 
more numerous. However, our infantry were not to be denied 
and in spite of the enemy s dogged resistance succeeded in pushing 
forward. Vis-en-Artois was captured early in the day. Cherisy 
was in our hands by 2 p.m., and the Sensee River was crossed 
late in the afternoon. Throughout the day Hart s squads had 
continued to move along behind the attacking troops and suc 
ceeded in clearing the wounded back to the Neuville-Vitasse 
station and to another post established early that morning at a 
point where the roads forked just west of Wancourt. 

Throughout the previous night, working parties had repaired 
the Arras-Cambrai road and we were able to use many of the 
returning ammunition lorries for the transportation of our most 
serious cases. All the roads were now under fairly heavy shell-fire, 
owing to the fact that the Imperial troops on our flanks had been 
held up and Fritz was able to rake us with artillery cross-fire for 
the following few days. 

The Canadian advance on August 27th reached a maximum 
of four thousand yards along the Cambrai road; but the casualties 
in our Division were exceptionally heavy. The Fifth Brigade 
fought a terribly gruelling battle around Cherisy and for the river 
and ridge just east of that village. From the opposite slope the 
enemy was able to pour down a terrific fire and time after time 
he made heavy counter attacks in an effort to dislodge our troops 
from their dearly-won position. In spite of Fritz s opposition, 
the lads of the Fifth Brigade held on to their gains and dug in for 
the night just east of Vis-en-Artois and Cherisy. 

Late in the afternoon Captain Hart s squads had established 
an advanced dressing station in a quarry just west of Vis-en- 
Artois and about halfway between the Arras-Cambrai and Gue- 
mappe-Cherisy roads. It was from this post that most of the 5th 
Brigade cases were cleared back to the station near Wancourt. 

Shortly after daylight on the morning of August 28th Captain 
Hart took a motor ambulance up the Cambrai road to Vis-en- 
Artois, turned right and proceeded to Cherisy village. He was 
unaware that the enemy still held the heights just east of the 
Sensee River. Consequently, that two-mile ride along the Vis- 
en-Artois-Cherisy road was an exciting one indeed. Shortly after 


turning south, just west of the ruined Vis-en-Artois bridge, the 
car came under direct machine-gun fire. Its sides were fairly 
riddled with bullets and there is no doubt that only Fritz s sur 
prise and haste saved the car and its occupants from becoming 
casualties. The car belonged to the Fourth Field Ambulance, so 
possibly the audacious captain wasn t too concerned about its 
welfare. On arriving at Cherisy, the ambulance was driven behind 
a heap of debris. Its five rather scared occupants tumbled out and, 
after a careful inspection of the ruined trenches and dugouts which 
made up the village, made their way by foot back to the quarry 
dressing station. Squads were immediately sent into Cherisy to 
clear the many 22nd Battalion wounded whom Hart and his 
party had located. 

The previous day and night had been a glorious and costly 
period for the 22nd Battalion. This famous regiment had gone 
into the attack with a battle roll of eight hundred and fifty men, 
all ranks. They brought only about twenty men out of the Line 
when they were relieved during the night of August 28th. 
Counting the fifty men detailed for stretcher-bearing the "Van* 
Doos" mustered only seventy men all told. They lost every 
officer, including Captain Marin, their medical officer, who was 
last to take over command. One of the company sergeant- 
majors brought out the handful of survivors. The Fifth Field 
Ambulance may well be proud of the fact that to its stretcher- 
bearers fell the honor of clearing the wounded of such a valiant 

During the afternoon of August 28th the bearer party on the 
right (in charge of Major Elliott and Captain Dunham) establish 
ed a collecting post on the north side of the Guemappe-Cherisy 
road, just west of Cherisy village. From this point wounded were 
sent back by cars and lorries, while from the quarry over to the 
left the same means of evacuation were employed. Most of our 
cases were gathered from the area fronting Vis-en-Artois and 
Cherisy. The enemy counter-attacked throughout this day also in 
a desperate effort to protect his Drocourt-Queant Switch line. 
It was on this day that the Canadian Corps fought with its right 
flank exposed, through failure of the Imperials to come up in 
support. The British had been held up at Croisilles and this had 
made the three-day battle almost wholly a Canadian affair, our 
troops receiving little or no support from either flank. 


During the night of August 28th-29th the First Canadian 
Division relieved the Second, and the Fourth Imperial Division 
relieved our Third Division, on our left. We were glad to have 
the Fourth Imperials with us, and from then on we found them 
excellent fighting men and first-class comrades. 

We Have a Brief Rest <^> 

Just before dawn on August 29th our squads made a final trip 
up beyond CKerisy and Vis-en-Artois and brought out the last 
of the Canadian wounded. We then turned over our two forward 
stations to First Division units and made our way back to Beau- 
rains and Achicourt. 

Our casualties during the three days were Frank Laflin, killed; 
Ban Johnson and one other bearer, wounded; and Harry Fearnall, 
badly gassed. 

Our bearers were mighty glad to be out of this "show." 
Here again they had been without proper rations while up the 
Line. Those responsible for the sending up of food supplies didn t 
seem to have the slightest idea of what conditions up front 
actually were. Whole carcasses of mutton were sent up to the 
bearers, regardless of the fact that only a squad or two were at 
each regimental aid post or relay post. These squads were on the 
go, night and day, looking after the wounded; so how the 
quartermaster-captain ever expected men so situated to cut up, 
divide and cook carcasses of mutton is beyond comprehension. 
Under similar circumstances some other units cooked the food 
back at their headquarters, divided it into variously sized por- 
ions and sent it up the Line. Our lads had no means or time for 
the handling of a whole sheep and were obliged to abandon the 
meat to the rats, or give it to troops who had a cook-kitchen 
with them. There wasn t any actual shortage of food during this 
scrap, but the method of getting it to the bearers made it im 
possible for them to enjoy the fresh meat portion of the rations. 

All our comment on failure of rations must not be taken as 
a reflection on Bill Atkinson and the other fellows who actually 
did the work in the quartermaster stores. They were invariably 
painstaking, obliging and desirous of giving the lads up the Line 
the very best. But there were limits to their powers - - limits 
placed upon them by the officer in charge of their department. 


It was chat officer s duty to go forward and see for himself the 
conditions prevailing, but - - well, he just didn t, that s all. So 
the noncoms. and men in the stores had to bear the brunt of all 
the grousing. 

Before the Amiens battle we had been warned to beware of 
drinking water from wells in captured territory. It was rumored 
that Fritz was poisoning and otherwise polluting all drinking 
supplies. Now, again, the same warnings were posted and the 
only way we could prove whether or not a well was poisoned 
was to make a prisoner drink some of the water. If he lived, all 
right; if he died, all wrong- -especially for the prisoner. We 
must admit, however, that not one of our trial subjects died. 
The nearest any of them ever came to death happened when we 
were in the station near Guemappe. We had been without drink 
ing water for many hours when we located a well close to the 
entrance of the station dugout. The water appeared rather 
brackish and smelled none too sweet. A stout six-foot Prussian 
sergeant was brought forward and about a quart of water given 
to him. That prisoner must have had a guilty conscience for it 
was only by threatening to shoot him that he was prevailed upon 
to drink. Even then it took him about fifteen minutes to swallow 
the suspected fluid. We then sat him down while we formed in 
a ring around him. His face grew paler and paler. Finally he 
turned a sickly green color. Perspiration stood in large beads on 
his face and forehead. He trembled and tottered as if he were 
about to give up the ghost. But it must have been chiefly fear 
that bothered him, for after waiting a half-hour for him to pass 
out, we ourselves partook of the water and none of us felt any 

ill effects. 

For six days the bearers rested at Beaurains, and the -lead- 
quarters and Nursing staffs carried on at Achicourt. During this 
period there was a steady forward movement of troops past our 
billets. Night and day there was a continuous motion of march 
ing infantry, cavalry, artillery, engineers and supply lorries. 
Unlike the Amiens scrap, very few tanks seemed to be going 
forward. We were now many miles behind the^ Front and the 
only other evidence we had that there really was "a war on" was 
that Arras was being shelled by long range naval guns, and 
Fritz s bombing planes paid us a visit every night the weather 
was favorable. 




e coov 








Things Appear Brighter <^ 

With the first phase of the Arras scrap behind us, and its 
almost unbelievable success added to our Amiens triumph, we 
were beginning to feel considerably cocky. While we didn t in 
the least anticipate an early end to the war, we did realize that 
we now held the whip hand. Our estaminet choruses at this 
time betrayed our optimism and esprit dc corps. 

(Tune She Only Answered Ting-a-ling) 

The bells of Hell go ting-a-ling-a-ling 

For Fritz, but not for me! 

For me the angels sing-a-ling-a-ling - 

They re waiting there for me. 

O Death, where is thy sting-a-ling- ailing? 

O Qrave, thy victory 1 . 

The bells of Hell go ting-a-ling-a-ling, 

For Fritz but not for me. 

(Tune - - Hold Your Hand Out, Naughty Boy} 

Keep your head down, Allemand. 

Keep your head down, Allemand. 

Last night in the pale moonlight, I saw you, I saw you - 

You were fixing up your barbed wire 

When we opened up rapid fire, 

If you want to see your mother and your sister and your brother, 

Keep your head down, Allemand. 

On September 4th our bearers again went up the Line, in 
charge of Captain Moses. The Fourth Field Ambulance was now 
in charge of forward area evacuations and our squads were 
attached to that unit for the time being. The Front Line was 
just west of Marquion and our bearers helped clear wounded 
from the Cagnicourt-Buissy area. Our Division was once more 
in action and the great battle for the famous Hindenburg Line 
was in progress. The notorious Crows Nest had fallen into 
Canadian hands on September 1st. On the following day the 
Drocourt-Queant line was won. Villers-lez-Cagnicourt, Cagni- 
court and the Buissy Switch line were captured. During the fight 
ing of September 3rd, 4th and 5th, the enemy had been forced 
back to the east bank of the Canal du Nord. 


Wes Ivory was all set for Paris - 
Had his leave warrant, too, but alas! 

His trip proved a flop 

Leave came to a stop, 
A.nd Ivory, instead, went to A.rras! 
* * * * 

Our bearers remained with the Fourth Field Ambulance until 
the night of September 10th when they returned to our own head 
quarters at Achicourt. Our only casualties during this trip in were 
Fred Meehan and Bill Stanley who were both badly gassed on 
September 7th. 

On September 10th Ban Johnson, Gordon Rosser, Freddy 
Wall and Teddy Gilmore were awarded Military Medals. Two 
days later Ben Sharpe received the same decoration. 

Three Years in France^ 

On September 15th the Fifth celebrated the third anniversary 
of its arrival in France. The officers had a special dinner to mark 
the occasion. The men had a slight increase in their day s rations 
and a special issue of rum. The senior noncoms. bought a pair 
of suckling pigs from a farmer and succeeded in purchasing (or 
stealing) a jar of rum. To Sergeant-Major Hodder fell the honor 
of mixing some rum-and-milk punch - - and he did a first-class 
job. The anniversary was enjoyed by every man in the unit. 

Perhaps you were one of the gang that set out to obtain wine 
for the celebration the gang which entered an Achicourt 
estaminet and ordered two bottles of wine, and while the pro 
prietor was down cellar getting them, filled six water-bottles 
with wine from a cask 7 

We carried on at Achicourt, with nothing of moment occur 
ring, until September 20th when A. and B. Section bearers, in 
charge of Captains Kirby and Parker, were sent forward to help 
the Fourth Field Ambulance in the Cagnicourt-Riencourt area. 
Next day the rest of the Fifth moved into Arras where they occu 
pied some half-ruined houses in the residential part of the town. 
These houses were in a reparable condition. Their furniture and 
other contents were exactly as they had been left when the former 
occupants had fled from them. Our men were put on their honor 
not to molest anything and we are glad to report that the only 


thing stolen was a beautiful handmade lounging robe which fell 
into the ever-covetous hands of one of our sergeants. 

On September 23rd we moved into the Deaf, Dumb and Blind 
Institute and opened a corps rest station. It was on this day 
that Driver Claude Hogle of the Motor Transport was killed 
by a shell. Two days later we were relieved by the 14th Canadian 
Field Ambulance and we then "stood to" ready to go up the 
Line. During the night of the 25th Fritz s planes came over Arras 
and dropped dozens of bombs around the railway station, where 
there were thousands of men and horses being detrained. Some 
of our sergeants were near the station at the time but, although 
many men and horses were killed or wounded, our fellows 
escaped with nothing but a severe shaking-up. It was rumored 
that our noncoms. were well fortified with grape juice of 1910 
vintage and, consequently, received that Divine protection 
usually extended to fools and imbibers of strong drink. 

During the night of September 26th-27th the headquarters 
details and C. Section moved up to a field between Cherisy and 
Hendicourt, where they were joined by the bearers of A. and B. 
Sections. The next day was spent mostly in inaction, only a few 
wounded being relayed back by our ambulances. The Fourth 
Field Ambulance were alongside us and the only cases we were 
required to look after were rear-area wounded. We were now 
occupying bell tents and these made excellent targets for Fritz s 
bombing planes during the ensuing two or three nights. 

Early in the afternoon of September 28th all our bearers 
moved forward to Sains-lez-Marquion where we were again 
under canvas. We were now on the east side of the Canal du 
Nord. Before us and slightly to our right was the famous Bourlon 
Wood where Byng and the Fort Garry Horse had fought so 
gallantly (and almost disastrously) the previous November. 
Bourlon had fallen to the Canadians just the day before, so some 
of our lads went over to the Wood and from its eastern heights 
had their first glimpse of Cambrai burning in the distance. 

Our Division was now in reserve so we remained compara 
tively inactive on the 29th, while the rest of the Corps battled 
for Cambrai and swung over to the left to force the city from 
the north. 

Early in the morning of September 30th the bearers moved 
forward, first to Sailly, then over to Bourlon Village, then back 


to Sailly again. The whole Canadian Front was now veering to 
the north of Cambrai, owing to the failure of the troops on our 
right to keep up with the Canadian advance. Some Imperial 
generals were rather peeved when the Canadians finally captured 
Cambrai, because that honor had been intended for the Seven 
teenth Corps. However, somebody had to take the city and the 
job was done by our troops. 

From a bearer headquarters post established in Sailly, squads 
were sent to the various regimental aid-posts near Tilloy. These 
squads were kept very busy, for casualties were heavy, particu 
larly in the Fifth Brigade. 

On October 1st the Nursing and Headquarters staffs of the 
Fifth moved ahead to a field near Marquion, where tents were 
pitched and a collecting and evacuation post was established. 
For two days they remained in this location but Fritz bombed 
and shelled the area so heavily it was found necessary to move. 
During the night of October 3rd-4th, a lad named Doyle, a 
bearer of the Sixth, was killed as he lay asleep. Next morning 
the unit headquarters staffs moved to the ri ght, into the ruined 
village of Sains-lez-Marquion. 

Our unit was now in charge of Second Division evacuations; 
and Majors Burgess and Elliott were in command of the bearers 
over in the Sailly sector. Orders posted this day informed us 
that Captain Hart had been awarded a bar to his Military Cross 
and that Captain Mossman had received the Military Cross. 

From September 30th, when our bearers first moved into 
Sailly, they had been kept very busy. Fritz had made counter 
attack after counter attack and casualties had simply poured 
into the regimental aid-posts. To add to our lads general dis 
comfort they had been shelled and bombed every night. The 
enemy was now putting up his last desperate resistance and it is 
recorded that Ludendorff decided, after the Canadian successes 
of September 28th, to demand from his government that imme 
diate peace negotiations be inaugurated. In the meanwhile his 
troops would endeavor to hold us where we were in order that 
better peace terms might be obtained. 

October 1st, according to many military authorities, was one 
of the most stubborn days in the war. On that day the Hun 
brought up no fewer than ten fresh divisions and thirteen addi 
tional machine-gun companies in an effort to stop the Canadians. 


On this one day alone our Artillery fired over seven thousand 
tons of ammunition in support of our infantry. 

Gradually, however, our infantry captured all the high ground 
north of Cambrai and at one-thirty o clock on the morning of 
October 9th our troops entered the city. They took the garrison 
by surprise and by daylight had mopped up the numerous strong 
points throughout the place. Dawn found them on the south 
eastern edge of the town and well along the Valenciennes road. 
The Imperials on our right were now up to the road leading to 
Le Cateau. General Currie has stated that the Canadian Fifth 
Brigade could have penetrated the town from the north two days 
earlier, but strict orders had been given that none of the Brigade s 
troops were to enter Cambrai ! 

By this time our bearers were in Escaudoeuvres and had suc 
ceeded in clearing all the wounded. The last few hours of the 
attack had brought comparatively few Canadian casualties so 
our men had a few hours welcome respite. 

Early on the morning of the 10th an advanced station was 
established to the right of Thun-St. -Martin and about one thous 
and yards behind Iwuy on the Iwuy-Cambrai road. On the fol 
lowing day a new post was located at a cross-road close to Iwuy; 
and another in the beetroot factory at Naves. We were able to 
get our cars up to these stations and our cases were cleared with 
the utmost despatch. 

One of the. Fifth s Blackest Days ^ 

October 12th found our bearers occupying the same posts as 
on the previous few days, and clearing their cases back to the 
convent dressing station in Escaudoeuvres. It was on the morning 
of this day that the Fifth s headquarters officers were nearly wiped 
out: Colonel Kappele brought two motor ambulances forward 
and these were passing through the town of Iwuy (captured 
October llth) when a large shell exploded right between the two 
cars. Not one of the party escaped injury. Eleven in all were hit. 
Captain Parker, Sixth, and Captain McNeil, Johnny Nichols 
and Bill Stanley of our own unit were killed. Colonel Kappele, 
Major Burgess, Captain Clark, Captain Kay (Y.M.C.A.), Bill 
Gordon, Vern Lyne, and Bill Murphy were wounded, most of 
them seriously. Five of those hit were original members of the 


Fifth. We now had but one original officer left. Strangely enough 
neither car was very badly damaged. One ambulance was able 
to return to Escaudoeuvres under its own power. 

After dusk that evening an advanced post was established in 
a chateau just north of Iwuy. In this chateau the 22nd Battalion 
had its headquarters. This impetuous regiment had that very 
day made an attack during which its men lost their bearings. 
They eventually found themselves, however, and attacked with 
out the prearranged barrage. They were so peeved at themselves 
over their own mistake they took it out on Fritz, and kept right 
on going until they had captured the ground they were supposed 
to take on the following day. 

Stretcher squads were also sent up to Hordain to clear cases 
from the 24th Battalion R.A.P. 

During the night of October 12th we were relieved by an 
Ambulance unit from the 51st Imperial Division. Our bearers 
rejoined the rest of the Fifth in St. Olle, a small suburb on the 
western edge of Cambrai. Here, in a chocolate factory, the unit 
opened a sort of general rest station. Major McGill was now in 

Here we had some heartrending experiences with hundreds of 
refugees who came staggering in from the district between Cam 
brai and Valenciennes. These poor unfortunates - - aged women 
and men, young girls and boys, and infants in arms - - were in a 
terrible condition. Most of them had for many weeks existed in 
cellars and dugouts, subjected during that time to not only our 
bombardments but to the enemy s as well. It had been many 
months since they had eaten meat, butter and sugar, their chief 
food having been watery cabbage-and-potato soup. They were 
frightfully verminous and many of them suffered from skin 
infections and other repulsive ailments. They moved about like 
people in a nightmare and never shall we forget their "wolfing" 
of the first food we gave them. Over one thousand extra rations 
had been sent to us for just this emergency and if ever the Supply 
people deserved credit it was then. 

Over three hundred of these released French folk were ad 
mitted to our dressing station and everything possible was done 
to relieve their suffering. Several St. Olle cellars were made 
ready for them. We supplied them with blankets and they slept 
in safety for the first time in months. 


Denain } and a New Commanding Officer <^ 

We remained at St. Olle until October 23rd, when we marched 
to Monchecourt, a small town about eleven miles north of 
Cambrai. Here we remained, running a dressing station, until 
November 2nd when we marched east to Denain, a steel and 
mining city of about thirty thousand population. 

In Denain we took over quarters in an old school building. 
The city had been captured by Canadian troops on October 20th, 
and, when we arrived, the townspeople had barely got used to the 
fact that the hated Hun had been driven from their city. The 
school building, we were informed, had been used by the Germans 
as a prison camp - - and we could readily believe that the in 
formation was true. Every room, from attic to cellar, was in a 
terrible condition. Evidently the prisoners and their guards had 
been without latrine accommodation, for every hole, nook and 
cranny throughout the place presented the stinking evidence of a 
long and filthy tenancy. To our men fell the nauseating task of 
cleaning up the building and more than one man became vio 
lently ill during the first few days we were there. Many kind 
civilians came to our rescue, however, and took our fellows into 
their homes until the school was fit for human habitation. 

Major Lomer had come to us as Officer Commanding and 
was now actively in charge. Orders were received for our unit 
to carry on a corps rest station in the school building, so further 
scouring and cleaning had to be done. Of course, the logical 
thing to have done was to use German prisoners for the dirty 
work involved. But no ! We had the additional mortification of 
seeing hundreds of captured Huns marching past the school 
grounds or sitting at ease during a halt just the other side of the 
school-yard fence, while we were cleaning up the stinking filth 
left behind by their brothers-in-arms. This job, perhaps, was 
merely part of the price we paid for being Corps Troops, for 
such we now were, the Fourteenth Canadian Field Ambulance 
having temporarily taken our place with the Second Division. 

Although we were not then aware of it, we had been in our 
last battle. There in Denain we remained while the Canadian 
Corps captured Valenciennes and pushed on to Mons. 

From the day on which we entered Denain for the first time, 
the air was full of peace rumors and talk of an armistice; but 


although every man-jack of us fervently wished the rumors were 
true, scarcely one of us actually believed that the war was so 
near its end. We all expected Fritz to back up to a stronger 
position near his own frontier or the Rhine, and hold us there 
during the coming winter. The oldtimers among us were the 
most skeptical of all. They had been in the war so long they were 
almost incapable of believing that peace was possible. War had 
become almost a normal condition to these men and they had 
heard so many false rumors and been gulled by so much faked 
propaganda it was going to be very difficult for them to ever 
again believe in anything. 

In spite of our pessimism, however, we began to discuss with 
our closest pals what we hoped or would like to do IF the war 
ever did really end. Looking back now we smile when we recall 
how confident we were that the world was going to be a much 
finer place to live in than before the war. One of our chief de 
lights was the contemplation of freedom from military restric 
tions. For more than four years many of us had put a lot of feeling 
into that old song about what our actions were to be if ever we 
got out of the army! 

When this blooming war is over, 
Oh, how happy I will be; 
When I get my civvy clothes on, 
No more soldiering for me! 
No more church parades on Sunday, 
No more asking for a pass. 
I will tell the sergeant-major 
He s a blinkin silly ass. 

Once the dirty work in the schoolhouse was over, the men 
found life in Denain rather pleasant. The rest station duties 
were not very onerous. No serious cases were kept for treatment 
and the lads who did become our patients were so glad to be out 
of the war for a while, they insisted upon looking after them 
selves almost entirely. 

The citizens opened their hearts and homes to everybody, so 
pleased were they to be free from the four-year grip of the hated 
Boche. The enemy had taken from them nearly all their mat 
tresses, linen, brassware and metal, and there was not very much 
left in the way of household comforts for them to offer to our 



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men, but what they had, they placed at our disposal. Who could 
ever forget the ravenous look in the eyes of those poor half- 
starved Denain folk when they saw for the first time our rations 
of white bread, fresh meat, cheese, butter and sugar! Most of 
them had almost forgotten what such food looked and tasted 
like, so long was it since they had seen any of it. And many s the 
happy dinner our lads enjoyed in Denain homes meals toward 
which considerable of our army rations was contributed. 

On Sunday, November 10th, President Poincare visited 
Denain, and Canadian troops formed his guard of honor. The 
citizens turned out en masse to greet their beloved President and 
the whole town took on a gala appearance. Hastily improvised 
flags, banners, tricolor rosettes, and bunting of the Allies colors 
were festooned over doors and windows. The Mayor, M. 
LeFebre, received the President on the city hall steps. M. Poincare 
addressed the liberated citizens and tears ran down his cheeks as 
he informed the townspeople of conditions throughout France 
generally. It was dusk when he finished his address, and finally 
made his way to the railway station, escorted by the whole 
torch-bearing, singing, cheering populace. 

During the President s reception on the city hall steps a des- 
spatch was handed to him, informing him of the final terms of 
the armistice and the almost certainty of those terms being 
accepted by the enemy and becoming effective on the following 
morning. While not making the contents of the despatch public, 
M. Poincare did inform the local officials that the news was of 
the best and that their martyrdom was nearly over. 

That night there were lengthy and pessimistic discussions on 
the likelihood of the war ending next day. There was little en 
thusiasm, however, other than of that well-known sort which was 
roused by frequent and deep references to those old inspirers, 
Vin Blanc et Vin Rouge. Heavy movements of troops of all 
descriptions continued through the streets. Every available man, 
gun and lorry seemed to be going forward, so that, while inside 
the billets there might be talk of peace, in the streets outside 
there was the ever present panoply of war. Just about the time 
some oldtimer would become half convinced that an armistice 
was possible, there would come the sound of tramping feet, the 
rumble of limbers or the grinding of ammunition lorries - - and 
it was painfully evident that there was still "a war on," and that 


preparations were going forward to continue it. What then could 
an oldtimer do but have another drink and say that it was "just 
the same old Latrine Gazette bunk" and that he would be over 
there for "another seven years." 

An Armsticc at 

The morning of November llth brought low-hanging clouds 
and promise of rain. But the leaden skies neither dampened our 
spirits nor weighed down our hearts. As for the chances of an 
armistice becoming an actuality - -most of us were "neutral." 
We had become hard-boiled fatalists and the common attitude 
was "If there s going to be Peace, let it come. We re here in a 
jake town; the people are treating us swell; we re eating regu 
larly, sleeping comfortably, not working too hard, and drinking 
often - - so we ll make the best of Today. Let Tomorrow bring 
what it may!" 

Throughout the morning there were well substantiated reports 
that the war was over, but it wasn t until about three o clock 
in the afternoon that official information reached our unit. Even 
then the news was so vague none of us placed too much credence 
in it. Early in the evening, however, there arrived full confirma 
tion of the signing of an armistice; and even the oldtimers were 
at last convinced that it was possible for the war to be ended. 

There was not much enthusiasm or rejoicing when we first 
received the news, however. Most of us were too dazed to fully 
appreciate the portent of the communiques. About the uppermost 
thought in our minds was that the war was over and we were 
still alive - - ALIVE ! - - could move about like human beings 
once more; could plan for the future with a modicum of cer 
tainty and expectancy of life; could throw off the dreadful fear, 
not of being killed, but of being blinded or otherwise horribly 

Some of our men merely sat about in small groups and dis 
cussed the possibilities of a reopening of hostilities and the prob 
abilities of a march into Germany. Most of us, though, passed the 
evening of November llth in our pet estaminet, at our favorite 
civvy fireside, or in writing letters home to say that we were safe. 

The following day brought with it the first spirit of elation 
over the armistice. The sun shone brightly and the air was clear 


and cold. It was like a Fall day "back home" and, for the first 
time, the lads realized to the full that Peace had really come and 
that it wouldn t be very long until they were home once more. 
All through the day there was gaiety in every face, voice and 
gesture. The townspeople were simply delirious with joy and the 
infection of their spirits quickly spread to the troops. All joined 
in a riotous celebration and "the sky was the limit" so far as 
discipline and military comportment were concerned. 

In the evening the whole unit sat down to a special dinner in 
the large assembly room of the school. Additional food and 
beverages had been brought up from Arras and everybody had 
plenty. Major Lomer read to us the official terms of the armistice; 
and the evening (and many of the men) passed away quite 

The name Denain shall always conjure up fond memories and 
thoughts in the minds of every Fifth man who was fortunate 
enough to be there. The town wasn t much to look at - - only a 
plain, humble, somewhat drab sort of place. Dozens of ugly 
slag-heaps dotted its environs and its buildings bore ample 
evidence of the grimy dust which had for many years showered 
over the city. Civilians told us that the town s bessemer steel 
plant had been wantonly blown up by the Huns just before they 
were forced out of Denain by our troops. Another piece of childish 
vandalism committed by the thwarted enemy was the removal 
of Marshall Villars statue. Only the stone base of this monu 
ment remained. Villars, who had saved France by defeating the 
Austrians at Denain in 1712, was the city s greatest hero and 
nothing could have hurt the townspeople more than the dese 
cration of his memorial. 

Denain also reminds us that it was while we were there two 
of our senior noncoms. nearly had a battle over some apples. 
While one of the noncoms. was away on leave a crate of excellent 
Spy apples arrived for him from Canada. Our mailman left the 
crate in charge of one of our most exalted sergeants, thinking 
that they were in safe hands and would be duly turned over to 
their rightful owner who was expected back within a day or two. 
The owner of the apples never saw one of them, however. 
When he rejoined the Fifth he discovered that his fellow noncom. 
had eaten them - - except for some he had given away to a few 
of his cronies, who wondered at his suddenly acquired generosity. 


No fist fight ensued, but the language around the sergeants 
mess was terrible for a few days. 

A. Summary of the. Last Phase ^^> 

Following is a summary of the Canadian Corps activities 
immediately prior to and during our stay in Denain : - 

The Corps had changed position on October llth, to sweep 
eastward on a ten-mile front south of Douai. The First Division 
carried the Canal de la Sensee and the fertile plain beyond. Mont 
Houy and Valenciennes (Pop. 35,000) fell on November 1st. 
The Corps pushed on, cleared the Foret de Raismes and crossed 
the flooded area bordering the Scheldt. Astride the long road to 
Germany the Corps followed hard for another twenty miles and 
on November 9th reached Mons. Before midnight next day our 
troops entered Mons and seized the commanding heights to the 
southeast. When the armistice supervened at 11 a.m., November 
llth, the Line was five miles northeast of the town, beyond 
Boussoit, La Bruyere and St. Denis, by Casteau. 

