History The Great War

Recorder and Times Article – 156th Battalion C.E.F.

EXTRACTS FROM “THE RECORDER AND TIMES, MONDAY, APRIL 26, 1920″ – BROCKVILLE, ONT.
THE 156TH BATTALION, C. E. F.

Page 10 - Columns 3, 4, 5.

The officers who accompanied the battalion were:
Lt – Col. T. C. D. Bedell, O. C. ;
Major H. H. Edwards,
Major G. W. Elliott,
Major R. J. Gill,
Major C.T. Wilkinson,
Hon. Capt. A. H. Allen,
Captain C. A. Donaldson,
Captain C.R. Donovan,
Captain R. C. Gaisford,
Captain J. H. Graham,
Hon. Capt. A. E. Hagar,
Capt. W. N. Graham,
Capt. E. J. Kyle,
Capt. E.M. McBrayne,
Hon. Capt. P. B. Whiteley;
Lieutenant D. M. Bissell,
Lieutenant W.R. Carnwith,
Lieutenant W. J. Chapman,
Lieutenant T. S. Heaslip,
Lieutenant A.S. Herron,
Lieutenant W.H. Mackey,
Lieutenant R. G. Masson,
Lieutenant J. R. McCullough,
Lieutenant C. R. McHenry,
Lieutenant L. R. McKenna,
Lieutenant L. J. Scott,
Lieutenant B.S. Stayner, and
Lieutenant G.D. Woodcock.

The Steamship Northland arrived at Liverpool on October 28, 1916, and at once proceeded to Witley camp. After two days, orders were received to send drafts to different other units, the junior officers being included in the order. This proved a great disappointment to the officers and men of the unit, who had counted on the battalion remaining intact.

In January, 1917, on the formation of the Fifth Division, the original officers and men were returned to the battalion and a draft from the 154th Dundas, Stormont and Glengarry Battalion was absorbed to complete the establishment. Lieutenant-Colonel C. D. Bedell, a physician, was transferred to the Canadian Army Medical Corps, and the command of the unit was assumed by Lieutenant-Colonel C. M.R. Graham, of London, Ont., who afterwards went to the l8th Battalion as a major and won the D.S.O. Major A. Johnson, late of the Royal Canadian Regiment, was made second in command. He later was transferred to the 38th Battalion and was killed at Cambrai.

In May, l917, owing to heavy losses, it was found necessary to send reinforcements to the front from the Fifth Division and a draft of 500 men was selected from the 156th to go to the 2nd, 38th, 21st Battalions and the P. P. C.L.I. The Battalion was again reinforced from the 207th and 204th Battalions, which had arrived from Canada. In spite of the drain upon its strength, the battalion hoped to go to the front as a unit and the whole summer of 1917 was spent in extensive training in open warfare and all ranks were kept up to a high standard of efficiency. In December, 1917, due to further heavy battle casualties, additional reinforcements were required from the Fifth Division. The 156th was again called upon to furnish a draft and sent 150 men to the P.P.C.L. I. The unit was never again brought up to strength.

Conscription was brought into force in Canada and it was still hoped that the Division would be reinforced sufficiently to its original strength. The threatening German offensive in the spring of 1918, however, made the drawing of all possible strength from the British Isle necessary and the division was disintegrated, owing largely to the splendid qualifications of both officers and men for the open warfare operations which were anticipated. The remaining officers and men went as drafts to Eastern Ontario units in the field in March 1918.

