The above certificate is from the Ontario
Teachers Roll of Honour.
Note that the date of death is incorrect
Reproduced here with the permission of Marika Pirie
transcripts of some of his letters home, starting with his early days in Canada, and
ending with some letters from the front. In yellow at the end of some of the letters
are notes added by Steve Glover, to whom I owe a large THANK YOU for
allowing me to reproduce his research here.
Picton May 8, 1916
Dear Home Folks – Your letter received this morning and having
finished drill for today and while waiting for supper will drop a few lines to let you
know I am well and getting along fine.
Our work consists wholly of the rifle, its parts and how to use it and
although it is all new to me still am getting along fairly well and think perhaps some
time I may be able to shoot quite accurate. We were firing all afternoon in the shooting
gallery in the armouries. There are about thirty in the class nearly all of whom I knew
before as they were in the class in Belleville.
Well I suppose you will want to know how I spent yesterday. I might
say it was a pretty busy one for me. In the forenoon at 10:30, we all met at the armouries
and paraded to the Anglican Church for service. Dinner was over at two and there Pitts, a
couple other fellows and myself started for a tramp. Went up on the mountain and the
reservoir that supplies the town with water and lastly thro the cemetery. You have heard
father speak of it I think and it is certainly a pretty place and much different to any I
When we came back from there we had our tea and then went to the
Presbyterian Church with Mr. Learnmouth a bank clerk who boards here with us. Came home
and sat and talked until eleven o’clock and then retired for the night.
Mrs. Kelly where we are boarding has a little girl named Helen about
four or five years old and she reminds me greatly of Jean only I think she makes up more
easily with people than Jean. She wanted to go to church with me last night and I had to
steal thro the backyard away from her. She ran away this morning and they had a hard job
to find her. It keeps one from getting lonely where she is.
I think this class will be through a week Thursday and I may try and
get off for a short time soon after that although I can’t tell how I will manage
about it. Hope I can get off for the wedding anyway and wish I could go with you people in
your new car. Some class eh! But I think you might as well have one as other people and
hope if you get one it will be a Chevrolet and not a Ford as I think for all the
difference in price the Chevrolet far exceeds the Ford.
Am sorry it is such a backward spring and hope the weather soon gets
so the farmers can get at the land and put in the crops in a hurry as it is getting so
late. Mr. Kelly has a farm about seven miles out of town and he hasn’t sowed any yet
so they are not any further ahead than back home.
I am sending some of those pictures home. You can give one to Marjorie
Beckwith and perhaps some others who asked for one I have forgotten about. Supper is about
ready so will close with love to all, Fred
P.S. address same as you did last one
I arrived in camp last night about eleven and believe me we were a
tired bunch. I left mother and father at Ashley’s and we were called to fall in at
six o’clock. Marched through Front Street and then to the station and say it was
something terrible the crowd. I think Belleville has not seen such in some time and I
don’t suppose she will again in some time either. We certainly had a good time and I
doubt if we could have been treated any better than they used us while in their midst. It
was awfully hot and the men did very well indeed to stand as steady and march as well as
they did on Saturday. Our folks will tell you all about it when they come home.
We left the station at seven and I think that the C.N.R. is about the
slowest train we could come on as it took three hours to go to Kingston. Several of the
men were sick and I happened very lucky as I was given charge of two sick men in my
platoon and I had a ride up from the city into camp. We drilled all forenoon and this
afternoon was a holiday as they had sports in camp so we were not at all sorry to have the
I am sending you the snaps we had taken and they are fairly good.
I wish as I suppose you all do that some rain would come and the hot
weather would cease but I guess we must grin and bear it.
I was out to Embury’s Sunday p.m. for a short time as I thought I
would not get the chance again and I had nothing to do in Belleville. They were real
friendly too. I guess this is all
I am yours & all with love, Fred
Kingston, Aug. 29/16
Dear Home Folks – Received your letter yesterday and was as usual
glad to hear from you. There isn’t much news to tell I don’t think but will drop
you a few lines to let you know I am well as usual.
I am glad mother is getting along so well and hope she continues to do
It is quite cool here nights and we find it very much so in the tents.
It is not very warm in the day time now and so it makes it much easier to drill. But I
don’t have much to do lately as I am in the Signal School all the time and I have no
guards to do either.