The armistice order was received by the troops in the Line in 
the early morning of November llth. It read: 

"Hostilities will cease at 11.00 hours November llth. 
Troops will stand fast on the line reached at that time, 
which will be reported to Divisional H.Q.R.s immediately. 
Defensive precautions will be maintained. There will be no 
intercourse with the enemy of any description. Further 
instructions will follow. 

The twenty major battles (apart from a great number of 
minor engagements) which have indelibly written the history 
of Canada s part in the war are as follows : 

1915 Second Battle of Ypres, in April and May (St. Julien and Lange- 

marck) . 
1916 Battle of St. Eloi, April 3rd to 19th. 

Battle of Sanctuary Wood and Hill 62, June 2nd and 3rd. 

Battle of the Somme, September, October and November. 

1917 Battle of Vimy Ridge, April 9th to May 5th, including Battle 

of Arleux and Fresnoy, April 28th and 29th and May 3rd. 
Battle of Hill 70, August 15th. 
Battle of Passchendaele, October 25th to November 13th. 


1918 Battle of Amiens, August 8th to 22nd. 

Battle of Arras, including capture of Monchy-le-Preux, August 

26th to 28th, 

Capture of Boiry and Cherisy, August 27th to September 2nd. 
Breaking of Queant-Drocourt Line, September 3rd and 4th. 
Crossing Canal du Nord and capture of Bourlon Wood, September 

27th to 29th. 
Battle around Cambrai, October 1st to 9th (Cambrai captured 

1.30 a.m. on 9th). 
Battle of Douai, October 19th. 
Battle of Denain, October 19th and 20th. 
Battle leading to capture of Valenciennes, October 25th to 

November 2nd. 
Advance leading to capture of Mons, November 7th to llth. 

According to General Currie s report: 

Between August 8th and November llth the Canadian Corps 
fired off over one-quarter of all the ammunition used by all the 
British armies on the Western Front in the same period. 

From August 8th to October llth, forty-seven German 
divisions had been engaged and defeated by the Canadian Corps 
- nearly one- quarter of the total enemy forces on the Western 

In the Arras battle, August 26th to September 4th, the Corps 
attacked on a front of 8,000 yards increased to 12,000 yards. It 
penetrated 20,000 yards, fought eighteen German Divisions, 
captured ninety-eight guns and 9,000 prisoners. Our casualties 
numbered 9,000. 

In the Cambrai battle, September 27th to, October 12th the 
Corps attacked on a front of 9,000 yards. It penetrated 30,000 
yards, captured 120 guns and 9,000 prisoners, defeated thirteen 
German divisions reinforced by 13 enemy machine-gun batta 
lions. Our casualties totalled 15,106. 

Between August 8th and November 1 1th the Canadian Corps 
captured 31,537 prisoners, 623 heavy and field guns, and 3,178 
machine-guns and trench mortars. Over 500 square miles of 
territory, 228 cities, towns and villages were liberated, including 
Cambrai, Denain, Valenciennes and Mons. 

Between October llth and November llth the Corps had 
advanced to a total depth of over ninety-one thousand yards - 
91,000 yards through a country in which the enemy had destroyed 


railways, roads and bridges, and flooded large areas to impede 
our progress. Fighting was comparatively light up to the Scheldt 
Canal, but stiffened from then till the capture of Mons. Most of 
our final advance was in adverse weather. 

Canadian Casualties Canadian Casualties 

by years Aug. 8 to Nov. 15, 1918 

1915 14,065 Aug. 8 to Aug. 26 11,706 

1916 53,100 Aug. 26 to Sept. 5 8,999 

1917 62,565 Sept. 5 to Sept. 27 7,175 

1918 60,241 Sept. 27 to Oct. 12 15,106 

Oct. 12 to Nov. 15 4,419 



Canadian Casualties in Divisions during Final Hundred Days 

Aug. 8 to Aug. 26 Aug. 26 to Sept. 5 Sept. 5 to Sept. 27 

First 3,370 First 1,574 First 1,965 

Second 2,691 Second 3,467 Second 1,269 

Third 2,586 Third 2,718 Third 849 

Fourth 2,797 Fourth 1,071 Fourth 2,929 

Corps Tps . . 262 Corps Tps. . 169 Corps Tps. . 163 

11,706 8,999 7,175 

Sept. 27 to Oct. 12 Oct. 12 to Nov. 15 

First 4,124 First 429 

Second 1,386 Second 1,743 

Third 4,084 Third 554 

Fourth 5,146 Fourth 1,502 

Corps Tps. . 366 Corps Tps. . 191 

15,106 4,419 

Total Canadian enlistments up to end of war, according to 

figures given by General Mewburn 611,741 


There s a long, long trail a-winding, into the land of my dreams, 
Where the nightingales are singing and the white moon beams; 
There s a long, long night of waiting, 
Until my dreams all come true, 
Till the day when I ll be going 
Down that long, long trail with you. 


(November 12, 1918, to May 19, 1919) 


"Apres la 

of November 12th carried 
the news that Major Elliott 
had been awarded the Dis 
tinguished Service Order; 
Captain Dunham a Bar to 
his Military Cross, and Captain Moses 
the Military Cross. The orders also in 
formed us that we were to close the 
rest station immediately and be ready 
to move off on the long march to the 
Rhine, as part of the Army of Occupation. The Hun was to be 
given a six-day start and was to maintain that interval between 
our troops and his. That distance suited us just fine. For many 
months we would have given almost anything to be a six-days 
march away from Fritz and all his works! 

The next two days were spent in packing up and getting ready 
for the move. Two days didn t give the lads much time to say 
their farewells to Denain friends and sweethearts but, with their 
customary efficiency and perseverance, they managed to get the 
sad job done. At 9.30 a.m., Friday, November 15th, we pulled 
out of Denain on our 250-mile march to the Rhine. Here is a 
brief summary of our marches and other activities during the 
ensuing few days: - 

Friday, November 15th Left Denain at 9.30 a.m. Arrived at 
Valenciennes about noon. Reached Quievrechain (Pop. 3,555) 
late in the afternoon. Weather fair. The townspeople informed 



us that the Germans had operated a munitions plant there and 
that our avaitors had repeatedly bombed the place - - killing 
over seven hundred civilians but doing little damage to the 
munition factory. This day s march was twenty-four kilometres. 

Saturday, November 16th - - Left Quievrechain at 10.30 a.m. 
Crossed Belgian frontier and continued on to Frameries (Pop. 
12,000), southeast of Mons. Arrived in town in the evening and 
had good billets in private homes. We were greeted and acclaimed 
by the inhabitants all along the route. Improvised flags and 
bunting were strung from tree to tree and hung from house 
windows everywhere. Twenty kilometres was the distance we 
marched on this day. 

Sunday, November 17th - - Resting at Frameries. Civilians 
continued to treat us very hospitably. Clothing and kit inspec 
tions held. Orders received to turn in one-third of all equipment. 
Covelli returned from leave to Italy and brought with him some 
Italian wine for his friends - - and got crimed by the Command 
ing Officer for being a couple of days late ! Rations very scarce. * 

Monday, November ISth - - Marched off at noon to Houdeng- 
Aimeries. Passed through Mons, where the citizens gave us a 
very cordial welcome. This day s march was made rather un 
pleasant on account of the roads being blocked with marching 
troops and returning refugees. We arrived at our destination in 
the evening and were given billets in a convent hospital-school. 
No rations were received during the day. Shortly after our 
arrival the convent Sisters served hot soup to us. That night a 
public dance was given in our honor. It was held in the townhall 
and the dance floor was crowded with swaying soldiers and 
civilians. A balcony which circled the room was jammed with 
joyful spectators. Scarcely a cap-badge or tunic-button was left 
to our men after the belles of the town got through with their 
welcome. All had a wonderful time, and in spite of the fact that 
they had to go to sleep hungry, the fellows were fairly happy. 
The colonel s explanation of the food shortage was that railway 
bridges, tracks and roadbeds had been blown up and that trains 
couldn t get through. Routine Orders of the day informed us 
that Harry Fryday had been awarded the Medaille d Honneur, 
a French decoration. The day s march was twenty-one kilometres. 

*By nightfall of this day all the Allied armies had crossed the lines they occupied 
at the moment hostilities ceased. 


A Real Mutiny At 

Tuesday, November 19th -- At Houdeng-Aimeries (Pop. 
8,000). The men had no breakfast. The Commanding Officer 
refused to hear their complaints and ordered the whole unit "con 
fined to barracks." A parade was called for 9 a.m. Not one man 
paraded. Another parade was ordered for 11 a.m., and only 
nineteen men answered roll call - - all the other fellows had left 
camp. The Commanding Officer refused to see a deputation from 
the men, so they coulctn t see the Commanding Officer. The 
Mother Superior of the convent again ordered hot soup served 
to our men, and they felt considerably embarrassed depriving the 
local civilians of food which the long-suffering townsfolk them 
selves so obviously needed. To add to the general discomfort, it 
rained hard all day. 

Private Alex. Samuels, No. 536215, who had not been well 
for the previous few days, died. 

Some of our men spent the evening and night in La Louviere 
(Pop. 20,150), about two miles southeast of Houdeng-Aimeries. 
There they saw the French townspeople raid a tobacconist s shop. 
The store front, windows, showcases and fixtures were smashed 
to bits and the raiders helped themselves to pipes, tobacco, 
cigarettes, and everything that was worth carrying away. We 
learned that the proprietress had been very friendly with the 
Germans during their four-year occupation of the town and that, 
just before our men arrived on the scene, the woman had been 
stripped naked, her head had been shaved close and she had been 
chased out of town. Many of our lads returned to camp with 
pipes and other booty. 

Wednesday, November 20t/i - -At Houdeng-Aimeries. Up to 
noon there were no rations for the men, so the mutiny continued. 
There was now a sort of fifty-fifty arrangement - - no food for 
the men - - no parades, drills or duties for the Commanding 
Officer. Finally, shortly past noon, the colonel consented to listen 
to the men s complaints. A delegation of two men from each 
Section paraded to the Commanding Officer and he heard plenty. 
Rations were obtained during the afternoon, and that night the 
men had their first decent meal in three days - - and, no doubt, 
the colonel had his first decent sleep in three nights. Everybody 
was pleased when the trouble was settled. 


This mutiny had been brewing ever since we left Denain. 
Rations had been scarce from our first day on the march and, to 
make matters worse, the Commanding Officer didn t seem to 
understand the temper of his new Command. His natural desire 
for a smart-looking unit for the march to Germany was quite 
understandable; but it caused him, perhaps, to forget the fact 
that the attitude of the men was: "Oh, hell, the war s over. 
We ve done our stuff. Why should we have to go hungry?" Ours 
was not the only unit to suffer through lack of food. Railroad 
lines were certainly in an awful mess and what trains did get 
through the congestion were unable to meet the demand for 
supplies. Every unit in the area was short of provisions. But - 
we had plenty of cars which could have been sent for rations, if 
there had been the necessary foresight. The men saw our cars 
being used for joy-riding jaunts to nearby cities and felt that they 
might have been put to better use. Then, too, when the men first 
paraded to complain, the colonel s attitude could have been more 
conciliatory. He just wouldn t consider any arbitral settlement, 
so the men took the law into their own hands. 

Thursday, November 2 1st - - After an excellent breakfast the 
unit moved off at 9.30 a.m. We arrived at Gouy-lez-Pieton 
(Pop. 4,000) about 2.30 p.m. The men were billeted in private 
homes. The quarter-stores and headquarters details found quar 
ters in the local schoolhouse. Here we experienced considerable 
difficulty getting our men into the townspeople s homes. The 
civilians seemed in deadly fear of us. Eventually we learned that 
the Germans had told these poor folk that Canadians were 
savage Red Indians who would scalp, cut off ears and commit 
other unmentionable atrocities. Most of the population was 
made up of women and children, so it is not to be wondered at 
that their reception was so strange. However, after we had been 
in town a few hours, the people thawed out and became exceed 
ingly kind and considerate, and humbly apologized for their 
previous attitude toward us. When we finally left town they gave 
us a great send-off and there was scarcely a dry eye among them 
when they said goodbye. Our march this day was fifteen kilo 
metres and the day was cold and wet. 

Friday, November 22nd - - Resting at Gouy-lez-Pieton. No 
parades except morning roll call. Many of the men spent the 
day hunting for pommes de terre frittes, les oeufs, etc. 


Saturday, November 23rd - - At Gouy-lez-Pieton. Morning 
parade only. Tommy Dalton and George Graves awarded Mili 
tary Medals. Nice weather. Many of the lads spent the day 
examining the intricate trench system and formidable wire en 
tanglements Fritz had forced Belgian civilians and prisoners to 
build in this area. Evidently it had been his original intention to 
make another stand back here. In the afternoon the unit fell in 
and had a rehearsal of the march-past it was expected we would 
have to perform when we reached Germany. 

Saturday, November 24th - - Moved off at 10 a.m. to St. 
Amand (Pop. 1,500) a poor wretched little village straddling 
the Charleroi-Louvain railway line. The men billeted overnight 
in barns. Rations again became scarce. During this day s march 
we passed a corner where a sign read "to Quatre Bras," and we 
thought of Napoleon and Waterloo. Here, in St. Amand, the 
attitude of the townspeople made up somewhat for the short 
comings of the billets. Old men and women danced and shouted 
with joy as we marched into their village. Other Canadian troops 
had passed through before us so the people knew we were all 
right. St. Amand, too, had suffered very cruelly. Many of its 
inhabitants had been killed by German shell-fire and gas. The 
survivors hated the Hun with a ferocity almost beyond descrip 
tion. The day s march was twenty-three kilometres. 

Monday, November 25th - -Off at 9.30 a.m. to Isnes (Pop. 
750), a poverty-stricken little farm village scrambled along four 
muddy crossroads. About twelve kilometres northwest of Namur. 
Billeted in farmhouses and barns - - some of us in the school - 
house. This day s march had been very trying. It had rained since 
early morning and the footing on the muddy cobblestones was 
very bad. All along the route (twenty kilometres) we saw dozens 
of dead German horses and much abandoned war material, 
such as lorries, limbers, barbed wire and ammunition. Every 
horse bore traces of having been butchered for food. Invariably 
there was evidence that the tenderloins and other choice cuts had 
been hastily removed. One bright spot in this dreary day was a 
pay parade, shortly after we arrived. The evening was given 
over to estaminet parties and other indoor sports. 

Tuesday, November 26th- -At Isnes. "Resting." The men s 
marching of the previous day had displeased the Commanding 
Officer, so we were given some disciplinary drills and parades. 


Wednesday, November 27th - -At Isnes. Still "resting" -on 
drills, parades and kit cleaning. The people of the village were 
friendly enough, but their extreme poverty and misery made 
them appear almost bovine mentally. They had subsisted on 
next-to-nothing for over four years and malnutrition was very 
evident in their appearance and actions. The only time we saw 
any of them break through their mental fog was when Andy 
Patterson opened a Christmas parcel he had received from 
Canada. The parcel contained cakes, cigars, candy, tobacco, socks, 
etc., and when the poor people where he was billeted saw the 
contents, they behaved like starving children. Pat gave the old 
man some cigars and tabac, and the old lady and daughter some 
cake and candy. It had been four years since these poor unfor 
tunates last saw anything like this, and they promptly broke 
down and sobbed as they clutched the little gifts to their 

This same fellow Patterson was one of the few Fifth men who 
slept in a bed while at Isnes - -and when we say "slept", we 
mean SLEPT ! About the middle of our last night in the village, 
Pat was sleeping so soundly he didn t hear the farmer s daughter 
enter his bedroom, tiptoe to his bed and kiss him long and pas 
sionately on the lips. He didn t wake even when she made her 
way to the kitchen to tend the laundry Pat had confided to her 
care the day before. After about a half-hour in the kitchen, the 
amorous mademoiselle returned to the bedroom and repeated the 
osculatory performance at additional length and with added in 
tensity. Pat slept blissfully on and didn t awaken until the girl s 
caresses clogged his breathing apparatus. By the time he got his 
eyes opened he saw what he took to be a nightgowned ghost 
slipping out through the bedroom door. Early next morning the 
unit marched out of Isnes and Pat didn t mention his experience 
until many weeks had elapsed. He chose as confidant the identical 
sergeant who had been his bedmate during the delectable adven 
ture. Pat was dumbfounded when he learned that his bed pal 
had been wide awake during the whole performance and had 
watched the rather lop-sided love scene through half-closed eyes. 
Pat s bedmate had been very much chagrined over the one- 
sidedness of the whole affair, particularly because Pat had slept 
next to the wall and it was necessary for the girl to lean over him 
to kiss the lips of the lucky staff-sergeant. 


The Battle of the Barges 

Thursday, November 28th - - Moved off early in the morning, 
during a heavy downpour of rain. Reached Namur about noon 
and had mid-day meal from unit soup-kitchen on one of Namur s 
business streets. During the morning the Fifth rejoined the Fifth 
Brigade. After lunch we marched on to Nameche (Pop. 1,450) a 
quaint little village on the River Meuse. Shortly after starting 
out we passed through a village named Beez, and in Nameche 
our men came upon booze - - which very few passed ! Here we 
fought what the lads called the "Battle of the Barges," owing to 
the fact that it was on some German barges they discovered a 
large quantity of very potent cognac, wine and rum. Some of the 
fellows got more than they could carry, so it was necessary to 
carry them and their loads in one of the general service wagons. 
A few fellows had appointments with the colonel for the next 
morning - - if they could make it. The civilians throughout this 
district were very friendly. We were right in the heart of Wal- 
loonese Belgium at this time - - in the Namur-Liege district 
where Fritz stubbed his toe so badly in 1914. Day s march, 
twenty-five kilometres. 

The manner in which the lads got away with the contents of 
the barges betrayed the fact that the ambition they had admitted 
so often in song was more than just a lyrical aspiration : 

So when I die, don t bury me at all 
just pickle my bones in alcohol. 
Put a bottle of booze at my head and feet, 
And then my soul shall rest in peace. 

Friday, November 29th - - Marched off early to Havelange 
(Pop. 1,640). The first part of the route lay parallel with the 
Meuse and was over roads which were inches deep with slippery 
mud. An hour or so after setting out, we struck off in a south 
easterly direction. During the noon halt one of our barge battle 
prisoners treated his guard to some of the stolen rum. The guard 
got zigzag, the prisoner escaped, but we had the same number 
of prisoners at the end of the day - - counting the ex-guard ! The 
day s march was twenty-five kilometres. 

The 22nd Battalion marched immediately in front of us 
throughout the day and we saw a Canadian staff car full of 
General officers whizz by and spatter mud over the tramping 



infantrymen. The Van-Docs" cursing and booing could be 
heard for miles. That night we billeted all over Havelange. 
Many of the boys were quartered (very appropriately!) in a 
brewery. One man s diary mentions that "it was a good place." 
Perhaps this was the brewery we had referred to so often in song 
since away back in 1914. 


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Saturday, November 30th- -Marched off at 11.30 a.m. to 
Petit Han. Captains Graham, Kirby and Wark took thirty men 
of our Nursing Sections to help a casualty clearing station. The 
unit still headed southeast and was now passing through a beau 
tiful hilly country. The weather was somewhat clearer and the 
footing better. Our reception on this day was not very cordial. 
The "natives" impressed us as being rather pro-German. Quarter 
Stores people again had great difficulty in getting rations and 
supplies. The men s boots were going to pieces rapidly and only 
twenty pairs were obtainable from Supply Headquarters. This 
evening s communique informed us that all the invaded terri 
tories had been entirely re-occupied by the Allies. Day s march, 
twenty kilometres. 

Sunday, December 1st - -Reveille at 5.30 a.m.; moved off at 
7.30 a.m. Joined the Fourth Brigade at Barveaux. Heavy frost 
during the previous night and a pouring rain during the day made 
the roads very slippery. We were now among the Ardennes hills. 
The wagons had to be man-handled up several steep grades. 


Civilians encountered on this day were exceptionally friendly and 
helped us by pushing the wagons and by strewing ashes over the 
hills. This was the part of the country where wealthy Belgians 
did their hunting. Reached our destination, La Fosse, shortly 
before 5 p.m., but darkness had already set in. Rations very scarce. 
Billets good - - particularly those of the Motor Transport Section, 
which were in a fine old hunting lodge at the top of a hill. Day s 
march, twenty-nine kilometres. 

Monday, December 2nd - - At La Fosse. Rained heavily all 
day and thick fog hung over hills and valleys. Men received an 
issue of rum! They spent the day indoors, cleaning equipment 
for the entry into Germany, and listening to stories about atro 
cities at La Fosse during the first few days of the German occu 
pation. They were shown a place near the river s edge where 
many La Fosse folk had been ruthlessly shot down by the Huns 
in 1914. 

Tuesday, December 3rd - - At La Fosse. Cleaning equipment, 
shining buttons and preparing generally to impress the Germans 
with British army "efficiency." 

Wednesday, December 4th - - Up early and away, through a 
heavy driving rain and ankle-deep mud, to Honvelez. Heavy 
mists blotted out the scenery. One hill we climbed was said to be 
over two thousand feet above sea -level. We were all up in the air 
now and understanding our Commanding Officer somewhat 
better. Arrived at our destination well after dark. Were now 
only six kilometres from the German frontier. Day s march, 
thirty-one kilometres. 

We Enter Qermdny^^> 

Thursday, December 5th - - A bright clear day. Left Honvelez 
at 9.30 a.m. Crossed German frontier, at Beho, a small village 
about four miles north of the Duchy of Luxemburg, shortly be 
fore noon. Here we had our first glimpse of Hunland. While we 
inwardly exulted over our arrival in Germany we were neither 
inclined nor permitted to give much outward expression to our 
feelings. At the few peasants who stared sullenly from roadsides 
and fields we glared disdainfully and proudly, as befitted soldiers 
of a victorious army. The demeanor of the poorer Germans 
seemed to betoken more despair and fear than resentment. We 


discovered that the attitude of the wealthier classes was un 
doubtedly one of hate, resentment and antagonism. Possibly they 
foresaw the breakdown of their age-long domination over the 
working classes. Conditions underfoot were very bad, but, for 
tunately, the march was comparatively short. At 2.30 p.m. we 
arrived at Thommen, where we stopped overnight - - and where 
many of the lads took on a fresh supply of lice. Our billets simply 
ran with vermin. The townspeople kept discreetly out of our 
sight. Day s march, fifteen kilometres. 

Friday, December 6th - - We set out at 8 a.m. in a mist thicker 
than a quartermaster s breath. We had, too, the customary rain, 
so the roads continued very muddy and slippery. We were now 
in an exceedingly hilly country, and had changed direction, 
travelling sharply northeast. One hill, in particular, gave horses 
and men a very trying time. This hill was almost two kilometres 
long and seemed to go almost straight up. Again it was a case of 
man-handling wagons and ambulances. Here, once more, was 
evidence of the disordered German retreat. Dozens of dead 
horses lay strewn along the roadside, along with abandoned war 
material. These horses, too, bore signs of having had their most 
edible portions hastily removed. It was long after dark when we 
arrived at Manderfeld, where we billeted overnight in a Catholic 
hospital and chapel. The Quartermaster Stores occupied the con 
vent laundry. The townspeople were very "cold" towards us but 
the Catholic Sisters could not have been more kind and con 
siderate. The day s march was twenty-eight kilometres. 

Saturday, December 7th - - Up at 6 and away at 8 a.m. 
through low-hanging clouds and mist. Whenever the surrounding 
country was momentarily visible the scenery was exceptionally 
beautiful. We were now marching through the famous Stadtkill 
valley. Shortly after nightfall we reached our destination, Schmid- 
theim, a picturesque town about nineteen hundred feet above 
sea-level. Here the men were billeted in private homes, and the 
officers in a grand chateau. Quartermaster Stores took over the 
local school. The people here were genuinely Prussian in appear 
ance and bearing. For the most part they were civil enough, but 
it was plainly evident that our presence was much resented. In 
this town were hundreds of discharged German soldiers and these 
men were well-behaved, respectful and friendly. We were now 
in the district to which wealthy Germans came for their hunting. 

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Luxurious chalets and hunting lodges dotted the wooded hills. 
In the chateau our officers had the satisfaction of taking some of 
the pomposity and arrogance out of the count or baron who lived 
there. Day s march, twenty-four kilometres. 

Sunday, December 8th - - At Schmidtheim, resting. On this 
day one of the local Huns failed to pay proper respect to the 
colors of one of our Fifth Brigade battalions. The whole populace 
was rounded up and the man made to apologize publicly for the 
affront. This was one instance when German people were shown 
who won the war. 

Monday, December 9th - - Moved off at 8.30 a.m. Rained 
heavily all day. Because of the extremely heavy going the men s 
kits were carried by lorry. Arrived at Munstereifel, the largest 
German town we had been in up to this time. It was a very 
picturesque place, nestling between two large hills and with a 
mediaeval wall around it. The men were comfortably billeted in 
a girls school, using the dormitories for sleeping quarters and 
eating their meals in the large dining-room. The German mark 
had now tumbled to seventy centimes, so our money bought less 
beer and wine than during the previous few days. 

It was a search for good wine that brought some of the Motor 
Transport lads into contact with two very pompous German 
civilians. The two Huns were seated with a rather attractive girl 
when our lads entered an estaminet. Three full glasses were on 
the table, so our fellows lost no time in emptying them down 
their own throats. The two Germans were then forced to stand 
at attention while Hank Newell produced a flag (the Stars and 
Stripes!) from his hip pocket and, holding it before them, forced 
them to salute it. Then Jimmie Walker planted his boots into 
the scats of the Heinies pants and propelled the two crest-fallen 
Germans out the bierhaus door. When it is remembered that 
Jimmy hailed from Lancashire there need be no fear that his 
footwork lacked force, accuracy and variety. The girl was quite 
willing to reward our fellows for their opportune interruption 
but, not being pro-German, they declined her advances. 

That night Harry Hutchinson, Stan Dumont and a few other 
Motor Transport lads found themselves a billet in a sort of farm- 
estaminet, which was presided over by a big, fat, thick-necked 
German. The night was rather cold so our boys bunked them 
selves on the floor of the kitchen, where a nice hot fire was 


burning in a cookstove. During the evening Harry and his pals 
noticed the German paying considerable attention to a steaming 
boiler on the stove so, as soon as the houseowner had gone to 
bed, the boiler s contents were investigated and found to be 
excellent sausages. Harry and the boys continued sampling the 
sausages till there was none left. Then they carefully replaced 
the boiler lid and laid themselves down to sleep, with the satis 
faction of a pleasant job well done. Their sonorous snores com 
menced almost immediately. 

Shortly after Reveille next morning the fat German was 
heard grunting and puffing his way towards the kitchen. Our 
fellows apparently paid no attention to him as he made his way 
directly to the stove. There he raised the lid of the boiler and 
immediately let out a string of "Achs, Gott in Himmels, Ver- 
dams," etc., and turned to upbraid the Motor Transport fellows. 
Strangely enough, just at that moment our men were in the act 
of cleaning their Colt Forty-Fives and the business ends of the 
weapons pointed in the direction of the spluttering Hun ! With 
a startled grunt and a gasp that made his fat neck purplish, the 
terrified Hun threw up his hands and staggered from the kitchen. 
The Motor Transport lads heard him sobbing out his troubles 
to his haus-frau in the adjoining room but, when they emerged 
from the kitchen, he took one horrified look at the holsters on 
their hips and they never saw him again. Their final glimpse was 
of a terror-stricken giant, threshing his legs and arms down a 
back lane that led to the wide and open spaces beyond the walls 
of the town. 

The march from Schmidtheim to Munstereifel was twenty-six 

Tuesday, December 10th - - Marched to Ipplendorf. Set out 
at 9 a.m. A fine clear day. Shortly after starting we climbed a 
particularly steep hill that tried our endurance to the utmost. It 
was long after dark when we arrived at our destination. The 
men had very good billets in private homes and found the people 
more friendly. Most of the households had lost menfolk during 
the war, so the townspeople were very bitter in their attitude 
toward the Fatherland s leaders and upper classes. We were now 
only a short march from the Rhine. A few of our fellows were 
billeted in the nearby village of Rheinbach. The day s march was 
thirty-two kilometres. 


We T(each the 

Wednesday, December iith - ~ Moved off at 9 a.m. to Codes- 
burg, a beautiful city right on the edge of the Rhine. Here the 
men were quartered in the Rhine Hotel, situated on a promontory 
of the river bank. It had rained heavily all day so the fellows were 
glad to remain indoors during the evening and avail themselves 
of the almost-forgotten luxury of steaming-hot baths. There 
was an abundant supply of hot water, towels, clean bed linen, etc. 
The hotel proprietor was plainly not in harmony with his com 
pulsory guests but he was obliged to make the best of things as 
we overran his establishment, mingling with his many wealthy 
Prussian guests and helping ourselves to whatever we needed. 
Many of the hotel towels, serviettes and pillow-slips accom 
panied us when we eventually took leave of the hotel. 

The few who went to look around the town found Godesburg 
a very interesting city. It had a population of about fifteen 
thousand and possessed the ruins of a castle that was at one time 
considered the outstanding example of eleventh-century fortress 
architecture. From the hill on which the castle ruins stood we 
could see, to the southeast, the famous Drachenfels, or Dragon s 
Rock, where Siegfred slew the dragon. It was from the Drachen 
fels mountain that the stone for Cologne cathedral was quarried. 
Day s march, twenty kilometres. 

