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Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Remembering William Eustace Anselm DeCoste—Died of Wounds November 14, 1917

William Eustace Anselm DeCoste was born at Mulgrave on September 25, 1897, the seventh of Edward and Caroline (Carrigan) DeCoste’s eight children. Three of Edward’s brothers worked in the coastal fishery out of Gloucester, MA, two perishing at sea when he was 17 years old. Undeterred by the dangers, Edward worked there for several years, but eventually returned to Mulgrave, where he worked on the Intercolonial Railroad.

William Eustace Anselm DeCoste
Eustace, as he was known to family, was the youngest of Edward and Caroline’s five sons. Sometime after 1911, he relocated to Pictou County and found employment at the Trenton steel mill. On March 9, 1916, Eustace attested for overseas service with the 193rd Battalion at New Glasgow, NS. After several months’ preparatory drill with a local detachment, he and his mates travelled to Camp Aldershot in late May and spent the summer in training with the 193rd and its three Nova Scotia Highland Brigade mates—the 85th (Nova Scotia Highlanders), 185th (Cape Breton Highlanders) and 219th Battalions.

The Brigade departed for England on October 12, 1916 and landed at Liverpool one week later. Its arrival coincided with the Canadian Corps’ deployment at the Somme, France. Significant casualties incurred in fighting at Courcelette and Regina Trench created a pressing need for reinforcements. In response, military authorities assembled a draft of 800 soldiers—200 from each Brigade unit—for immediate service at the front. Two Brigade battalions—the 193rd and 219th—were disbanded before year’s end and their personnel assigned to existing units in England.

Selected for the Highland Brigade draft, Eustace was assigned to the 42nd Battalion (Royal Highlanders of Canada) on December 5, 1916. The following day, he crossed the English Channel to the Canadian Base Depot at Le Havre and joined his new unit in the forward area on January 3, 1917.

The 42nd, a kilted Montreal unit affiliated with Scotland’s “Black Watch,” had arrived in France in October 1915 as part of the 3rd Canadian Division’s 7th Brigade. For almost a year, its soldiers served in Belgium alongside their Brigade mates—Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI), the Royal Canadian Regiment (RCR) and the 49th Battalion (Edmonton, AB). In late summer, the Brigade followed the Canadian Corps to the battlefields of the Somme.

At the time of Eustace’s arrival, the 42nd was deployed in sectors near Vimy Ridge, France. The young soldier soon found himself in the front trenches, facing its daily perils. On February 13, 1917, Eustace was admitted to field ambulance with shrapnel wounds to his right eye, arm, face, foot and left hip. He spent the next two months recuperating in hospital at Étaples and thus was not in the line for the Canadian Corps’ historic attack on Vimy Ridge.

Eustace rejoined the 42nd near Vimy on April 21 and served with the unit in sectors near Leans, France throughout the summer and early autumn of 1917. On October 23, the battalion travelled northward by train to Ypres, Belgium and prepared for its role in the impending Canadian Corps attack on Passchendaele Ridge. Four days later, Eustace and his comrades entered Brigade Reserve near Wieltje, remaining there while the PPCLI and 49th Battalion participated in the attack’s second stage on October 30. The following night, the 42nd and the RCR made their way into the muddy line, in relief of their Brigade comrades.

Personnel spent several days establishing a new front trench before retiring to Ypres on the night of November 3/4. After a 10-day break, the 42nd returned to the recently captured ridge on the night of November 14. While the unit’s war diary makes no mention of artillery fire or casualties, sometime that day, Private Eustace De Coste was wounded by shellfire and rushed to an advance dressing station. He succumbed to his injuries before day’s end.

Pte. Eustace DeCoste's Memorial Plaque.
While Eustace was laid to rest in a nearby military cemetery, subsequent artillery fire destroyed many of Passchendaele’s “ad hoc” cemeteries. Officials were therefore unable to locate his grave after the end of hostilities. Eustace’s name is engraved on the Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium, one of more than 55,000 British and Imperial soldiers who died in the Ypres Salient during the war and have no known final resting place.

Bantry Publishing’s “First World War Honour Roll of Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, Volume I: 1915 - 1917” contains a detailed summary of Eustace’s family background and military service, along with profiles of 71 other Guysborough soldiers who died in uniform during the first three years of Canadian overseas military service. 

Friday, 10 November 2017

First World War Honour Roll of Guysborough County, Nova Scotia (Revised November 2017)

I am pleased to announce the completion of a second volume of stories, outlining the family background and service of 64 Guysborough County military personnel who died during the final year of the First World War—killed in action, died of wounds or sickness in 1918—and during the post-war years—cause of death attributed to military service.

Posted below is an updated list of the “First World War Honour Roll of Guysborough County, Nova Scotia,” containing the names of all military personnel who died during or following the war. Included is their date and place of birth, parents’ names, date and place of death. Each entry also indicates which Honour Roll volume contains the individual’s story.

The first volume is currently available for purchase online at http://bantrypublishing.ca and at several locations in Antigonish and Guysborough Counties, as listed on the Bantry Publishing Facebook page. The second volume will be available for purchase online before the end of November 2017, and plans for book launches and/or sales at Guysborough, Sherbrooke and Antigonish within the same time frame are being finalized. Details will be posted at bantrypublishing.ca , once arrangements have been confirmed.


First World War Honour Roll of Guysborough County, Nova Scotia (revised November 2017)

I am pleased to announce the completion of a second volume of stories, outlining the family background and service of 64 Guysborough County military personnel who died during the final year of the First World War—killed in action, died of wounds or sickness in 1918—and during the post-war years—cause of death attributed to military service.