Last night we had quite an experience of trench life as they gave an
alarm about 9:30 and we all had to fall in quietly in full marching order with blankets
rolled and wearing our overcoats. Got in the trenches about 10:00 and stayed until 5:00
this morning. I can tell you it was pretty cold about 3 or 4 but I felt fine, a little
tired and sleepy. We only got about an hour or two sleep and then I had to go to work at
nine this morning, the same as usual.
I suppose you had a good time in Picton on Sunday if you went. It
rained hard here in the morning and so was good and muddy.
I met A.R. Jones from Eldorado on Saturday in Kingston and he took me
and Clifford G. and Bill Mc to the Randolf for tea. Had quite a chat with him and was
surprised to see him. Then Edgar and I went to the show at night and on Sunday he and I
went out for tea and church in the evening.
We are expecting a General to give us our final inspection any day and
it rests with his decision whether we go overseas or stay in Canada all winter. Harold is
coming home as soon as the inspection is over. News seems to be rather scarce and so will
close hoping to get an early answer.
I am yours with love to all, Fred
- Harold is Harold B. Harris (born Sep.
16, 1891 at Madoc) who signed up with the 155th on Jan. 17, 1916. He was killed
in action on May 9, 1917 at Fresnoy
- Clifford G. – this was Clifford
Gunn (born in Madoc on Oct. 3, 1896) also a member of the 155th who joined up
on Dec. 13, 1915. According to the 21st Battalion CEF website at http://21stbattalion.ca/tributedg/gunn_c.html
Clifford Gunn was “blown up and buried by a bursting shell at Vimy Ridge. He was
admitted to No 4 Cdn. Field Ambualnce on April 20th and on May 26, he was
transferred to No. 10 Stationary Hospital with Neurasthenia – characterized by
general lassitude, irritability, lack of concentration, worry and hypochondria. He was
taken to England as sick on June 20, 1917. ;
- Edgar is Lieut. Edgar Webb (born in
Toronto on Dec. 10, 1888) who was living in Madoc when he joined the 155th on
Jan. 11, 1916. He was in the Militia (15th Reg’t A.L.I.) with the rank of
Sergeant at the time of his enlistment. His occupation is shown as physical instructor. He
was gassed on Oct. 11, 1918 and removed to England, the following day.
Post Card Montreal Oct. 15/16
Dear Home Folks – Left Kingston about eleven last night and I was
pretty tired so I made my bed as soon as I could and had a good sleep. I am with Glad
Bassett and he is a good fellow. Likely will be with Harold again when we get on the boat.
This is Sunday morning 6:30 and as our
train is standing here for about an hour thought I would drop you a line. This is surely a
great change to me but seem quite comfortable and guess we will be all right. Expect to
reach Halifax sometime Monday.
Hope all are well and George gets home all right.
I am feeling fine. Love to all, Fred
|Note – Reference to the man in Fred’s
Oct. 15, 1916 Postcard with Birth information from the Library and Archives Canada www.collectionscanada.gc.ca and Serial # and full name from Stephen J.
Nichol’s, Ordinary Heroes – The Nominal Roll of the 21st Battalion
- Glad Bassett
– this is Gladstone Harold Bassett (born April 9, 1896 in Madoc) who enlisted with
the 155th Battalion on Dec. 10, 1915. There is no recorded date when he joined
the 21st Battalion. He was wounded on September 4, 1918.
England, Post Card – Nov. 26/16
Dear Mother, Father & All – Sunday evening and instead of
sending a letter am sending these cards which I received in London. One hundred of our
Battery are going to France in the morning and we may all go soon. Would like to stay over
for Xmas and may too, but can’t tell as they may call us any time. It will seem
pretty hard to see them leave in the morning but all seem to take it pretty good today. I
am well. Will write later. Goodbye for now.
Love to all Fred.
Somewhere in France, Dec. 24/16
Dear Mother, Father & All –
As I am sitting here this Xmas eve thinking of home, must drop a few
lines so as to give you an idea how we are intending to spend tomorrow. No doubt you will
all wonder what I am doing today but even though we are in this strange land still we
haven’t forgotten the date and expect to have such a time tomorrow that will I think
never be forgotten by any who are here.
I received your letter of the 28th a few days ago and also
got quite a few this past week Got a box of
nice apples from John and Roxie and say I tell you they tasted great. The box was smashed
up pretty good and the apples bruised bad but still they went fine. Hope I soon get yours
and the others that are on the road for me.