Thursday, December 12th - "Resting" at Godesburg. Con 
tinued to rain heavily. Everybody stayed indoors, shining equip 
ment for the march across the Rhine the following day. Had a 
great time turning water taps and electric lights on and off, this 
being their first opportunity to enjoy such conveniences since 
many a long day. Here, too, the lads had their first real chance 
to talk over their experiences on the long march to the Rhine. 
One conclusion nearly everybody arrived at was that Sergeant- 
Major Wilson or "Joey," as the boys called him, was one who 
had most thoroughly enjoyed the long tramp. Whenever a proud 
Prussian civvy neglected to doff his hat while our unit marched 
by, Joey was off his horse like a shot, and the disrespectful Hun s 
headgear was ripped from his head and trampled into the mud. 
Then Joey would plant the heavy toe of his boot in the middle 
of Fritz s backside and show him in no uncertain manner that 
there was a certain amount of deference and respect due the 


first-class warrant officers of a conquering army. And, somehow, 
or other, Joey s meagre sixty-one inches of height didn t prove the 
least handicap when he tackled six-foot offenders. Joey s aim 
was deadly. 

Friday, December 13th - Those Germans who believed in 
the ill portent of Friday the Thirteenth were vindicated on this 
day - - the day appointed for the Allied Armies march across 
the Rhine. In a drenching rain our unit moved off at 11.30 a.m. 
and marched to Bonn. Here, wearing steel helmets (straps on 
point of chins), and without packs, greatcoats or raincoats, we 
crossed the Bonn bridge. General Currie stood at a saluting base 
near the eastern end of the bridge, where we gave him "Eyes 
Right" - and felt very sorry for him standing there in the rain. 
We continued on to Putzchen, a village of about forty residences, 
two tiny school-houses, a church and an asylum. Here the men, 
soaked to their skins, slept on the bare floors of the schoolhouses 
- in spite of Foch s definite instructions that the men of the 
Army of Occupation were to have good beds. When it is remem 
bered that the month was December, it will be realized that 
sleeping on bare floors and in wringing-wet clothing had its 
drawbacks. Some of the fellows complained at the time - - and 
were informed that the billeting officer just couldn t bear to put 
the men into the local private residences. He felt that "it wouldn t 
be right to put ordinary soldiers into such fine homes as those!" 

The night before the Fifth marched off to Bonn it was joined by 
two of our bearer sergeants who had left about three weeks previ 
ously to attend a courtmartial, back near Mons. It appears that 
when they reported at the Mons orderly room they were informed 
that the case was closed. The men to be tried had been killed in 
action during the final hours of the war. Passes (post-dated three 
weeks) were given to the two sergeants and they started back to 
their unit - - via Brussels, Waterloo, Charleroi, Louvain, Liege, 
Aix-la-Chapelle, Cologne, Godesburg, Bonn, Coblenz and many 
other towns and villages throughout Rhenish Germany. It is 
quite possible that they would have been going yet, if they had 
been able to get enough to eat and drink. At Waterloo they were 
the proteges of the proprietor of the Inn where Wellington wrote 
his victory despatches. In Brussels they were looked after by 
the French Chasseurs headquarters staff. At Louvain the organist 
of the ruined cathedral insisted that they remain as his guests for 


a few days; and at a civic reception to French Blue Devil regi 
ments they stood with the civic dignitaries on the reviewing 
stand while the Chasseurs paraded past! In Liege, the City of 
Bridges, they were looked after (^and for!) by an ultra-conscien 
tious and very parade-ground Imperial liaison officer. At Aix- 
la-Chapelle they were taken to the bosoms of another French 
Chasseur regiment and looked on while their brother shock- 
troopers forced a pompous Hun station-master to climb to the 
top of the railway station and set the clock according to French 
time. At Aix-la-Chapelle they shared, too, in the warmth gen 
erated by a burning German freight train - - set afire by their 
French buddies when the local Burgomaster failed to supply fuel 
for the station stoves. In Cologne they registered at a first-class 
hotel and, after an excellent breakfast next morning, left - 
without settling their bill. In Bonn they were so far ahead of the 
oncoming Canadians, the Burgomaster mistook them for a 
reconnoitering party and insisted upon them accepting the city s 
hospitality, and resting overnight in Bonn s leading bierhaus. 
In Godesburg the custodian of the castle took them to his heart 
and family table. Everywhere they went, from the time they 
reached the Rhine, an armed patrol of the newly-formed civic 
guards followed them, to protect them from harm and insult. 
We do not know what yarn they told to impress the flustered 
officials, but it must have been a good one. They were far in 
advance of the marching Canadians, so Fritz possibly mistook 
them for Intelligence men. Intelligence men! 

December 14th to 17th - - We remained at Putzchen, with 
nothing to do except drill, physical training, and fatigues; and 
attempted to dry our clothes. Meanwhile, we failed to under 
stand why the homes of the villagers were too good for us. 

December 18th - - Moved forward to the twin villages of 
Vilich and Geislar, with headquarters at the latter place. 

December 19th to 31st- -At Vilich and Geislar. A. and C. 
Sections and Transport men at former place, while B. Section 
remained at Geislar, running a small first-aid hospital in an 
orphanage institution. B. Section billeted in an adjoining build 
ing, while our officers took over luxurious quarters in a nearby 
chateau. In Vilich the men were billeted in private homes. An 
inter-communal beer hall about halfway between the two villages 
served as mess-room for the whole unit. 


After once becoming settled, it became apparent to the Fifth 
that theirs was to be a life of ease for an indefinite period. There 
was an immediate let-up in discipline and, with very few men 
required for duty at any one time, group excursions in either 
direction along the Rhine became the common portion. A short 
distance up the river was Cologne, while downstream lay Cob- 
lentz, headquarters of the American Army of Occupation. 
Either city could be reached by boats and trolley cars. The roofs 
of the trolley cars were equipped with spring-brackets extending 
the full width of the cars. Contact with the power line was made 
by these bracket-arms, instead of by pole-and-wheel trolley such 
as in use in Canada. These brackets ensured that no "jumping" 
took place as the cars raced at high speed around curves and over 

About the only parades we had were pay parades and bathing 
parades. The bath-house was in Bonn, and we have a hazy 
recollection of one parade when our lads discovered a store of 
German underwear in a nearby building. They quickly got in 
touch with our Motor Transport and, in less time than it takes 
to tell, the whole store of clothing was removed to the Fifth s 
billets across the river. Much of the underwear was issued to the 
men but there was plenty left over to trade off to the civvies for 
beer, Rhine wine and other luxuries. 

The men, for the most part, were left to their own devices and, 
before long, the remote attitude of the German people showed 
signs of relaxing. When, eventually, the unit left for Belgium, en 
route home, the people turned out in crowds to see us off; and 
there was many a tear visible on the cheeks of matrons and 
maids alike. It was very evident that, although we had sometimes 
shown the populace who won the war, we had, on the whole, 
made a good impression - - on at least one portion of the 
civilian population. 

Cologne, of course, was the largest city in our area but, 
excepting the famous cathedral, there was little in the city to 
attract our men. Bonn, though, proved rather fascinating to most 
of us on account of its being a famous university city, the birth 
place of Beethoven, and the scene of some of Marlborough s 
greatest exploits. The Bonn bridge, too, was considered the most 
beautiful of all the Rhine bridges. And, by the way, our march 
across this bridge on the 13th of December was regarded as of 



more historical significance than our crossing of the German 
frontier. Coblentz, farther south, was in the American area and, 
although many of the fellows went down there, they never 
enthused over its attractions. 

We Celebrate Our Fourth Christmas ^ 

On Christmas Day the men had their best dinner since 1914. 
In the evening we had the Y-Emma Concert Party to amuse us 
and we entertained them so well they had to be carried back to 
Bonn in our motor ambulances. Pat Rafferty s song "Apple 
Dumplings" was the hit of the evening. For once our men had 
more than they could eat, and more rum sauce than plum pudding. 
As at every Christmas dinner, the noncoms. waited on the men s 
tables and had their own dinners afterward. The Sergeants 
menu was as follows: 

Vilich-Geislar, Germany Christmas Day, 1918 


(RJiineland Bloater] 

(Qott Mitt Uns Mystery) 


Dressed Roast Pork with Apple Sauce 
(Schwein mitt der clothes on) 


Cabbage Turnips 

(Der Klown Prinz) (Hindenburg) 

(All easily digested) 


Ye Goode Olde Englyshe Standbye 

(with Rhine Wine Sauce) 



(Hapsburg Dynasty) 


Apples Dates 

(Lorraine) (Abdication) 


(Der Kaiser) 



(Nach Berlin) 








New Year s Day came and went without anything particular 
happening, except that some of our troops expressed their sense 
of humor by decorating the famous statue of William the First, 
which stood in the Kaiser-Platz at Bonn. When the proud 
burghers came out for their morning promenade in the Platz they 
were horrified to find their beloved Wilhelm wearing a bedroom 
pot instead of his customary picklzhaub, and with a manure- 
covered stable broom in his right hand, instead of a sword. 
Barnyard straw protruded from his imperial nostrils, and an 
immense weiner was stuck between his lips. We should like to 
mention some of the other indignities heaped upon the statue, 
but must refrain. The escapade had one regrettable result, how 
ever: From that day on, a twenty-four-hour guard of Canadian 
infantrymen was posted over the statue - - to show the sackers 
of Louvain that our generals didn t approve of insults to the 
statues of dead Huns ! 

On January 5th the Sergeants of the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth 
Field Ambulances celebrated with a Victory Dinner. A hotel in 
Siegburg was commandeered for the occasion and about sixty 
senior noncoms. participated. That the affair was a huge success 
was proven by the repercussions that followed the affair. The 
owner of the hotel - - a typical Prussian ex -officer - - reported 
that he had been forced to stand at attention while the merry 
making noncoms. sang "O Canada," "Mile, from Armentieres, " 
"When We ve Wound Up the Watch on the Rhine," and other 
patriotic songs; that his best cut-glass service had been used by 
the sergeants to drink their wine while he was compelled to 
stand at the salute, with a tin cup full of beer in his left hand, 
and drink to the health of The King, Madame Machine Gun, 
Maconachie Bob, the Soap Box, the Cambligneul Chocolate 
Girl, and other celebrities; that his magnificent grand piano was 
pushed halfway over the balustrade that looked down upon a 
rocky cliff about three hundred feet below the ballroom balcony; 
that he was forced to wait on table, serve drinks, clean dishes, 
and light cigarets and pipes for his unwelcome guests; that the 
noncoms. had grabbed up chairs, wall trophies and other weapons 
and chased many high German dignitaries from their hotel rooms; 
that they had put a rather blotto sergeant-major into a bathtub, 
turned on the water and gone away - - nearly drowning the 
sergeant-major and flooding the floors of the hotel s best suite. 


Everybody knew that the Prussian s complaints were ground 
less and that he was simply peeved because Germany lost the war. 
Who ever knew our sergeants to work as hard as his report 
indicated? "They just couldn t have been Fifth noncoms. !" was 
the decision of our officers, and the hotelkeeper s complaints were 
thrown out. 

On January 7th orders were posted informing us that Major 
Burgess had been awarded the Order of the British Empire and 
also Mentioned in Despatches. 

On January 22nd orders arrived for us to move back into 
Belgium on the following day. None of us was sorry. 

Our stay across the Rhine hadn t been quite the glorious event 
we had anticipated it would be. For one thing, the German 
people did not appeal to us like the French people had done, 
They were a different race entirely. They hadn t the same verve, 
dash, or that intangible something possessed by our Gallic 
friends and, although they were kind and obliging, we found 
ourselves unable to take them to our hearts. There were, of 
course, individual exceptions, but generally speaking, we and 
they didn t quite "fit in." 

Captain Alex Elliott, brother of the major who had left us 
the day after we crossed the Rhine, was one in particular who 
never did get to understand the Hun s mentality. And his under 
standing wasn t improved at all when he was one day leaning 
on his cane on the Bonn Bridge. Along came a Heinie practical 
joker and knocked the supporting cane from under the contem 
plative dental officer. Down went the captain on the seat of 
his breeks and away went the laughing Boche. But Elliott was 
up and after him immediately and, catching up with him, showed 
him that even if a Canadian officer lacked a good understanding 
of German mentality he did possess an effective underpinning in 
the form of two heavy-soled number ten boots. After applying 
those boots where they did the intellect of the pleading square 
head the most good, the captain turned him over to the military 

Another bit of German Kultur we couldn t savvy was that 
long winding alley just a stone s throw from the Cologne cathe 
dral. This narrow tortuous street of sin was about three-quarters 
of a mile in length, eight feet wide from house to house - - and 
the Lord only knows how deep in the ways of iniquity and 


depravity ! There must have been thousands of girls in those five- 
storey stone tenements, and it was as much as a soldier s life was 
worth for him to attempt to navigate alone and after dark 
through that awful alley. During the first few days of the Occu 
pation the girls actually poured into the street attempting to drag 
men into the houses. And all the time the surging masses of fallen 
women were in the street scarcely a stitch of clothing covered 
their ugly nakedness. Here, within speaking distance of one of 
the world s oldest Christian cathedrals, human souls were for 
sale for three marks. What a sad commentary upon the cleansing 
virtues of a church whose centuries-old influence hadn t been 
able to eradicate those terrible temples to uneasy virtue which 
existed and thrived within a few steps of its own proud doors ! 

After we had been on the Rhine a few days the Allied 
Command took over control of these bagnios, and some of our 
unit doctors had the questionable privilege of sorting out and 
sending hundreds of the unfortunate women to hospitals. Guards 
were then mounted over the street and from then on it was 
"out of bounds." 

We were still in Germany when word reached us that Colonel 
Kappele and Major Elliott had been awarded bars to their 
Distinguished Service Orders. 

One highlight of our Rhine stay occurred in Cologne : There 
was a high-class trolley service from that city to Bonn, and our 
men depended dn it for transportation back to their billets when 
returning from a day spent there "on pass." The trolley service 
ceased at midnight, however, and unfortunately some of our lads 
found themselves marooned in Cologne one night, with no 
means of getting back to their billets. Somebody had a bright 
idea: "Commandeer a trolley car!" No sooner said than done. 
Although it was about 2 a.m., our resourceful "other ranks" 
made their way to the car barns. Only a maintenance man was 
in the building, and he was compelled to release a car and switch 
power onto the lines over- the route to Bonn. After that, the 
quaking barn man was locked in a clothing locker, and one of 
our lads took over the trolley car controls, his pals piled aboard 
and away they went. How they ever negotiated the correct 
curves, sprang the right switches, and finally pulled up in Bonn, 
not even they could remember or explain, and if it had not been 
for the terrible hullabaloo raised by the Germans and our own 


authorities we might have thought the whole escapade a wild 
dream or the result of an over-indulgence in Rhine wine and 
seltzer. Fortunately the resourceful trolley riders were never iden 
tified by the powers- that- were. 

We Say Farewell to Hunland^^ 

At 3 p.m., January 23rd, the Fifth packed up and marched to 
Siegburg, where it entrained and travelled until eight o clock the 
next night. The distance travelled was comparatively short, but 
the weather was cold, the trains filthy, and the accommodation 
decidedly unsatisfactory. At eight o clock the men detrained and 
climbed aboard busses and rode all night. Just as day was breaking 
they arrived at Auvelais, a mining town of about ten thousand 
population, situated on the River Sambre and about halfway 
between Charleroi and Namur. Here they tumbled out of the 
busses and made their way to billets in houses scattered through 
out the upper portion of the town. For the rest of the day they 
lay around, sleeping the untroubled sleep of the just, the pure and 
the brave. 

On January 28th Routine Orders informed us that Sergeant 
W. E. (Pierpont) Morgan, an "original" from Toronto, had 
been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. 

The people of Auvelais received us with open arms and hearts. 
We were now in the region where Fritz had gone berserk in the 
early days of the war - - the intensely patriotic Sambre- Meuse 
district where many hundreds of civilians had been martyred to 
the cause of kultur. Liege, Dinant, Tamines and dozens of other 
towns and villages had witnessed the brutal butchering of help 
less old men, women and children during those terrible August 
days of 1914, when this part of Belgium had bravely protested 
the ravishing of their beloved country. 

In Auvelais we met several survivors of the Dinant and 
Tamines massacres and from them heard first-hand evidence of 
what they had been through. In Tamines alone three hundred 
and eighty-three were killed and ninety-eight wounded. These 
figures include men, women and children, ranging in age from 
one year to eighty-nine years. These poor victims weren t killed 
during a bombardment or a battle. They were ordered out of 
their homes and herded together in the local Grande Place, with 


their backs to the Sambre River. Machine guns were mounted 
before them and they were mowed down like so much grain. 
Those who weren t killed in the first rain of bullets were forced 
to stand erect and be shot down by successive bursts of fire. Even 
the local priests were not spared. Six hundred and thirteen citizens 
in all were fired upon, but one hundred and thirty-two escaped 
by crawling under the fallen bodies of their fellow citizens, or by 
jumping into the Sambre and swimming to freedom under cover 
of the gathering darkness. When the machine gunners stopped 
firing, riflemen with bayonets and clubbed rifles went over the 
scene of carnage, finishing off those who were merely wounded. 
The next day other natives of the district were rounded up and 
forced to dig an immense pit and bury the dead. The Germans 
only excuse for the terrible butchery was that the civilians had 
fired on them as they battled with some French outposts for the 
bridge over the river. The truth of the matter is that a mere 
handful of French soldiers had held up the Huns and prevented 
them from crossing the Sambre for many hours, and the exas 
perated Boche "took it out" on the helpless citizens. The claim 
that these poor people had fired on the Germans was without the 
slightest foundation for, on the approach of the enemy, the 
mayor and cure had collected all the arms and ammunition in 
town and stored them under lock and key in the town hall. 

Some of our men were actually billeted in the homes of sur 
vivors of this tragedy and with them visited the scenes of the 
massacre, and there could be no doubt about the horrible truth 
of the whole sad affair. This was our first (and only) direct con 
tact with victims of Hun atrocities and the evidence they supplied 
was indisputable. 

Throughout the whole long length of the war Auvelais had 
been in the hands of the enemy and he had worked its mines to 
the limit. Every able-bodied man had been forced down into the 
pits, while women, girls and elderly men were impressed for the 
hauling and loading work above ground. In this town the Ger 
man was hated fiercely and relentlessly and we were regaled with 
many stories of secret revenge taken on some of the brutal in 
vaders. In addition to the mines, Auvelais possessed a glass factory 
and a thriving Amianth weaving industry of which great things 
had been expected until war brought its development to a 
sudden stop in 1914. 


Many of the men suffered a rather serious shortage of money 
during the long stay at Auvelais. Wine and song cost consider 
able lucre, but some of the lads sacrificed parts of their uniform 
and equipment to the good cause. More than one lad was seen 
with a pair of riding breeks, a pair of boots, a suit of underwear, 
or some other article tucked under his greatcoat - - on his way to 
purchase beer, cognac, or the temporary affection of some lady 
fair. We have in mind a certain little A. Section corporal who 
one night slaked a beautiful thirst with the proceeds from the 
sale of a brand-new pair of boots. It is said that he came back to 
his billet this particular night on his hands and knees, so the 
boots were excess equipment anyway. 

While at Auvelais many of us planned what we were going to 
do when we arrived back home. Of one thing we were all deter 
mined, and that was that we would eat when we were hungry, 
come and go as we wished and, above all, we would sleep as 
late in the morning as we desired. A song to which the Yanks 
had introduced us expressed our sentiments very clearly: 

Oh, how 1 hate to get up in the. morning 
Oh, how I love to remain in bed; 
For the hardest blow of all 
Is to hear the bugle call \ 
You ve got to get up, you ve got to get up, 
You ve got to get up, this morning!" 
Some day I m going to murder the bugler; 
Some day they re going to find him dead; 
I ll amputate his Reveille 
A.nd step upon it heavily, 
And spend the rest of my life in bed. 

The Motor Transport lads had some great times in Auvelais. 
They used their schoolhouse billet as a strategic strongpoint from 
which they manoeuvred into (and away from) many a battle 
with other troops in the neighborhood. We remember one 
dark night when Harry Fryday and Johnny Hay felt the urge for 
additional liquid refreshment and excitement. It was long after 
midnight when they made their way to the main street, where 
they espied a ray of light escaping from the closed shutters of 
their favorite estaminet. They were acquainted with a young 
lady who lived in the establishment, so they thumped on the front 
door and asked to get in. The door was cautiously opened and 


the two Motor Transport lads attempted to enter. Their intrusion 
was resented, however, by five Twenty-Fourth Battalion officers 
who, apparently, had settled there for an all-night party. 

A battle started. The front door was ripped from its hinges. 
Fryday, Hay, the five officers and the door fell into the street and 
a regular Donnybrook ruction was on. One or two of the offi 
cers went down in the first onslaught, and away went the two 
Motor Transport fellows for their own battleground at the 
schoolhouse. Fryday s fists and his parting insinuation that the 
officers were "square-headed b s" roused their opponents 
to fever heat and they quickly took up the chase. We don t 
remember what happened to Johnny Hay, but we do know that 
Fryday hid behind an ambulance while four of the officers went 
into the schoolhouse to hunt for him. One officer meanwhile 
stood guard at the school gate. Harry was upon the lone sentry 
in less time than it takes to tell, and down went the officer. 

Out rushed the four officers and, locating Fryday backed up 
against a wall on the opposite side of the street, they made a 
wild rush at him. Of course, all were full of firewater so it 
wasn t long before they lost contact with Fryday. Harry then 
made his way into the schoolhouse and crawled into his bunk - 
forgetting to remove his cap and boots. The infantry officers en 
tered, found him and took his name, number, etc. , and promised 
to have him courtmartialled at the earliest possible moment. 

No courtmartial took place, however. All concerned realized 
that the whole affair was just a bacchanalian brawl and decided 
to let it go at that. Two weeks later, Fryday and Hay were 
passing the same estaminet and, seeing two officers hammering 
at the door, ventured over and asked the way to a nearby town. 
While one officer was directing them, the other looked them 
over somewhat pointedly. "Isn t your name Fryday?" he asked. 
Yes," answered Harry, anticipating another battle. "Well, Fry- 
day, come over to the Twenty-Fourth officers mess sometime, 
give the password and enjoy a swell evening." Harry s face took 
on its well-known Irish grin. "What s the password?" he enquired. 
"FRYDAY," was the reply. The four soldiers thereupon shook 
hands and parted. The invitation was never accepted, for our 
Division moved out of Auvelais soon after. Just as well, perhaps. 
Another melee might have started. You can t tell what might 
happen when a wild Irishman gets a drink under his belt ! 


This, of course, wasn t the first scrap in which a lady s favors 
were a factor. Over a period of many months we saw several 
battles for the smiles of back-of-the-Line wenches who wouldn t 
have been given a second glance under peacetime conditions. 
However, we know of only the one scrap in which Fifth fellows 
were involved. An old army song tells, no doubt, the story of 
many of those girls who gave their hearts to the soldiers : 

Apres la guerre fini, 

Tous les solddts parti; 

Les desmoiselles beaucoup pleuri, 

Aprcs la guerre fini. 

We stayed in Auvelais for a little over two months and, in 
spite of our longing to get home, the stay was rather pleasant. 
Various recreational activities were instituted and study classes 
were formed. The men had little to do and most of the time 
was given over to social pleasures. The local theatre was opened 
and several French and Belgian theatrical troupes entertained us. 
Many of our own concert parties put on shows for us and oc 
casionally we put on a show of our own. 

About the only Section to drop into regular duties was C, 
Section, which supplied twenty men to the Twenty-Sixth 
Imperial Casualty Clearing Station in Namur. An influenza 
epidemic had hit the troops quartered in the Namur area and 
the Fifth were appealed to for help. Sergeant Woodburn was 
in charge of the party from our unit and their stay with the 
Imperials was of about six weeks duration. Our fellows made 
a great hit with the casualty clearing station personnel and 
received a very hearty vote of thanks and send-oft when the time 
came for them to return to the Fifth. The casualty clearing 
station was located in the military hospital at Namur and our 
fellows were well treated by the Imperials and citizens. 

Many balls and dances were held in our honor during the stay 
in Auvelais. The Fifth Brigade gave a "Grand Bal d Adieu" 
in the local theatre on March 24th. To say that a good time 
was had by all is putting it too mildly. Our lads carried the 
local belles right off their feet in more ways than one. It was a 
great night for those who could dance the rapid whirl- em- 
around dances, so popular in Europe. Among others, Covelli, 
Restivo, Dean Wilkins, Pier Morgan and Sam Woodburn were 


right in their glory and gave mesdemoiselles Germaine, Marie, 
Alyce and other pretty Auvelais girls, heartflutters they must 
still remember. 

One Afore Commanding Officer <^> 

To Major Treleaven, who had become our Officer Command 
ing on March 6th, fell the task of getting the unit ready for the 
trip back to the Base. From the date of his taking over there 
had been much activity towards preparing for the next move 
toward home. Occupational lists were made out and Dispersal 
Area data arranged. The names of married men were registered 
and, by the time the orderly room clerks got through with 
us, they knew how, when, where and why we were born, 
whom our great great grandfather s sister married and how many 
children she had by her first husband - - if any ! They knew the 
color of our eyes, hair, skin, teeth, and the tint of our political 
beliefs. If they could have read our thoughts at that time we 
should all have been put down as "Reds" for, if ever soldiers were 
fed up on red tape and militarism, we were. They encouraged 
us to register for 160-acre plots of Northern wasteland and we ve 
often wondered since who is working those wonderful fairyland 
farms a benevolent Ottawa so kindly envisioned for us. 

All sorts of rumors were in the air. Married men were to 
be sent home first, so benedicts immediately increased in number. 
Then farmers were to be released first, and there was a sudden 
mounting in the number of ploughmen, harvesters and fertilizer- 
spreaders. A day or two later miners were to go home first, 
and right away the unit was full of pitmen and tunnellers. If 
we had remained at Auvelais much longer every man in the unit 
would have had at least six trades, occupations or what-have-you ! 

Immediately after the Brigade Ball, however, things began to 
happen. Orders were received to turn in all horses and wagons. 
And how the Horse Transport fellows hated to part with their 
equine friends and labor-making conveyances and equipment! 
On the 25th day of March some of our married men left for 
home and on the 28th the lads from Eastern Canada left to join 
other units for demobilization. 

Finally, on April 2nd, we marched to the station and entrained 
for the Base. All Auvelais and many wet-eyed girls from several 

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nearby hamlets were at the station to see us off. It was about 
two hours before the train pulled out and during that time nearly 
every man kissed his girl friends goodbye a dozen times at least. 
Every toot of the engine whistle was the signal for a final 
frantic embrace and, by the time the train actually got under way, 
(1.15 p.m.) there wasn t a more thoroughly-kissed, tighter- 
hugged and wetter-eyed crowd of women in the whole wide 
world than those kind, open-hearted girls at the Auvelais station. 
As the train drew slowly out, the strains of O Canada and La 
Brabanconnc were intermingled, a regimental band on the train 
and a civic band on the station platform providing the music. 

All through the afternoon and evening the train wormed its 
way slowly westward. About midnight we reached Mons. Then 
we passed through the devastated regions near the old Front. 
The whole trench area looked more desolate than ever, and our 
erstwhile gayety was stilled and our hearts saddened as we con 
templated the region where so many of our comrades had lain 
down their lives. Arras, Doullens, Amiens - - we passed them 
all in turn, and eventually arrived at Le Havre early in the morn 
ing of April 4th. We marched once more up the same long hill we 
had climbed on that long-ago afternoon of September 16, 1915. 

But what a transformation had taken place since last we stayed 
at Le Havre ! Then there were only a few bell tents and scarcely 
a wooden hut on the plain atop the hill. Now there were hun 
dreds of huts and tents, miles of hard roads and sidewalks, and 
dozens of small shops, canteens and rest and recreation huts. 

The next two days were spent going through the delousing 
baths and fumigators, and in visiting the town, docks, theatres, 
and other scenes of interest. Our own Divisional Concert Party, 
the C-Two s, were in the camp theatre and many of our lads 
spent a final night there, listening to their old favorites. 

Some of the lads may recall the trip three of our men made to 
the Rue des Gallions that last night at Le Havre - - when the 
three took on a whole squad of military police and found them 
selves finally thrown into the clink. The rousing fight put up by 
one of the Lancashire lads on this occasion must have convinced 
a few of the M.P s that some of our fellows could use their feet 
even after French wine had gone to their heads. The three Fifth 
lads were sent back to our unit next day, however. The Imperial 
cops seemed mighty glad to get rid of them. 


The Lancashire Lads 

No history of the Fifth would be complete without special 
mention of the Lancashire Lads. All together there were over a 
score of them. Hamilton was their place of enlistment and nearly 
all of them were assigned to A. Section. When they first arrived 
at Exhibition Camp the other members of the unit were some 
what puzzled by their odd speech. Canucks, particularly, could 
not make them out. They kept very much to themselves and it 
was not until we reached England that the other men began to 
understand them, and learn that beneath their rather gruff aloof 
ness they were mighty fine fellows. 

Arthur Dudley was sort of leader to them and they seemed 
to look to old Dud for example and guidance. He was a South 
African veteran and very level-headed. Somebody had the excel 
lent good sense to make Dud a noncom. and, from the date of 
his promotion, he wholeheartedly and effectively championed the 
cause of his Lancastrian brothers. There were no better men, 
either in or out of the Line. And where would our Soccer team 
have been without these boys with the educated feet? Small won 
der that the Lancashire Lads occupy a foremost place in our 
memories and a warm spot in our hearts. 

At 6 p.m., Monday, April 7th, we marched aboard ship and, 
after an all-night cross-channel journey, docked at Southampton 
at eight o clock next morning. From here we entrained for Witley 
Camp - - where we once again came under the iron discipline 
and exasperating routine handed out by parade-ground officers 
and noncoms. Here we tasted the galling cup that later on resulted 
in well-deserved rioting at this camp and also at Rhyl. It was 
quite evident that the Witley Camp martinets had been so far 
from the war they hadn t yet learned that it was over. We sin 
cerely hope that, when the rioters burned down Tin Town a few 
days after we left, they did not fail to chastise some of the camp s 
staff bullies who tried to make our lives miserable during our 
month s stay at Witley. 

