A transcribed version of Semper Paratus: The Unofficial History of The Brockville Rifles.
History of the Brockville Rifles
At 1100 on 11 Nov 1918 Armistice was signed following the Canadian’s 100 Days Offensive. However, the war was not over for these soldiers. It would not be until the Spring of 1919 before they returned home. Those that did return home would suffer a lifetime of undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder known as Shell Shock. Today we honour their sacrifice. We Will Remember Them. Lest We Forget.
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Morning fair, afternoon -raining. Battalion in training. News announced that hostilities would cease at 11.00a.m. This date. Given out on C.O.’s parade and was received with very little enthusiasm.
Battalion Headquarters was located at the Chateau in the Village, and it was while there that the official notification of the Armistice between the Allies and German was received from the 48th Canadian Infantry Brigade at 0840 hours on the 11th. This news was immediately transmitted by the Commanding Officer to all ranks who received it with enthusiasm. The Brass and Pipe Bands marched to the Battalion Headquarters, amidst great outbursts of joy on the part of the soldiers and civilians gathered around, and played the national aire of the allies. Then followed a march through the streets headed by our Brass Band, with a soldier carrying a large Belgian flag, in which nearly all the inhabitants of the village took part. On this date Captain D.J. More, M.C. returned to duty from hospital. The morning was devoted to P.T. and cleaning up.
Lieut-Gen.Sir Arthur W. Currie K.C.B., K.C.M.G. Commanding Canadian Corps held an inspection of the 1st Brigade at Pecquencourt. Battalion paraded at 0830 hours to proceed. After inspection and march past a few words were spoken by him on the work done, and asking all them to take off their helmets for one minute in thanksgiving for armistice being signed. Weather: Fair.
On the morning of the 10th the number in the advance were 416, 50 other ranks in charge of Corpl. J.McLennan, M.M. had been detailed for the Brigade Evacuation Party and 18 other ranks under Serg. G.E. Dobbs for the Divisional Burial Party. The number at Transport, including bands, Q.M. Stores, Water Detail and Regtl. Transport was 106. 60 Other Ranks were on leave and of these away from the Battalion on course, etc, totaled 90. On his date Lieut D.K. MacDonnel, O.C. “B” Coy, was wounded by shell-fire, 1 other rank was killed and 6 other ranks wounded by shell-fire. 3320054 Pte. L. Sullivan, who was killed was a member of “A”Company and was considered a most efficient soldier. He was taken on strength of the 21st Canadian Battalion on August the 28th, 1918. His home was Rapids Des Junction, Quebec, Canada. In all 11 officers went forward with the Battalion on the morning of Nov 10th. Captain F.L.Ludlow and Lieut W. Nicholson remained with the rear details. Q.M. Stores and Transport. Owing to the casualties during August, September and October fighting the Battalion was very short of Officers. The following officers advanced with the Battalion. Headquarters: O.C., Lieut-Col-H.E Pense, D.S.O., M.C. Adjutant, Capt F. D Raymond, M.C. Intel Officer. Lieut. R.A. Stewart, Sig Officer, Lieut. J.G. Caldwell, “A” Company Lieut N.W. Edwards, Lieut J.L. Smith, “B” Company Lieut F. G. Robinson, Lieut G. D. Woodcock, “C” Company Lieut D.K.MacDonell. “D” Company Lieut R.J. Gill, Lieut W.I. Flemings. The Advance of the 21st Canadian Battalion halted at Forcean on the 10th were the unit rested overnight.
Weather fair. Roman Catholic church parade to church in Valenciennes at 10.00a.m. Protestant Church parade on Battalion Paraded at 10.40. Sports in afternoon. Concert in brewery in evening – free beer.
Roman Catholic Church Service held in the Church, Rieulay, at 9.00. Protestant Church parade held on Bn. Parade ground at 1100 hours. Weather: Fair.
Battalion cleaning up. Party of one officer and fifty other ranks detailed as working party on new rifle range. Weather fair.
On the 9th, 8 officers were on leave in England, while Major G.S.S. Bowerbank, M.C. proceeded on leave this date the Battalion, in other ranks, totaled 826 men.