ROTD AUG 15 LARGE

 

The Western Front Association rembers soldiers who served and died, from the Allies and Central Powers, during the First World War.

 

There will usually be a picture, though not always. There is a short personal biography: when and where they were born and what they did before the war, followed by their enlistment, training, and service.

 

All WW1 forces, all sides, on all fronts, east to west remembered as individual soldiers, nurses, labourers and others on the home front, their lives, service, their loss, burial and commemoration. 

 

Some can be more detailed than others. Included will be their final action or cause of death and their final resting place. 

 

Research by David O'Mara.

 

Readers are invited to add their comments and to submit ideas for people to feature.

3 May 1917 Pte William Burton37746 Pte William Burton, B Coy 18th Bn Durham Light Infantry

Born in Nottingham in 1888, William was living at Silsden, Yorkshire – where he was employed as a gardener – at the time of the outbreak of war. A married father of two, he was conscripted into the army (4/DLI) at Halifax on 9 August 1916 and served on the Western Front from the 22 November 1916.

Transferred to the 18th Battalion in December 1916, William took part in operations on the Ancre before being killed by a German shell whilst moving into the front line on 3 May 1917 during the Battle of Arras. William is now buried in Canadian Cemetery No 2 at Neuville St Vaast.

3 May 1917 killed in action 

Research by David O'Mara

200757 L/Cpl Robert Dawson2 May 1918 L Cpl Robert Dawson, 8th Bn King’s Own (Ryl Lancaster Regt).

Born at Millom, Cumberland in 1895, Robert was living at Burton-in-Lonsdale at the time of the outbreak of war. He enlisted at the village hall in Burton in December 1914 into the 1/4th Bn King’s Own (as 3051) and was sent to France on 3 May 1915. Through fighting at Festubert, Givenchy, the Somme, Arras and 3rd Ypres, Robert was wounded four times throughout his service.

He was posted as missing in action following the Battles of the Lys on 2 May 1918. Robert’s body was later recovered and he is now buried in Chocques Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais.

2 May 1918 killed in action 

Research by David O'Mara

 Photograph of Canadian Expeditionary Force solider Thomas McCuaig
 Pte Thomas McCuaig

 

875217 Pte. Thomas Roderick McCuaig, 27th Bn. CEF (Manitoba Regt) Born at Vankleek Hill, Ontario

 

Canada on July 9th 1890, Thomas was a graduate of McGill University where he studied Applied Science between 1908 and 1910.

 

At the time of the outbreak of war, he was employed as a cashier.

 

He enlisted into the Canadian Army at Winnipeg on March 18th 1916, serving initially in the 184th Battalion CEF before being sent overseas in September 1916 and transferring to the 27th Bn VEF.

 

A participant in the later months of the Battle of the Somme, his next major action was the Battle of Arras in 1917 during which, near Thelus, he was killed in action on 1st May 1917.

 

Thomas has no known grave and he is, therefore, commemorated on the Vimy Memorial.

 

1 May 1917 killed in action.

 

 

Research by David O'Mara

Attend an event on The Battle of the Somme this Summer: 

'Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace'.

 'The Somme and Beyond'

 'Perspectives on the Somme'

 

References:

 

The Canadian Virtual War Memorial (http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/memorials/canadian- virtual-war-memorial )

 

Canadian War Diaries of the First World War (http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/archivianet/020152_e.html )

 

Soldiers of the First World War (Attestation Papers) (http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military- heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/search.aspx )

 

Commonwealth War Graves Commission (www.cwgc.org )

 

Official History of the Canadian Army in the First World War (Nicholson) Pub: Ottawa 1964

 

McGill Honour Roll 1914-1918 Pub: Montreal 1926

29 April 1915 Pte Alfred Harrigan27717 Pte Alfred Harrigan, 15th Bn CEF.

A steam fitter at the Otto Higel factory in Toronto, Alfred was born at Port Hope, Ontario on 6  September 1898. He enlisted into the CEF at Valcartier on 20 September 1914 and served in France from February 1915. Alfred was killed in the trenches near St Jean (on a day described as ‘quiet' in the battalion war diary). He has no known grave, and Alred is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial.

29 April 1915 died on this day 

 

Research by David O'Mara

1 May 1916 Pte Frederick Baldwin433052 Pte Frederick Baldwin, 49th (Edmonton) Battalion CEF

Born in Burnley, Lancashire on 7 January 1895, Frederick lived at Settle, Yorkshire before emigrating to Canada in 1905. Employed as a farmer at the time of the outbreak of war, he enlisted into the CEF at Edmonton on 6 March 1915 and, soon afterwards, set sail for England.

He landed at Boulogne in October 1915 but, only after seeing limited frontline service, was struck down with appendicitis at the end of December 1915.

After rejoining his unit in March 1916, Frederick served in the Ypres Salient and was killed in action during a German bombardment on ‘Trench 60’ in Sanctuary Wood. He is buried in Sanctuary Wood Cemetery, West Flanders, Belgium.

1 May 1916

Research by David O'Mara

30-April-1915-Pte-H-Smith

Pte H Smith, Army Service Corps.

A carter with the Nelson Co-operative Society pre war (in the town where he resided – at 7, Cross Street), 21 year old Pte Carter enlisted into the army on 12 September 1914.

After getting married whilst on leave in January 1915, he travelled to Weyhill Camp, near Andover to undergo further training. Still at Weyhill in April 1915, he was involved in a boating tragedy when the punt upon which he was travelling on Appleshaw Pond during some free time, collided with another, knocking him overboard. A non-swimmer, Pte Smith disappeared under the water and, regardless of the efforts of his comrades, was lost for over half an hour. When he was finally found, attempts to save his life were made but these were all in vain.

His funeral took place in Weyhill on 4 May 1915.

30 April 1915

Research by David O'Mara

28 April 1915 S/Lt Pierre ScheurerS/Lt Pierre Scheurer, 152e Regiment d'Infanterie.

Born at Thann, Alsace (then part of Germany) on 18 October 1887, Pierre left Thann to engage in his compulsory military training with the French Army at Epinal and became an eleve-officier in 1909.

He was severely wounded by a shell explosion at his regimental headquarters on the Hartmannswillerkopf on 26 April 1915 and died of these injuries in Field Ambulance 2/58 at Moosch two days later. Buried in Thann, he is also commemorated by a private memorial at the Hartmannswillerkopf, on Thann war memorial, on Le Thillot war memorial and in two ‘Books of Honour' in Paris. Pierre's brother, Daniel (a sergeant in 170 RI ), was killed in action at Mesnil-lès-Hurlus just over a month earlier.

Research by David O'Mara

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