Posted below is an updated list of the “First World War Honour Roll of Guysborough County, Nova Scotia,” containing the names of all military personnel who died during or following the war. Included is their date and place of birth, parents’ names, date and place of death. Each entry also indicates which Honour Roll volume contains the individual’s story.

The first volume is currently available for purchase online at http://bantrypublishing.ca and at several locations in Antigonish and Guysborough Counties, as listed on the Bantry Publishing Facebook page. The second volume will be available for purchase online before the end of November 2017, and plans for book launches and/or sales at Guysborough, Sherbrooke and Antigonish within the same time frame are being finalized. Details will be posted on the bantrypublishing.ca website, once arrangements have been confirmed.

First World War Honour Roll of Guysborough County, Nova Scotia

Archibald, Leonard Shirley: Born at Sonora on October 3, 1893, son of William A. and Susan (Hartling) Archibald. Killed in action near Inchy-en-Artois, France on September 19, 1918. Volume II.

Armsworthy, Buckley Andrew: Born at Halfway Cove on May 14, 1896, son of Freeman and Elizabeth Abigail (Cox) Armsworthy, Canso. Died of sickness at New Glasgow, NS on January 29, 1921. Volume II.

Ash, Rollie: Born at Guysborough on September 6, 1894, son of James Stanley and Esther Ann (Shepard) Ash, Antigonish, NS. Killed in action near Angres, France on January 16, 1917. Volume I.

Avery, Joseph Edward: Born at Larry's River in October 1887, son of Alexander John and Elizabeth (Deslauriers) Avery, Cambridge, MA. Killed in action near Thiaucourt, France on September 7, 1918. Volume II.

Barss, Charles Abner: Born at New Harbour on April 11, 1897, son of David Abner and Mary Caroline (Horton) Barss. Died of sickness at Liverpool, England on August 25, 1918. Volume II.

Barss, Harold Edwin: Born at Canso on July 20, 1885, son of Isaac Elnathan and Lucy Ann (Embree) Barss. Killed in action near Courcelette, France on September 30, 1916. Volume I.

Barss, Harrington John: Born at Canso on February 10, 1888, son of John Alexander and Sadie A. (Morris) Barss. Killed in action at Hill 70, near Lens, France, on August 16, 1917. Volume I.

Beals, Philip Sydney: Born at Billtown, Kings Co., NS on July 4, 1889, son of Rev. Francis H. “Frank” and Annie (Smith) Beals (Rev. Beals ministered to a Canso Baptist congregation around the turn of the century.) Killed in action near Liévin, France on June 19, 1917. Volume I.

Benight, George C.: Born at Wine Harbour on April 10, 1898, son of Lemuel and Annie (Boggs) Benight. Died of sickness at Halifax, NS on April 28, 1923. Volume II.

Bezanson, Lewis Seaboyer: Born at Goldboro on March 4, 1897, son of Obediah Alphonso “Obed” and Charity Hope (Giffin) Bezanson. Died of sickness at Goldboro on March 16, 1921. Volume II.

Bingley, George Ernest: Born at Fisherman’s Harbour on November 28, 1888, son of William Henry and Anna “Annie” (Gibbs) Bingley. Died of sickness at Kentville, NS on June 3, 1927. Volume II.

Borden, Allison Hart: Born at Guysborough on March 31, 1878, son of Rev. Jonathan Rand and Mary Elizabeth (Ells) Borden. (Rev. Borden was ministering to the local Methodist congregation at the time.) Died of sickness at Kentville, NS on July 19, 1932. Volume II.

Boyd, James Tennant Whitworth: Born at Glenelg on May 13, 1891, son of Rev. Andrew and Margaret Arabella (Stewart) Boyd, Port Arthur, Ontario. Died of sickness at Brighton, England on June 16, 1918. Volume II.

Breen, James Irvine: Born at Spanish Ship Bay on December 10, 1893, son of William Henry and Mary Jane (Spears) Breen. Died in fire aboard HMCS Musquash in Halifax Harbour on December 6, 1917 (“Halifax Explosion”). Volume I.

Breen, Samuel Gordon: Born at Spanish Ship Bay on September 10, 1896, son of William Henry and Mary Jane (Spears) Breen. Died in fire aboard HMCS Musquash in Halifax Harbour on December 6, 1917 (“Halifax Explosion”). Volume I.

Burns, Louis John: Born at Sonora on June 2, 1897, son of John Penney and Helen “Nellie” (Cass) Burns. Died of sickness at Halifax, NS on March 1, 1917. Volume I.

Burns, Robert: Born at Salmon River Lake on May 15, 1891, son of Robert E. and Ellen J. (Long) Burns. Killed in action near Dickebusch, Belgium on November 25, 1915. Volume I.

Callahan, Alexander: Born at Manchester on February 20, 1894, son of Burton J. and Susan Maria (Whitman) Callahan. Killed in action near Cagnicourt, France on August 28, 1918. Volume II.

Cameron, Alexander Hugh: Born at Caledonia on February 18, 1891, son of Daniel Angus and Mary Ann (Cameron) Cameron. Killed in action near Fresnoy-en-Gohelle on May 7, 1917. Volume I.

Cameron, James Alexander: Born at East River St. Mary's on January 19, 1897, son of Angus Grant and Christina (Fraser) Cameron. Killed in action at Hill 70, near Lens, France, on August 17, 1917. Volume I.

Cameron, John Angus: Born at Caledonia on December 8, 1889, son of Daniel Angus and Mary Ann (Cameron) Cameron. Killed in action near La Coulotte, France on February 17, 1918. Volume II.