We have no snow yet and the weather is quite mild and damp as usual.
These past few days I think I will never forget and no doubt you wonder why. Our officers
made the suggestion to us over a week ago that we have some kind of Christmas dinner and
that each man put in two francs or 20 cents. So altogether we managed to collect 400
francs (franc = 20 cents) A committee of five was formed and Harold and I were both put on
so have had quite a bit of running around and suppose will be good and busy tomorrow all
It reminds me of how I helped in the entertainments at home. On
Friday, one of our officers, another fellow and myself started for a town about two or
three miles from camp to buy the things for the dinner. And believe me it was some job
making the storekeepers understand anything we wanted to say and it was just as hard for
them to know what we wanted to tell them. Well we took home with us a linen bag full of
mixed nuts, 25 doz. Of oranges and 36 cans of apricots and peaches. That was fairly good
for one day so yesterday ten of us went out to get some chickens. Just bargained for them
as there was none ready to be taken away. Today, although it was Sunday, we were busy
preparing for tomorrow. Six of us started out about ten this morning to get the chickens
and after a good deal of trouble getting settled for them started to carry them home
– 32 of them. (Pretty heavy before we got back to camp.) I though everything was done
but soon found out different as the chickens had only been picked and still had to be
dressed. So if you ever want chickens killed when I come home just call on me to give you
a hand as I am pretty handy now (cleaned six today). One never knows what they can do till
they try and there isn’t much we haven’t had a chance to try since leaving
Canada and especially since landing in France.
Most of our bunks are decorated with evergreens but I am afraid the
presents from Santa will be pretty scarce.
I can’t help but think of past years at Xmas time and tonight as
we lay in our bunks, Harold, Fred F. Bert H. & John O. and Clifford G. have been
talking over old times. There is no drill tomorrow & I expect we will all have a great
time. Will tell you of it in my next letter.
I am well and so are all the boys. Hope you are all the same. Love to
one & all. I am your loving son & Bro. Fred
Pte. WA Glover 636120
21st Battalion Canadians France
|Note – Reference to the
men in Fred’s Dec. 24, 1916 letter with Birth information from the Library and
Archives Canada www.collectionscanada.gc.ca and Serial # and full name from Stephen J.
’s, Ordinary Heroes – The Nominal Roll of the 21st Battalion C.E.F. :
- Fred F. – this is Fred Fleming (born Oct. 18, 1892) who
lived at Queensboro when he joined the 155th Battalion on April 11, 1916. He
was wounded on Oct. 12, 1918;
- Bert H. –
likely Burton Hayton (born in Madoc Township on Mar. 29, 1894) , a member of the 155th
who signed up on Dec. 24, 1915. He was wounded on Aug. 28, 1918;
- John O. –
likely John O’Rorke (born Apr. 1, 1892 in Madoc Township) a member of the 155th
and who had signed up on Dec. 23, 1915. He was wounded on April 20, 1917;
- Clifford G.
– this was Clifford Gunn (born in Madoc on Oct. 3, 1896) also a member of the 155th
who joined up on Dec. 13, 1915 and was taken to England as sick on June 20, 1917;
- Harold is Harold
B. Harris (born Sep. 16, 1891 at Madoc) who signed up with the 155th on Jan.
17, 1916. He was killed in action on May 9, 1917 at Fresnoy.
Somewhere in France, Jan 20/17
Dear Mother, Father & All –
Received two letters from home a few days ago one dated Dec. 18 and
the other 24th. So you see it don’t take long sometimes for mail to come
to me. Got one from John and another from Phil last night, so among everyone who writes to
me I keep well acquainted with home news. Also I was lucky enough the other night to get
the box from The Patriotic League in Queensboro and another from I don’t know who so
it will be hard for me to answer thanking the sender.
I was glad to get the photo Florence sent me and you can’t
imagine how much I appreciate getting it. It wasn’t damaged at all and I intend
keeping it so as long as I can.
I think I told you in my last letter that we had moved to a new place.
We intend leaving here tomorrow but I don’t know where to. So you see we are kept
quite busy moving from one place to another.
It has been quite chilly here the last few days. Have had some snow
and quite resembles our Canadian winter days.
This is Saturday evening and I suppose if I were home I might be down
street. But I am afraid I can just think of it this time.
