Lest we forget
Gunner Alfred George Enderby has been added to our list of fallen. Gunner Enderby enlisted with the Vancouver Volunteer Reserve, Boorman's Battery on 26 January 1916 and was serving overseas with the 3rd Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery when he was killed in action. He is buried at the Divisional Cemetery, Vlamertinghe, Belgium. Lest we forget.
UBIQUE 150 celebration
We're friends with a couple of polar bears that are excited about the UBIQUE 150 events that are starting to happen. They're too young for the whiskey sales but they've started researching their family background and have found a few relatives that have served the guns in the past. Alpha Arty and his cousin Bravo Artil are checking out the UBIQUE 150 website and starting to think that The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery may be an excellent career choice for them to consider. They're looking forward to hear the Colonel Commandant and the Senior Serving Gunner later this week.
Bombardier Cox - 10 Sep 1917
The 60th Battery proceeds to France after their long stay in England. It appears that the Canadians believed 5th Division's motto was "England for ever"; and they didn;t actually see the imaginary notice on the docks at Boulogne, "This country is out of bounds to the 5th Canadian Division." On the night of 5 September they occupied the gun position at Lievin and Cox writes home, "Am writing this in the gun pit on my knee. Our gun pit is the best one of the 6. We have very good dug outs, about 30 feet deep, which we loose no time in getting into when the enemy start their dirty work. We spent about an hour in the dugout yesterday while Fritz was dropping them within 50 yards of us. So far there have been no casualties in this Battery. It seems quite funny to be living below the surface all the time. There's one long communication trench that connects up all the guns etc." Read the rest of the letter here.
Bombardier Cox - 15 Aug 1917
Four months later and the 14th Brigade is still in England. That can only mean more inspections. As Cox explains, "I don't think that I mentioned in my last letter that we were inspected by the King (George V) and Queen Mary about 2 weeks ago. He stood behind my gun for a few minutes talking to the Major, so I had a good look at him. We were also inspected yesterday by the Duke of Connaught and are going to be, tomorrow by General Dodds, the Commanding Officer of the Division of Artillery. These inspections mean an awful lot of work and shinning up."
Check out the letter here.
Great War Huts
Came across this little item from a website www.greatwarhuts.org. Some of you can relate to living in barracks that were built along the same plans over that were built during the same time period. The barracks on Yorke Island were of a similar design. Print out a copy and glue it together. It might bring back memories of Albert Head, Vernon, Gagetown, Shilo.....
Governor General Visit - 1916
On 20 July 1916, the His Royal Highness Prince Arthur William Patrick Albert; Duke of Connaught; Governor-General of Canada visited Vancouver as part of a cross Canada tour. During his time in the city he reviewed the 68th Overseas Depot Battery, Canadian Field Artillery and passed on some comments in a letter afterwards. Check out the newspaper articles and the other 68th Depot Battery 1916 events here.
Bombardier Cox - 17 Apr 1917
Bdr Cox writes of the USA joining the war and of the local entertainment:
Just got back from Alldershott and am some tired. We have been shooting at the ranges all day ( rifles). Has been a great day for it I went to my first dance in England last night. ( I did go to one about a month ago, but wouldn't term it a dance) . I went with one of our boys last night and met an awfully nice lot of girls
Check out the letter here
Lest we forget
Two additional members have been added to our list of fallen:
Signaller Robert Godfrey Hunter enlisted with the 60th Battery, 15th Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery 29 March 1916. He subsequently transferred to 14th Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery when 15th Brigade was absorbed. He died of wounds received in action 17 September 1918 and is interred at Duisans British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. He was the brother of Bombardier Harold Gilray Hunter, who died 3 November 1918 while serving with the 9th Battery, 3rd Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery.
Driver James McNaughton Pottinger enlisted with the 5th Canadian Garrison Artillery and then transferred over to the Ammunition Column that was formed in Victoria for the 15th Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery. He subsequently transferred to the 60th Battery, 14th Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery when 15th Brigade was absorbed in England. He was killed in action 1 November 1918 and is interred at Denain Communal Cemetery, Nord, France.
Bombardier Cox - 21 Jan 1917
Bombardier Cox explains the demise of 15th Brigade and the reason it was absorbed by the other Canadian Field Artillery Brigades: Well, the news is now official, and that is that today the proud 59th Battery of Winnipeg ceased to exist. All Batteries are now to go to the front with 6 guns instead of 4. They have decided to split the best one of each Brigade and as the 59th did the best showing at Salisbury Plains, we got the axe. 1/2 are attached to the 60th and 1/2 to the 61st. All of our bunch (bank fellows) are in the 60th. Of course we were awfully sore, but they should worry! The Officers have all gone to different Brigades.
This is the reason the 15th Field Artillery Regiment celebrates 2 February 1920 as our birthday rather than 15 July 1916.
Our final Gunner from the Bank of Commerce photo is Bombardier Graham Campbell Blair Baillie, regimental #327925. Six feet tall, Bombardier Baillie had previous experience as a member of the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion Volunteers 1906 -1907 and the 79th Cameron Highlanders of Canada 1910-1911. He married Mary Smith McNaught in 1920. He passed away in Vancouver in 1961 and is interred in the Pacific Heritage Cemetery. Check out the complete Bank of Commerce Gunners story here.