The Victoria Cross

Lieutenant Colonel Clark-Kennedy, V.C., D.S.O.
24th (Victoria Rifles) BattalionClark-Kennedy

Though severely wounded soon after the start he refused aid, and dragged himself to a shell-hole, from which he could observe. Realising that his exhausted troops could advance no further he established a strong line of defence and thereby prevented the loss of most important ground. Despite intense pain and serious loss of blood he refused to be evacuated for over five hours, by which time he had established the line in a position from which it was possible for the relieving troops to continue the advance.

It is impossible to overestimate the results achieved by the valour and leadership of this officer.

(Clark-Kennedy, V.C. Citation. 14 Dec 1918)

For heroically charging a German machine nest during the battle of Arras on 28 August 1918, William Hew Clark-Kennedy received the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the British Empire. Born in Scotland on 3 March 1879, he had fought in the Boer War before immigrating to Canada, where he joined the 5th Royal Highlanders.

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The Doc

Lieutenant Colonel T. C. D. Bedell
156th (Leeds and Grenville) BattalionBedell

Well the old 156th Battalion has been broken up having suffered the fate of other battalions… We have some doctor now and all of the new ones from the 156th were given a strict medical examination. Eighty, including myself, were turned down out of less than three hundred. He didn’t examine my eyes but that ‘bum’ toe of mine got me. I did not cry when he told me that I would get a hospital job but I told him “that was what I enlisted for.” He told some of the boys that if he had the doctor here who passed us he would ‘string him up and shoot him.’

(Pte. John Ford to Mrs. Ford [Mother], 25 Nov 1916)

Born on 20 April 1874 in Hillier, Ontario, Thomas Casey Dorland Bedell was a physician in Merrickville and commanding officer of the 56th Regiment. In August 1914, Bedell gave up a lucrative medical practice when he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He embarked for England in October 1914 attached to the 2nd Battalion. He proceeded to France with the 15th Battalion in March 1915.

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The Ross Rifleman

Lieutenant Colonel C. H. Ackerman
247th (Victoria & Haliburton) BattalionAckerman

Officer is troubled with insomnia. There is also a history of nervous symptoms following his wounds. This nervous condition is referred to in previous boards. Officer is slight in build but fairly well nourished and up to his normal weight, no organic disease.

(Ackerman, “Medical History of Invalid,” Kingston, 12 Mar 1918)

While fighting with the 2nd Battalion at Festbuert in June 1915, Lieutenant Charles Haydn Ackerman suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder and shrapnel injuries to the scalp. Born in Port Perry on 28 July 1888, Ackerman was a manufacturer in his father’s firm and member of the 57th Regiment. He was evacuated from the trenches to England, where he was treated for his physical injuries and mental overstrain.

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The Shell Shocked

Lieutenant Colonel Irvine R. Snider
27th (City of Winnipeg) Battalion
IRSnider

…this officer as the result of service in France and severe nervous strain has become very emotional and is unable to sleep well except for a short time each night. He is easily exhausted and has some muscular tremor. At present he is quite unfit for any mental or physical exertion and must have prolonged rest.

(Proceedings of Medical Board, 18 May 1916)

Irvine Robinson Snider was a Manitoba farmer, long-time militiaman and veteran of the Northwest Rebellion and the Boer War. He was born on 1 January 1864 in Nobleton, Canada West. In spring 1885, the twenty-one year old Snider joined the 90th Winnipeg Rifles as a private to put down Louis Riel’s insurrection. Fifteen-years later, he served with Lord Strathcona’s Horse in South Africa.

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Another Sportsman

Lieutenant Colonel Peter E. Bowen
202nd (Sportsman’s) BattalionBowen

This officer is well developed. Complains of pain inch above umbilicus at times. Has vomiting of coffee ground and even pure blood. Has passages of large amount of black blood by bowel. When these attacks come on he feels very weak, and breaks out in cold sweats.

(Medical History of Invalid, Edmonton MCH, 26 Sept 1917)

Born on 14 February 1874 in Metcalfe, Ontario, Peter Edwin Bowen was a well-known Alberta hunter, trapper and marksman. An insurance broker in civilian life, Bowen also belonged to the 19th Alberta Dragoons. In August 1914, he enlisted as a captain in the 9th Battalion before transferring into the 2nd Battalion. While fighting at Langemarck during the second battle of Ypres on 23 April 1915, Bowen was shot in the head. Although he only suffered a scalp wounded, he was eventually forced from the field after the battle of Festubert in May due to nearly fatal gas poisoning.

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The Blinded

Lieutenant Colonel Tom Perrett
68th (Regina) BattalionPerrett

Lt. Col. Perrett was severely wounded by splinter from bomb which entered head. He was adm. YPRES Dressing Station.

(5th RW Bn., War Diary, 29 Sept 1917, 13)

He has risen above his misfortune, however and has determined to “carry on” at home…

(Morning Leader, 10 Aug 1918, 17)

Thomas Edwin Perrett was a school inspector, teacher and principal. He was born on 13 February 1871 in Pembroke, Ontario and moved west in the 1890s to teach in Manitoba. He later became superintendent of schools in the North West Territories and principal of the Regina Normal School. In spring 1915, Perrett enlisted as a major with Lieutenant Colonel Edgar’s 68th Battalion, raised from Regina and Moose Jaw.

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