Of the officers of the battalion who accompanied it overseas, Lieutenant Colonel Bedell became officer in command of the Cooden Park Convalescent Hospital Bexhill- on-Sea. Major Edwards went to the 21st Battalion and died at the front. Major Elliott was returned to Canada on account of being over the age limit. Major Gill went to the 21st Battalion and won the Military Cross. Major Wilkinson returned to Canada in l9l7, as did also Captain Donaldson, Captain Kyle and Captain Whiteley. Captain Allen was transferred to the Salvage Depot in England. Captain Donovan the medical officer, went to No.3 Field Ambulance in France. Captain Gaisford was transferred to the 38th Battalion in 1917, won the Military Cross and was twice wounded Captain J.R. Graham was transferred to the Royal Flying Corps as an observer and was injured at Cambrai. Captain W. N. Graham was transferred to the 31st Battalion, won the Military Cross, and died of wounds received in a trench raid. Capt the Rev. Mr. Hagar, remained with the battalion as chaplain until its final disintegration when he was transferred to the Chaplain services. Capt. McBrayne was transferred to the P. P.C.L.I. in 1918, where he served most gallantly. He was acting officer in command of this celebrated battalion during the Cambrai advance after the death of Lt.-Col. Stewart and was himself wounded. Captain McBrayne was awarded the Military Cross and was twice recommended for the D.S.O. Lieut. Bissell went to the 38th in the spring of l9l8 and was through Amiens and Arras. In the latter battle he distinguished himself and was the only officer of his company remaining in action. Lieut. Carnwith went to the 2nd Battalion in 1918, was wounded and was awarded the Military Cross. Lieut. Chapman, who was also transferred to the 2nd Battalion, won the Military Cross and died of wounds. Lieut. Heaslip was through Amiens, Cambrai and Valenciennes with the P.P.C.L.I. and was never wounded. He was twice recommended for the Military Cross. Lieut. Herron, who was recommended for the Military Cross, was killed while with the 2nd Battalion, while Lieut. Mackey, also with the 2nd died of wounds. Lieut. Masson was transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and was shot down and killed. Lieut. McCullough was wounded while with the 2nd Battalion. Lieut McHenry served with the Railway Troops in France, and Lieut. McKenna went to the Royal Flying Corps in l917, taking part in the defence of London. Lieut. Scott, an Athens boy, was killed in action while with the 39th Battalion. Lieut. Stayner, who became bombing officer of the 38th, was wounded at the breaking of the Drocourt Queant line. Capt. Woodcock was With the 2lst through 1918.

Of officers of the battalion who left Canada prior to the departure of the battalion proper, Lieut. P. J. Brown, served with the 2nd Battalion at the front; Lieut. G. M. Dingle with the 14th Canadian Mounted Rifles, being wounded; Lieut. H. Rae Kincaid, with the Royal Flying Corps, where he was wounded and where he won the Military Cross. Lieut. W.W. Pitt, R.F.C. killed, and Lieut. H. A. Coon, R.F.C., wounded.

Rankers of the battalion who won commissions included: Lieut. R. E. Rapple, 2nd Battalion, wounded; Lieut. A. McKinney, 2nd Battalion, wounded; Lieut. J. B. Cato, Royal Air Force; Lieut. L.N. Bissell, Royal Air Force, accidentally killed; Lieut. W. F. Ferguson, 38th Battalion, killed in action, and Capt. W. S. McAlpine, of Delta, who went to France as a sapper in a railway battalion and later was attached to the Chaplain services.

Nearly all the non-commissioned officers served at the front, many reverting to the rank of private to get there. Battalion Sergeant-Major A.N. Clark won the Military Medal while serving with the 21st, and Sergt.-Major Callaghan was killed at Cambrai while carrying Capt. McBrayne, who had been wounded, to safety.

Decorations won by members of the battalion included the following:
Military Cross – Capt. R. C. Gaisford, Capt. E.M. McBrayne, Lieut. W. R. Carnwith, Lieut. W. J. Chapman, Captains R. J. Gill, W. N. Graham, Lieut. H. R. Kincaid.

Distinguished Conduct Medal – Pte. Mike Maloney.

Military Medal – Sapper W. P. Eamer, Pte. D. H. Holbrook, Sergt. F. E. McLellan, Pte. A. B. Saunders, Pte. G.R. Barnes, Pte. John Moran, Sergt. R. J. Patterson, Pte. H.E. Smith, Corporal David Doge, Pte. C. H. W. Gaw, Pte. N. B. Laplante, Pte. James Lawson, Pte. John A. Wilson, Pte. Ford M. King, Corporal J. H. Bennett, Lance-Corporal J. H. Pope, Pte. George W. Long, Pte. Wilfred Hourigan, Corporal A. Angus, Sergt. H. E. Boyd, Sergt G.I. Brewster, Lance Corporal A. A. McGrory, Corporal D.W. Smith, Sergt. A. N. Clark.

Mentioned in dispatches – Pte. Frank J. Nichols.