Cameron, William Robert Gideon: Born at Guysborough Intervale on January 17, 1892, son of Alexander and Janet C. (Polson) Cameron. Killed in action at Courcelette, France on September 15/16, 1916. Volume I.

Carrigan, William Henry: Born at Sand Point on September 7, 1889, son of Edward and Rachel Carrigan, Milford. Died of sickness at Halifax, NS on May 16, 1918. Volume II.

Clooney, James William: Born at Sherbrooke on November 8, 1889, son of William H. and Elizabeth Ann “Bessie” (Bennett) Clooney. Killed in action near Angres, France on January 16, 1917, Volume I.

Connolly, Edward Lewis: Born at Milford Haven Bridge on June 20, 1891, son of Patrick and Margaret (Cudahee) Connolly. Died of wounds near Ligny-sur-Canche, France on August 30, 1918. Volume II.

Crooks, James Roland: Born at Ecum Secum on April 15, 1892, son of Thomas R. and Sarah (Fraser) Crooks. Died of sickness at Pictou, NS on February 28, 1916. Volume I.

David, Neil Cornelius: Born at Port Felix on June 6, 1896, son of William Henry and Bridget (Bellefontaine) David. Killed in action at Passchendaele, Belgium on October 30/31, 1917. Volume I.

Davidson, Truman Bishop: Born at Isaac’s Harbour on August 3, 1885, son of Robert G. and Marcella M. “Mercy” (Langley) Davidson, Stellarton, Pictou County. Died of sickness at Rouen, France on August 1, 1917. Volume I.

DeCoste, William Eustace: Born at Mulgrave on September 25, 1897, son of Edward and Carolina (Carrigan) DeCoste. Died of wounds at Passchendaele, Belgium on November 14, 1917. Volume I.

Dickson, John Rood: Born at Sonora on December 7, 1891, son of John and Druscilla (Hewitt) Dickson. Died of sickness at Charleroi, Belgium on February 26, 1919. Volume II.

Dort, David Luke: Born at Cole Harbour on August 12, 1897, son of William Peter and Margaret Mary (Jamieson) Dort. Died of wounds at Halifax, NS on May 8, 1919. Volume II.

Dort, George Louis: Born at Peas Brook on November 25, 1897, son of George L. and Martha Jane (George) Dort. Killed in action at Vimy Ridge, France on April 9, 1917. Volume I.

Dort, Leo Harold: Born at Cole Harbour on June 11, 1896, son of David H. and Lilla (O’Leary) Dort. Died of wounds near Avion, France on July 4, 1917. Volume I.

Dort, Thomas Leo: Born at Canso on August 4, 1893, son of James A. and Bridget Jane (George) Fort. Died of sickness at Canso, NS on April 2, 1926. Volume II.

Earle, Vernon: Born at Heart's Content, Newfoundland on June 20, 1884, son of Edmund Page and Louise Clark (Hadley) Earle, Canso. Died of wounds near Comines, Belgium on July 14, 1916. Volume I.

Feltmate, Percy: Born at Hazel Hill on September 20, 1893, son of Adam and Mary Alice (Rhynold) Feltmate. Killed in action near Élouges, Belgium on November 7, 1918. Volume II.

Ferguson, James DeWitt: Born at Halifax on November 9, 1891, son of Bessie Ferguson, Wine Harbour. Killed in action near Boiry, France on August 28, 1918. Volume II.

Ferguson, William Henry: Born at Lochaber, Antigonish County on August 18, 1867, son of James and Margaret “Mooreg” (Stewart) Ferguson, Halifax, NS. Died of sickness at Dartmouth, NS on March 4, 1916. Volume I.

Fogarty, Howard Lewis: Born at Crow Harbour (Fox Island) on September 30, 1895, son of Edward and Johanna (Richard) Fogarty. Died of wounds near Avion, France on November 25, 1917. Volume I.

Fogarty, Martin Joseph: Born at Fox Island on November 1901, son of Joseph and Catherine (Daley) Fogarty. Died of sickness at Halifax, NS on December 25, 1918. Volume II.

Fougere, Peter (Pierre): Born at Larry's River on April 31, 1897, son of Simon (Simion) and Eunice Agnes (Petipas) Fougere. Killed in action near Courcelette, France on October 1/2, 1916. Volume I.

Fraser, Alexander Murray: Born at Pictou on March 5, 1894, son of Alfred William and Christina “Tina” (Murray) Fraser (spent childhood in Sherbrooke, as father worked at Goldenville). Killed in action at Mount Sorrel, Belgium on June 13, 1916. Volume I.

Fraser, Charles Hugh: Born at Guysborough Intervale on October 19, 1890, son of Daniel Joseph and Clara Ann “Annie” (MacPherson) Fraser, Taber, Alberta. Died of wounds near Vimy, France on June 25, 1917. Volume I.

Fraser, Donald Drummond: Born at Sherbrooke on November 14, 1895, son of Alfred William and Christina “Tina” (Murray) Fraser. Died of wounds near Vimy Ridge, France on April 12, 1917. Volume I.

Fraser, James John Ignatius: Born at Mulgrave on October 12, 1899, son of John James and Elizabeth “Lizzie” (O'Neil) Fraser. Died of wounds at Rouen, France on March 24, 1917. Volume I.

Fraser, James Gibson Laurier: Born at New Glasgow on September 14, 1895, son of former Guysborough MP Duncan Cameron and Elizabeth “Bessie” (Graham) Fraser. Killed in action near Lens, France on March 4, 1918. Volume II.