I am writing in a French café as it is too cold to do it in the place
we live, a hay loft. I hope tomorrow night we have a better place to sleep in anyway.
Just came in here for some eggs and chips. Harold saw Fred Wiggins on
the road the other day and as I wasn’t with him wasn’t so fortunate. May see him
later though. We may not go into the lines for some little time yet and I am not at all
anxious for the time to come as I expect it will be much worse than we are at present
Hope by this time you have received the photos I sent some time ago.
There don’t seem to be much to write so I guess I must close. I
am your loving Son & Bro. Fred
Pte W.A. Glover 636120
21st Battalion Canadians
P.S. Don’t send any money to me here as I get plenty spending
money and there is nothing to do with it here. You can do as you wish with my assigned
- Fred Wiggins.
– (born Apr. 25, 1895 in Queensboro,
Ontario) an Electrician who joined the 34th Battery CFA on Oct. 15, 1915.
Somewhere in France, Jan. 20/17
Dear Bro. George –
Was indeed glad to get your letter last night and I quite realize how
busy you are and how hard for you to write me. Still I get letters from Mother, the girls,
Willie, Phil’s and John. So you see they keep me quite well posted on Home news.
Nevertheless I want you to write as often as you possibly can.
I think that it must almost tire you out reading the letters I send home, that is if all I write go there and are not
lost. But then it is a good way to put in the
time here. It seems there isn’t much else to do when not drilling.
Just moved again today and Harold and I have been wandering through
the town after eating our tea looking up the Y.M.C.A. At last found it and I am busy
We are billeted in good houses here and eleven of us in a room which
makes it rather crowded but we are by this time getting used to these things. The French
people around this part of the country are very kind to us. Only today after we arrived in
here the lady of the house called us downstairs for a cup of coffee and some chips which
surely tasted very good.
In my last letter I think I said we were having weather similar to our
Canadian weather and it is still just as cold. Hope it soon get warmer. But I suppose you
are having plenty of zero weather and lots of snow. The ground is now frozen and there is
a little bit of snow on the fields but none on the roads. Still they are good and hard and
great for traveling although pretty hard for marching as much as we do. I am standing it
fairly good though and mine are in good shape as yet.
Received last night a nice box from Phil’s’ which I was glad
to get. They sent me this writing pad and I tell you they couldn’t have sent anything
I wanted much worse as paper is hard to get. This is the best kind for us so if you send
any please ask him what his was like.
I know George about how you feel about enlisting but then I think
under the circumstances it is your duty to stay in the old home. We who have come are
surely having a great experience and all. My hope is that I may soon return to tell you
some of them. As you say it is not by any means all sunshine but then there is something
that seems to make us want to be here among the fight. I am glad that some more of the
boys around home are beginning to feel that their country needs them but I guess that the
Cooper Tigers are still remaining around their corners. I think that some of them should
go and I hope that they have to sometime.
This is Saturday evening and I wouldn’t mind being in old
Queensboro just for tonight.
Will now say Goodnight. Love to one and all, Fred.
Somewhere in France Feb. 9, 1917
Dear Home Folks
Haven’t received any letter since I wrote last, but anyway will
drop a line tonight before I retire. I think that you have written but that they have been
delayed for some reason or other. We have got no mail for over a week and hope some soon
It is certainly cold these days as I think it is about as bad as it
has been the last few weeks. I earnestly hope it takes a change as I expect we will all be
going in the line in a few days and imagine these nights will not be very pleasant there.
I am sitting by the table six or seven around
the fire singing and I tell you we all hate to leave these good billets. I think they are
the most like home that I have been in since leaving England.
I am well and hope these few lines finds you all in the best of
There doesn’t seem to be anything much to tell you since I
haven’t heard from you but then I suppose the main thing you wish is to at least hear
from me and know that I am well at the date that I write. It hardly seems possible that it
can be this time in February and that I have been away from home nearly four months, I
think the longest I ever was at one time. And then imagine how far it is.
Will write as soon as I can again. Love to one and all. Will say
Your loving son and Bro. Fred
Pte. W.A. Glover 636120
C Co. 21st Battalion Canadians
Somewhere in France,
Feb. 26, 1917
Dearest Mother, Father – Only two more days and another month
will be gone and yet it seems hard to believe that Spring is so near again. Just think it
is nearly five months since we left Canada and about three since our bunch left for
France. But then time can’t pass too quickly here and I might say that it does go
that way of which we are glad of.