Now began the long and tedious series of medical examina 
tions, boards, embarkation interviews, etc., etc. The whole gamut 
of red tape statistical stuff through which we had gone at Auvelais 
was repeated here - - but with far less tact and understanding on 
the part of our interviewers. Naturally, we were heartsick for 


home, and the incessant questioning irritated us almost beyond 

There were several bright spots in our Witley sojourn, how 
ever. Canteens and cinema shows provided considerable entertain 
ment, but the best thing in camp was a pass to get out - -to go to 
London, Manchester, Edinburgh - - anywhere else but the camp ! 

On Saturday, May 3rd, our unit supplied its quota of men for 
the Colonial Victory Parade in London. That was the day on 
which Colonial troops from all the "far-flung posts of the Em 
pire" paraded past Buckingham Palace for a final farewell by the 
Royal Family. The whole of dear ol Lunnon turned out to pay us 
homage, and the cheers along the route of march were almost 
deafening. Truly had the English taken us to their hearts --even 
if they never seemed to quite understand us and our (to them) un 
couth ways and lack of respect for parade-ground discipline and 
military traditions. The cheering didn t come only from the civil 
ians. In the city were thousands of Imperial soldiers and they 
cheered as loudly as any. 

To every member of the Colonial Forces, His Majesty the 
King extended thanks. A copy of his personal letter follows : 



May 3rd, 1919. 

Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and Men 
of the Overseas Forces : 

It is with a heart full of pride and gratitude that I take your salute today 
as you march in triumph through London. 

The people of the British Dominions beyond the Seas, by their instant 
readiness to share in the trials and responsibilities of the Great War, have 
shown to the world the unity of the British Empire. You, with your com 
rades from the Mother Country, vied with one another in noble deeds, 
which will ever be held in proud remembrance. 

Readily you adapted yourselves to the changing conditions of a new 
and formidable kind of warfare, and endured physical hardships and 
exacting mental strain. 

Whether on the plains of Flanders, or the heights of Gallipoli, in 
France, in Palestine, or other theatres of war, you displayed gallant 
endurance in defence and vigorous initiative in attack. 

We and future generations will never forget the part played by the 
Canadians in the Second Battle of Ypres, and on the Vimy Ridge, by the 
Australians and New Zealanders at Gallipoli and in the advance in 
France in the spring of 1917, by the troops of all three Dominions in the 


breaking of the Hindenburg line last year, by the South African Brigade in 
Delville Wood and by the Royal Newfoundland Regiment at Monchy- 

Now, in the day of victory, I wish to express to you, who represent 
the Overseas Forces, my unbounded admiration for splendid feats of arms 
and for sacrifices made. 

I wish you all God-speed on your homeward journey, with the hope 
that the outcome of this world struggle may assure peace to your children 
and your children s children. 



While we were at Witley, Ex-Staff-Sergeant Reginald Seneca 
Smith met Ex-Sergeant Robert R., Turner. Reggie held out his 
hand in greeting. "Ah, my old friend Bob! I plainly observe that 
you, too, have suffered somewhat drastically from the ludicrous 
viscissitudes of army life!" 

On May 7th the Prince of Wales visited Witley and presented 
regimental colors to several Second Division battalions. Our 
unit also paraded and received the Prince s thanks and blessing. 
The three rousing cheers and tiger we gave to the Heir to the 
Throne as he left our parade ground were probably the most 
honest and spontaneous cheers we had given for many a long day. 
The Prince was the sort of fellow Canadians could understand 
and appreciate. Long may he "carry on!" 

After the first week at Witley there were continual rumors that 
we were about to sail immediately for Canada. The old Latrine 
Gazette didn t fool our lads, however. They left camp day after 
day and tripped to London and other places, without the slight 
est worry that the Fifth might sail away without them. They 
knew only too well that it took weeks for Base tacticians to 
make up that unknown quantity they called their minds. And, 
besides, the daily papers informed them that a seaman s strike 
was on and that very few boats were leaving port. 

We Board the Olympic for Home ^> 

On Saturday, May 10th, we said our "soldiers farewells" to 
Witley Camp. About nine o clock that morning we entrained 
for Southampton. There we boarded the Olympic early in the 
afternoon. Our sailing strength was one hundred and forty-six, 
all told. Other troops sailing with us were : 22nd, 24th, 25th, 26th 
and 29th Battalions; 5th Battalion C.E.; No. 1. Sec. D.A.C.; 


No. 2 Stat. Hosp.; and a few miscellaneous drafts from other 
Second Division units. 

An immense crowd of people were down to the dock to see us 
off; and several bands entertained us during the long process of 
loading ship. The Mayor of Southampton addressed us from the 
quay and told us that Britain was proud of us and that England 
would never forget us. We already knew it would be a long 
time before the Old Country folk could forget us, for we had 
done our utmost to show them how to make the most of every 
opportunity. We had taught them, among other accomplish 
ments, how to chew gum, how to be within three paces of an 
officer without saluting him, how to travel on trains without 
paying, and - - oh, ever so many other things that should keep 
us in their memories. 

The highlight in our send-off was the farewell speech given by 
General Burstall. We were the first of his old Division to leave 
for home, and there could be no mistaking the sincerity in his 
voice and the meaning of his words when he bade us goodbye 
and good luck. He told us that the old Second Division had one 
of the proudest records of any Division in the whole British army, 
and that most of the credit was due to the men themselves 
and not to him. He stated that the break-up of his old Division 
was the cruellest wrench his heart had ever suffered. Tears ran 
down his cheeks as he spoke. The little C-2 "Lest We Forget" 
buttons we received were a personal gift from General Burstall, 
and Time has added to the great admiration and respect we had 
for the man. He was cheered to the echo at the end of his speech 
and when the Olympic cast off, about 8 p.m., he stood at the 
salute until the gathering dusk hid him jfrom our sight. There 
was a MAN. 

A copy of "A Special Order of the Day" was placed in the 
hands of each departing soldier. It read as follows : 


Officers, Non-commissioned Officers and Men of the Second Canadian 
Division : We are about to return to our homes in Canada, after taking 
our part in carrying to a successful issue the task which our nation under 
took in 1914. 

We have had strenuous times together and have many glorious deeds 
to recall. The record of our Division is one of which we nave splendid 


reason to be proud. The history of this war will not have any pages more 
glorious than that which will tell of the Somme; of Hill 70 and Lens; of 
Passchendaele; of Arras, during the great German offensive in the Spring 
and again in the Autumn, when they were forced to make their final 
retreat; of the battle in front of Amiens; of the forcing of the Escaut 
Canal, when Cambrai was set free; and finally, the rapid advance in the 
last stages of the war, until the afternoon of November 10th when we cap 
tured the heights commanding Mons, together with parts of the city. 

We have reason to be proud of these achievements which have made 
the name of our Division glorious, and while we think of them our 
thoughts naturally turn to those loyal comrades who fought and endured 
with us, and who have paid the full price of devotion to Country. They 
have died but their names will live. Their graves in France and Belgium 
will be perpetual memorials of our achievements long after we have 
passed away. 

This is my last message to you. The Division will now cease to exist 
as an original formation. The organization of the Division will pass away 
but its spirit will live forever. This to me is the grandest thing of all. 
The gallant actions and achievements, the cheerfully endured sufferings 
and hardships of the past four years of active service will inspire the 
future generations of our country in all time to come. Take home to 
Canada with you the knowledge of duty faithfully done in the days of 
war, and the determination to be no less faithful to your country in the 
days of peace. For you can be quite sure that the characteristics of courage 
and endurance, of determination and initiative which you have shown on 
active service are as necessary in the building up of your country as they 
have been in defending her. 

I wish to express my thanks to you for the faith and trust you have had 
in me and my staff. And now that we are about to separate may I say to 
you that our one aim as a staff has been to leave no factor neglected in 
winning the most decisive victories at the least possible cost, to provide for 
your comfort as far as we could, and to merit your trust and confidence. 

I wish to thank not only the fighting troops, which have won imperish 
able fame, but also the Services and Departments, including the Y.M.C. A. , 
which by untiring work, often under the most trying circumstances, made 
possible the achievements of the fighting troops. 

With a heart full of pride and gratitude, as well as with the most real 
sorrow, I say goodbye to you, and wish you all happiness and prosperity 
in your future homes. I trust that in the days to come 1 shall have the 
privilege of meeting many of you at gatherings where we shall be able to 
recall some of the great days we have spent together. 

(Signed) H. E. BURST ALL, Major-General, 

Commanding 2nd Canadian Division. 


From their Majesties, the King and Queen, we received a 
brief note of farewell : 


The Queen and I wish you God-speed, and 
a safe return to your homes and dear ones. 

A grateful Mother Country is proud of 
your splendid services characterized by un 
surpassed devotion and courage. 

(Signed) GEORGE R. I. 

In respect to the above note, we recall that some of the old- 
timers of Otterpool days read it and smiled. "The King was 
pleased with you - - but I wasn t!" some "original" remarked; 
and the minds of those nearby turned to thoughts of the 1915 
review at Beachboro Park and to the Old Man s speech before 
he dismissed us back at Otterpool Camp. 

The voyage to Canada was rather uneventful. There was but 
little regret in our hearts as we steamed into the outer Southamp 
ton harbor, passed Portsmouth and headed for the open sea. Every 
craft we passed, large and small, signalled a farewell greeting and, 
by the time the shore lights had receded into the darkness, most 
of the men were in their bunks and fast asleep. 

How different were our Olympic quarters from those which 
we occupied in the old Northland about four years before! 
Now every man had a good comfortable berth or hammock 
and the meals served to us were fit for a prince. We fed like 
quartermasters ! 

One of our pleasantest memories of the Olympic is of the 
sing-songs we used to have in the evenings - - when the fellows 
gathered on deck and sang the old favorites: "Just a Song at 
Twilight," "In the Evening By the Moonlight," and other songs 
that spoke of home. Who could ever forget, too, our friends 
from Quebec Province, when they sang their old French chor 
uses: Viens Poupoule, Viens," "En Roulant Ma Boule," 
and that best-of-all group song, "Alouette," in which we, too, 
were able to join: 

Alouette, gentille Alouette, Alouette, je te plumerai. 
Je te plumerai la tete, je te plumerai la tete, 
(Leader) Et la tete (Everybody) Et la tete, O 
Alouette, gentille Alouette, Alouette, je te plumerai. 


Alouette, gentille Alouette, Alouette, je te plumerai, 
Je te plumcrdi le bee, je te plumerai le bee, 
(Leader) Et le bee (Everybody) Et le bee 
(Leader) Et la tete (Everybody) Et la tete, O 
Alouette, gentille Alouette, Alouette, je te plumerai. 

Alouette, gentille Alouette, Alouette, je te plumerai, 
Je te plumerai le nez, je te plumerai le nez, 
(Leader) Et le nez (Everybody) Et le nez 
(Leader) Et le bee (Everybody) Et le bee 
(Leader) Et la tete (Everybody) Et la tete, O 
Alouette, gentille Alouette, Alouette, je te plumerai. 

(For additional verses add separately Le Dos, Les 
Pattes, Le Cou.) 

Except for the sighting of a few floating German mines and 
some icebergs, there was little to distract our attention from 
the games of craps, poker, five hundred and crown-and-anchor 
that went on, day and night, throughout the trip. The first real 
thrill we received was when on April 16th, we glimpsed, many 
of us for the first time since the Spring of 1915, the shore 
line of Halifax harbor. Hard-boiled as we considered ourselves, 
there was moisture in our eyes and tremors along our spines at 
this first sight of Canada - - that Canada which most of us had 
despaired of ever seeing again, during our many dark and weary 
months in France and Belgium. Even at this moment of rap 
ture it all seemed too wonderful to be true. Something would 
surely happen before we really got ashore, or perhaps we should 
wake up and find it just one more of those mocking dreams which 
used to come to us as we slept in some funkhole or cellar in 

But, YES ! There was Halifax, all right ! We were not dream 
ing, after all! Then we began to wonder whether we should 
be able to see any evidence of the terrible explosion which 
had brought disaster to the city in the Spring of 1917. But look 
as we might, we saw very little trace of the damage done by 
the catastrophe. 

Soon we were being warped into dock where thousands of 
waving, shouting citizens and several uniformed brass bands 
were waiting to welcome us. As we stepped ashore many of 
the lads were met by friends, sweethearts and relatives who had 
come east to greet them. Joyfully hysterical groups formed on 


every side and it was a long time before they could be separated 
and the men ushered into waiting trains. 

Here again we were to have another sample of official bung 
ling. Instead of keeping our unit together on one train, it was 
split into sections and we were mixed with other troops on two 
separate trains. No intimation of this change was given to 
the men and, consequently, we never afterward saw nor heard 
from many of the comrades with whom we had chummed 
and served ever since joining the army. Had we known of the 
entraining arrangements in time we could at least have ex 
changed addresses and shaken hands with those who had become 
closer to us than blood-brothers. 

From Halifax to Toronto the people of every city, town and 
village through which we passed turned out to welcome us home. 
Wherever the trains stopped there were kindly, generous and 
grateful folk waiting to greet us and give us hot tea, coffee, 
sandwiches, tobacco, cigarettes and chocolate. Where the stop 
overs were long enough, one of our lads played his mandolin 
while the rest of the fellows entertained the home folk with 
spirited renderings of "Mile, from Armentieres, " "Apres la 
Guere Fini," and other old overseas favorites they requested. 

Bac\ to Where We Stdrted** 

At last, after a journey we feared might never end, our trains 
pulled into Toronto an hour or two before dawn, May 19th. 
Kits were hurriedly turned in and we received the discharge 
papers we had been looking for for years. 

Modesty and respect require that we draw a kindly veil over 
the delirious welcome we received when we were at last amongst 
our loved ones and back within our family circles. And we 
haven t the necessary ability to describe our relief and reactions 
when we once again found ourselves free men and finished 
for all time (we hope!) with the blankety-blank army. It was 
a hell of a war, and if any reader wishes to know more about it 
there are dozens of excellent books which will supply the desired 
information - - particularly the formal and technical aspects 
of the affair. We warned you that this wasn t to be a statistical 
history ! And if you want books that glorify war and militarism, 
you will find plenty of them. 


As for joining the army and going through similar experiences 
in the event of another war breaking out - - well, we ve had 
enough! For one thing, we hope we shall be too old - - even 
for a Home Guard job. Furthermore, we feel we should step 
aside in favor of some of the many fire -eating honorary colonels, 
bellicose clerics and professional jingoists who seem intent on 
doing their utmost to create strife, discontent and race-hatred. 
We are quite willing to let them go to war, but, we are for peace 
- at almost any price. And, if war does break out, more than 
one of us will be satisfied to remain within our family circle, 
keeping the home-fires burning, making big money, sending 
useless Keating s powder, rag-weed cigarettes and rancid meat 
cubes to the boys at the Front; and unashamedly singing, to all 
who will listen, the old conscientious objector s song: 

Call up the Army and the Navy, 

Call up the Rank and File. 

Call up Reserves and Territorials - 

They 1 II face danger with a smile. 

Call up the Boys of the Old Brigade 

That set old England free. 

Call up my brother - 

My sister and my mother - 

But for gosh sake don t call M.E! 


Old soldiers never die, never die, never die 
Old soldiers never die, they simply fade away. 


(May 20, 1919, to January i, 1936) 

Wo opening just 
now, Atkins!" 

1919 - 1927 

URING the 
first few months 
following demob 
ilization very little 
effort was made to 
keep in touch with 
comrades of over 
seas days. We all 
wanted to forget 
the war - - as if we 
ever could forget 
something which is printed so indelibly under our eyelids! At 
least we all wanted to try to forget. There were, too, more 
important things to be taken care of: 

First of all was the change to civilian clothing. A grateful 
government allowed each man sixty dollars for outfitting him 
self as became an ex-member of His Majesty s Canadian Ex 
peditionary Forces. How far the money went may be imagined 
when it is remembered that in the Spring of 1919 a very ordinary 
suit cost about sixty dollars; shoes, fifteen; a shirt, three; socks, 
two; a hat, six to eight; and every other item of clothing ac 
cordingly. To make things worse, almost every article was 
of the shoddiest material. The dependability we knew in pre 
war days was missing and the styles current at the time were 
entirely unsuited to the demands of energetic, well-developed 
outdoor men. The suits were form-fitting, with tight-waisted 
coats, and trousers that hugged the legs with almost puttee-like 
snugness. Shoes were narrow, pointed and thin-soled - - totally 



unfit to encase feet broadened and developed by thousands of 
miles of tramping over cobbled roads and rough highways. 
Green was the fashionable color and when we recall the effect 
the sun s rays had on our first civvy hats and suits we find it hard 
to feel charitably disposed towards those who planned and 
produced our 1919 raiment. 

As soon as the novelty of being back in so-called civilization 
somewhat wore off we commenced scurrying around, looking 
for jobs or making arrangements to recommence school or college 
courses thrust aside when we enlisted. To those searching for 
work came the big surprise of finding somebody else filling the 
job we had left to go overseas - - somebody who had held it 
throughout the war and, apparently, had no intention of giving 
it up voluntarily. Of course the bosses were very friendly, glad 
to see us back, and all that sort of thing, but except in a very few 
instances, they "couldn t offer us anything just at the moment." 

Nearly Everything Seemed Different* 

Gradually we realized we had come back like unwanted ghosts 
and to a new world - a world entirely different from that 
which we left in 1914. Everything had changed- -or was it 
we who had altered? Certainly it was not the world we had 
pictured ourselves returning to so many times while in France, 
Belgium and Germany. Those of us who did get jobs, found 
working conditions less congenial than before. We found our 
selves "clique-ing up" with other returned men in the esta 
blishment, and out of harmony with co-workers of military 
age who hadn t worn khaki. Almost invariably the boss, 
manager, superintendent or foreman was not an overseas man 
and seemed to resent the bond which held together the returned 
men under his control. 

Even amongst veteran co-workers strange and disturbing 
adjustments were often necessary. Many discovered that their 
civilian status was in inverse ratio to their rank in the army. 
In not a few instances, ex-colonels found themselves working 
for, or under, ex-privates and former noncoms. More than 
one ex-batman had the rather embarrassing experience of being 
waited upon by an ex-officer. In the cold, calculating, unsenti 
mental business world to which we had returned, war-time 


valuations had no place. It was not long before most of us 
realized that the war years and the post-war conception of dem 
ocracy had swept many men s minds clean of veneration for 
caste and the privileges of birth. About us we sensed the evap 
oration of whole philosophies of politics, morals and codes 
of living. Those of us who possessed a sense of humor readily 
"fitted into" the new conditions. For others the readjustments 
were slow and painful. Then there were the remaining veterans 
for whom temperaments and experiences prevented any sort of 
compromise with the changed conditions and people in civilian 
life. For these men demobilization brought tragedy, despair and 

We shall not elaborate on the plight of the man discharged 
"burned out" and physically unfit. A description of his trials 
and tribulations requires a more practised pen than ours. Let us 
hope that before it is too late a Zola or a Hugo may appear 
and place the case for this type of ex-soldier before the general 
public in a manner befitting the terribly tragic subject. 

Judging from what many ex-soldiers have told us, they 
are not sorry they went to war. Under the circumstances there 
was, they say, no other honorable course open to them. Cer 
tainly not one of us would trade places with any able-bodied 
man who could have gone to the Front but didn t. Tucked 
away in the pigeonholes of our memories, however, are many 
very poignant and bitter thoughts and we often find ourselves 
asking rather disturbing questions. Some of the questions upper 
most in our minds are: 

What can be said in justification of the political intrigues, 
national greeds and so-called "diplomacy" that led up to the 

One celebrated historian called diplomacy "an art which has 
resolved itself into a process of exalted haggling conducted with 
amazing disregard for the standards of morality." He considers 
that "the greatest single underlying cause of the war was the 
system of secret alliances in which the diplomats of each nation 
sought to preserve the balance of power by deftly playing off 
one neighbor against another, at the least possible risk to them 
selves." Lloyd George has recently declared that " in 1914 the 
cabinet was never informed of these agreements until we were 
so deeply involved in the details of military and naval plans 


that it was too late to repudiate the inference. Thus we slith 
ered over the brink into the burning cauldron." 

Was Britain s chief concern caused by Germany s disregard 
for Belgium s neutrality, or did she declare war simply because 
she saw her own world-domination threatened? 

A rather interesting sidelight on the causes leading up to the 
war was supplied by President Woodrow Wilson in a speech 
he made in 1919: "Peace? Why, my fellow-citizens, is there 
any man here or any woman - - let me say, is there any child - 
who does not know that the seed of war in the modern world is 
industrial and commercial rivalry? The war was a commercial 
and industrial war. It was not a political war. The reason that 
the war we have just finished took place was that Germany 
was afraid her commercial rivals were going to get the better 
of her; and the reason why some of the nations went into the war 
against Qermany was that they thought Qermany would get the 
commercial advantage of them. The seed of the jealousy, the seed 
of the deep-rooted hatred, was hot commercial and industrial 

Were the excuses given by the British cabinet as Britain s 
reason for taking up arms genuinely honest statements of the 
case or were they, for the most part, sheer hypocrisy and jingoism? 

Was the propaganda employed to encourage recruiting in 
Canada founded on facts, or was it manufactured for the sole 
purpose of appealing to the baser instincts, hates and fears 
which were products of wartime hysteria? Weren t some of our 
leading educationists, clergymen and bankers aware of the lies ? 

Were our troops sacrificed needlessly in the "nibbling" assaults 
in the Salient during the fall and winter of 1915-1916? Were 
they also ruthlessly sacrificed during the Somme battles? Was 
Passchendaele worth the price paid for it? Were any of the high 
officers who were responsible for several very obvious and costly 
staff blunders ever courtmartialled and shot - - or was their 
criminal incompetency considered unimportant - - less important 
than the desertion of some poor shell-shocked infantryman who 
was shot for an act his shattered mental and physical powers could 
not control? 

Discussing British operations of 1916, one of Britain s most 
eminent historians states: "Newly trained British armies were 
made to advance in close formation by generals who, unless they 


were imbeciles, could have had no doubts of the fate to which 
they were sending their men. If they were not imbeciles they 
were criminally unwilling to learn and soul-blind to suffer 
ing and waste. The mentality of these men is still a matter 
of discussion. The poor boys they commanded were marched 
forward shoulder to shoulder in successive waves of attack, and 
so advancing, they were shot to pieces by enemy machine-guns. 
Out of battalions of six or seven hundred, perhaps a hundred 
would struggle through the defensive fire and come to bomb- 
throwing, bayonet-thrusts and surrender in the German trenches. 
Small isolated groups of them in shell-holes and captured pos 
itions fought on for days. So perished the flower of an entire 
school generation, collected from hundreds of thousands of homes, 
more or less loved, more or less cared for and more or less educa 
ted; it had been enlisted, trained, sent out to the battlefields at 
enormous cost, to be left at last in the desolated spaces between 
the armies, lying in heaps and swathes to rot and be rat-eaten. 
For months afterwards, as war photographs show, thousands 
of them were to be seen sprawling in formation as they fell, 
just as if their ranks were still waiting to leap again to the attack. 
But as the observer drew near he realized their corruption. He 
discovered bony hands, eyeless sockets, faces far gone in decay. 

The British Commander-in-Chief in his despatches did not 
fail to extol the courage of his lost battalions and to represent 
this monstrous exploit as a victory! Some mile or so of ground 
had been gained in that offensive and only a few thousand pris 
oners had been taken. Twice as many British prisoners were left 
in German hands, but this the despatches ignored. The appalling 
nature of this particular disaster leaked out only very slowly The 
British censorship at least was efficient and the generals, however 
incapable in other respects, lied magnificently. The Channel cros 
sing made it particularly easy to hide events from the British 
public. And it had a peculiar effect on the British troops; it gave 
them a feeling of being in another and different world from 
home, a war- world in which such cruel and fantastic things 
could be natural. This monstrous massacre was indeed contrived 
and carried through, not simply without a revolt, but with 
scarcely an audible protest on the part of either the parents, 
relations, friends or surviving comrades of those hosts of wasted 

victims , 


Why were the known defeatists at London and Ottawa not 
brought to trial and punished? 

Why were some of the profiteers who supplied uneatable food, 
dud munitions and shoddy war materials given knighthoods 
and other high honors instead of being sent to prison? 

Why was it possible for the Government to conscript a man s 
life - - but impossible to conscript the money of the wealthy 
who were battening on the war? 

Have our federal, provincial and civic governments treated 
returned men in a manner befitting the sacrifices they made 
overseas? Haven t we too many "professional patriots" and 
flag-wavers exploiting our veterans? 

Has not the total amount spent in the administration of pen 
sions, etc., been out of all proportion to the amount of assistance 
which has actually reached the very men it was intended to help? 

Truly these are disturbing questions - - and we despair of ever 
hearing them answered satisfactorily. Our questions betray the 
fact that we are distrustful of the past and fearful of the future, 
but our concern is not for ourselves. We are thinking of our sons 
and grandsons. Most of our young men of military age are now 
too young to have participated in the Great War. Very soon 
that powerful present argument against war - - the recollection 
of its horrors, abuses, propaganda and exploitations, by the men 
who took part in it - - will no longer be valid. What will happen 
then? Will the world be plunged into a war which will, in com 
parison, make the last war seem like a mere skirmish? 

But we who soldiered overseas have Something we would not 
exchange for anything else in this world - - a Memory of com 
radeships dearer than any which peacetime could have brought; 
a Memory of experiences, trials and moral victories which are 
almost beyond belief; a Memory of sacrifice and self-abnegation 
of which we never dreamed ourselves capable before the war. 
Oh no ! We wouldn t trade our army days for anything - - even 
though we were, in a sense, robbed of our boyhood, plundered 
of our youth, and flung deliberately into a hellish testing furnace 
before we were old enough, many of us, to know the ordinary 
ways and pitfalls of a peacetime world. Many of us came out 
of the war burned-out wrecks, possessed only of tragic disillus 
ioned minds and broken bodies to carry us toward an old age 
from which we will, thank Heaven, be mercifully spared. 













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A Most Fortuitous 

One morning in April, 1919, Lieutenant-Colonel Kappele, 
who had returned convalescent to Canada the preceding Decem 
ber, had occasion to go to the C.P.R. station in Hamilton, to 
say goodbye to a departing relative. While he was at the station 
a Toronto train arrived. To his surprise and delight, he saw his 
old Commanding Officer, Colonel Farmer, alight from it, he 
having arrived without notice to anyone, and consequently hav 
ing no one there to meet him. Lieutenant-Colonel Kappele s 
pleasure and personal gratification at being able to welcome his 
beloved Commanding Officer, and being with him to celebrate 
his home-coming in Ancaster may easily be imagined. That the 
Old Man was equally pleased goes without saying. 

Most Old Qrievanccs For gotten ^ 

An interesting feature of early post-war days was the rarity 
of fisticuffs on the part of erstwhile army associates. During 
the war many of us promised ourselves the sweet satisfaction 
of seeking out some officer or noncom. enemy as soon as we 
were in civvies again, and committing upon his person assault, 
battery, mayhem and every other sort of abuse within our power. 
It speaks well for the make-up of men who served at the Front 
that there was very little attempt to pay off old scores - - that the 
fellows could, in most cases, forgive if not forget the animosities 
of army days. 

We know of only two instances of post-war revenge on the 
part of former Fifth men : Two majors who had often run foul 
of each other "over there" met in Toronto on Christmas Eve, 
1919. The Prince of Peace was forgotten. "Goodwill Toward 
All Men" meant nothing as soon as the two ex-officers met. 
Like a pair of terriers they flew at each other. To the horror of 
a red-coated Santa Claus standing on the corner of Queen and 
Yonge streets, and totally oblivious of the hustle and bustle of 
gaping shopping crowds, they battled away. Christmas bundles 
and packages flew in all directions, and, when it was all over, 
neither scrapper had won. Perhaps they were too full of synthetic 
Christmas cheer to put up much of a fight. Hostilities ended with 
honors even, without arrests, and with the two battlers well on 
the way to a friendship which still exists. 


The second instance had to do with an ex-captain. He was 
walking along a roadway near Burlington, one dark night, when 
an automobile swerved directly across the road and put him into 
hospital for a few weeks. The driver of the car was never identi 
fied but the ex-captain was heard to remark that there was only 
one man in Canada capable of such an act, and that man was a 
certain reckless, harem-scarem Irishman who served in the Motor 
Transport Section at the Front. 

We Begin to Miss the "Old Qang"<^ 

It was not until about four months after demobilization that 
there developed a comparatively strong desire for fraternization 
with former war-time comrades. As near as we can remember, 
the first steps for a reunion of Fifth men were taken in the autumn 
of 1919 and originated with Pier Morgan, Dean Wilkins, Fred 
Noyes and one or two others. It was decided to hold a meeting 
in Toronto. Advertisements were placed in local newspapers 
and a personal canvass of local ex-members was made by the 
originators of the idea. The result was a meeting in an upstairs 
room of the Central Y.M.C.A. in the Fall of 1919. Pier Morgan 
was Chairman. About fifty men turned out and the evening was 
spent in discussing the formation of a permanent association. 
By unanimous vote it was decided to hold a reunion in a few 
weeks time, when the question of a permanent organization 
could be discussed by a more representative gathering. 

Notification of this First Reunion was sent to everybody whose 
address was known to the committee in charge. The meeting 
was advertised in Toronto newspapers. The response was very 
gratifying. Over one hundred were present, the majority from 
Toronto but a goodly representation from the Hamilton area. 
For this occasion we were given the use of the library and reading 
room of the Y.M.C.A. Dean Wilkins was Chairman and the 
evening was a complete success. Perhaps the outstanding event 
was the arrival of Colonel Farmer and the vociferous ovation 
with which he was received as he made his way across the "Y 1 
lobby. The old man was simply stunned by the cordiality of his 
reception. He admitted afterwards that the spontaneous and 
hearty greeting given to him on this occasion by "his own boys" 
was the greatest surprise he had ever experienced and had 


provided him with the most cherished thrill of his whole life. 
As cheer after cheer shook the building the Colonel stood before the 
remnants of his old command, tears of happiness trickling down 
his flushed cheeks and his whole body shaking with the emotion 
stirring within him. We were told afterwards that the Old 
Man had been very reluctant about coming to this first gather 
ing. He felt that some of the boys might be resentful of his 
war-days disciplinary methods. 