Fraser, Margaret Marjorie “Pearl”: Born at New Glasgow on March 20, 1884, daughter of former Guysborough MP Duncan Cameron and Elizabeth “Bessie” (Graham) Fraser. Perished at sea 187 km. west of Fastnet Rock, Ireland on June 27, 1918. Volume II.

George, Joseph Henry: Born at Port Felix on February 18, 1894, son of William and Margaret (Pellerin) George. Died accidentally (drowning) at Sydney, NS on September 12, 1915. Volume I.

Giffen, Perry Judson: Born at Goldboro on June 21, 1985, son of Obed Chute and Theodosia Ernst (Bezanson) Giffin, Halifax, NS. Died of wounds at Peterborough, ON on February 19, 1937. Volume II.

Giffin, Randolph Murray: Born at Isaac's Harbour on June 27, 1896, son of John MacMillan and Emma Maria (MacMillan) Giffin. Killed in action near Rouvignies, France on October 22, 1918. Volume II.

Grencon (Greencorn), Roy Quentin: Born at Canso on May 7, 1899, son of David Frederick and Mary Jane “Jennie” (Armsworthy) Greencorn. Killed in action at Hill 70, near Lens, France, on August 15, 1917. Volume I.

Gunn, John Berrigan: Born at Country Harbour on September 7, 1891, son of William and Barbara Gunn. Killed in action near Courcelette, France on October 1, 1916. Volume I.

Hadley, William Croft: Born at Guysborough on March 14, 1899, son of James E. and Martha J. (McKenzie) Hadley. Killed in action near Inchy-en-Artois, France on September 23, 1918. Volume II.

Hall, William George: Born at Leighton, England on January 24, 1897, son of George and Eliza (Hodgson) Hall, step-son of Arthur C. Giffin, Goldboro. Killed in action near Bapaume, France on September 3, 1916. Volume I.

Hallett, Vincent Stephen: Born at Country Harbour on December 20, 1898, son of Freeman and Sarah Elizabeth (Davidson) Hallett. Killed in action near Villers-lés-Cagnicourt, France on August 28, 1918. Volume II.

Hape, William Kenneth: Born at Ecum Secum on October 28, 1886, son of John Henry and Sarah Adeline (Pye) Hape, Wallace Grant, Cumberland County. Killed in action near Arras, France on April 5, 1918. Volume II.

Hart, Lee Martin: Born at Halifax on March 7, 1890, son of Major George Norris Wilberforce “Will” and Ella Blanche (Smith) Hart. Killed in action at Vimy Ridge, France on April 9, 1917. Volume I.

Hayne, James Arthur: Born at Country Harbour on August 18, 1892, son of William and Viola (McNeil) Hayne. Killed in action near La Coulotte, France on May 1, 1917. Volume I.

Hendsbee, Russell C.: Born at Half Island Cove on October 26, 1897, son of Thomas Frederick and Mary Sophia “Minnie” (Snow) Hendsbee. Died of sickness at Halifax, NS on October 16, 1918. Volume II.

Hodgson, Lester Dean: Born at Goldboro on August 28, 1896, son of Hiram and Elizabeth (Reynolls/Reynolds) Hodgson. Died of sickness at Halifax, NS on December 23, 1918. Volume II.

Horton, Arthur Stanford: Born at Canso on November 17, 1893, son of Hiram Charles and Henrietta Elizabeth “Hattie” (Worth) Horne. Killed in action near Courcelette, France on October 2, 1916. Volume I.

Horton, Vernon Cecil: Born at Roachvale on November 16, 1893, son of Moses Cook and Caroline Oressa “Carrie” (Nickerson) Horton. Died of sickness at Antigonish, NS on March 21, 1926. Volume II.

Hull, Courtney Alban: Born at New Glasgow on October 6, 1897, son of Joseph Henry and Alice Rebecca (Moser) Hull, Country Harbour. Killed in action near Lens, France on July 10, 1917. Volume I.

Jordain, William Andrew: Born at New Town on June 6, 1890, son of Peter and Carolyn Gordon “Carrie” (Archibald) Jordain. Killed in action at Passchendaele, Belgium on October 30, 1917. Volume I.

Keating, James Baker: Born at Gloucester, Mass. on November 22, 1888, son of James and Mary Ellen (Flood) Keating, Canso. Died accidentally (drowning) in Swash Channel, New York Harbour on October 11, 1918. Volume II.

Kelly, Lewis Walker: Born at Caledonia on May 21, 1895, son of George Walker and Laura Emma (Fulton) Kelly. Died of wounds at London, England on October 25, 1918. Volume II.

Kennedy, Harold: Born at Guysborough on February 26, 1898, son of Helen M. Hester, Seattle, WA, and nephew of William Kennedy, Guysborough. Killed in action at Vimy Ridge, France on April 9, 1917. Volume I.

Kirk, Oscar Howe: Born at Riversdale, Queens Co, on October 19, 1891, son of Rev. Joseph Howard and Laura (Christie) Kirk, East River St. Mary's. Died of wounds at Voormezeele, Belgium on July 18, 1916. Volume I.

Knocton (Nocton), Charles Patrick: Born at South Intervale on December 25, 1895, son of Patrick and Abigail Annie (Bond) Knocton. Died of sickness at Amherst, NS on March 10, 1918. Volume II.

Langille, Charles Burton: Born at Liscomb on November 15, 1894, son of David James and Margaret Ann (Lang) Langille. Killed in action near Avion, France on June 22, 1917. Volume I.