Those members of the battalion who gave up their lives on active service were the following:

Killed:
Lieut. L. N. Bissell (accident ally)
Lieut. W. F. Ferguson
Lieut. A.S. Herron.
Flight Sub-Lt. W. W. Pitt (accidentally)
Lieut. L. J. Scott.
6397l7 Pte. W. Armstrong (previously wounded)

Armstrong Family 1911

639567 Pte. P.T. Baker.
639788 Pte. Robert Barley.
6397lO Pte. L. Bell.
639758 Pte. Edward Bellamy.
835O90 Pte. Fred Board.
640232 Pte. William Boswell.
640121 Pte. W.G. Botsford.
639891 Pte. W. Burke
6397Ol Pte. Fulton T. Burns.
639411 Pte. N. E. Bush.
639436 Pte. K. H. Cain,
639114 Pte. H. M. Callaghan.
639810 Pte. William Carl.
639917 Pte. H. J. Carson.
639995 Pte. Basil Connerty.
639639 Pte. H. Coughlane
63931O Corp. C. Crawford (previously wounded).
63999 Pte. Everett Cross.
639133 Pte. L. C. Devine.
3309 Pte. J. A. Dillane
639923 Pte. Thomas Elliott.
639771 Pte. W. E. Empey.
63929 Pte. Harvey C. Ewart.
639438 Pte. M. J. Flynn (previously wounded).
639267 Pte. Benjamin Green
640238 Pte. J. Grundy
639624 Pte. N. Henderson
640016 Pte. M. Hodge
639775 Pte. J. Humphrey
639980 Pte. C. A. Hurlburt
639673 Pte. J. Hynde
639960 Pte. George Ingram
640234 Pte F.A. Irwin
639597 Pte. J. A. Jeffrey
639393 Pte L.W. Judge
639760 Pte. G. Kelsey
640225 Sergt. J. E. King
639939 Pte. R.T. Kingston (previously wounded)
639697 Pte. J. Laidlaw
639933 Pte. N. B. Laplante, M. M.
639632 Pte. G. E. Lisqum (previously wounded)
639738 Pte. Harold C. McKay
640031 Pte. A. J. McCrimmon
639535 Pte. R. L. McGihon
639350 Pte James McGuire
639860 Pte. A. McLean
639236 Pte. E. E. McNulty
639588 Pte. J.R. McWilliams
639570 Pte. G. W. Mallory
640112 Pte. John Moran
639188 Pte. G. C. O’Shea
639240 Pte. E.H. Patterson
639467 Pte. George Patterson
640000 Pte. W.N. Robinson
639117 Pte. Fred Salter
639295 Pte. Gordon Sheppard
739329 Pte. W. H. Smith
639919 Pte. J. A. Stewart (previously wounded)
639185 Pte. William Stratton
639417 Lance-Corp. C. Watts
639198 Corp. J.H. Webber
639847 Pte. Walter Welch
639219 Pte. A.G. Wilkinson
639664 Pte. H. G. Young

Died of Wounds:
Capt. W. N. Graham 6.007).
Lieut. W. J. Chapman
Lieut. W. H. Mackey
639343 J.E. Anderson
639859 T. A. Arcand
639315 G. R. Barnes, M.M.
639626 Pte. F.G. Barton
639ll0 Pte. W. M. Bertrand
640216 Pte H.H. Caloren
6392Ol Pte. M. L. Carlin
639898 Pte. J. Clinton
639272 Pte. W. J. Cole
639563 Pte. F. F. Cook
639302 Pte. Daniel Doull
639424 Pte. E. J. Eastwood
639824 Pte. J. W. Edgers
639230 Pte. B. Falconer
639461 Pte. R. H. Hess
640186 Pte. H. C. McFadden
640074 Pte. G. H. Mains
639420 Pte. H. N. Maxwell
639598 Pte. C.D. O’Leary
640029 Pte. J. W. Rathwell
639409 Pte. A. L. Scott
639225 Pte. John Sefton
639489 Pte. W. Turland

Died:
Major H.H. Edwards
Lieut R. G. Masson
639944 Pte. W. F. Amond
639755 Pte. Wilfrid Baker
640033 Pte. Jacob Doyle
640061 Pte. W.R. Ferris
639699 Pte. H. Glazier
63918. Driver J. H. Towsley
639816 Pte. L. D. Woods.


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One Reply to “Recorder and Times Article – 156th Battalion C.E.F.

  1. I have come into possession of a New Testiment of Lieut. LJ Scott dated 1916 of Athens who died in action. If there is a family member who would like this piece of history of your family member ,please contact me.

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