Colonel Kappele, Major Elliott and several other ex-officers 
were also present and received cordial greetings. Refreshments 
were served, followed by speeches and various forms of enter 
tainment. Finally, a business session ensued. In the prevailing 
excitement no definite plans for a permanent association or 
future reunions were made. Evidently the war was too recent 
for the successful launching of such an organization. There 
was, however, a definitely expressed conviction that we ex-Fifth 
men should keep in touch with each other somehow; but the 
matter was left entirely in the hands of the little coterie respons 
ible for the calling of the first meeting. Business affairs took 
Morgan to England, Noyes to the U.S.A., and Wilkins to North 
ern Ontario, so, during the ensuing few years the old Fifth was 
more or less dormant. 

Of course, there were occasional parties, composed of various 
small groups of former comrades. The nine lads of Tent Nine, 
for instance, had arranged in Otterpool for a reunion after the 
war. In the Spring of 1920 Carl Hill treated the nine old tent- 
mates to a banquet at the Walker House, Toronto. After the 
banquet, Mike Bicknell gave them a theatre party at Loew s 

From time to time small parties were held at the Walker House 
and Elliott House, Toronto, to celebrate the presence in town of 
some out-of-town Fifth fellow, or to mark the anniversary of 
some outstanding army-days incident. Max Kelso moved to New 
Zealand and about sixty of his buddies gave him a smoking 
outfit and a send-off party in Hamilton Armories. This affair 
was arranged by Jack Shepherd, and Jack Williams had charge 
of the meeting. Jim McGillivray was the object of a celebration 
at the Elliott House on the occasion of a visit east. A few other 
get-togethers similar to these resulted in a re-birth of desire for a 
permanent Association and a reunion of the whole outfit. 


The First Real 

During the winter of 1926-27, Jim Henderson, Ben Case, Si 
Taylor, Pick Bridges, Baldy Rutherford and a few others put 
their heads together and made plans for a Reunion Dinner. By 
means of advertisements in the press, radio broadcasts, post 
cards and personal calls, a goodly number of ex-Fifth men were 
contacted. The reunion was held in the Walker House, Toronto, 
in the Spring of 1927. Pier Morgan was Chairman and over 
one hundred were present. In addition to our Toronto, Hamilton 
and Owen Sound groups, men came from the United States 
and remote points in Eastern Canada. After an excellent dinner 
a short business session was held, followed by musical entertain 
ment and fraternization until long past midnight. Ernest Morgan, 
at that time one of Canada s outstanding baritones, was the chief 
attraction. Ex-bugler Frank Temperton, who lost an arm shortly 
after the war, commenced his duties as our Association s official 
accompanist and, from that night on, has presided at the piano 
in a manner that would never lead anyone to think he was 
playing under a handicap. 

This, our second reunion, was an unqualified success, and it 
was decided to hold another get-together in about six months 
time at Hamilton and on the most suitable date nearest to Sep 
tember 15th, the date of our departure from Otterpool Camp in 
1915. The idea was to have a semi-annual reunion, with Tor 
onto and Hamilton alternating as the place of meeting. 

About the middle of September, 1927, we celebrated our 
Third Reunion. First of all, the fellows met in the Sergeant s 
Mess of Hamilton Armories, where Tep Richardson, Jimmy 
Bell and some other Hamilton lads had a busy half-hour serving 
refreshments. Then the gang adjourned to a banquet hall in 
another part of the building where we were wined, dined and 
entertained for the rest of the evening. It was very evident that 
these reunions had hit a responsive chord in the hearts of ex-Fifth 
men and that our Association was well on the road to becoming 
a permanent institution - - as long as enough were left alive to 
carry on. 


On Saturday, April 14, our Fourth Reunion was celebrated 
in the Walker House, Toronto. Owen Sound lads came by train. 


The Hamilton contingent chartered a bus, and several fellows 
came from places in the States and Eastern Canada. About one 
hundred and ten, in all, sat down to dinner. Fred Noyes was 
Chairman. Vocal and piano music was supplied by Ernest Mor 
gan (Pier s talented brother) Frank Temperton and others. Our 
old training-camp days songster, George Brookes, was present 
but, because of a heavy cold, was unable to sing. The feature 
of the evening was an illustrated lecture by ex-Staff Deadman. 
His war-time experiences in Mesopotamia were the subject of 
his address. During his long stay in the East he took hundreds 
of photos, covering a wide range of territory and activity. These 
pictures were thrown on a screen and rounded out a very fascinat 
ing and informative lecture. During the short business meeting 
which followed the dinner it was unanimously decided that only 
one reunion a year would be held thereafter, and that this annual 
meeting would take place on the second Saturday in May. There 
were, too, several expressions of opinion that steps should be 
taken to compile a unit History; but nothing definite was done 
toward that end. 

The "Old Man" Answers the Last Call<^ 

This was the last reunion at which our beloved original 
Officer Commanding was present. On Monday, May 7, came 
the shocking news that Colonel Farmer had died suddenly at 
his home in Ancaster, Ontario. He had been failing in health 
for some time, but none suspected his condition was so serious. 
We will quote what the Hamilton Spectator said about the 
Colonel s passing: 

Colonel George Devey Farmer, C.B.E.,M.D.,C.M., was born inAncaster 
in the year 1866 and had resided in his Ancaster home practically all his 
life. During the many years in which he practised his profession as doctor 
he won a large circle of friends who deeply grieve his death, which will 
bring to a close the career of a man, not only of wonderful personality 
and character but one who had served his country at the Great War, from 
the outset to the last. 

When Colonel Farmer first started his practice in Ancaster, conditions 
for transportation were not as favorable and efficient as they are now, 
but the beloved doctor has been known to travel for miles through stormy 
weather and at much inconvenience to himself to administer relief to 
suffering patients. His kindly words and genteel manner, not only endeared 


him to many as a family physician, but as a friend in need, winning him a 
place among his patients and men of his profession. 

Following his private education at Ancaster he entered Hamilton Cen 
tral Collegiate and after his graduation attended the Trinity Medical 
College at Toronto. In the year 1891 he received his M.D., CM. Colonel 
Farmer than took up his practice in Ancaster, the town of his birth, and 
with the exception of the time served in the Great War, he resided and 
carried on his practice in Ancaster. 

Previous to joining the Canadian Forces for the Great War, Colonel 
Farmer had been the Commanding Officer of No. 12 Field Ambulance of 
Hamilton. In that capacity he had carried on a very beneficial work in 
passing his extensive knowledge of medical work on to his younger 
charges in the corps. 

In November, 1914, Colonel Farmer enlisted with the Canadian Ex 
peditionary Forces as a Lieutenant-Colonel, commanding No. 5 Canadian 
Field Ambulance, Second Contingent, going overseas after his training 
period at the military camps in this country were completed in April, 1915. 
He was with No. 5 Field Ambulance for two years in France, taking 
active part in the Ypres and Somme battles. He was later Commanding 
Officer of No. 2 Stationary Hospital at Boulogne. In the year 1918 he 
was promoted to the rank of full Colonel and made Commanding Officer 
of No. 5 Canadian General Hospital at Liverpool, England. For his 
services he was awarded the C.B.E. Colonel Farmer was twice mentioned 
in despatches for his outstanding work and on many occasions distin 
guished himself with deeds of self-denial in his tireless work of helping the 
wounded and inmates of hospitals under his charge. 

In politics he was a staunch Conservative. He was a member of St. 
John s Church, being a lay representative to the synod and holding many 
offices in connection with church activities. He was also a Past Master of 
Seymour Lodge, A.F. & A.M., of Ancaster. 

Left to mourn his demise are his mother, Mrs. G. D. Farmer; two 
daughters, Mrs. P. McCormack, of Ottawa; Miss Eleanor Farmer, at 
home; two sons, Tom and Dr. G. E. D. Farmer, of Hamilton; two 
brothers, T. D. Farmer, of Acton, and W. E. D. Farmer, of Toronto; 
also two sisters, Mrs. Hughes, of London, England, and Miss A. Farmer, 
of Toronto. 

The funeral will take place on Thursday afternoon, at 2.30 o clock, 
from his residence in Ancaster to St. John s Church. A military funeral will 
be held and men from the units of which he was Commanding Officer and 
outstanding military officials will attend. Interment will be made in the 
cemetery adjoining St. John s Church. 

We shall also quote the Spectator s report of the Old Man s 
funeral, adding only that the village of Ancaster is very much 
like a typical English village in appearance. The weather on 


the day of the funeral was very much like that which we had 
shortly after the Fifth arrived at Otterpool in the Spring of 1915. 

Paying reverential regard to one who had strongly endeared himself in 
their affections, a vast crowd assembled in the quaint old church of St. 
John s at Ancaster for the very impressive funeral service of Colonel 
Dr. George Devey Farmer, C.B.E. Numbered in the gathering which more 
than filled the church were people in all walks of life, who through one 
means or another, had come into contact with his remarkable personality. 

There were those who had been administered to by his hands in sick 
ness and sorrow, fellow members of the church where he was an active 
worker and a devout worshipper; those of his political and fraternal asso 
ciates and others of opposite beliefs; fellow members of the honored 
medical profession, and lastly, but not least, "his own boys" of the Fifth 
Field Ambulance, Second Division, C.E.F. The original Commanding 
Officer of that unit, its organizer and just administrator during training 
and on active service, no one was more truly entitled to the oft-heard and 
endearing expression, "the grand old man." 

Evidence there was on all sides of the deep-rooted esteem in which 
Colonel Farmer was held. Scores of beautiful floral tributes arranged 
about the casket at his home bore mute testimony of the high regard 
which was his, but even more striking was the fact that close to thirty 
men of his overseas unit attended from Toronto, while a similar number 
came from Hamilton. Others of his old command came from Welland 
and other points in the Niagara peninsula. Surely a strong pronouncement 
of loyalty and respect, was this. 

Besides the large detachment of veterans in mufti there was a fine turn 
out of men of the present Fifth Field Ambulance in command of Lieut. - 
Col. W. F. Nicholson, M.C., who, also, was an original officer of the over 
seas medical unit. The active pallbearers were N.C.O.s of the First Went- 
worth Regiment, as were the members of the firing squad. 

Full military honors were accorded this sterling soldier-physician. His 
body was borne on a gun carriage from his old colonial home in the centre 
of the village to the church and following behind was a black charger, 
boots reversed in stirrups. Atop the casket, draped with a Union Jack, 
was placed the deceased s belt and military cap, and escorting the bier 
were men in khaki. Following the burial service the customary three 
volleys were fired; then came the piper s lament. 

Services at the church and grave in the adjoining cemetery were con 
ducted by Major Rev. W. E. Kidd, M.C., rector of St. John s Church; His 
Lordship, Right Rev. D. T. Owen, Bishop of Niagara; Captain, the Ven. 
Archdeacon A. C. Mackintosh, and the Rev. Canon S. Daw. Rev. Mr. 
Cook, former pastor of the Ancaster Presbyterian Church also attended. 

Honorary pallbearers were men of military rank and all veterans of the 
Great War, as follows: Major-General J. T. Fotheringham, C.M.G., who 


was assistant director of medical services of the Second Canadian Division 
and a fellow-student of the deceased at medical college: Colonel Forde, 
C.M.G.; Colonel Wallace Scott, C.M.G., of Toronto; Lieut. -Colonel 
J. E. Davey, D.S.O.; Lieut.-Colonel D. P. Kappele, D.S.O.; Colonel 
John I. McLaren; Colonel A. E. Clifford, D.S.O.; Colonel George Black; 
Lieut.-Colonel N. V. Leslie; Lieut.-Colonel F. S. L. Philip; and Lieut.- 
Colonel O. A. Cannon. 

After the funeral was over, refreshments were served to those 
who had come from outside points. This very thoughtful ges 
ture on the part of the Farmer family made a deep and lasting 
impression on ex-Fifth men. It was just like something the Old 
Man himself would have thought of, and we came away from 
Ancaster with the feeling that, even though the Colonel had 
passed on, the kindliness and understanding which were his 
had been transmitted to his children and kin. 



During the Winter of 1928-29 ways and means of compiling 
and publishing a Fifth Field Ambulance History were discussed 
by several of the fellows. A meeting for further consideration 
of this matter took place in Hamilton armories, a few weeks 
later. About fifty were present and selected a committee of four 
men: Case, Noyes, Patterson and Rutherford, as editors of the 
proposed volume, subject, of course, to the approval of those 
present at the next reunion. 

On the second Saturday of May our Fifth Annual Reunion was 
held in Dynes Hotel, Burlington Beach. Colonel Kappele and 
Andy Patterson shared the Chairmanship duties. Over one hundred 
were present. After a very enjoyable dinner, a short business 
session was held. The chief subject of business was the unit His 
tory. After considerable discussion the publication of the book 
was enthusiastically endorsed and the committee named at the 
preliminary meeting was unanimously elected. Appropriate enter 
tainment and refreshments followed the business meeting and it 
was a happy and harmonious gathering that broke up in the early 
hours of the morning. 


This was the Toronto Branch s year to put on the annual get- 
together. On Saturday, May 3rd, our Sixth Annual Reunion was 
held at the Carls-Rite Hotel, with Carl Hill as Chairman. There 


we had one of our most successful gatherings. Although we had 
the usual banquet, speeches and musical entertainment, the fea 
ture of the evening was the presence of the Mayor of Bully 
Grenay. Over one hundred and twenty-five ex-Fifth fellows were 
present to welcome the man who had once been head of affairs in 
the little tumbledown town of Bully, where our unit had spent 
momentous days - - and perilous nights - - during the year im 
mediately following our trip north from the Somme. But perhaps 
we had better let a newspaper account of the Mayor s memorable 
visit tell the story: 




Grab or no grab, Toronto s amateurs in the mendacious art need look 
to their laurels. A greater than them all is in Toronto none other than 
M. Jean Boucher, Mayor of Bully Grenay. The news came to the Qlobc 
office by telephone late Friday afternoon - - something like this : 

"Yes, the Mayor of Bully Grenay- - M. Jean Boucher, the one that 
stayed in office, and in what the Boche shells left of the Mairiz, all 
through the war. His daughter Marguerite married a Canadian fellow in 
the Twentieth Battalion. 

That d be some time in 17. The Fourth Brigade was in and out of 
Bully most of that winter. Anybody who was with the Twentieth Bat 
talion then can tell you about it. Just forget the fellow s name now, but 
he and his wife are living out the Danforth some place. The old boy s 
come out to visit his daughter. Dropped in at my office today to talk 
over old times. Remembers a lot of the fellows in our lot, especially the 
officers. Our Commanding Officer had a good deal of business with M. Ic 
Maire. The Fifth Field Ambulance -- that was us had a dressing 
station a couple of doors from the Mairie for a long time. He s promised 
to come down and talk about old times at our reunion tomorrow night. 


"Oh, yes, sure to be there. Come down and hear him. Sorry I ve for 
gotten the son-in-law s name. But you ll be able to find him all right. 
Anybody who was with the Twentieth in 17 can tell you who he is, and 
he lives out the Danforth some place. That s all right. Don t mention 
it. Goodbye!" 

The search for the son-in-law of the Mayor of Bully Grenay began at 
5 p.m. Ah, to be young again! It lasted until 11.30 p.m. At 5.45 there 


was a man named Chamberlain lived on Crewe Avenue, whose wife was 
a French girl. At 6.08 Mr. Chamberlain was an Imperial and he hadn t 
married a French girl. At 7 there was a man named McKenzie who 
might be the fellow, only his wife died two years ago and, anyway, she 
was from Paris. A French family named Boucher lived on Dundas East 
at 7.40. But they knew nothing of Bully Grenay and they were from Trois 
Rivieres, P.Q., at 8.05. Three Field Officers of the Twentieth Battalion 
remembered the wedding distinctly at 8.10, 9.17 and 10.03. Unfortun 
ately, none of them could recall the name of the private soldier who 
married the Mayor s daughter in Bully Grenay. 


One major had "stayed three times at the Mairie in Bully." But all he 
could remember at 11.15 was the pet name of the lady Mayoress: "Old 
Hatchetface. " Four hours and a half of phoning drew every cover blank. 
The Qlobe went to press Saturday morning without the great news of the 
presence in Toronto of M. le Maire de Bully Qrenay. 

Faint, but pursuing, the faithful newshound took up the chase on 
Saturday. It led at last to an upper room in the Hotel Carls-Rite and the 
Sixth Annual Reunion of the Fifth Field Ambulance. Doubt lay buried 
deep in the newshound s breast. It was soon dug up again and cast forth. 

M. Jean Boucher was a little late in arriving at the Fifth Field Ambu 
lance Reunion, but he came -- a plump, ruddy little man in immaculate 
black. The coat was that quaint compromise between a frock and tails, 
which only a French Provencal tailor can achieve. A ribbon of the Legion 
of Honor, Third Class, adorned the left buttonhole. A gray spade-beard 
and gray moustache framed the smile on mobile lips. 


The Mayor of Bully Grenay entered the banquet hall. "Everybody up!" 
Led by Colonel Kappele of Hamilton, one hundred and ten members of 
the Fifth jarred the ceiling loose with three cheers for M. Boucher. 

M. Boucher smiled and bowed from the hips. He was accable, he was 
heard to say, by the reception of his amis dc la Croix Rpuge. In deference to 
Canadian custom, M. le Maire drank water at the banquet and kept his 
napkin on his knees. He was all earnest attention for the speeches which 
followed the food. 

Major-General Fotheringham made graceful reference to happy mem 
ories of France, and expressed his faith in France and her destiny. M. 
Boucher bowed in grave acknowledgement. Major-General Fotheringham 
was sure that every man who served in France shared his feeling. (Ap 
plause). Mr. Boucher bowed again. 

As the Mayor of Bully Grenay rose, every man in the banquet hall rose 
with him, and the proud tempestuous music of the Marsellaise shook the 
air. Everybody knew the tune. A surprising number knew the words. The 


effect was magnificent, magnifique\ M. Boucher was overcome, but he 
recovered himself and spoke with eloquence and spirit. 


The first part of his speech was a mixture of French, broken English 
and applause, and hard to follow. "Quand a, raoi," the reporter caught, 
and "I am happy to recall with you those days you have spent in my 
country . . . some of which were spent in my own village . . . take upon 
myself to be ambassador of all our old amis du Pas de Calais and extend 
to you their salutations and expressions of extreme regard." (Cheers). 
I shall like, if it is permitted me, to tell what things have become there 
in the petit, broken-down village that you recall. All, I am pleased to say 
to you, are now restored - - the eglise, the mairie, the estaminets , the 
little maisons, the magazins - - are now as if the war had not been. 

"Yet all is not forgotten. Many jeunes filles de Bully Qrenay recall the 
visit des Canadiens. There are some who wait encore for the promised 
return apres la guerre ....* 

The Mayor of Bully Grenay spoke eloquently of the sadness of Mile. 
Julienne of the Officers Estaminet; of une jeune fille who waits encore 
for Sergeant O Leary at the ferme behind the schoolhouse. He told of 
diminished business in pommes de terre frittes on both side of the Belgian 
border. He recalled, amid reminiscent laughter, towns with forgotten 
names - - Maroc, Lievin, Souchez, Bouvigny, Boyeffles and Dranoutre. 
He spoke of fermes and estaminets and mairies; of "Marie," and "Julie" 
and "Jeanne;" of whitewash and incinerators, and the bed-roll of 
Staff- Sergeant Smith. "Particularly, we of Bully Grenay recall with affec 
tionate regard the Feefth Ambulance Croix Rouge," said M. Boucher. 
"Aferci, messieurs," and sat down, amid thunderous applause. 

It was a great speech. Whether or not it was the one the Mayor of 
Bully Grenay would have made, Dr. Joseph T. Irwin, of Bloor Street, 
who made it, will not tell. 

"Zeal, all zeal, Mr. Easy!" A junior reporter, who will never again be 
as innocent and young as on last Friday afternoon, tenders heartfelt 
apologies to: One general, two colonels, eight majors, twenty-seven other 
ranks --all late of the Fourth Brigade, Second Division, C.E.F. 

The same reporter begs forgiveness of: Two parish priests, one physi 
cian, two aldermen, one ex-alderman, one bank manager, one school- 
board secretary, one cigar-store proprietor. (All of "somewhere out the 
Danforth"). He prays the French Consul in Toronto to accept of his 
regrets the most profound. He prostrates himself at the feet of the Toronto 
and District Command, Canadian Legion. And he beseeches the Toronto 
police force to believe that he did not do it on purpose. Toronto Qlobe, 
May 5, 1930. 


From the foregoing account it will be appreciated that the 
press, the police, the military authorities and the great Toronto 
public were hoaxed. And that isn t all! Ninety-five per cent of 
those at the reunion were taken in. Carl Hill, even though he was 
chairman, had no idea that the celebrity he introduced was not 
the genuine article. Carl even went so far as to suggest to Officer 
John McRae that there would be sure promotion and a merit 
mark for the constable clever enough to locate the elusive Mayor, 
and suggested that he should phone the chief at once. Captain 
Parker sat next to His Worship at the head table and did his best 
to carry on a conversation with Monsieur Boucher: "How are 
the crops in your country?" he asked, in his best war-time French. 
"Ah, M sieur," replied the Mayor, "Les grappcs sont detruics. 
Trop de la pluie, malheurcuscment!" "And how is your good 
wife?" continued the captain. Ah, mon chcr Capitainc, die cst 
mort depuis longtemps," sighed M. Boucher and there was a hint 
of moisture in his eyes. "Mais, ccst triste," consoled the sym 
pathetic Parker, in his best accent. 

Even Chief Constable Draper was gulled. He ordered every 
returned man on his force to "spare no efforts to locate this man. " 
Draper was a general in the Third Division; and knew Bully 
Grenay! Reporters were at the Carls-Rite Hotel several hours 
before the meeting, buttonholing every Fifth man they could find 
and doing their utmost to get some definite news of the distin 
guished guest. 

As for the Fifth men, very few of them knew when the meeting 
broke up that Joe Irwin was hiding behind the spade beard, the 
frock coat and the quaint accent of M. Boucher. Joe gave a perfect 
performance. How he ever kept his face straight throughout the 
affair is a mystery. He was the one man in our unit capable of 
doing the thing in just the right way, and the act went over big. 
Even Piccadilly Bridges, Si Taylor, Jim Henderson and dozens of 
fellows who knew Joe well in war days, were fooled. They stood 
close to him and joined in singing the Marsdlaise. with all the 
voice and wind at their command. It was not until we saw the 
Monday papers that most of us learned the truth. Captain Parker 
and Carl Hill, for instance, met Joe in the hotel washroom shortly 
before the meeting broke up. Joe was busily washing the makeup 
off his face. "Just got off the train." explained Joe. Washing 
some of the soot out of my ears." The Captain and Hill looked 


at him. ; Well, my friend" declared Carl, "you ve missed the 
time of your life ! We ve had the Mayor of Bully Grenay with us 
all evening. He just left." 

Where the idea for the stunt originated we aren t sure. We do 
know, however, that for many nights prior to the reunion, Joe 
Irwin and Orvil Elliott had their heads together, and that the 
ex- Major did a lot of mysterious telephoning on the Friday pre 
ceding the meeting. We remember, too, how anxious Frank 
O Leary was to turn over inquisitive reporters to Fifth men who 
had nothing to tell. One thing we are sure of, and that is this : The 
affair had all Toronto by the ears for two or three days; it pro 
vided us with an excellent night s entertainment and set a very 
high mark for future reunion committees to shoot at. 

Newspaper clippings about the affair were mailed to the real 
Mayor of Bully, over in France. Here is a translated copy of the 
letter we received in return : 


July 3, 1931. 
Dear Sirs : 

It was indeed with pleasure and surprise, as you may suppose, that I 
learned of my presence in Toronto in May, 1930. 

I am particularly pleased that you have retained such a good memory 
of my dear home town and, to begin with, I must tell you that I have 
been mayor of the town of Bully since 1929 and that, during hostilities, 
I was on active service. 

A native of Bully, a widower and the father of three children, I had to 
close my drug store on the fifth day of mobilization and do like my com 
rades -- defend the invaded soil; and I did not return home till February, 
1919, so that I did not know very well the English or Canadian troops 
who sojourned at Bully. But I have a vivid recollection of a leave spent 
here at home with some Canadians, the impression of which is still 
pleasant to recall. Also I have on my cellar door a notice put up by those 
gentlemen which reads : 


by order 

April 12 

You see, therefore, that among the recollections you mention, I have some 
which I guard very jealously. 

I had your letter and newspaper articles translated and I was very glad 
that you interpreted in such an original, cordial and amiable manner 


the sentiments that I myself should have expressed if I had had the 
pleasure of being in your midst. 

So I ask you to transmit to all the members of the 5th Canadian Field 
Ambulance my best wishes and, as Mayor of Bully, my congratulations 
and thanks. 

I am glad to tell you that since then, Bully, as well as the other places 
you mention, has recovered from the ravages of the war. The ruins were 
numerous, the losses cruel, but all have succeeded in re-establishing their 
property and with tears in their eyes and despair in their souls have re 
newed what the older ones built and what the young ones hope for. 

Life has thus resumed its normal course. Troubles are soothed and now 
hardly more than the horrible and always poignant memory remains of 
that slaughter which is without parallel in the annals of history. Just after 
the war, life was rather easy, business rather good; but now we are suffer 
ing from the crisis which for so long now has brooded over the world. 
The lowering of wages and strikes have intervened and embarrassed our 
very industrious and courageous population. 

As for myself, Mayor of Bully, my duties are hard, for the receipts 
from the budget are meagre and there is so much to be done in this 
populous place. 

Many other less-affected municipalities have found, in England, Canada 
and elsewhere, godmothers who have helped them recover from their 

I regret not having been invested with my duties in those troublous 
times, for I should have pleaded the cause of my municipality and, perhaps, 
should have found the sister town which would have bound up our 
wounds, helped us to rebuild our ruins and would today be a useful aid 
to us in completing this great work. However, as I have said, I am 
none the less happy at the good memory you have preserved of Bully 
and its inhabitants. 

Rest assured that for the most part they reciprocate the sentiments you 
express with regard to them, for the Canadians were especially appreci 
ated for their friendliness, their devotion, their spirit of sacrifice and their 
honor; and if in the course of your wanderings chance leads you to Bully, 
be sure that the welcome that will be given you will be no less sincere, 
no less cordial than that which you would reserve for me if I went to 

Now to all the members of the Fifth Field Ambulance, and to yourself, 
in the name of my citizens and myself, I extend the expression of our 
gratitude for the services you rendered us during the terrible nightmare of 
the war and we wish you the best wishes : 


Yours very sincerely, 

L. Baillot, Druggist, (Signed) L. BAILLOT. 

Mayor, Bully-les-mines. 



Our Seventh Annual Reunion took place on the second Satur 
day in May, 1931, and was held in Murphy s Restaurant, 
Hamilton. Colonel Kappele was Chairman, and Mayor John 
Peebles was the guest-speaker of the evening. Immediately before 
the dinner those present fell in and in charge of Sergeant- Major 
Jack Williams marched to the cenotaph, where Larry Kelly 
deposited a wreath and made a brief and suitable speech. A piper 
then played a Lament, after which a bugler blew Last Post, 
followed by the Reveille. To the skirl of bagpipes the parade then 
marched back to Murphy s for food, refreshment and entertain 
ment. About one hundred were present and at our short business 
interlude decided to deposit the Red Cross Flag carried by our 
unit overseas, along with a memorial Union Jack, in St. John s 
Church, Ancaster, on Sunday, June 14th. 

The presentation of flags took place as arranged. About 150 of 
the old Fifth, and a goodly number of the Continuing Fifth 
(Militia unit) paraded to the church and took part in the cere 
mony. The Rector, W. E. Kidd, M.C., officiated. St. John s 
Church had been for a great many years the Farmer family place 
of worship and it was eminently fitting that our flags should be 
there deposited. Following is the Order of Service : 


The congregation being assembled in the church and the doors closed, the church 
authorities await inside the main door the arrival of the Flags with escort. The 
Adjutant advances and knocks thrice on the door with his sword-hilt. 

On the door being opened, he says: 

Sir: I have been commanded by Lieut. -Colonel K. E. Cooke, M.C., commanding 
the Fifth Field Ambulance, to inform the authorities of this church that he has repaired 
here to-day with the Red Cross Flag carried by the Fifth Field Ambulance, British 
Expeditionary Force, during their service overseas 1914-1918, and with a memorial 
Union Jack and desires admission to prefer a request that they might be deposited herein. 

The Rector shall answer : 

Sir: Inform Lieut. -Colonel K. E. Cooke, M.C., commanding the Fifth Field 
Ambulance, that every facility shall be afforded him in executing his most laudable 

Upon this being communicated to the Commanding Officer the procession is 
formed and will proceed up the aisle to the singing of the hymn. 


On arrival at the chancel steps the Officer Commanding shall thus address the 
Rector : 

Sir: On behalf of the Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and men of the Fifth 
Field Ambulance British Expeditionary Force, I have the honour to request that this 
Red Cross Flag, carried by them during their service overseas 1914-1918, and also 


that this Union Jack given by them in memory of their original Commanding Officer, 
the late Colonel George Devey Farmer, C.B.E., M.D., be deposited here for safe 
keeping as a token of their gratitude to Almighty God for His providential care and 
benediction granted them in the discharge of duty. In so acting they desire to provide 
a memorial to the service of all the members of this unit who served for King and 
Country so faithfully and to afford an inspiration for patriotic service and sacrifice to 
those who may worship here for all time to come. 

