Another member of the 5th draft, 68th Overseas Depot Battery, Canadian Field Artillery, Bombardier August Henry Casorso ,MM was recognized with the awarding of the Military Medal. He enlisted on 14 June 1916, proceeded to England on 15 August 1916 and was taken on strength with the 2nd Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery in France on 22 April 1917. He was awarded the Military Medal on 28 September 1918 but we have yet to discover any of the details of the award. Check out all the Military Medal recipients here.
Bombardier Thomas Henry Dunn was taken on strength with the 68th Overseas Depot Battery, Canadian Field Artillery on 19 June 1916. He arrived in England on the 24th of August 1916 and was taken on strength with the 6th Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery in France13 November 1916. He was wounded 30 September 1918 and passed away 10 October 1916. As recorded on his War Graves Register, “He was wounded on the 30th . September 1918 in the left arm and in the groin. First aid was rendered by his comrades and he was taken out by stretcher bearers of a field ambulance located in Haynecourt. He was later sent to No. 22 Casualty Clearing Station where succumbed to his wounds ten days later.” He is interred at the Bucquoy Road British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. Lest we forget. His obituary is listed here.
Sergeant James Forsyth, MM enrolled with the 68th Overseas Depot Battery, Canadian Field Artillery in Vancouver 20 June 1916 and served overseas with the 5th Battery, 2nd Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery. The citation for his Military Medal reads:
On the 6th November between 7.00 a.m. and 8.00 a.m. when in charge of a convoy of pack horses taking ammunition to the guns, he found the area to be crossed being heavily shelled. He worked his column safely through the barrage to the Battery. He noticed a wounded driver whose horse was bogged in the mud. He handed over his horse to a driver and returned, removed the wounded man and rescued the horse. By his determination and gallant conduct and personal disregard for personal danger he gained the confidence of those under him in his leadership and thus successfully made a second trip to the guns under equally trying conditions as he had to select a new route to avoid the enemy's barrage.
Check out his nominal roll entry here. If you drive in the Cariboo region, you will probably be driving over roads that he was responsible for after the war.
We have recently researched the file of Driver Cornelius Donovan, MM a member of the 59th Battery, 15th Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery during World War I. Driver Donovan was transferred to the 60th Battery, 14th Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery and served with that unit in France from 22 January 1917 until proceeding to England on 11 May 1919. He was awarded the Military Medal 8 September 1919 . However, the Citation Card contains no details on the reason for the award. Honours and Awards - Military Medals
Gunner Cyril Gore was taken on strength with the 68th Overseas Depot Battery, Canadian Field Artillery on 26 May 1916. He arrived in England on the 24th of August 1916 and was taken on strength with the 8th Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery in France 26 October 1916. On 5 May 1917 he was taken on strength 10th Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery and was killed in action 29 October 1917. As recorded on his War Graves Register, “In the evening of the 29th October 1917 a bomb was dropped from an enemy aeroplane on the tent at the Battery wagon lines, near Vlamertinghe, in which he was resting, killing him instantly.” He is interred at the Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery, Belgium. Lest we forget.
It appears that Clarence William George Heppell was the first of the family to enroll with the 68th Depot Battery. He was attested on 23 December 1915. He must have talked highly of his experience as his younger brother Cecil Wesley Earl was sworn in on 5 January 1916. The Heppells were a farm family that had moved from Red Deer, AB to start farming in Surrey, BC. There were 7 brothers and 2 sisters so it may also have been that the Army served decent meals compared to what a large farm family in Surrey was able to put on the table. Whatever the reason, their father, John Thomas Heppell signed up 12 May 1916 and all three were in the 5th draft that left Canada onboard the SS Grampian 15 August 1916. Once in England, the 5th draft continued their training at Shorncliffe until proceeding to France where they would be designated for specific Artillery Brigades. The three Heppells were all posted to 2nd Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery and they all survived the war. Cecil was wounded in June 1917 and returned to the Brigade after recovering, Clarence severely burnt his hand in September 1918 and John appears to have survived the war with no annotations in his medical record.
The challenge for any of our readers is to closely examine the group photo of the 5th Overseas Draft, 68th Depot Battery, Canadian Field Artillery Oct 1916 and see if you can identify the father and two sons. We’re also looking for the war diaries from the 2nd Brigade to see if we can find any mention of the Heppells. Any information you find can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Another member of the 5th Draft, 68th Overseas Depot Battery that never came home. Gunner Henry Hicks was born in Dublin, Ireland on 24 February 1890. He was a Vancouver clerk and was taken on strength first with the 19th Company, Canadian Army Service Corps on 13 August 1916 and subsequently transferred to the 68th Overseas Depot Battery, Canadian Field Artillery. He embarked on the SS Grampian 15 August 1916 and was taken on strength 7th Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery on 19 November 1916. He was transferred to the 4th Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery on 20 March 1917 and was wounded in action on 9 August 1918. He died the following day and is buried in the Crouy British Cemetery, Crouy-Saint-Pierre, Picardie, France. Lest we forget.
Born in Regina, Saskatchewan 9 June 1895, Gunner Kelly enlisted with the 68th Overseas Depot Battery, Canadian Field Artillery on 7 June 1916. He was taken on strength with the 4th Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery on 18 July 1917 and was seriously wounded 27 October 1917. Nearly two weeks later, on 9 November 1917, he passed away and was buried at the Potijze Chateau Grounds Cemetery, Ypres, West-Vlaanderen in Belgium. He shall not be forgotten.
Gunner Edward Quinn was taken on strength with the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery after enlisting with the 68th Overseas Depot Battery in Vancouver, BC. He was killed in action on 8 August 1918 at positions near Beaucourt-en-Santerre, France. His remains were not identified for burial and his name is inscribed on the Vimy Memorial as one of the 11,285 Canadians who were killed on French soil and have no known graves. Lest we forget.
Another member of the 5th draft from 68th Overseas Depot Battery that never came home. Bombardier Moran is buried at the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery in Poperinge, Belgium. He died from wounds received while serving with the 4th Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery. Lest we forget.