Layton, Harold Brown: Born at Canso on July 16, 1897, son of Herbert Lauren and Rebecca (Mosher) Layton, Middleton, NS. Died of sickness at Halifax, NS on June 30, 1918. Volume II.

Levangie, Arthur Freeman: Born at Port Felix on May 18, 1893, son of George and Sophia (Cashen) Levangie. Killed at Vimy Ridge, France on April 9, 1917. Volume I.

Lipsett, Ralph Stanley: Born at Middle Manchester on March 16, 1891, son of Edward Stanley and Caroline Eliza “Carrie” (O'Brien) Lipsett. Killed in action near Cambrai, France on September 29, 1918. Volume II.

Long, William Edward: Born at Rogerton on October 11, 1889, son of Patrick and Mary Jane “Minnie” (Burns) Long. Killed in action at St. Julien, Belgium on April 24, 1915. Volume I.

Lumsden, Percy: Born at Canso on April 24, 1890, son of James Robert and Annie Rebecca (McLellan) Lumsden. Died of wounds in Ypres Salient, Belgium on April 16, 1916. Volume I.

Lynch, John William: Born at Liscomb on December 13, 1894, son of William and Mary Garroway (Morris) Lynch. Died of sickness at Halifax, NS on December 27, 1915. Volume I.

McCallum, Arthur: Born at Ogden on April 20, 1885, son of James and Bridget (Fitzgerald) McCallum. Died of sickness at Étaples, France on June 4, 1917. Volume I.

McDonald, Alexander: Born at Upper Big Tracadie on March 9, 1897, son of Michael and Bridget (Grant) McDonald. Died of sickness at Halifax, NS on June 13, 1918. Volume II.

MacDonald, Angus: Born at Havre Boucher, Antigonish Co. on October 28, 1888, son of Duncan D. and Elizabeth (MacDonald) MacDonald, Mulgrave. Accidentally killed during training at Bully-les-Mines, France on October 26, 1916. Volume I.

MacDonald, John Daniel: Born at Arisaig, Antigonish Co. on April 3, 1884, son of Donald and Flora MacDonald (John Daniel was married and living in Mulgrave at time of enlistment). Died of wounds near Avion, France on April 27, 1917. Volume I.

MacDonald, John Kenneth: Born at Caledonia on July 23, 1892, son of James Cumming and Margaret Annabelle “Maggie” (McQuarry) MacDonald. Killed in action neat Veerstraat, Belgium on July 30, 1916. Volume I.

MacDonald, Thomas Howard: Born at Mulgrave on December 15, 1877, son of Dr. Patrick Alexander and Annie Bridget (Condon) MacDonald. Perished at sea 187 km. west of Fastnet Rock, Ireland on June 27, 1918. Volume II.

McIsaac, Archibald “Archie”: Born at Hazel Hill on May 30, 1890, son of Angus and Ellen McIsaac. Killed in action near Zillebeke, Belgium on June 10, 1916. Volume I.

McIsaac, Joseph Manson: Born at Fox Island on August 28, 1899, son of Daniel and Jane (Watkins) McIsaac. Killed in action near Maroc, France on July 21, 1917. Volume I.

McKenzie, Arthur: Born at Canso on November 12, 1897, son of David and Maria (Uloth) McKenzie. Died of sickness at Hazel Hill on May 13, 1917. Volume I.

McLeod, Harry: Born at Halifax on August 24, 1887, son of Neil and Lavina Grace (O’Hara) McLeod and nephew of James and Alina (Sangster) O'Hara, New Harbour. Killed in action near Méharicourt, France on August 9, 1918. Volume II.

MacMillan, Horace Goddard: Born at Isaac's Harbour on December 22, 1892, son of Stephen and Jane (Buckley) MacMillan. Died of wounds at Étaples, France on May 19, 1918. Volume II.

Mailman, Lockie: Born at Gegogan on September 26, 1896, son of Jacob and Harriet Louise “Hattie” (Baker) Mailman. Killed in action near Raillencourt, France on September 27, 1918. Volume II.

Manson, Francis Stewart “Frank”: Born at Sherbrooke on December 2, 1892, son of George W. and Lucy (Walters) Manson. Died of sickness at Kamloops, BC on August 3, 1918. Volume II.

Manuel, Arthur James: Born at Canso on February 4, 1893, son of William and Mary (McNeary) Manuel. Killed in action near Inchy-en-Artois, France on September 25, 1918. Volume II.

Marr, Charles William: Born at Boylston on April 16, 1896, son of Lawrence M. and Mary Amanda (McPherson) Marr. Killed in action near Cambrai, France on September 30, 1918. Volume II.

Mills, Clayton R.: Born at Port Hilford on January 15, 1888, son of Robert Bruce and Ann “Annie” Scott (McKeen) Mills. Killed in action near Caix, France on August 9, 1918. Volume II.

Morgan, Joseph Charles: Born at Guysborough on January 5, 1879, son of Joseph Christopher and Elizabeth Ann (Hadley) Morgan. Died of sickness at Guysborough, NS on September 19, 1917. Volume I.

Morris, Thomas Richard “Tommy”: Born at Nerissa on February 4, 1890, son of Richard S. and Sarah Ann (Ross) Morris. Killed in action near Albert, France on October 16, 1916. Volume I.

Morrison, Nathaniel “Neil”: Born at Mulgrave on October 20, 1879, son of Roderick and Euphemia (McIsaac) Morrison. Accidentally killed near Jedburgh, Scotland on October 10, 1918. Volume II.