The Rector shall answer: 

In the faith of Jesus Christ we accept these Flags for the Glory of God and in 
memory of those who were faithful, many of them even unto death, in the sacred 
cause of King and Country and deposit them for safe keeping in this church to be a 
memorial before God and man and in the confidence of the inspiration they will afford 
to all who behold them, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy 


At the close of the National Anthem the Flags will be handed to the Wardens 
who in turn present them to the Rector. 

The Rector "In the name of our God we will set up our Banners." 

Response "The Lord is our strength, we will not be afraid." 

The. Rector "Now know I that the Lord saved his annointed." 

Response- "He will hear Him from His Heaven with the saving strength of 

His right hand." 

The Rector "Some trust in chariots, some in horses." 
Response "But we will remember the name of the Lord our God." 
The Flags will be placed upon the altar and the following prayer be said: 
"Almighty Father, who dost ever call thy people to faith and sacrifice, vouchsafe 
we beseech thee to accept these offerings, the emblems of Thy servants fidelity and 
unselfish devotion to the Glory of Thy great name through Jesus Christ Our Lord, 

"Oh, God, from everlasting to everlasting, the same who didst set up memorials 
in the name of thy people Israel, to be a constant reminder of their duty to thee, grant 
that all who worship here, by the contemplation of these memorials, may be stirred 
to the fullest sense of their relations to Thee and to King and Country. May the remem 
brance of the courage, loyalty and self sacrifice of the men who fought under these 
emblems, in the defence of our Empire, so fire us with patriotic zeal, that we shall 
ever be ready to venture all, even life itself, in the same Holy cause. Above all may 
our minds be lifted toward heavenly things that we may be conformed to the image 
of Thy dear Son who was obedient unto Death, and to whom with Thee and the 
Holy Ghost be all Honour and Praise and Power, world without end, Amen." 

"Oh, Almighty God, who has knit together thine elect in one communion and 
fellowship in the mystical body of Thy Son Christ our Lord, grant us grace so to follow 
thy blessed Saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those un 
speakable joys which thou hast prepared for them that unfeignedly love thee, through 
Jesus Christ Our Lord, Amen." 


PSALM 46. 



Almighty and most merciful Father, We have erred and strayed from thy ways 
like losr sheep, We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts, 
We have offended against thy holy laws, We have left undone those things which we 

1. Group of the Lads at Ancaster Church Service. 3. Jack Lumsden, K. in A. 

2. Restivo reaching for his hanky! 

4. "Turk" Elliott (extreme left) talks Turkey with General Allenby, Corps Reunion. 

1. Headstone at Colonel Farmer s grave. 2. Refreshments after the unveiling. 

3. Monument in Bully Grenay to those of the community who fell in the war. (Photo sent by Mayor of Bully 


ought to have done, And we have done those things which we ought not to have done , 
And there is no health in us: But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us miserable offenders; 
Spare thou them, O God, which confess their faults, Restore thou them that are peni 
tent, According to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesu our Lord; And 
grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake, That we may hereafter live a godly, 
righteous, and sober life, To the Glory of thy holy Name. Amen. 












After the service, an adequate supply of sandwiches, coffee, and 
other refreshments was served in the Farmer home and on the 
beautiful grounds surrounding it. We believe that Miss Farmer 
and Mrs. Albert Armes had much to do with this very thoughtful 
provision. It certainly was very timely and much appreciated by 
those present. 


A gathering of about forty Fifth lads took place in Spadina 
Armories, Toronto, on January 20th, 1932, when a committee 
was appointed for Toronto district "to plan reunions and give 
all possible assistance to those seeking pensions, and to help those 
who for the time being have been harder hit by the depression 
than others." The committee elected was: President, Orvil 
Elliott; Vice-President, Ben Case; Sec.-Treas., Jim Henderson; 
Members, Harry Fryday, Roy Skilling, and all other Toronto 
members of the unit. 

Charles (Dick) Whittingham died very suddenly at Hamilton 
on January 26th. A large turnout of members from Hamilton, 
Toronto and vicinity attended the funeral, two days later, when 
interment was made at Woodlawn Cemetery^ Hamilton. Dick 
was an "original" and one of our best. He was generally popular 
and took a great and active interest in matters concerning the 
unit. His quiet drollery, obvious sincerity and unassuming manner 
had endeared him to all. Dick had no relatives locally, but 
blood-relations couldn t have loved him more than we. 


The Communique is 

On March 29th, 1932, the first Fifth Field Ambulance (Over 
seas) Communique was published. The initial number consisted 
of three foolscap pages of typewritten matter pertaining to the 
activites of ex-Fifth men. The first editorial informed us that the 
object of the Communique was "To maintain closer touch than 
can be afforded by a yearly get-together, we are going to issue 
periodically a news bulletin dealing with whatever interesting 
items can be gathered about members of the unit. In order that 
this may be as complete as possible, everybody s co-operation is 
requested. If you have any news which you believe will be of 
interest, telephone or write the Secretary of Toronto branch. We 
want news from Hamilton, Owen Sound, Detroit, Toronto, or 
wherever you are." 

The idea of a news-sheet was born in the brains of Case and 
Henderson. Mysterious ways and means were found for the pub 
lication of the first number. Approximately three hundred and 
fifty copies were sent out and the Communique s success was 
assured. Eight numbers in all have been issued and our miniature 
newspaper has grown considerably and become an established 
institution to which all Fifth men and their families look forward 
with lively and appreciative interest. Baldy Rutherford and Andy 
Patterson shared the editorship of the first few editions. Pat still 
looks after the Hamilton news. Baldy moved from Toronto, 
so the Toronto editorial duties have been taken care of by others. 
Mrs. Taylor (wife of Si) does the typing and cuts the mimeograph 
stencils. Two or three volunteers attend to the stitching, folding 
and mailing. 

The Eighth Annual Reunion was held at the Carls-Rite Hotel, 
Toronto, on May 7th. One hundred and six members from near 
and far sat down to dinner. Baldy Rutherford occupied the Chair. 
The guest-speaker of the evening was Captain Kidd, of Ancaster, 
who was Chaplain of the Twenty-First Battalion overseas. The 
padre was accorded a good reception and gave a very interesting 
address. A brief business meeting was held, after which those 
present adjourned to an adjacent room where Messrs. Busst and 
Rigby dispensed without fear or favor an ample supply of malt 
extract. With refreshments, fraternization and music the balance 
of the evening passed very quickly and pleasantly. 


At this reunion Larry Kelly proposed our most important 
toast; "To Our Fallen Comrades." Here is what he said: 

This fellowship and companionship we here enjoy is enriched by a 
beautifully sad and profound memory. It has been bought with a price - 
not alone that price of transformation and vicissitude which the war im 
posed upon each of us, but with the lives of those who paid unto that 
"last full measure of devotion." The price they paid adds the deeper note 
to our rejoicing together. Our thoughts of them are encompassed with 
an abounding hope which may be couched in the words of one who, with 
them, passed on : 

"To every created thing God has given a tongue which proclaims 
resurrection. If the Father deigns to touch with divine power the cold and 
pulseless heart of the buried acorn and to make it burst forth from its 
prison walls, will He leave neglected in the earth the soul of Man made 
in the image of his Creator? If He stoops to give to the rose bush whose 
withered blossoms float upon the autumn breeze the sweet assurance of 
another springtime, will He refuse the words of hope to the sons of men 
when the frosts of winter come? If matter, though mute and inanimate, 
is changed into a multitude of forms and can never die, will the spirit of 
man suffer annihilation after paying a brief visit like a royal guest to this 
tenement of clay?" No! We can be assured that they live! They have laid 
"in dust, life s glory dead," but from the very ground there shall blossom 
red a life that shall fuller, fairer be. 

The names of those who paid their all in France with the added 
name of one who has passed on since our last reunion will be read. 
After the reading shall we stand a moment in silent communion with 
our immortal comrades. 

Another very interesting feature of the evening was Joe Irwin s 
reading of the letter from the real mayor of Bully Grenay. 

On Sunday, June 19th, a goodly number of Fifth veterans from 
Toronto, Hamilton, Owen Sound and elsewhere visited Ancaster 
and paraded, along with the militia unit of the Continuing Fifth 
Field Ambulance, to St. John s Church, where Captain Kidd con 
ducted a Memorial Service for fallen Fifth men. After the service 
tribute was paid to the memory of Colonel Farmer and other 
fallen comrades at the colonel s graveside. 


Early in 1933 word was received of the deaths of P. G. Doug 
lass and Edward Brazendale. We were informed only of their 
passing and regret that more definite information as to date, etc., 
was not forthcoming. News was also received of the death of 


Robert Jell, formerly of the Divisional Train and for a time 
attached to the Fifth. 

On May 13th our Ninth Annual Reunion was held at Roberts 
Restaurant, Hamilton, when approximately one hundred turned 
out. Under the able co -Chairmanship of Colonel Kappele and 
Andy Patterson the gathering enjoyed a first-rate dinner and a pro 
gram of musical and humorous entertainment. Sam Manson, 
famous as one of Canada s greatest football players, was the star 
of the evening. Sam told about the experiences of the Canadian 
sports contestants at the Los Angeles Olympiad. He also told 
some pretty fair stories about well-known Fifth characters, and 
had his audience roaring in laughter. Dean Wilkins, K.C., Crown 
Attorney, of Sudbury, sat at the head table and also made a neat 
little speech. Ex-Staff S : R. Smith also expressed himself very 
fittingly when obliged to respond to a vociferous welcome. This 
was Reggie s first appearance at a reunion and he was given a 
great reception and sympathetic hearing. The usual business 
session was held, but nothing of particular moment came up for 

During the Summer of 33, Jimmy Lickley and his good wife 
went on a motor trip to Great Britain, France and Belgium. They 
had a great time in the old land. Jimmy reported part of his ex 
periences as follows: 

Crossed from Dover to Calais on S.S. Auto Carrier. Sea was so smooth 
some people were bathing from a yacht in midstream. All military camps 
gone from Calais. 

Drove through Dunkirk and Poperinghe to Ypres, through the flat 
lands of Flanders, with Mont des Cats and Mont Noir away off on 
the right. 

The day in Ypres -- rebuilt with the exception of the wings of the 
Cloth Hall. A clean inviting little town with many English-speaking 
residents. Met a pilgrimage of Scottish mothers and wives to the ceme 
teries, conducted by an Edinburgh V.C. 

Visit to Zonnebeke, Passchendaele, Tynecott Cemetery, the graves in 
Ypres of C. C. Jones, Bill Bateson, Max Odessky and Percy Moyer. The 
Menin Gate Memorial with its thousands of names of the missing. 
Zillebeke, Maple Copse and Sanctuary Wood Cemeteries, and the mem 
orial on Hill 62 at the head of Maple Avenue, from where Fritz could 
look straight down into Ypres. 

The trip down to Arras by the old Brasserie, Dickebusch, La Clytte 
and Dranoutre; then by Armentieres through Lens to Vimy, up the old 
road by Petit Vimy to Arras, with the huge Canadian memorial looking 


down on Lens. Finally, Arras, all rebuilt, but rather grubby and dis 

A day spent driving around the Ridge, Bully Grenay, Four Winds, 
Mont-St-Eloy, et al. Billy Plowright s grave at Ecoivres where four of 
us laid him; and the names of Canadian Missing on the monument, 
including some of pur own fellows. Cemeteries everywhere beautifully 
cared for. 

The final day s trip down through the Somme, Courcelette, the Sugar 
Refinery and Pozieres - - all rebuilt. The Virgin of Albert on her feet 
again; the graves in Albert of McFarlane, Finch and Terrio. 

On to Paris for a couple of days fun dodging taxis; then a four-hour 
drive to Calais and back to Blighty. 

During this same Summer a party of Toronto lads spent an 
entertaining week-end at Harry Fryday s summer cottage, near 
Rice Lake, Ont. Details of the jaunt were withheld from the 
editor. The only information obtainable was to the effect that no 
fish were caught. Perhaps the snapshots shown in this volume will 

Late in December we received the shocking news that Tommy 
Windsor had passed away suddenly in Toronto. Not one of the 
local fellows knew that Tommy was unwell, and it was only by 
chance that his death notice was seen in a newspaper. A few of 
his former comrades were hurriedly rounded up and attended the 


Early in February Joe Spruit died at his home in Long Branch, 
Ont., after a long illness which developed into pneumonia. Joe 
was one of our old-time lads and a member of the Horse Trans 
port Section. His health was very poor during his last few years 
and although efforts were made to obtain a pension for him they 
met with no success. Joe left a wife and one child. He was 
buried in Prospect Cemetery, Toronto, many of his war-time 
comrades from Hamilton and Toronto being at the graveside. 

Captain Silcox Passes 

Late in February Captain Silcox passed away in Hamilton. 
Death was attributed to heart trouble. Burial took place in 
Hamilton. An exceptionally large turnout of ex-Fifth men were 
present at the funeral service at the Captain s home and also at 
the cemetery service. Many civic dignitaries, prominent Hamilton 


medical and professional men, and representatives from almost 
every local welfare and fraternal body were at the graveside, where 
a very impressive Masonic and military burial service took place. 
Captain Silcox was with the Fifth from mobilization until 
1916 when he went to take charge of Advanced Medical Stores 
in France. Many of our men will remember him for his excellent 
work in the La Clytte schoolhouse during the heavy bombardment 
of December 29, 1915, when he carried on with his duties, quite 
indifferent and apparently unconcerned about his own personal 
danger. The Captain was a hard, conscientious worker, rather un- 
military in bearing but absolutely honest and frank in his relations 
with the personnel of our unit. He had many little idiosyncracies 
that brought smiles to our faces on several occasions, but we are 
safe in saying that he had the respect and trust of every man in the 
unit. We have many times heard of how he invariably knelt by 
his bedroll and prayed every night before retiring, regardless of 
how many roistering fellow-officers might be near him. That 
took courage ! We understand, too, that he undermined his health 
by going out on cold, wet, blizzardy nights to help some poor 
unfortunate family which would have gone without medical help, 
food and clothing if Captain Silcox had not looked after them. 
His great philanthropic work was carried on so quietly and un 
ostentatiously, even many of his close associates didn t know until 
after his death that he had lived mostly for others. The sick, the 
poor, and the needy of his native city lost one of their best friends; 
and the Fifth lost one of its outstanding officers. Up to the time 
he died, he never missed a reunion or get-together. We shall miss 
him greatly. 

In the early Spring, word was received of the death of Major 
G. A. Ings, of Fort McMurray, Alta. Major Ings spent some 
time with the Fifth when we were at Auchel and for a few weeks 
after we left that town. We do not know the date of his death 
or the cause of his passing. If memory serves us correctly he was 
with a Forestry unit before or after he was with the Fifth. We 
remember him as a kindly, somewhat elderly officer who was 
more concerned with the human aspect of the war than with the 
military side. 

Our Tenth Annual Reunion took place at the Ford Hotel, 
Toronto, on the evening of May 12th. One hundred and forty 
were present and had a very good time. Doc Van Nostrand, one 


of our standbys at Christie Military Hospital was Chairman. 
Souvenir menu cards and programs were provided by Pier Mor 
gan. Bob Turner had the honor of proposing the toast to "The 
King." Mike Bicknell, in proposing the toast to "Our Departed 
Comrades" made one of the most thought-provoking speeches 
ever heard at our dinners. Herbert Gilbert, once of A. Section, 
but now a Missionary-Doctor in China, responded to the Visitors 
toast and told about some of his experiences during a civil war 
waged near his home in China. 

After the dinner came an old-time sing-song. Frank Temperton 
walloped the piano and we sang all the old favorites : "Mile, from 
Armentieres, " "D ye ken Old Restive and his comrade Co veil," 
etc. Then came a picture show made up of photos Jimmy Lickley 
took while on his trip to the battlefields; and snaps showing the 
activities of the Fifth from Exhibition Camp in 1914 to demobil 
ization in the same grounds in 1919. Interspersed with the photos 
were many slides of wisecracks and sayings unique with our unit. 
Frank O Leary explained the pictures and supplied running com 
ment on the slides. A recent change in the law made it possible for 
the gathering to partake of somewhat more potent refreshment, 
so the lads made the best of their opportunity and celebrated 

The Corps Reunion <** 

1934 was Centennial Year for Toronto, and part of the celebra 
tions was a reunion of the whole Canadian Corps. The Exhibition 
buildings were set aside for the billeting of out-of-town veterans 
and for the entertainment of all those who cared to come. The 
affair was advertised all over America with the result that ap 
proximately 85,000 ex-service men and women were present 
when the reunion took place. From every corner of the American 
continent they came, and for four or five days Toronto presented 
a picture that reminded us of war days in London. From the 
night of August 2nd, until August 7th the remnants of the Corps 
celebrated. Night and day the merrymaking continued. Sports, 
games, banquets, parades, picnics, open-air dancing, races - - in 
fact, every imaginable sort of entertainment went on. The old- 
timers had entire possession of Toronto. Street car traffic was 
blocked by bereted veterans who chose the city s busiest street 


intersections for their crown-and-anchor, crap and poker games. 
The local police - - many of them war veterans - - indulgently 
humored the celebrants and the reunion went off without any 
untoward incidents. 

In the Exhibition grounds a large model French Village was 
erected, complete with epiceries, estctminets, open-air comfort 
stations, and all the other things peculiar to a typical village back 
of the Line. On Sunday, August 5th, a monster drumhead service 
was held in Riverdale Park where over 250,000 people assembled 
to take part in the service. Our old beloved padre Canon Scott - 
or, to give him his full title, Venerable Archdeacon (Lieutenant- 
Colonel) Frederick George Scott, C.M.G., D.S.O. - -preached 
the sermon. On the Monday night a monster military tattoo was 
held in the same park. Over three hundred thousand spectators 
crowded the vast amphitheatre to witness torchlight parades, 
fireworks, and countermarches in which twenty-three of Canada s 
leading bands took part. It is estimated that nearly seventy-five 
thousand automobiles were parked in streets near the park and 
it was long after midnight when the traffic was untangled and 
the crowds dispersed. 

On Sunday night a Concert was put on in the Coliseum by a 
composite company made up of fellows from our old troupes such 
as The Dumbells, C-Twos, Y-Emmers, and others. Red New 
man, Pat Rafferty, the Plunkett boys, Gitz-Rice, Jimmy Good 
and many other stars of war days sang the old favorites, put on 
the old skits and capered about in the style that used to "bring 
down the house" "over there." 

On Monday a Sports Day was held. This was reminiscent of 
those well remembered days at Tinques, Hersin, and Camblain 
1 Abbe. There were tugs-of-war, sack races, bayonet scraps, tent- 
pegging contests, boxing, wrestling, and all the other sports that 
used to go to make up our field days. The Fifth s share in Corps 
Reunion activities can perhaps, be told by quoting our own 
Communique s account of our doings : 

Our orderly room, 147 Arras Road, was opened on the night of 
August 2nd, and for the following four days (and most of the nights!) 
the boys made it their rallying point. Here they registered, received berets 
and badges; and billets were arranged for all requesting them. Here, too, 
old comrade met old comrade, while food and drink seemed to spring 
from nowhere - - although it was noted that many escorting parties 


were kept very busy, guarding bulky cartons during the perilous journey 
from the French Village. 

On the very ground where we had mobilized in 1914, we gathered to 
celebrate and further cement the imperishable bonds of a comradeship 
born of war-time experiences. It was fitting, indeed, that, after a score of 
years, we should come back to our starting place; and it was most natural 
that our thoughts many times turned toward all the fellows who had 
passed on during the twenty-year interval. If only they could have been 
with us in the flesh ! 

Official registrations were: Fifth, 132; Sixth, 25. At dinner (held 
Saturday night) we were joined by twenty-four of the Fourth boys, 
making approximately 180, all told. The Hamilton and Owen Sound 
fellows were very much in evidence. 

Our dinner was a most informal affair. We had specially-made Scotch 
meat pies (Forfar bridies), roast beef, cheese, pickles, onions, bread, 
butter, crackers, etc., all arrayed on a long table. One could help himself 
to a meat pie or make whatever sandwich he liked best, take a bottle of 
beer or ginger ale and seat himself at a table with his own chosen cronies. 
He could fraternize to his heart s content, for there were tables and chairs 
for everybody. He could eat when he was hungry and drink when he was 
dry. There wasn t even a chairman in charge. It was a free-and-easy meal, 
and how it did go over ! 

The old Fifth was well represented in the official activities of the 
Corps. Frank O Leary was one of the medical officers in the camp hospital. 
Frank Beatty was on duty as first-aid sergeant, and our old friend Art. 
Lansdowne acted as casualty for the stretcher-bearer contestants before the 
grandstand. We also provided one or two patients for the emergency 
hospital, but - - no names, no pack-drill ! 

Danny Kappele and Orvil Elliott were on deck early and late, mixing 
with the gang and contributing greatly to the conviviality of the occasion. 
We are not telling what they were mixing, for their well-known capacity 
in this connection needs no explanation on our part. Two rather sad 
accidents occurred during the festivities : Pier Morgan got hopelessly lost 
in the French Village and missed the dinner. And someone invited Harry 
Allen to have a drink --and Harry didn t hear him. Stew bad, boys. 
Better luck next time. 

The Border-Cities Star carried on its front page a six-column cut of 
General Allenby. In earnest conversation with the distinguished general 
was our one and only Lance Elliott. Turk, no doubt, was telling the great 
leader how he and Teddy Blair won the battle of Estree-Cauchie. 

Toots Meisner isn t very big, but it s a safe bet that he made more 
rumpus than any ten other veterans. His voice gave out Friday night 
and he spoke in whispers - - but got wonderful results in spite of the 


Ben Case was unable to get to the dinner, owing to his duties as secre 
tary of the 43rd Battery Association. We understand that several times 
Ben started over to our orderly room, but succeeded in failing to arrive. 
Low visibility, heavy traffic, Scotch mist - - or sumthin ! We certainly 
missed him but knew that Ben was with us in spirit. 

Ed Thurber came from New York City. You ll recall that he left the 
Fifth at Mont-St.-Eloy, went to a battalion and had some very remark 
able experiences. Since the war he has been adventuring around, and 
all over America. 

Another long-absent laddybuck who put in an appearance was our old 
genial friend, ex-Corporal Alf. Pountney, from Owen Sound. Alf s shoes 
got dusty coming through the Exhibition Grounds and there was a lot of 
good-natured kidding about it, for Alf, if you remember, had about the 
shiniest shoes in France. 

A. B. Smith pleased everybody by his presence in the orderly room, at 
the dinner, and with the gang at the Ford Hotel. A. B. and Mrs. Smith, 
Curly and Mrs. LeRoux, Toots Meisner, Turkey Elliott and some more 
of the Fifth just about took possession of the Ford rotunda. Any further 
information on this topic must come from them - - or from the hotel 

Captain Wyatt, our old paymaster, also registered. Remember how we 
used to welcome him in France? Well, our welcome to him this time was 
just as sincere. 

Among the many who registered were: Major Pentecost, Toronto- 
Harry Lang, Brentwood, L.I.; Claude (Curly) LeRoux, Belmont, Mass.; 
Albert Somers, Blyth, Ont.; Crown Attorney E. D. Wilkins, K.C., of 
Sudbury, Ont.; Fred Trollope, Toronto; Captain Paul Poisson, ex-M.P., 
Tecumseh; Elgin Sears, Waterdown, Ont.; Bill Scott, M.D., Cookstown, 
Ont.; Dr. Walter (Bruce) Barnes, Toronto; Irvine Dyment, Toronto; 
Tommy Hardcastle, Gait, Ont.; Jim Erskine, Guelph, Ont.; Bert Mead, 
Toronto; Erland Field, Niagara-on-the Lake, Ont.; Wes. Ivory, Toronto; 
Joe Riley, Toronto. There were, of course, the old standbys who come 
out to every reunion. They joined heartily in welcoming those we have 
particularly mentioned - - fellows who find it impossible to be with us 
as often as they would like to be. 

We should like to mention many other fellows who were more or less 
prominent, and also some other outstanding occurrences that took place 
during the great celebration. However, prudence, as well as lack of space, 
suggests that it were better to say no more. We must, however, thank 
Jimmy Lickley, Len Stephens, Orvil Elliott, Jim Henderson and all the 
others who worked so hard to make the Fifth s part of the reunion such 
a rousing success. They did a swell job. 

The Fifth was not formally present at any of the public parades 
or ceremonies. Many of the boys joined in the official affairs but 


fell in with other Second Division troops. This arrangement per- 
mitted each and every man to suit himself as to how he spent 
time and no man was forced to parade who didn t want to dc 

Following are some commemorative verses written by one o 
our own men and featured by the Toronto Star Weekly to eel. 
brate the Corps Reunion : 


I wonder oh, a thousand things, whenever I m alone - 
About the days spent "over there," from Calais to Cologne. 
Across the years that intervene comes Memory as guide 
And once again I m on the march, ghost comrades at my side. 
I wonder do the roses climb the walls of Vlamertinghel 
Are ruddy poppies blowing in the fields near Elverdinghe 7 . 
Do nights at Hell Fire Corner ever give a hint or sign 
Of the many lads who fell there as they foot-slogged up the Line? 

1 wonder if the children romp their happy way to school 
Along those often-shelled paves we trod afront Bailleul 7 
And does some happy peasant sing atop his creaking load 
Where the bullets used to whistle out along the Vierstraat t(pad 7 
Do larks still sing ascending from the meadows near La Clytte 7 
Are cat-tails in Lake Dick^busch where we laved our aching feet. 
Do birds build nests in ESdge Wood, or wildflowers scent the breeze 
Where men once choked with chlorine and whizzbangs slashed the trees 

I wonder are there workers in the vaults of Chaudiere 7 . 

Are crimson kiln-fires burning in the brickfields of Albert? 

Is Mont TVoir s windmill watching over valleys tilled in peace! 

Are slag-heaps growing higher near Coupigny and Fosse Dixl 

Are Pernod glasses clinking in the brick estaminet 

Where sturdy comrades gathered, at the edge of Pont Qrenay 7 . 

I wonder if the flax now sprouts, and do the wild bees hum - 

Are clover blossoms blooming by the stream at Ouderdom 7 . 

Do silvery ground mists shimmer in the Flanders morning chill 

When the sun first peeps at Locre from the edge of Kemmel Hi//? 

Do village priests hold service in the stone church in Westoutre 7 . 

Does black Messines hide sunrise from the folk in poor Dranoutre 7 

I wonder if a nightingale still serenades Auchel; 

And if a dog now treads the mill outside St. Jans Cappel 7 

Do aproned urchins cross themselves before quaint wayside shrines 7 

Are puffing engines hauling coal from Lens long- flooded mines 7 . 


Is Cherisy built up again and Vis-en-Artois bridge? 

Is gray chalk, being quarried in the caves of Vimy Ridge? 

Art old Lievin s tumbled walls now free of camouflage? 

Do foam-topped combers thunder up the sands of Paris Plage? 

Do bent old women fashion lace in tiny Hallebast? 

Are roulette wheels awhirl again outside Neuville St. Vaast? 

Do stagnant cesspools spread their reek, o er breezy Quatre Vents? 

Do miners crowd the cinema in Citg St. Laurent? 

Do Flemish farmers threshing flails whine through chaff-laden air; 

And dog-drawn bread carts clatter o er the cobbles of Lillers? 

Do thirsty men in I{eninghelst crowd Jeanne s estaminet; 

And buxom women pour "van blong" in Pierre s "Pot-au-Lait?" 

Do percherons drag wooden plows outside Neuville-Vitasse; 

And picnickers roam Farbus Wood where once reeked mustard gas? 

Has someone found the S.I^.D. three wanglers hid too well - 

In holes they couldn t find again, in front of Mercatel? 

Does lame old Henri carve sabots in drab Villers-au-Bois? 
Do crows still guard the ruined tower atop Mt.-St.-Eloy? 
I wonder are there sugar beets piled high near Courcelette? 
Do summer suns still bleach the chalk, of ruined La Targette? 
Do lovers stroll near Ypres? Do ghosts march Menin Road? 
Are there dugout rats in Spoilbank, or in Bedford House abode? 
Do people live in Zillebeke and whip the lake for carp? 
Does Arras boast a carillon? Do boys splash in the Scarpe? 

Do red-tiled roofs in Willerval gape up at Vimy Height? 

Are Bruay, Cambrai and Bethune now gay and bright at night? 

Has Passchendaele now peaceful farms where men once drowned in mud? 

Do walnuts drop in Bourlon Wood where gas-shells used to thud? 

I wonder -- oh, a thousand things! I m never quite alone - 

Old friends are with me as I march from Calais to Cologne. 

When memory summons back, the Past, and hallowed scenes unfold, 

The rambling thoughts that come with them have not their price in gold. 

The Corps Reunion was the last occasion on which the Fifth 
had a gathering in 1934 - - except in November, when about 
twenty of the lads met at the home of Mike Bicknell s folks, 
Toronto, to see the movies Mike took on a recent three-months 
trip to England, Belgium, France, Russia, Germany and Poland. 
Mike is a very earnest humanitarian and his talk on what he saw 
during his travels provided an engrossing entertainment and 


thought-provoking evening. Mike has developed into a very 
effective platform lecturer. His obvious sincerity, unassuming 
attitude and tolerantly expressed opinions disarm those who think 
differently from him. He gets his great message across very effect 
ively and bids fair to go a long way in his work of making this 
world a little better place for the underdog. 


Our Eleventh Annual Reunion was the first noteworthy event 
in 1935. On May 12th, about ninety gathered at Roberts 
restaurant, Hamilton. Considering that times were what they 
were and that the great Corps Reunion was not so very long past, 
the attendance was good. Dr. W. J. Deadman was Chairman and 
succeeded in conducting a very entertaining program. The guest 
of the evening was Mayor Wilton, of Hamilton, (now M.P.) 
and he made a very interesting and enjoyable speech. To Pier 
Morgan fell the honor of reading letters and reports from those 
who, through illness, too great distance or pressure of business 
affairs, were unable to be present in person. 

