The Bookkeeper

Lieutenant Colonel Arthur O. Blois, D.S.O.
25th (Nova Scotia Rifles) BattalionBlois

My husband Lieut.-Colonel Arthur O. Blois, D.S.O. of the 25th Canadian Battalion, has been overseas for about two years, and he is now slated for his three months commanding officer’s course in England. He cabled this fact to me today, and asks me to now meet him there. Naturally I am anxious to go. My husband was wounded at Vimy and decorated after that battle.

(Ethel Blois [wife] to Joseph Pope, 27 Nov 1917

When Major J. A. De Lancey was struck down during the battle of Vimy Ridge, Arthur Osborne Blois took temporary charge of the 25th Battalion. Blois was a Halifax accountant and bookkeeper born on 28 June 1885. He first volunteered with 40th Battalion before receiving a commission with the 64th in summer 1915. After the breakup of that unit, he joined the 25th in August 1916.

Following the Vimy Offensive in early April 1917, Lieutenant Colonel Stan Bauld resumed command of the 25th. Four months later, Bauld went on leave back to Nova Scotia and Blois again became commanding officer on 9 July 1917. At this time, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his conduct at Vimy:

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Although wounded, he took command of the battalion, and superintended and continued to advance until relieved by another officer late at night. He showed the greatest gallantry throughout.

25thBloisWhile on a senior officer’s course in November 1917, Blois requested his wife, Ethel, and young son join him in England. Appealing to the Canadian Government for a passport to travel, Ethel explained her three brothers had enlisted and both parents had recently died.

After twenty months in the field, by April 1918, Blois was granted leave. He was attached to the 17th Reserve Battalion in England for the remainder of the war. Command of the 25th passed Major J. W. Wise.

Blois died in Montreal from an illness on 26 November 1926.

Digitized Service File (LAC):
http://central.bac-lac.gc.ca/.item/?op=pdf&app=CEF&id=B0824-S010

Thanks to Alan MacLeod for the photo of Blois

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