Munro, Abram Arthur: Born at Whitehead on February 22, 1892, son of Arthur MacPherson and Elizabeth A. “Lizzie” (Greencorn) Munro. Died of wounds at Toronto, ON on January 30, 1935. Volume II.

Munroe, Allan Ellsworth: Born at Whitehead on July 31, 1894, son of Andrew David and Anna Ernest “Annie” (Ehler) Munroe. Killed in action at Vimy Ridge, France on April 9, 1917. Volume I.

Myers, Willard Spurgeon: Born at Cole Harbour on June 27, 1892, son of Frederick Levi and Catherine Margaret (Gillie) Myers. Killed in action near Cambrai, France on September 29, 1918. Volume II.

Nickerson, Wilfred Asa: Born at Canso on December 8, 1896, son of Reuben and Sarah (Swain) Nickerson. Accidentally killed (explosion) near Thélus, France on June 4, 1919. Volume II.

O'Brien, James Edward: Born at Canso on March 26, 1896, son of John J. and Elizabeth (Landry) O'Brien. Killed in action near Fouquescourt, France on August 10, 1918. Volume II.

O'Donoghue, Charles Kingston: Born at Canso on August 11, 1897, son of Charles and Frances M. C. (Baird) O'Donoghue. Killed in action near Cambrai, France on September 27, 1918. Volume II.

O'Haley (Haley), Simon: Born at Port Felix on October 28, 1898, son of John Adam and Matilda “Minnie” (Richard) O'Haley. Killed in action near Dury, France on September 2, 1918. Volume II.

O'Hara, Lester Conwell: Born at New Harbour on February 7, 1894, son of James Alexander and Alina (Sangster) O'Hara. Killed in action at Courcelette, France on September 17, 1916. Volume I.

Potter, Gordon Vincent: Born at Fisherman's Harbour on October 13, 1897, son of Thomas and Martha (Bingley) Potter. Killed in action near Dury, France on September 2, 1918. Volume II.

Pye, Laurier Falconer: Born at Sherbrooke on October 26, 1896, son of Charles Waddell and Eugenia “Gene” (Jollota) Pye. Died of wounds at Camiers, France on October 5, 1918. Volume II.

Rabbie, John J.: Born at Hazel Hill on September 18, 1899, son of George and Elizabeth “Lizzie” (Barry) Rabbie. Died of sickness at Halifax, NS on December 15, 1918. Volume II.

Reynolds (Rhynold), John: Born at Canso on January 5, 1883, son of Anthony and Margaret Louise (Haines) Reynolds. Died of wounds near Vimy, France on June 19, 1917. Volume I.

Rhynold, John Scott: Born at Canso on August 4, 1885, son of William David and Mary M. (Hurst) Rhynold. Died of sickness at Halifax, NS on October 13, 1920. Volume II.

Richmond, James: Born at Mulgrave on September 29, 1891, parents unknown. Killed in action near Courcelette, France on October 1, 1916. Volume I.

Scranton, John Samuel: Born at Manchester on June 23, 1879, son of William and Ann Jane Scranton. Killed in action in Ypres Salient, Belgium on July 5, 1916. Volume I.

Sinclair, James Murray: Born at Goshen on April 10, 1898, son of William and Mary (Polson) Sinclair. Died of sickness at Halifax, NS on August 14, 1919. Volume II.

Smith, Albyn R.: Born at St. Francis Harbour on August 10, 1894, son of George and Nancy (Avery) Smith, adopted son of Jeffrey and Charlotte Pelrine, Larry's River. Killed in action at Passchendaele, Belgium on October 30, 1917. Volume I.

Smith, Martin: Born at St. Francis Harbour on November 9, 1894, son of Thomas and Mary (MacNeil)  Smith, Mulgrave. Died of sickness at Keighley, England on July 2, 1917. Volume I.

Smith, Raymond Edward: Born at Mulgrave on January 25, 1887, son of Thomas and Mary (McNeil) Smith. Killed in action near Cambrai, France on September 30, 1918. Volume II.

Somers, Owen Delbert: Born at Middle Melford on January 21, 1896, son of David A. and Harriet A. (Grant) Somers. Died of wounds at Camiers, France on November 4, 1917. Volume I.

Spears, William Robertson: Born at Spanish Ship Bay on May 15, 1898, son of Nelson and Mary Ann “Annie” (Howlett) Spears. Killed in action near Oppy, France on March 18, 1918. Volume II.

Stewart, Samuel Robert: Born at Two Mile Lake on July 22, 1877, son of William and Mary E. Stewart. Died of sickness at Westville, NS on May 28, 1918. Volume II.

Stoutley, Ralph Leslie: Born at Guysborough on March 10, 1894, son of James Edward Albert “Ned” and Rachel A. (Bacchus) Stoutley. Killed in action near Lens, France on July 6/7, 1917. Volume I.

Sullivan, Thomas: Born at Canso on August 22, 1885, son of David and Mary (Sutherland) Sullivan. Died of wounds at Poperinghe, Belgium on November 5, 1917. Volume I.

Sutherland, Harry Lee: Born at Country Harbour on February 20, 1897, son of Robert Henry and Elizabeth Jane “Libby” (McKeen) Sutherland. Died of sickness at Saint John, NB on May 22, 1918. Volume II.

Suttis (Waterhouse), Thomas William “Tommy”: Born at Leeds, England on July 20, 1884, son of Isaac and Caroline (Townson) Waterhouse, Leeds, England and adopted son of David and Emma Eunice (Atwater) Suttis, Indian Harbour. Killed in action at Passchendaele, Belgium on October 30, 1917. Volume I.