I guess we are having our Spring here now as the weather is quite mild
and the days quite bright. It has been very muddy and the trenches in a terrible state,
but I think if anything they are getting a little better.
I am well and so are the other boys at present and all of us have been
very fortunate so far which I hope continues in the future. Although we can never tell
what minute one of us will be picked off as those things are happening every day in here.
Hope you are all enjoying the best of health and that you are getting
my letters as regular as I write them. But you all must consider where I am and how hard
it is to write so if you fail to get any word from me as you have in the past just think
of what I have told you and don’t worry in the least.
Harold is right beside me and I think he is writing home too. I am
glad we have been able to stick so close together and also
be with the other lads from home. Hope
you get the snap I sent a few days ago. It isn’t very good but I think it is natural
and thought perhaps you would like to see how we all looked in this strange land.
I have had some mail since I came in the lines but not as much as I
would like. I only wish that the boxes that you and John have sent would get here as here
is certainly the place where we need “the eats”. Candles are also welcome so you
can send along some if you pack another box as we always have to use them in the deep
dugouts we are now in.
It is now seven o’clock and the mail hasn’t come up. I am
always looking for some and hope I am lucky tonight.
Well Mother I suppose Spring will soon be here with you again and that
sugar weather will be around. My how I wish I could get a taste of sugar and some syrup.
Perhaps you can send me a small can of it if packed good with other things but I know you
don’t mind sending me anything I want.
You certainly must have had a cold winter in Canada and I am afraid if
it has been as bad here how many of us would have suffered and perhaps hardly stood it. I
just wish you could see me sitting on my rubber sheet with a dim candle showing light and
writing to you. There are several all around some sleeping, some singing, others cleaning
up, anything, in fact to keep busy when not on duty. Had a letter from Mrs. H Jones a few
days ago and she said she had sent me a box. I think there are quite a few on the road for
me and hope they soon arrive. Think I could eat a great big cake right now. One soon gets
tired of the bully beef and hard tack which we get so much of and also which we are mighty
glad to get when good and hungry.
Remember me to any person who I may know and who I do not write to.
Tell Aunt Maggie to write to me and you can send one of my letters to her as it is rather
difficult to send mail from here, there.
Must now close and get some sleep. Write often and I will do the best
I can. Will say goodnight.
Love and best wishes to you all. Your loving son, Fred
Pte W.A. Glover 636120
C Co. 21st Battalion Canadians B.E.F. France
France, Mar 5, 1917
Dear Mother & All – A few days ago, I received two letters
from home and as I have been in the lines have not had much of a chance to write.
But I know you will pardon me in this case and feel that I write just
as often as I can. I am well and am glad that you were all the same when the letters were
written. Hope this one finds you the same.
Our Battalion came (censor removed) right but I don’t know for
how long. Up to the present I have not received the box you sent or any other that have
been on the road for me that I know of. Wish they would come as now is the time they are
appreciated much more than when we are in a place where things can be bought.
I am glad you got the photos all right as I was a little afraid that
they might go astray.
Had a short letter from Lydia the other night and as you say it is
good to get mail and the only fault I have is that I don’t get enough.
I hear from John & Roxie almost every week and from Emma as often.
It is real good of Mrs. Moore to knit socks for us and I wish to ask you to thank her for
me, even if I may not receive them. Will let you know as soon as the box comes.
I hope that the play the Ladies Aid is intending to get up turns out
to be a success. But I think I know about how much work is ahead of them having helped
with a few.
Would like to have been home to attend some of the parties you are
having but never mind. When I come home I will have to make up for lost time.
Got a letter from Grace the other night. As I have been sitting here
in the tent writing the mail came in and of course I had to stop to read mine. Got
Florence’s and Willie’s dated Feb. 11. So that isn’t too bad.
Thanks very much for the snaps as I surely like to see the faces of
any one around home. Fanny R. looks as natural as when I saw her before she went out west.
Harold and I were sitting in the tent this afternoon writing letters
and who should step inside but Melbourne Keene. I tell you we were glad to see him and I
think he was just as glad to see us. There are quite a few here that he knows. Stayed
almost all afternoon and we had quite a chat with him. He looks as natural as ever and I
think he hasn’t changed in the least.