Jimmy Bell was felicitated on his receipt of the King s Jubilee 
Medal. Jimmy made a brief response when he voiced his opinion 
that the medal was not a personal decoration so much as it was a 
favor reflecting the good name of the Fifth as a whole. It was 
learned later that Carl Hill, Arthur Hogg and Doc. Deadman 
were also recipients of this much coveted decoration. 

Others who spoke briefly were Major Elliott, Carl Hill, 
Colonel Nicholson, Colonel Kappele, Bob. Tillotson, Bill Jones, 
Harry Hutchinson, George Graves and Francesco Restivo. 

By an overwhelming majority the meeting voted in favor of an 
amendment to continue the policy which has made the annual 
reunions so successful in the past, rather than establish a monthly 
membership fee. The latter motion was advocated by Harry 
Fearnall, but the amendment introduced by Bert Busst carried. 

After the formal part of the meeting and dinner, many of the 
fellows gathered about the piano and had a real old-fashioned 
sing-song. Old half-forgotten songs came tumbling to their lips 
from the musical storeroom of the Past - - old gladsome, rollick 
ing refrains we had sung so spontaneously "over there." And 
while many sang, others collected in small groups to talk over the 
days that were. 


It was not until the wee sma ours that the gathering dis 
persed. The Hamilton fellows put on a real show. The meal 
served was one of the best we have yet had at a reunion; and the 
whole affair was a credit to the committee which arranged it. 

Captain Clark was present at this reunion - - the first time he 
had been with us since the war. He was glad to be with us and we 
were glad to have him. Of course he had to put up with several 
wisecracks about the Otterpool dogcart, his Fosse Ten experiences, 
rum issues, rations, etc., but he took all the banter in good part. 

On July 30th, Corporal A. B. Smith died of Arterial Throm 
bosis Obliterans, the same disease which necessitated the amputa 
tion of his right leg a few years ago. About fifty of his former 
comrades attended his funeral service in Toronto. His burial took 
place in Mt. Forest, Ontario. Surviving him are his widow, 
whom he met in Belgium, and five children. While with our 
unit most of A. B. s activities were confined to the Motor Trans 
port Section but the whole unit will always remember him as a 
great big, easy-going fellow who was ready for almost anything. 

During August, Bill Sowden visited Toronto, having come all 
the way from Los Angeles. About a dozen ex-Fifth men were 
rounded up and put on a corn-roast for him. He was just about 
the same as when demobilized - - a little stouter, perhaps, but 
the same in spirit as when he and Slim Russell put on their variety 
skits away back at Godewaersvelde in 1916. 

On September 4th, Percy (Yorky) Coates passed away, after 
one of the gamest fights for life ever made by one of our members. 
Yorky s ailment was diagnosed as Muscular Atrophy, and in 
spite of our tireless, energetic and persistent efforts to obtain a 
pension for him, his application was repeatedly turned down by 
the Pensions Board and the Tribunal. Burial took place in Pros 
pect cemetery, Toronto, after a funeral service attended by many 
Fifth fellows. Six of his Hamilton comrades were the pallbearers. 
Mrs. Coates and two young sons are left to mourn their loss. 
Poor old Yorky was a great favorite, particularly in A. Section, 
where he was a stretcher-bearer for a long time. 

On Saturday, September 14th, about a dozen of the lads 
motored to Lion s Head, Ontario, where they joined some of the 
Owen Sound fellows in what was to be a fishing trip. Inclement 
weather prevented fishing, but the boys had a great time, as may 
be imagined from the snapshots shown in this volume. 


On the evening of October 26th, about sixty of the oldtimers 
gathered in the Blue Room of the King Edward Hotel, Toronto, 
to hear an illustrated lecture on developments in Russia, 
speaker was Dr. N. ]. (Mike) Bicknell, who spent three months 
in the Soviet Union and took a half-dozen reels of very interesting 
movies. Mike was quick to admit that Russia is not a. Utopia, 
but the pictures he showed and his story of that nation s achieve 
ments during the past few years, would suggest that there are 
many good features there which we could well embody in our 
own body politic. Dr. H. R. Skiiling, a 1914 member of the 
Fifth was Chairman on this occasion; and Dr. Carl lill, an 
old-time Section-mate of Mike s, moved a very unanimous vote 
of thanks to the speaker at the close of the meeting. 

This, then, is the history of our Past. As for the 
future - - undoubtedly we shall continue to have our 
annual reunions, occasional get-togethers, and im 
promptu parties. Then we will have the usual tongue- 
strafes, refight the war all over again and argue to 
beat hell about the details. It is futile to ask us to 
forget the war. We ll go on looking over our shoulders 
and back into the adventurous past forever. As long as 
there are two or more of us left to get together we ll 
travel, in memory, the old roads, visit the old scenes, 
discuss the old characters, tell the old yarns, and argue 
the same old arguments: Who was in the dugout at 
such-and-such a place? Is that village spelt St.-Eloy or 
St. Eloi? Who was the oldest man in the unit? And the 
youngest? Where did most of the rum go? Who had 
the softest job? Did we do more than our share of 
time up the Line? Etc., Etc. 

We know full well that we ll never get these argu 
ments settled satisfactorily, but they re our arguments 
and we re going to stick with them. Outsiders may 
look at us askance, but they can t stop us. For us 
"there is no hope!" The war was the big event of 
our lives and we re going to go on fighting it to our 
heart s content. 

We are well aware that this book is going to add 
many new arguments and revive several of the old 
and half-forgotten ones. Every old soldier is a his 
torian himself and will have his own version of how, 
when, where and why such-and-such occurred; so 
perhaps, to the unquenchable fire of war- 
days reminiscence, our rather ram 
bling narrative will add 
some welcome fuel. 
















In Flanders fields the poppies blow 

Between the crosses, row on row, 

That mark our place; and in the sky 
The larks, still bravely singing, fly 

Scarce heard amid the guns below. 

We are the Dead. Short days ago 

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, 

Loved and were loved, and now we lie 
In Flanders fields. 

Take up our quarrel with the foe: 
To you from failing hands we throw 

The torch; be yours to hold it high, 
If you break faith with us who die 
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow 
In Flanders fields. 

- Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae 


November 11, 1914 to January 1, 1936 



















BARRON, JOHN, K. in A., 7/3/16. 
BATESON, WILLIAM HENRY, K. in A., 6/11/17. 
COWIE, WALTER, Missing, Presumed Dead, 27/6/18. 
CUMBERLAND, ANDREW JOHN, K. in A., R.F.C., 3/1/18. 
ELLIS, ROBERT MEREDITH, K. in A., 4/5/17. 
FINCH, LEWIS MELVIN, D. of W., 16/9/16. 
GILMER, ERNEST RICHARD, K. in A., 12/10/16. 
GRANT, HERBERT, K. in A., 16/9/16. 
GRINDLEY, GEORGE HENRY, K. in A., 16/9/16. 
HANNEY, WILLIAM, K. in A., 16/9/16. 
HARRIS, WEBSTER H. F., D. of W., 4/5/17. 
HOGLE, CLAUDE LEROY, K. in A., 23/9/18. 





























































JONES, CECIL CHARLES, K. in A., 12/11/17. 
JONES, HERBERT, Died, France, 5/3/17. 
KELLY, ALFRED, D. of W., 13/10/17. 
LAFLIN, FRANK, K. in A., 26/8/18. 
LUMSDEN, JOHN GORDON, K. in A., 9/5/16. 

MACDONNELL, SHIRLEY JoHN, K. in A., 19/5/18. 

MACNEILL, JAMES G., M.C., K. in A., 12/10/18. 
MCANALLY, FREDERICK LEO, Drowned, Llandovery 

Castle, 27/6/18. 

MCFARLANE, WILLIAM, D. of W., 16/9/16. 
McKENZiE, WILLIAM, K. in A., 12/5/18. 

MOYER, PERCY, K. in A., 6/11/17. 
MULLIGAN, GEORGE VINCENT, D. of W., 18/11/17. 
NICHOLLS, JOHN JEFFREY, M.S.M., D. of W., 12/10/18. 
ODESSKY, MAX, D. of W., 6/11/17. 
PARKER, ANDREW, K. in A., 16/9/16. 
PENDER, THOMAS PATRICK, K. in A., 16/9/16. 
ROE, ALFRED CHARLES, D. of W., 23/4/17. 
SAMUEL, ALEXANDER, Died, France, 16/11/18. 
STAGG, CHARLES, K. in A., 9/4/17. 
STANLEY, WILLIAM, D. of W., 13/10/18. 
STEWART, JOHN MALCOLM, D. of W., 6/2/17. 
TERRIO, FRANK, K. in A., 2/10/16. 
THURSTON, HARRY, D. of W., 6/11/17. 


50502 PTE. 
1559 PTE. 





BEEMAN, RAY S., 1930. 

191 PTE. 


195008 PTE. 
527763 PTE. 
527826 PTE. 
400065 PTE. 
50894 PTE. 
1608 PTE. 

LT.-COI-. ELLIOTT, HENRY C. S., O.B.E., 1935. 

3105736 PTE. HANES, EARL, 1935. 




1790 PTE. WHITTINGHAM, CHARLES (Didc), 1932. 

1797 PTE. WINDSOR, THOMAS, 1933. 
1804 PTE. YATES, WALTER, 1927. 




























Every effort has been made to make our Nominal Roll as complete as 
possible. Absolutely complete records, however, are not available. We are 
in touch with those men whose addresses are marked with an asterisk (*). 
The other addresses are those shown on file at Ottawa and are, doubtlessly, 
somewhat inaccurate. 

We are very desirous of contacting every man and of putting his name 
on our mailing list. Therefore, if you can supply any information which 
will help make our Nominal Roll more correct and up-to-date, please 
forward it to our Secretary, Jarnes Henderson, 307 Wychwood Avenue, 
Toronto, Canada. 

C.B.E. Commander 

British Empire 
D.C.M. Distinguished 

Conduct Medal 
D.S.O. Distinguished 

Service Order 
D. of W. Died of 


K. in A. Killed in Action O.B.E. Officer British 

M.C. Military Cross 
M.I.D. Mentioned in 


M.M. Military Medal 
M .S. M . Meritorious 

Service Medal 


P. of W. -Prisoner of War 
(W) Wounded 
M.D.E. Medaille des 

S.O.S. Struck Off 




Adshead, Frederick (W) .... 


Remarks, Last Known Address, etc. 
308 Province St., Hamilton 



Alden, Frank 

*18 Somerset St., Hamilton 



Alder, William Henry 

*50 Fermanagh Ave., Toronto 



Allen, Henry 

*201 Wineva Ave., Toronto 



Allen, John 

*Box 263, Fort Erie North 



Anderton, Joseph 

Deceased, 18/11/35 



Andrews, Harold William. . , 

3244 Park Ave., Montreal 



Apps, Carl Avery 

40 Victoria St., Montreal 




Archibald, James Little .... 
Armes, Albert Spooner .... 


*215 Seventh St. W., Calgary 
*90 Sussex St., Hamilton 



Armstrong, Alex. McM. . . 

P.O. Box 297, Vermillion, Alta. 



Ashton, A. W 

No Information 



Astwood, Harold Frith .... 

P.O. Box 42, Winnipeg 



Ashley, O. 

No Information 



Atkinson, W T illiam James 

*138 Sanford Ave. N., Hamilton 



Avery, Wilfred 


505 Lancaster Bldg., Calgary 



Badeau, Leo Joseph 


*Apt. 406, 2611 Gladstone Ave., 



Bailey, George 

Detroit, Mich. 
6 Tiddicross, Wrockwardine, Well 



Bailey, Herbert Lytton .... 

ington, Salop, England 
1201 Harwood St., Vancouver 



Baker, Albert Lynn 

Lakeside, Ont. 



Baker, Gerald Walter 

No Information 



Baker, Roland Garfield 

*131 Bingham Ave., Toronto 



Banks, James Samuel 

Deceased, 1935 



Barber, John Edwin . . . 

*401 Whittaker St., Sudbury 



Bare, Philippe 

1138 Union Ave., Montreal 



Barker, Arthur Henry (\V) . 

*527 Northcliffe Blvd., Toronto 



Barker, Leslie Alfred . ... 

Port Arthur, Ont. 



Barclay, J . . 

No Information 



Barnes, Clifford 

288 Queen St., Sarnia, Ont. 



Barnes, Walter Bruce 

*1247 King St. West, Toronto 


Barnett, John W 

456 Danforth Ave., Toronto 



Barron, John 

Killed in Action 


Barton. Newton James (W). 

*Bairowden, Stamford, Lines, Eng. 

Wo. Rank 























































































Batcheler, George Hensley. . 


Bates, H. Kendall 

Bateson, William Henry. . . . 

Baxter, Frederick William . . 

Baxter, Samuel Joseph 


Baxter, William 

Bayley, Roy 

Bay ley, Benjamin Moore. . . 

Beattie, Frank Thomas Wm. 

Beazley, James Harold 

Beeman, Ray S 

Beliveau, Walter 

Bell, James 


Bell, William John 

Benzie, Charles Angus 

Berrett, Walter Thos 

Beven, Arthur Henry 

Bicknell, Nathan J. (W) . . . . 

Black, Robert Alexander . . . 

Blackwood, James Alexander 

Blair, Edward Gerald 

Blair, John Freeman 


Bland, William 

Booth, Austin Edgar 

Bowell, George Thomas .... 

Boyd, Thomas 

Bradfield, Robert (Buckle).. 

Brady, Frank 

Braidwood, Thomas 

Brailsford, Sidney Charles. . 

Braithwaite, William 

Brazendale, Edward 

Brault, Raoul 

M D E 

Brett, Arthur Walter 

Bridges, Charles William 

Bridges, Sidney 

Brine, Albert George 

Brookes, George Eric 

Brookes, Ronald Baines .... 

Brown, Charles Thomas .... 

Brown, John 

Brown, Joseph 

Brown, Leslie Owen 


Brown, Percy Arthur 

Brown, William 

Bryant, William John 

Buchan, J 

Buck, Harold 


Burgess, John Frederick (W) 
Burridge, Ernest William. . . 


Burrill, John Newton (W) . . 

Busst, Albert George 

Byrne, Cecil 

Byers, Douglas Hallway. . . . 

Campbell, Allan Harold. . 

Remarks, Last Known Address, etc. 

c/o War Veterans Allowance Dept- 

of P. & N. H., Ottawa 
No Information 
Killed in Action 
335 Main St. W., Hamilton 
*Minnicog Hotel, via Penetang, Ont. 
281 Washington Ave., E. Kildonan, 


*17 Ferndale Ave., Toronto 
*210 Hammond Bldg., Moose Jaw 
*Forward News, Postal Station "A," 


White Lake, Halifax, N.S. 
Deceased, 1930 

Nipigon Paper Mills, Nipigon, Ont. 
*24 King William St., Hamilton 
Deceased, 1920 

7 Fletcher Apts., 2nd St., E. Calgary 
Church St., Steeple Ashton, Wilts , 

No Information 

*10508 W. Chicago Blvd., Detroit 
No Information 
Died of Wounds 

*2535 Benjamin St., Saginaw, Mich. 
*241 Queens Ave., London, Ont. 
22 Geneva Ave., Toronto 
*1056 Lake Shore Rd., New Toronto 
434 Alberta St., New Westminster 
489 West Marion St., Toronto 
1026 20th Ave. East, Calgary. 
90 Can. Legion, B.E.S.L., Ottawa 
837 Yz 10th Ave. East, Vancouver 
50 Magdalen Yd. Rd., Dundee, Scot. 
1230 Jackson St.,San Francisco, Calif. 
No Information 
*21st St., Owen Sound, Ont. 
216A Hallam St., Toronto 
11 Chingford Mt. Rd., London Eng. 
30 Finchley Rd., Ipswich, Suffolk, 


*R.C.A.F. Station, Trenton, Ont. 
Killed in Action 

238 Belmont Ave., Kildonan, Man. 
No Information 

P.O. Box 14, Vineland Station, Ont. 
34 Egerton Rd., Bishopstone, Bristol, 


304 Dease St., Fort William, Ont. 
*86 Bude Ave., Fairbank, Ont. 
729 Cannon St. E., Hamilton 
No Information 
*488 Talbot St., St. Thomas, Ont. 

475 Cote des Nieges, Montreal 

72 Prescott Ave., Toronto 

Langbank, Sask. 

*Post Office, Adelaide E., Toronto 
*78 Robins Ave., Hamilton 

58 Lake view Ave., Toronto 

211 Duke St., St. John, N.B. 

No. Rank 























































































Campbell, John G. A 

Campion, J. C 

Camps, Edwin Charles A. . 

Canniff, John Daniel 

Cardwell, Percy 

Carlisle, Andrew M. (W) . 

Carlisle, Arthur 

Carr, James Ewart 

Carruthers, Walter Little. 
Cascaden, Douglas (W) . . 
Case, Benson Simpson . . . 
Cass, Frederick William. . 
Cataford, Hector Alfred. . 
Cavey, Ernest James .... 

Chadwick, Percy 

Chadwick, Roger 

Chalmers, Francis 


Chambers, John 

Chanin, Robert 

Charlesworth, Charles D 

Cheer, James 

Cheeseman, Percy William.. 
Cheeseman, Henry G. (W).. 

Churchill, Lewis Piers 

Cinq Mars, Benoit 

Clark, Fred (W) 

Clark, Charles Henry 

Clark, Ernest William 

Clark, Hector Herbert 

Clark, Percy James 

Clark, Reginald 

Clark, William George 

Clark, William Herbert. . . . 

Clarkson, Herbert. 

Coates, Percy 

Coates, James L 

Colbeck, William Kirk (W) . 

Cole, Harry 

Colgate, W. G 

Coles, Selby 

Colley, Richard 

Collinson, George James .... 

Colville, Cyril Pritchard 

Connelly, Daniel 

Connolly, Joseph Alexander. 

Cooke, Arthur 

Cooke, Ralph 

Cooper, H. R 

Cote, Antoine Edmund. . . 
Couder, Valere Ferdinand , 

Coulter, Allan 

Courtice, John Thomas . . 

Co veil i, Leonardo 

Coverley, John Robert . . . 
Cowan, George Westney.. , 

Cowie, Walter Missing 

Cox, Frank Albert 

Coy, Charles Leonard 



Remarks, Last Known Address, etc. 

164 Metcalfe St., Ottawa 

No Information 

*283 East Ave. North, Hamilton 
*23 Hawthorne Ave., Hamilton 
*48 Wexford Ave. North, Hamilton 
*Grande Prairie, Alta. 
*1440 Union Ave., Montreal 

918 Dunsmuir St., Vancouver 
*Mount Albert, Ont. 
*Hands Fireworks Rd., Dixie, Ont. 
*198 Grenadier Road, Toronto 
*Newmarket, Ont. 

St. Johns, P.Q. 

No Information 
*7869 Windsor St., Vancouver 
*201 Kenilworth Ave. N., Hamilton 
.*Nickel Refining Plant, Port Col- 
borne, Ont. 

Marigold P.O., Victoria, B.C. 

P.O. Box 102, Roland, Man. 

W.V.A. Com., Daly Bldg., Ottawa 

225 West Gore St., Stratford, Ont. 

Erskine, Alta. 
*242 Annette St., Toronto 
*Shelburne, N.S. 

3716 Laval Ave., Montreal 
*c/o 51 Herkimer St., Hamilton 

P.O. Box 91, Cayuga, Ont. 
*48 Westlake Ave., Toronto 

395 Mountain St., Montreal 

72 Hamilton Ave., London, Ont. 

46 Walnut St., London, Ont. 
*177 Gage Ave. North, Hamilton 

Plaza Apts., Dorchester Ave., 

Clarence St., Strotton, Flintshire, 
North Wales 


S.O.S., Toronto, 1915. 
*Colbeck Clinic, Welland, Ont. 
*684 Brock Ave., Toronto 
*60 Robina Crescent, Toronto 

1265 Pembroke St., Victoria 

20 Cardwell St., Bolton, Lanes., Eng. 
*Chapleau, Ont. 

Prince Albert, Sask. 

No Information 

58 Cumberland St., Toronto 
*Box 113, Hudson, P.Q. 
*33 Constance St., Toronto 

No Information 
*Fahler, Alta. 

Villa Columbia, 360 Rue Leopold 

Jette-Ley, Brussels, Belgium 
*113 Vaughan Road, Toronto 
*3317 Danforth Ave., Toronto 

No Information 

*Londesboro, Ont. 

Presumed dead on or since 27/6/18 

513 Second St., New Westminster 

Upper Gagetown, Queen Co., N.B. 

No. Rank 






















































































Coyles, William James 


Creasby, William B 

Craig, Edward 

Cramp, Howard 

Crompton, William . ... 

Croston, Herbert 

Cubbon, Thomas 

Cumberland, Andrew John.. 

Cummings, Herbert Ernest . 
Gumming, Kenneth Wm.. . . 


Cunningham, George Clark 

Cunningham, Henry 

Cunningham, Thomas 

Curbishley, Stephens 


Currie, Gerald Duncan 

Cutt, Leslie Ernest 

Cutting, L. . 

Dael, Emil 

Dalton, Thos. Edmonstone. . 
Darlington, Ernest Phillips 


Davidson, Henry 

Davies, Charles 

Davies, John 

Davis, Harry . 

Dawes, James Powley 

Dawkins, Jesse Wm. (W) 

Dawson, James William 

Deadman, William James. . . 

Dear, F. 

Dell, Robert John 

Denovan, Howard John (W) 

Desarmia, William 

Dick, William 

Dickens, Lloyd Rowland . . . 

Dickinson, Wilfred .... 

Dix, Arthur Joseph 

Dodd, Herbert G . . 

Dodd, John George 

Doherty, G.D 

Donahoe, J. A 

Donaldson, Alec 

Douglass, Peter Gerald .... 

Driscoll, J. 

Dudley, Albert 

Duffey, Christopher 

Dumont, Stanley Frederick. 
Dunham, Franklin F 

M.C. &B. 

Dunlop, Daniel Rolston .... 

Dunn, Alexander Stanley. . . 

Durkin, J. ... 

Dyke, Albert Samuel . . 

Dykes, Arthur William 

Dvment. Irvine (W) . . 

Honors Remarks, Last Known Address, etc. 

50 Smith St., Winnipeg 
S.O.S., Toronto, 1915 
St. Lambert, P.Q. 
S.O.S., Toronto, 1915 
No Information 

11 Venture St., Bolton, Lanes., Eng. 
*40 Leyton Ave., Toronto 
Killed in Action with R.F.C. 
93 Shepherden Walk, London, Eng. 
Mfgs. Life Ins. Co., Lindsay Bldg., 

Winnipeg, Man. 
245 Sherbourne St., Toronto 

10 St. Clarence Square, Toronto 
Hamilton, Ont. 

*139 Belmont Ave., Hamilton 
55 Jefferson Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 
2319 Fernwood Rd., Victoria 
S.O.S., Toronto, 1915 
138 St. James St., Ville St.-Pierre, 


Lavington, Vernon, B.C. 
2947A Drolet St., Montreal 
*Pathological Lab., Camp Hill Hos 
pital, Halifax, N.S. 
2419 Ridge View Ave., Eagle Rock, 

Los Angeles, Calif. 
Kitchener, B.C. 
c/o H.Q., M.D.13, Calgary 
100 34th Ave., Lachine, P.Q. 
*279 Wortley Road, London, Ont. 
c/o J. F. Hartz & Co., 22-26 Hayter 

St., Toronto 
*91 Delaware Ave. E., Hamilton 

11 Sussex Ave., Toronto 

*21 Palmer Ave., East Toronto 

1021 Cook St., Victoria 

No Information 

No Information 

2 Manning Ave., Stratford, Ont. 


37 Clifton Gdns., Maida Vale, 
London, England 

5 Vishart St., St. John, N.B. 

Colwell South Farm, Barraforts, 
Northumberland, England 

S.O.S., Toronto, 1915 

No Information 

Dollar, Clackmannanshire, Scotland 



*1293 Cannon St. E., Hamilton 
*27 Archibald St., Hamilton 
*2 Boston Cottages, Vale Rd., St. 

Sampson s, Guernsey, Channel Isles, 

No Information 

*Kapuskasing, Ont. 

S.O.S., Toronto, 1915 

Lincoln Cottage, Acocks Green, 
Birmingham, England 

1148 Oscar St., Victoria 
*124 Langford Ave., Toronto 

No. Rank 
























































































Eaton, John Henry 


Edington, William James. . . 

Edminson, Joseph 

Edwards, E 

Eldridge, Cecil 

Elliott, Henry C. S. 


Elliott, Alexander Smith 

Elliott, Lance 

Elliott, Orvil A. (W) 


Elliott, Win. Bertrand 


Ellis, Reginald 

Ellis, Robert Meredith 

Elmer, Arthur 

Erskine, James 


Erskine, James E. K 

Eshelby, William 

Essency, Murray 

Estey, Herman 

Etherington, Edward Thos.. 

Eyre, Reginald Francis 

Falkingham, Percy 

Farmer, George Devey .... 


Faryon, Reginald Richard. . 


Faulkner, Frank L 

Fearnall, Harry 

Featherston, Lyle O 

Fenton, Harry John 

Ferris, William 

Ferris, Walter Allen 

Fiddes, Herbert 

Field, Erland 

Field, Harry 

Finch, Lewis Melvin 

Finn, William Alfred 

Fish, Robert Duncan 

Fitzgerald, Edmund (W) . . . 

Fletcher, Frank 

Fletcher, Samuel Thomas. . . 

Flewwelling, Claude E 

Flinn, Robert Stanley . . . 

Flynn, Roy 


Forrest, Joseph 

Foster, William Henry .... 

Fountaine, David George. . . 

Fowler, Claude Horace 

Foy, Norman Franklin .... 

Estey, WalterS. F 

Franklin, Robert G 

Fryday, Harry George 

M.d Hon. 

Furze, Cedric 

Gammon, Arthur William . . 

Gane, Leslie Arnold 

Gardner, John Rennie . ... 


Gay, Edwin Edward 

Gibb, E.. 

Remarks, Last Known Address, etc. 

Rathwell, Man. 

42 T.D.S. Hornston, Middlesex, Eng. 

No Information 

Beamsville, Ont. 

*Kings Head Hotel, Braintree, Essex, 


*229 Yonge St., Toronto 
*280 Lennox Ave., Detroit, Mich. 

*229 Yonge St., Toronto 

Died of Wounds 

No Information 

Killed in Action 

94 Seaton St., Toronto 
*127 Strange St., Guelph, Ont. 

No Information 
*140 Campbell Ave., Hamilton 

No Information 

Marysville, York Co., N.B. 

R.R. 4, St. Esmonds, Brick St.. 
London, Ont. 

24 Beaver Rd., Toronto 
*1262 Main St. E., Hamilton 

No Information 

*c/o Lord & Thomas, Toronto 

1506 13th Ave. West, Vancouver 
*876 7th Ave. W., Owen Sound, Ont. 

Lyleton, Souris, Man. 
*Immigrat n Dept., Terminal, Halifax 
*133 Barons Ave., Hamilton 

Wolfville, Kings Co., N.S. 

Box 714, Kamloops, B.C. 
*Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. 
*69 Hillyard St., Hamilton 

Died of Wounds 

No Information 
*215 Goetz St., Saginaw, Mich. 

456^ Cannon St. E., Hamilton 

56 Mora Rd., Cricklewood, N.W.2, 

London, England 
No Information 
Colborne, Ont. 
*Goodrich Clinic, 910 Professional 

Bldg., Phoenix, Arizona 
*8 Ridley Gardens, Toronto 
*115 Foxwell Ave., West Toronto, 

57 Stanley St., St. John, N.B. 
*152 Oakwood Ave., Toronto 

Huntsville, Ont. 
*10A Bloor St. E., Toronto 

New Ross, Lunenburg, N.S. 
*42 Spadina Ave., Toronto 
*2 Norman Ave., Toronto 

Gen. Del., Timmins, Ont. 

18 Water St. E., Brockville, Ont. 
*1126 Dallas Road, Victoria 
*888> King St. E., Hamilton 

11 Belvedere Rd., Sunderland Co., 
Durham, England 

No Information 

No. Rank 


























































































Gibson, William 


Gilbert, Herbert Henry. . . 

Gilmer, Ernest Richard .... 

Gilmore, Albert Edward .... 
Gilmore, Harry Thomas 


Gilpin, John 

Goodman, Ralph Allen .... 

Gordon, William (W) . . . 

Gorssline, Raymond Meyers 
Gow, James Wilfred Colin. . 


Graham, Grattan Clifford . . 

Graham, Thomas 

Grant, Herbert 

Graves, George M.M. 


Gray, Robert F 

Greaves, Aubrey Vernon. . . . 

Gribbin, Thomas Joseph . . . 
Grieve, Stewart Hume 


Griffiths, John William 

Griffiths, Owen Ross 

Grindley, George Henry . . 

Grubb, Robert Newsome . . . 

Gruggen, Charles Mark .... 

Gunter, G. H 

Hall, Bertram Lawrence. . . . 

Hall, Thomas Ingram 

Hall, Wm. Stanley 

Halligan, William 

Hamelin, Joseph 

Hamer, Arthur 

Hamilton, Andrew James. . . 

Hamilton, Willard Errol . . 

Hand, William 

Hanes, Earl 

Hanney, William 

Hann, J 

Hanson, E. G 

Hardcastle, Thos 

Harding, Robert Gordon . . . 
Hare, Robert 


Hare, Robt. B. (P. of War). 

Harford, Joseph Phillip .... 

Hargreaves, Harold 

Harris, N. MacL. 

