2nd (Central Ontario) Battalion 1st Canadian Division
David Watson was the first 2nd Battalion CO, from September 1914 to August 1915, when he was promoted to command the 5th Infantry Brigade.
Albert E. Swift commanded the 2nd Battalion until November 1916, about when he learned that his wife had been killed by runaway horses in Quebec. Swift was appointed to command the 14th Infantry Brigade.
Wilton Yates briefly command the 2nd Battalion until December 1916. While on a training course, Yates suffered severe head injuries when he was in an accident with an overturned bus.
Robert Percy Clark transferred to the 2nd from command of the 14th Battalion. He relinquished command in May 1917.
Lorne McLaughlin commanded the 2nd Battalion from May 1917 until 30 August 1918, when he suffered a gunshot wound to the leg. He resumed command from October until the end of the war.
Roscoe Vanderwater temporary took over the 2nd when McLaughlin was wounded for the month of September 1918.
1st (Western Ontario) Battalion 1st Canadian Division
Frederic William Hill was the first 1st Battalion CO, from September 1914 to January 1916, when he was promoted to command the 9th Infantry Brigade.
Frank A. Creighton succeeded Hill in command of the 1st Battalion in January 1916. He was killed when a shell hit his headquarters on 15 June 1916.
Former 9th Canadian Mounted Rifles CO, George C. Hodson was next selected to take command of the 1st Battalion. The appointment of an outsider caused friction with other officers. He was sacked on 16 August 1917.
Albert Sparling, who earned a D.S.O. and Bar, commanded the 1st Battalion from 17 August 1917 until the end of the war.
In conclusion, I would like to say that I have no one to blame but myself. It was caused by two things: Drink and women. I never knew the taste of liquor until I went to France. I still wish to stay in the army in any capacity whatsoever.
By the summer of 1917, Canadian troops had captured Vimy Ridge, but Allied offensives had stalled across many fronts of the Great War. To help break the stalemate of trench warfare, the Canadian Corps commander, Lieutenant-General Arthur Currie, was tasked with capturing Hill 70, a German stronghold near the French town of Lens.
After securing the hill on 15 August, Canadian soldiers endured days of shelling, machine-gun fire, and poison gas as they repelled relentless enemy counterattacks. Through Their Eyes depicts this remarkable but costly victory in a unique way. With full-colour graphic artwork and detailed illustration, Matthew Barrett and Robert Engen picture the battle from different perspectives – Currie’s strategic view at high command, a junior officer’s experience at the platoon level, and the vantage points of many lesser-known Canadian soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice. This innovative graphic history invites readers to reimagine the First World War through the eyes of those who lived it and to think more deeply about how we visualize and remember the past.
Combining outstanding original art and thought-provoking commentary, Through Their Eyes uncovers the fascinating stories behind this battle while creatively expanding the ways that history is shared and represented.
“A powerful and moving book. This is Canada’s First World War as we have never seen it before.”
-Colonel Chris Hadfield, astronaut and four-time best-selling author
“This innovative graphic history provides a new way of understanding the complexity and carnage of the First World War. Employing vivid graphics and authoritative history, Matthew Barrett and Robert C. Engen offer multiple and diverse perspectives to reclaim the Battle of Hill 70 for a new generation.”
-Tim Cook, Chief Historian at the Canadian War Museum
On 16 August 1944, Lieutenant Reg Woods joined his regiment fighting in France. After being under enemy fire for the first time, he vanished the next day. Two months later, Woods resurfaced in London claiming amnesia. He was admitted to a neurological hospital as a possible psychiatric casualty. Was he a battle exhaustion case deserving treatment or a disciplinary problem? One doctor believed the amnesia genuine, but the hospital’s commanding medical officer suspected Woods was faking to conceal deliberate misconduct. He was arrested and charged with desertion.
Speaking quite impersonally, it is manifest that having regard to the very trying conditions at the Front it would never do to establish the principle that an officer who by reason of his nervous condition failed to carry out an order given to him could escape the consequences by attributing the fault to his nervousness. Men at the front have to “stick it” at all costs, and the establishment of a precedent excusing the failing to do so would be very dangerous.
Captain Francis Scrimger Canadian Army Medical Corps
On the afternoon of 25th April, 1915, in the neighbourhood of Ypres, when in charge of an advanced dressing station in some farm buildings, which were being heavily shelled by the enemy, he directed under heavy fire the removal of the wounded, and he himself carried a severely wounded Officer out of a stable in search of a place of greater safety. When he was unable alone to carry this Officer further, he remained with him under fire till help could be obtained.