Swaine, Arthur: Born at Canso on May 10, 1891, son of Samuel Isaiah and Emily Myra “Emma” (McLellan) Swaine Jr. Killed in action near Courcelette, France on September 21, 1916. Volume I.

Swaine, Benjamin Wallace: Born at Canso on December 11, 1897, son of Samuel Isaiah and Emily Myra “Emma” (McLellan) Swaine Jr. Accidentally killed (gunshot) at Cité St. Pierre, France on March 24, 1918. Volume II.

Swaine, John William: Born at Canso on September 19, 1891, son of Rupert and Eunice J. “Jennie” (Talbot) Swaine. Killed in action near Éleu-dit-Leauwette, France on June 28, 1917. Volume I.

Swaine, Roland Judson: Born at Canso on February 6, 1893, son of Samuel Isaiah and Emily Myra “Emma” (McLellan) Swaine Jr. Killed in action near St. Eloi, Belgium on April 14, 1916. Volume I.

Swain, Sydney Garfield: Born at Grosvenor on June 11, 1898, son of Charles and Hattie Amelia (Fitt) Swain. Killed in action near Inchy-en-Artois, France on September 25, 1918. Volume II.

Sweet, Ralph B.: Born at Goldenville on February 11, 1896, son of Burton Samuel and Alice Cox (Eaton) Sweet. Died of sickness at Dartmouth, NS on March 25, 1916. Volume I.

Tate, John William “Jack”: Born at Melrose on August 29, 1880, son of Daniel and Catherine Ann “Cassie” (Sullivan) Tate. Killed in action near St. Eloi, Belgium on February 28, 1915. Volume I.

Taylor, James Arthur: Born at Forks St. Mary's on August 13, 1882, son of John William and Mary Ann (Mason) Taylor. Died of wounds at Vimy Ridge, France on April 10, 1917. Volume I.

Tory, Charles Howard: Born at Guysborough Intervale on March 2, 1886, son of James William and Elizabeth Anne (Gillie) Tory. Killed in action at St. Julien, Belgium on April 24, 1915. Volume I.

Tyner, Clifford: Born at Port Hilford on April 27, 1893, son of Rev. James Edmund and Winifred B. “Winnie” (Shankle/Schenkel) Tyner, Vermillion, Alberta. Killed in action near Courcelette, France on October 11, 1916. Volume I.

Uloth, William Thomas: Born at Whitehead on December 18, 1894, son of John Samuel and Margaret Jane “Maggie” (George) Uloth. Died accidentally (drowning) at Arras, France on November 12, 1918. Volume II.

Wells, John Cleveland: Born at Whitehead on April 29, 1887, son of John Shelley and Mary Ann (Munroe) Wells. Died accidentally (fall) at Quincy, MA on December 7, 1917. Volume I.

Whitman, Wilfred Joseph: Born at Manchester on March 29, 1897, son of Rufus William and Nellie Gavin (McDonald) Whitman. Died of wounds at Villers-Brettoneux, France on August 17, 1918. Volume II.

Williams, Courtney: Born at Cole Harbour on April 2, 1897, son of Elisha and Georgina (Harrigan) Williams. Killed in action in Ypres Salient, Belgium on July 13, 1916. Volume I.

Worth, Joseph Ernest: Born at Ogden on October 19, 1896, son of Edward King and Katherine Ann “Kellie” (McCallum) Worth. Died of sickness at Eastbourne, England on February 4, 1919. Volume II.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Remembering Private Thomas Sullivan—Died of Wounds November 5, 1917

Thomas Sullivan was born at Canso, Guysborough County on August 22, 1885, the youngest of David and Mary Sullivan’s five sons. David passed away on January 20, 1911, leaving Thomas and his older brother, Neil, to care for their widowed mother.

Private Thomas William Sullivan.
On April 24, 1916, Thomas enlisted with the 193rd Battalion at Canso, NS. Following a month’s training with a local detachment, Thomas travelled to Camp Aldershot, where he spent the summer training alongside the 193rd’s three Nova Scotia Highland Brigade mates, the 85th (Nova Scotia Highlanders), 185th (Cape Breton Highlanders) and 219th Battalions.

During the month of August, Thomas was reported “absent without leave” for eight days. While the 193rd departed with the Highland Brigade aboard RMS Olympic on October 12, perhaps due to his earlier transgression, Thomas was re-assigned to No. 6 Special Services Company, Halifax, several days prior to the vessel’s departure. Despite a second “AWL” infraction in January 1917, Thomas departed Halifax on March 26 with a reinforcement draft from the 246th Battalion.

Initially assigned to the 17th Reserve Battalion upon arriving in England, Thomas later spent six weeks with the 185th Battalion before receiving a transfer to the 85th Battalion on July 10. After landing in France, Thomas remained at Canadian Base Depot, Le Havre, for three weeks before he was temporarily assigned to 4th Entrenching Battalion. Thomas spent two months in the forward area with the labour unit, finally joining the 85th’s ranks at Bruay, France on October 10.

One week after Thomas’s arrival, the unit travelled northward to Staple, France, adjacent to the Belgian border, and commenced training for its next assignment—the Canadian Corps’ attack on Passchendaele Ridge, Belgium. On October 23, the soldiers travelled to Ypres, Belgium and marched to nearby St. Lawrence Camp. Three days later, 3rd and 4th Canadian Division units launched the first stage of a four-phase attack on the ridge.