Harrington, William 

Harris, Webster H. F 

Harrison, Eldridge 

Harrison, Thomas 

Harrison, Thomas 

Hart, Hugh 

M.C. &B 

Hart, William Stanley 

Harvard, Ferrell 

Harvey, Sydney Harry 

Hawkey, Thomas 

Hay, John 

Hearn, Edgar Lewis 

Hearns. Isaac Beniamin. . 

Remarks, Last Known Address, etc. 

The Gardens, Lessendrum, Huntly, 

Aberdeenshire, Scotland 
*St. Paul s Hospital, Kweiteh, Honan, 

Killed in Action 


Stanley, York Co., N.B. 

17 Cottage Rd., London, England 

313 21st St., Brandon, Man. 
*26 Gordon St., Woodbridge, N.J. 
*S.M.O., M.D. No. 6, Halifax 

Victoria, B.C. 
*Fenelon Falls, Ont. 
*15 Harrison St., Hamilton 

Killed in Action 

*233 Province St. South, Hamilton 
165 Wharncliffe Rd. S., London, Ont. 
*Col. Med. Serv., Hong Kong, China 

The Avenue, Egerton St., New Brigh 
ton, Cheshire, England 

79 Ontario St., Guelph, Ont. 

833 Carlaw Ave., Toronto 

Myncholme, Clarence Road, Gorles- 
ton-on-Sea, Norfolk, England 

Killed in Action 

1528 Camosum St., Victoria 

No Information 

S.O.S., Toronto, 1915 
*1410 20th Ave. N. W., Calgary 
*161 Wood St. East, Hamilton 

No Information 


Front St., Aylmer East, P.Q. 

2344 La Salle Ave., Montreal 

1020 Lillian St., Windsor, Ont. 

Pembroke, Ont. 

S.O.S., Toronto. 1915 


Killed in Action 

S.O.S., Toronto, 1915 

*25 Elgin St., Gait, Ont. 

133 Shuter St., Toronto 

No Information 
*Simcoe, Ont. 

49 Eastwood Ave., BirchclifF, Ont. 

10 Melrose Ave., Brantford, Ont. 

No Information 
*564 Dundas St. E., Toronto 

Died of Wounds 

Box 136, Marysville, York Co., N.B. 

Marysville, N.B. 

35 W. French Ave., New Bedford, 

*Listowel, Ont. 

Lymenge, Folkestone, Kent, Eng. 

No Information 

*327 N. Bernadotte St., New Orleans, 
*526 Logan Ave., Toronto 
*New Liskeard, Ont. 

Quill Lake, Sask. 

East St., Napanee, Ont. 

No. Rank 






























































































Honors Remarks, Last Known Address, etc. 

Heidman, Norman 

*108 Douro St., Stratford, Ont. 

Henderson, James (W) 

*307 Wychwood Ave., Toronto 

Hewitt, William Edward . . . 
Hill Allan (W) 


*Box 35, Coleman P.O., Toronto 
*101 Helena Ave., Toronto 

Hill, Carl English (W) 

*Lansing, Ont. 

Hill, Lawrie, John . ... 

Hasways St., Vancouver 

Hill, Sidney 

*73 Nairn Ave., Toronto 

Hillier, Thomas 

359 Cumberland Ave., Winnipeg 

Hines, Ernest 

*122 Sanford Ave. N., Hamilton 

Hodder, Charles Victor 

*326 Warren Road, Toronto 

Hodges, Edwin 

No Information 

Hodgkinson, Robert E. (W). 

*Spectator, Hamilton 

Hogg, Arthur 


*97 Murrie Ave., Mimico. Ont, 

Hogle, Claude Leroy 

Killed in Action 

Holmes, Harold Percy . . 

Brampton, Ont. 

Holmes William 

23 Wyre St., Fleetwood. Lanes., Eng. 

Hooper Thomas Henry 

*151 Humewood Ave., Toronto 

Hopper, Eldon Cecil 

William St., Pembroke, Ont. 

Howard Peter James 

849 Grosvenor Ave., Winnipeg 

Howell, William . ... 

*1366 Cannon St. E., Hamilton 

Humphreys, Sidney 

Stornmouth, Westmead Rd., Sutton, 

Hunt Frederick Harry 

Surrey, England 
862 Weston Rd., Mt. Dennis, Ont. 

Hunter, Laun James 

172 Park St., Dundas, Ont. 

Huntley, John S. B. 

9 Dominion St., Truro, N.S. 

Husband, Arthur Clifford 


Hutchinson, Henry Joseph. . 
Hutton \Villiam Lome 


*c/o Blachford & Wray, Main St. 
East, Hamilton 
*221 Nelson St., Brantford, Ont. 

Imeson Colin Marshall 

*Box 696, Leamington, Ont. 

Ineson, William Frederick 

*182 Weston Rd. S., Toronto 

Inalis D 

S.O.S. Toronto, 1915 

Ingles, Walter 

162 Drolet St., Montreal 

Ings, George Arthur 


Irvine Harold John 

*Brigden, Ont. 

Irving, John 

27 Mayfield Ave., Newburn-on- 

Irwin Edward 

Tyne, Northumberland, Eng. 
*Keith St., Hamilton 

Irwin Joseph Thomas 

*Medical Arts Bldg., Toronto 

Ivory, Herbert Wesley . . 


682 Queen St. W., Toronto 

Jackes Harvey Lee 

*810 McCallum Bldg., Regina, Sask. 

Jackson Laurance \Vm. 

2236 15th Ave., W. Vancouver 

Jacobs, Samuel 


15 Blenheim Crescent, London, Eng. 

James George Henry 

433J/2 Towne Ave., Los Angeles, Cal. 

Jenkins, John Stephen . . 


*Charlottetown, P.E.I. 

Johnson, Clarence A. (W) . . 
Johnson James 


*Apt. B, 81 Wilson Ave., Toronto 
S.O.S., Toronto, 1915 

Johnson Norman 

601 Corrigan Ave., Winnipeg 

Jones Cecil Charles 

Killed in Action 

Jones Herbert 

Died, France, 5/3/17 

Jones William . .... 

*194 Ferguson Ave. S., Hamilton 

Jordan E. H 

No Information 

Joyce Peter 

Cherry River, P.Q. 

Joycey Douglas (\V) 

*Rabual, New Guinea 

Kappele, Daniel Paul (W) . 
Karkruff John 

M.I.D. (2) 

*504 Main St. E., Hamilton 
58 Applegrove Ave., Toronto 

Keiller Richard Johnston 

*Pointe Claire, Montreal 

Kelly Alfred 

Died of Wounds 

Kelly Carcey Bliss 

Cumberland Bay, N.S. 

Kelly Ernest 

No Information 

Kellv. Lawrence M. (W) . 

*931 N. Pleasant, Royal Oak, Mich. 

No. Rank 
























































































Kelso, Max 


Kemsley, Charles Clyde. . . . 

Kennedy, A. 

Kenney, Randal Young .... 
Kent, James Sorton 


Kirby, Walter James 

Knight, Edward 

Knox, John 

Kunder, John 

Laflin, Frank 

Lang, Harry Beckett 

Lang, Wilfred B. M 

Lang, William Turner 

Lansdowne, Arthur L 


Lara way, Harley 

Latimer, George Henry .... 

Latta, Ethelbert Elijah 

Lauderbach, Victor 

Lawton, C. G 

Ledger, J. . 

LeFrancois, Frank 

Legary, William 


Leigh, Willoughby J. (W).. . 

Leith, Jack 

LeRoux, Claude Herbert. . . 

Lewis, Alec. James 

Lewis, Frank 

Lickley, Hugh Mackay (W) 

Lickley, James T. F 

Lickley, William Fraser. . . . 

Limburg. Samuel Arthur . . . 

Logic, Frederick George. . . . 

Lomer, Theodore Adolph. . . 
Lucas, Guy Ivan 


Luce, John Rudolph 

Ludlow, Albert Milford .... 

Lumsden, John Gordon .... 

Lusk, David 

Lynch, Maurice Edmund. . . 

Lyne, Harold 

Lyne, Vernon Harris (W).. . 
Lyons, William Wilson 


Leleu, F. H 

Mabee, Alvah Henry 

Mahy, Edmund (W) 

Mann, Frederick 

Marriott, William Alexander 

Marsh, George Curtis 

Marsh, William John 

Mason, Joseph William .... 

Mathers, James Edward . . . 

Matheson, James Renwick. . 

Matthews, Wesley Bradford. 

Mead, Hubert Lionel 

Meehan, Frederick Arthur . 

Meisner, Arthur. . 

Honors Remarks, Last Known Address, etc. 

*Athenree, Kati-Kati, New Zealand 

244 20th St. N., Lethbridge, Alta. 

S.O.S., Toronto, 1915 
*67 Bedley Rd., New Walden, Surrey, 

Happtree P.O., Sask. 
*689 Danforth Ave., Toronto 

c/o C. E. Brooks, R.R. 1, Otler, B.C. 

St. Stanislaus Inst., Guelph, Ont. 

248 Front St., Stratford, Ont. 

Killed in Action 

*Pilgrim State Hosp., Brentwood, L.I. 
*63 Frederick St., Hamilton 
*63 Frederick St., Hamilton 
*55 Penning St., Toronto 

116 Harriett St., Winnipeg 

Buena Vista, Burnaby, Vancouver 
*243 Albert St., Kingston, Ont. 

Ladysmith, B.C. 

48 Sydney St., Hamilton 
*49 Highland Ave., Hamilton 

R.C.M.P. Barracks, Brandon, Man. 


Harvey St., Hespeler, Ont. 
*Old Age Pension Commissioner, 

City Hall, Hamilton 
*40 Oliver Road, Belmont, Mass. 

133 Ontario St., Stratford, Ont. 

No Information 

Peterboro, Ont. 
*57 Astley Ave.. Toronto 
*New Liskeard, Ont. 

87 Grays Inn Rd., W.C. 1, London, 


*3357 W. 26th St., Vancouver 
*1 1 Linden Terrace, Ottawa 

Wyoming R.R. 2, Ont. 

R.R. No. 2, St. Mary s, Ont. 


Killed in Action 

No Information 

535 Percy St., Ottawa 

Belvoir Vale Farm, Muston near 
Battesford, Notts, Eng. 

142 Ladbrooke Grove, N. Kensing 
ton, London, Eng. 

24 Salem St., Wakefield, Mass. 
*97 Flatt Ave., Hamilton 

Harris St., Ingersoll, Ont. 
*97 Lightbourne Ave., Toronto 

476A Seigner St., Montreal 

Armdale P.O., Halifax 

Winnipeg, Man. 

12 St. Johns Rd., Portsmouth, Hants, 

No Information 



Perroboquis, Kings Co., N.B. 
*296 Erskine Ave., Toronto 

Woodstock, Ont. 
*607 Ouellette Ave., Windsor, Ont. 



Mercer, A. J. 




Meredith, John T 



Meridew, John 




Metcalfe, James Edward . . 



Michener, Leo 



Middleton, W. A 



Miller, George Russell .... 



Mills, William 



Mintie, Ashley 



Mitchell, Richard Arthur. . . 



Mofford, Reginald Adolphus 



Montague, Frederick Win.. . 


Moore, Charles Howard. . . . 



Moore, William 




Morgan, Thomas 



Morgan, William Ewart. . . . 
Morin, Joseph 



Moses, Harry Clarke 

M.C. & B 



Moss, John Henry 




Mossman, James Kilburn. . . 
Serb. O. 
Mott, Jacob Ernest 

M.C. & 
St. Sava 



Moyer, Percy 


Muir, Walter Lawson 




Muise, Peter Joseph 



Mulligan, George Vincent. . . 


Murch, William 



Murphy, Wm. Joseph (W).. 



Murray, S. M 



MacAllister, Lewis S 



McAnally, Frederick Lee. . . 



McCallum, Finley 



McLure, Thomas D 



McCusker, Emmet Andrew. 
McDonald, Gerald 



MacDonald, J. A 


VfacDonald, John Howard. . 



VtacDonnell, Shirley John 



McFarlane, William 


McGill, Chester Wm 




McGillicudy, T 



VIcGillivray, James Edward. 
VIcGillivray, Ronald C 




MacGlashan, David (W) . 



VTcGowan, Edward Patrick 




McGuffin, Chester Fish 
McKenzie, Alexander F. . 




MacKenzie, Gordon Alex. . 



MacKenzie, William 



McKenzie, Wilfred L 



McKerror, Cathcart . . . 



McKillop, Horace 




VIcLaren, James (Patrick) . . 
McLaughlin, Charles E 




Maclean, James 



MacLean, John Ogg 



McNair, Charles 



McNeil James 


VtacNeill, James Grant .... 
McQuay Russell B. 




MoRae. John Gordon . . 

Remarks, Last Known Address, etc. 


*133 Queen St. S., Hamilton 
*604 Harvie Ave., Toronto 

141 28th Ave., N. E. Calgary 

Killed in Action 

S.O.S., Toronto, 1915 
*159 Silverthorne Ave., Toronto 

131 Woodstock St., Hull, Yorks.,Eng 

Hudson Bay Junction 

Killed in Action 

46 Cortes St., Boston, Mass. 

559, 3rd S.W. St., Miami, Fla. 
*414 Medical Arts Bldg., Winnipeg 

No Information 
*57 Gifford St., Toronto 
A. & P. Head Offiice, Toronto 


*Prattsburg, N.Y., U.S.A. 
Cons, of Music, Bay & State, Ottawa 

*184 East 75th St., New York City 
Killed in Action 
Killed in Action 
*240 Jubilee Road, Halifax 
415 Gloucester St., Ottawa 
Died of Wounds 
S.O.S., Toronto, 1915 
128 East Ave. S., Hamilton 
No Information 
No Information 

Drowned,Llandovery Castle,27/6/18 
911 Somerset Bldg., Winnipeg 
Gunningsville, N.B. 
*McCallum Bldg., Regina 
412 Bartlett Ave., Toronto 
No Information 
Prospect St., Wolfeville, N.S. 
Killed in Action 
Died of Wounds 
Dept. Indian Affairs, Ottawa 
*576 Balliol St., Toronto 
Weyburn, Sask. 

Star of the Sea", Pictou, N.S. 
No Information 

404 St. Georges St., Moncton, N.B. 
*220 12th Ave., Calgary 
Hamilton Hotel, Dauphin, Man. 
McAdam, N. B. 
Killed in Action 
No Information 

Moor Park Rd. E., Stevenston, 

Ayrshire, Scotland 
*25 Southview Ave., Toronto 
No Information 
No Information 

*c/o United Cigar Stores, London 
>=20 Preston Rd., Toronto 
445 Moy Ave., Windsor, Ont. 
c/o R.C.M.P., Regina, Sask. 
Killed in Action 

624 Crescent Rd., Portage la Prairie 
506 Glenlake Ave., Toronto 


>*< T 


ii\n^\f \mTT\\nff \Vllliam 




1701 1 

t.e. i 
to T 


^e. ^ 

^ar>t > 




o!0o4 J 

1 \ A O7O 1 




i-* *y<y J 



1 7OQ 1 


^icholls John Jeffrey . . - - 



1 I\JO 



1704 J 
oQi no 1 


icholson, Wm. Freeman . . . ] 
ixon Harry . . 


62 S 



^oble William G (W) 


1 /Ui> 







N^orthen \Villiani Alonzo 




r te. 

N^owlan John Baptist 



i 7nt 

Z a t 

N^oyes Frederick \V alter 


01 n 


O Connor S J 





Odessky IVJav 





O Grady Daniel John 


ozvoo / 



3 Leary, Frank Joseph (W). 
Osborn Horace 



i 71 n 

C/C CT 4. 

Overend Samuel Alexander 



C /Cffi 

Ovprlmlt Frflnlc \Vhitnpv 



i 71 i 


Palfrey Douglas Edward 



1 7 Y 4 


^aradis John 


1 <4-* 

1 7 -1 a 


Parker Andrew 


1 / 12 



fiQoi 99 


Parrett Charles 


K9Q1 tA. 


Parsons Frederick 





Paterson John jVIcGowan 


1 71 Q 



1 1 IO 



Patterson John Franklin 


171 ii 


^carson Bernard 


4,0084. S 


Pell Bertie 




Pell Joseph . . . 


i 71 s 


Pender Thomas Patrick 


1 /1O 



Pennock Richard D G 


Pentecost Reginald S 




Perry Herbert Cecil 




Peters Charles H 



Petrie, Frederick McGregor. 
Pettigrew R C 




V OO Hi 


Pettitt Arthur 



Pickard R 

Lt -Col 

Philp George Rowe 




Plnwri trli t \Vm ^Vwhorn 


\Ta inr 

Poisson Paul . . . . 





Pole Willard Harford 



S M 

Pollett Alfred Charles 



T /fnl 

Poole Albert Thomas 




Pountney Alfred Luke 



Precious \V W 




Price John Henry 




Ralph Alfred 





5 Ptp 

Raven Arthur Neil 







Reeves Arthur Aubrev 




Restivo Francesco 




Rettig Louis . . . 




Revell. William O.. 


Remarks, Last Known Address, etc. 
*481 King St. W., Hamilton 
S.O.S., Toronto, 1915 
*Medical Arts Bldg., Toronto 
1122 Arch St., Berkeley, Calif. 
306 Ditchling Rd., Brighton, Eng. 
188 South Brock St., Sarnia, Ont. 
Died of Wounds 
Killed in Action 
*69 Sherman Ave. S., Hamilton 
62 Shannon St., Toronto 
*3 Conrad Ave., Toronto 
876 Norfolk Rooms, Granville St., 


R.R. No. 1, Sparta, Ont. 
St. Mary s, Kent Co., N.B. 
*R.R. No. 5, Belleville, Ont. 
S.O.S., Toronto, 1915 
Died of Wounds 
Almonte, Ont. 

*Medical Arts Bldg., Toronto 
*R.R. No. 4, Port Hope, Ont. 
*R.R. No. 4, Hamilton 
*D.S.C.R., Hamilton 
Dundas, Ont. 

17 Orange St., St. John, N.B. 
Killed in Action 
*817 Bathurst St., Toronto 
639 Highland Ave., Benton Harbor, 


*85 Westmoreland Ave., Toronto 
347 Keewatin Ave., Toronto 
*110 Grosvenor St. N., Hamilton 
54 Brighton Rd., Brantford, Ont. 

Kalmar Ave., Birchcliffe, Ont. 
Ontario St., Sarnia, Ont. 
Ontario St., Sarnia, Ont. 
Killed in Action 
Elnora, Alta. 

Inglewood Drive, Toronto 
*1414 Royal Bank Bldg., Toronto 

Granger, Wash., U.S.A. 
*229 Balmoral Ave. S., Hamilton 
158 Neave St., Guelph, Ont. 

.O.S., Toronto, 1915 
603 Sherbourne St., Toronto 
Killed in Action 
*Tecumseh, Ont. 
153 Mitton St., Sarnia, Ont. 
*1886A Queen St. E., Toronto 

Wellington, Verdun, Montreal 
Second Ave. W., Owen Sound 
180 Atlas Ave., Toronto 
*55 New St., Hamilton 

O.S Toronto, 1915 
316 Albert St., Kingston, Ont. 
155 College St., Toronto 
1122 Cannon St. E., Hamilton 
*43 Elm St., Toronto 
715 Broadway, New York City 
*574 Highbury Ave., London, Ont. 

No. Rank 


















































































































Rice, Arthur Archibald. . . . 


Rice, Robert Samuel O. . 

Rich, Worthy Archibald R. 

Richardson, Frederick D.. . 

Rigby, Arthur 

Riley, Joseph Francis 

Robertson, Edwin Hubert. 

Robinson, George Robert . . 

Roe, Alfred Charles 

Rosser, John Gordon. . . . 


Rostron, Ernest 

Rouleau, Joseph Ward . . . 

Rowley, Harry (W) 

Russell, Norman H. (W) . . 

Russell, Robert Stanley . . 

Russell, Thomas Charles . . 
Rutherford, Hugh R. (W) . 


St. Laurent, Alexander E. . 

Sampson, Thomas H. (W) . 

Samuel, Alexander 

Sanders, Ernest 

Sandwith, Bertrand A. . . 
Sayer, George 

Schuurkamp, John 

Scott, Charles Vincent .... 

Scott, William John 

Scowcrof t, Charles 

Scrivener, George 

Scupham, T 

Scribner, Scott, Edward. . . . 
Searles, C. S 


Sears, Elgin 

Sellen, Charles William . . 


Sellen, William Thomas .... 

Sergeant, Samuel 


Seymour, Frederick M 

Sharkey, James .... 

Sharpe, Benjamin 


Shaw, Herbert 

Sheehan, Charles 

Shepherd, Robert John 

Shore, Arthur 

Shorrock. James 


Silcox, William Logan 

Simpkins, Sydney James . . . 

Simpson, Ernest Lee .... 

Simpson, Harry 

Sinclair, William Ewing. . . . 
Sirett, Walter 


Skilling, Harold Roy (W). 

Skinner, John Gordon 

Small, Joseph 

Smith, Arthur Bertram 

Smith, Charles 

Smith, Ernest 


Smith, Frederick 


Smith, John George. . 

Smith, Percy Willis 

Smith, Seneca Reginald .... 


Snarr, Roy . . 


Remarks, Last Known Address, etc. 

Brochenhurst, Untland Rd., Nor 
wich, England 

428 Untland Rd., Norwich, Eng. 
*139 26th St., Niagara Falls, N.Y. 

No Information 

*30 Lake Shore Drive, New Toronto 
*54 Queensbury Ave., Toronto 

Oakville, Ont. 

16 Monteith St., Toronto 

Died of Wounds 
*1319 Newkirk Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 


Cannes P.O., Richmond Co., N.B. 

No Information 

Timmins, Ont. 

No Information, S.O.S., Eng., 1915 

Edward St., Prescott, Ont. 
*40 Fairleigh Crescent, Hamilton 


161 St. Catherine St., Montreal 

Died, France, 16/11/18 
*79 Bastedo Ave., Toronto 

No Information 
*20 Rosemount Ave., Toronto 
*c/o Bearman House, 980 4th Ave. E., 

Owen Sound, Ont. 
*0rillia, Ont. 
*Cookstown, Ont. 

No Information 

362 2nd Ave.,Maisonneuve,Montreal 
74 Hastings Ave., Toronto 

Box 51, Ashburnham, Mass. 
S.O.S., Toronto, 1915 
Waterdown, Ont. 

72> Eaton Ave., Toronto 
*10 Patricia Drive, Toronto 
*Tillsonburg, Ont. 
4 Adams Ave., Toronto 

10 Brighton Ave., Toronto 

21 Clarence St., St. John, N.B. 
Smithville, Ont. 

232 Broadway St. W., Hamilton 
141 Barrens Ave., Hamilton 

700 15th St., Owen Sound, Ont. 
No Information 
490 Pine St., Nanaimo, B.C. 
705 Summerline St., Orlando, Fla. 
No Information 
1098 Queen St. E., Toronto 
628 Goulding St., Winnipeg 
131 Russett Ave., Toronto 

121 St. Patrick St., St. John, N.B. 
166 Stirton St., Hamilton 
*993 Woodbine Ave., Toronto 
109 Arundel Ave., Toronto 
Pembroke, Ont. 

*86 Wellington St. S., Hamilton 
48 Creighton St., Halifax 

No. Rank 

































































































Solley, Stanley Michael .... 

Somers, Albert 

Sowden, William 

Sparks, Walter 

Spaxman, James 

Speed, Leslie Arthur 

Spruit, Joseph 

iStagg, Charles 

Stanley, William . . . 

Staton, Frederick S. 

Stephens, Leonard 

Stevens, Gordon Thomas . . . 

Stewart, John Malcolm .... 

Stewart, Peter 

Stewart, R 

Stewart, Wm. Clayton 

Stott, Samuel 

Strickland, Ralph 

Sudsbear, Frank George. . . . 

Swarbrick, Herbert 

Tadgell, James 

Tait, George 

Taylor, Ernest 

Taylor, Lewis 

Taylor, Walter Frederick 

Taylor, William 

Taylor, Walter George 

Tearle, Edward 

Temperton, Frank H. 

Terrio, Frank 

Thomas, Richard John . . . 


Thompson, Albert R. S. 

Thompson, James 


Thurber, Edmund G. (W) . 

Thurston, Harry 

Thwaites, Frederick 

Tillotson, Robert (W) . 

Torrens, John 

Treleaven, George Willard . . 
Tribe, William John 


Trollope, Frederick M 

Truswell, Walter D. (W) . 

Tucker, Arthur James 


Turner, Robert Richard. . . . 

Turner, William George. . . . 
Tyers, William 


Tyre, Robert . . . 

Udell, Harold 

Van Nostrand, Frederick H. 

Vance, W. L 

Venable, Lawson 

Vivian, Edward Lancelot. . . 

Waddington, Geo. Wilfred. . 
Waddington, Lionel C. 


Wager, Wilfred 

Waite, Alexander E. . 

Walker, James 


Wall, William Frederick. . . . 
Walters, John W. (W) 


Ward, William. . 

Honors Remarks, Last Known Address, etc. 

*Clarkson, Mich., U.S.A. 

*Blyth, Ont. 

*8737 Ivy St., Los Angeles, Cal. 

941 William Ave., Winnipeg 
*50 Brittania Ave., Hamilton 

757 William Ave., Winnipeg 


Killed in Action 

Died of Wounds 

No Information 
*331 Bay St., Toronto 

34 Kensington St., London, Ont. 

Died of Wounds 
*248 Perth Ave., Toronto 
*99 Rogers Rd., Toronto 

Judique North, Inverness Co., N.S. 
*14 Newlands Ave., Hamilton 

Gilbert Plains, Man. 

125 Victoria St., St. John, N.B. 

127 Strachan St., Toronto 

Swan River, Man. 

Hulton P.O., Man. 
*60 McAnulty Blvd., Hamilton 

No Information 
*O Leary Station, P.E.I. 
*196 Brookdale Ave., Toronto 

1537 William St., Vancouver 

2315 17 B St., S.W. Calgary 
*408 Sammon Ave., Toronto 

Killed in Action 

*17539 Greeley Ave., Detroit, Mich. 
*1184 Danforth Ave., Toronto 

No Information 
*41 Park Terrace W., New York City 

Died of Wounds 

115, 18th Ave., Calgary 
*119 Graham St. N., Hamilton 

31 Hyla St., London, Ont. 


*2 Sultan St., Toronto 
*22 Tichester Rd., Toronto 


*60 Bellhaven Road, Toronto 
*1328 First Ave. W., Owen Sound 
*Medical Arts Bldg., Montreal 

3120 Hutchinson St., Montreal 

136 Crighton St., Halifax, N.S. 

No Information 
*Christie St. Hospital, Toronto 

No Information 

c/o P.O., Colonial Beach, Va. 

Huron College, London, Ont. 

Middlesboro, B.C. 

Patricia Heights, Nanaimo, B.C. 

162 Symington Ave., Toronto 

3 Hiham Gardens, Winchester, 
Sussex, England 

65 Graham Ave. S., Hamilton 

127 Chestnut St., Hamilton 

73 Winnett Ave., Toronto 

S.O.S., Toronto, 1915 

No. Rank 






























































Wardell, Frederick Chas. . . 

Wark, David R. (W.) 

Warner, Orton 

Warner, William Thomas. . 
Wartman, Alvin Edmund.. 

W 7 ebb, William Arthur 

Webber, Henry 

Webster, Thomas 

Weiler, Cornelius (W) 

Wells, Thomas 

Wheaton, Aubrey 

White, Frederick (W) 

WTiitehouse, Wm. Burnett. 
Whitelock, Wm. Leslie .... 
Whitmore, Wm. Frederick 

Whittingham, Charles 

Wilcox, William James. . . . 

Wiles, Bert 

Wilkins, Edwin Dean 

Wilkinson, Arthur 

Wilkinson, Geo. Traverse. . 

Willcocks, Walter 

Williams, Harry Raymond. 

Williamson, George 

Williams, John Charles. . . . 

Williamson, E 

Wilson, James Williamson . 

Wilson, Olaf Olsen 

W r ilson, Wm. Edward 

Wilson, William R 

Windsor, Thomas 

Wise, Harold Ernest 

Wood, Arthur 

Woodburn, Samuel 

Woods, Archibald Henry . . . 

Woods, Herbert (W) 

Woods, Peter 

Worthington, Harry 

Wyatt, Frank 

Wynne, Frank Dennison . . . 

Yates, Walter 

Yates, William Alfred 




Honors Remarks, Last Known Address, etc. 

*2012 Queen St. E., Toronto 

Vulcan, Alta. 
*321 Runneymede Rd., Toronto 

370 Bleury St., Montreal 

Died of Wounds 
*1014 McBride Ave.,Los Angeles, Cal. 

251 Machray Ave., Winnipeg 

12 Claremont St., Toronto 

78 Ontario Ave., Hamilton 
*38 Richmond Ave., St. Catharines 

Windsor Hotel, Moncton, N.B. 

No Information 

Point St. Charles, Montreal 

124 Emerald St., Hamilton 
*111 Duvernet Ave., Toronto 


1349 St. Denis St., Montreal 

25 Addrossan Place, Toronto 
*Box 310, Sudbury, Ont. 

*127 Victoria Ave., N. Hamilton 

26 Sixth St., Kingston, Ont. 
*12 Epsom Ave., Toronto 

No Information 

S.O.S., Toronto, 1915 
*30 Ackman Ave., Hamilton 

S.O.S. Toronto, 1915 
*612 14th St. W., Owen Sound, Ont. 

No Information 

Qu Appelle, Sask. 

No Information 


*44 Wanless Ave., Toronto 
*378 Emerald St. N., Hamilton 
*130 Lottridge St., Hamilton 

: 116 Oakwood Ave., Toronto 

No Information 

: 503 Ferguson Ave. N., Hamilton 

19 Jutland St., Preston, Lanes., Eng. 

36 O Reilly St., Hamilton 

832 Durocher St., Outremont, P.Q. 


49 Beverly St., Kingston, Ont. 




cop. 2