On the night of October 28, Thomas accompanied the 85th into the line for his first “tour” in the trenches. Following a final day of preparation, three 85th Companies went “over the top” toward their objective—a cluster of fortified structures at a location called “Vienna Cottage”—at 5:50 a.m. October 30.

The advancing soldiers were immediately met by a hail of machine gun, rifle and artillery fire that completely impeded their progress. According to later reports, fighting raged for 10 to 30 minutes before “D” Company, waiting in reserve, joined the fray. German resistance broke as the reinforcements reached their comrades and the battalion swept forward to its objective.

While the unit’s soldiers set about establishing a defensive line several hundred yards in front of Vienna Cottage, the Officer in charge sent a Battalion Headquarters, indicating that the unit had suffered “heavy” casualties. The 85th remained in the line throughout the following day, enduring a particularly fierce artillery bombardment after dusk. The battalion withdrew from the line during the night of October 31/November 1, having suffered almost 400 casualties during its Passchendaele tour.

Private Thomas Sullivan was among the soldiers wounded during the first day’s fighting. Thomas was admitted to No. 8 Canadian Field Ambulance on October 30 with a serious wound to his right chest. Medical staff immediately performed surgery on the area, identifying two wounds—`’entry and exit”—on the right side of his sternum,  but finding no “foreign body.”

Evacuated to No 3 Casualty Clearing Station on November 1, Thomas lingered in “dangerous” condition for several days before passing away from his injuries on November 5, 1917. Private Thomas Sullivan was laid to rest in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium.


Bantry Publishing’s “First World War Honour Roll of Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, Volume I: 1915 - 1917” contains a detailed description of Thomas’s family background and military experience, along with profiles of 71 other Guysborough County soldiers and sailors who lost their lives during the first three years of Canadian overseas service.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Remembering Lance Corporal Owen Delbert Somers—Died of Wounds November 4, 1917

Owen Delbert Somers was born at Middle Melford, Guysborough County on January 21, 1896, the youngest of Harriet A. (Grant) and David A. Somers’ five children. Owen was working as a baker in Sydney, NS when he enlisted with the 185th Battalion (Cape Breton Highlanders) on March 28, 1916. The unit trained at Camp Broughton—an abandoned mining operation on the outskirts of Sydney—until late May, at which time its soldiers relocated to Camp Aldershot for a summer of military drill, alongside their comrades from three additional Nova Scotia Highland Brigade units.

Lance Corporal Owen Delbert Somers.


On October 12, the Brigade’s four battalions—85th (Nova Scotia Highlanders), 185th, 193rd and 219th—departed Halifax aboard RMS Olympic and made their way to Camp Witley in southern England. Upon arriving overseas, Owen was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal. Before year’s end, significant Canadian casualties incurred at the Somme during the autumn of 1916 resulted in the dissolution of the 193rd and 219th Battalions. While the 185th remained intact with Owen among its ranks, an abscess in his groin resulted in Owen’s hospitalization for several months and eliminated the possibility of a transfer to a unit at the front.

Discharged from medical care on April 21, Owen reverted to the rank of Private shortly afterward, in order to hasten a transfer to France. On June 25, Owen proceeded overseas for service with the 85th Battalion (Nova Scotia Highlanders). The Highland Brigade’s senior unit, the 85th had landed in France on February 10, 1917. Two of its four Companies saw combat at Vimy Ridge on April 9, 1917, proceeding up Hill 145’s western slopes during the early evening hours and capturing the ridge’s highest point.

Throughout the spring and summer months, Owen served with the battalion in sectors near Lens, France and followed the unit northward to Staple, France—adjacent to the Belgian border—in early October. For several weeks, personnel trained in preparation for the Canadian Corps’ next major assignment—an attack on Passchendaele village and its surrounding ridge.

On October 23, the 85th broke camp and travelled to Ypres. Three days later, 3rd and 4th Division units launched the first phase of a four-stage attack on the ridge. On the night of October 28, the 85th made its way into the line and the following day completed final preparations for combat. At 5:50 a.m. October 30, three of the 85th’s Companies advanced toward their assigned target, a cluster of fortified buildings at a location called “Vienna Cottage.”

A hail of German machine gun, rifle and artillery fire greeted the soldiers as they made their way forward, several of their Officers falling as the Companies left their “jumping off” positions. Within minutes, a ferocious fire-fight erupted in No Man’s Land and any soldier who attempted to stand instantly became a casualty. According to later reports, the fighting raged for 10 to 30 minutes before “D” Company, waiting in reserve, advanced in support. German resistance broke as the reinforcements reached their comrades and the battalion swept onward to its objective.

While the unit succeeded in capturing Vienna Cottage and advanced to its final destination several hundred yards beyond, the Officer in charge reported that casualties were “heavy.” The soldiers set about establishing a new defensive line, enduring a particularly heavy bombardment after dusk October 31. Later that night, the 85th’s remaining personnel made their way out of the line as units relieved them in the newly established front trench.

During its Passchendaele tour, the 85th suffered almost 400 casualties, its worst combat losses of the war. Owen was among the “other ranks” (OR) wounded during the fighting. Evacuated from the battlefield, he was admitted to No. 4 General Hospital, Camiers on November 3. Reported “dangerously ill” at the time of his arrival, Private Owen Delbert Somers died from the effects of a gunshot wound to the head on November 4, 1917 and was laid to rest in Étaples Military Cemetery, France.

Bantry Publishing’s “First World War Honour Roll of Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, Volume I: 1915 - 1917” contains a detailed description of Owen’s family background and military experience, along with profiles of 71 other Guysborough County soldiers and sailors who lost their lives during the first three years of Canadian overseas service.