Also saw two other lads that we left in England, Bill Vincent and Bill
Hope that box that you sent soon comes but I think they will be here
in a few days.
It is quite warm here now although this morning we woke up and the
ground was covered with snow. Reminded me of a spring day in Canada. By noon I think it
was almost all gone and you can imagine the mud that was left.
It is now nearly bedtime so guess I will close and say good night.
Love to one & all. I am your loving son & Bro.
- Bill Vincent.
– (born Aug. 7, 1897 in Foxboro,
Ontario) a Student who joined the 80th Battalion on Sept. 13, 1915. He was
killed on April. 9, 1917 at Vimy Ridge
- Bill Taylor
– not known – 344 WW1 Soldiers by the name William Taylor;
- Melbourne Keene
– (born Sept. 13, 1888 in Madoc Township) a Hardware Traveller who joined the 1st
Brigade, 1st Battery on Sept. 2, 1914;
France, Apr. 6/17
Dear Mother, Father & All
Good Friday and before I retire must drop a few lines home. I am well
and hope you are all the same. It is just pouring here but we by this time are used to it
as it is almost a daily occurrence.
Am sitting in my little shelter, quite cozy indeed although leaking
slightly. Still we are thankful to have so good a place in this time over here. No doubt
you have been thinking as I have of you, what I am doing and where I am today, although I
might say that I wish I was at home and hope I may be there before another Easter comes to
I can’t think of anything to write as I haven’t got any
letters from home for over a week and I think I wrote since then. Will write again soon as
Must say good night. I am your loving son & Bro. Fred
Pte W.A. Glover 636120
C Co. 21st Battalion
B E F
On May 9, Fred Glover
was promoted to Corporal “in the field”. That same day his good friend Harold
Harris was killed during this action.
Harold was the son of
George and Hattie Harris farmers of Madoc Township. He was born one year later than Fred
(in 1891) and, no doubt, they had been childhood friends. Harold joined the 155th Battalion on January 17th
!916 just 3 weeks after Fred had joined (Regimental # 636366). According to his
attestation papers and his family descendant Harold B. Harris of Madoc Township (named for
his great Uncle), he was a Book Keeper for a
mine about two miles from his family home. According
to Grant Ketcheson a farm neighbour of the Glover and Harris families, Grant’s
mother’s Aunt Alma Keene was Harold’s girlfriend before the War. The story is
that she never married or dated after Harold was killed. He was taken on strength with the
21st Battalion at the same time as Fred.
France, May 23, 1917
Dear Mother & all –
Wednesday evening, tomorrow “the 24th” and such
grand weather I think I never saw. This is surely a grand country and I wish you could
only see it for yourselves as the grass and green trees are just in their beauty.
At present the boys are in the line but I am away taking a short
training course. It seems good to get away from the sound of the guns for awhile and
especially at this beautiful season of the year.
I have had no mail for about two weeks now but am watching anxiously
each day, as I know it will come sooner or later. Hope you get my letters regular as I
always write at least once a week unless in the line and then I do the best I can.
Tell John and Roxie that even though I owe them a letter still I often
think of them and will drop one soon. But since Harold (Harold B. Harris of Madoc killed
in battle on May 9, 1917) has been taken away from me it seems it is hard for me to settle
my mind to writing to any one. You have no idea how lonesome it is for me, but then I
suppose I must try and forget about it.
How are you all at home? Hope well as this leaves me feeling fine. No
doubt you will remember a year ago tomorrow. I know that will do. I had only wish that I
could take a similar trip this year.
Must now close and go to bed. Heaps of love to all. I am your loving
Bro & Son.
Pte. W.A. Glover 636120
C Company 21st Battalion Canadian
France, Sep. 13/17
Dear Mother & All –
Just a line this evening as I have had my tea and nothing much to do.
It is raining at present but I hope that it soon stops as I think we are soon to go in the
line for a little while. We have had a pretty good rest and so cannot complain to going
I have had no mail for quite a while and sometimes wonder what is the
matter. I think more of the people from around home might write to me more than they do.
Perhaps they do, but at any rate I never get them. If they only knew how we lads out here
appreciate letters I think they would write almost every day. I hope that some time when
the Canadian mail comes that there will be enough for me to keep me reading for two or
Our new band is very much enjoyed by us. All as it is it is a great
change to the “Popes”. The boys in the band have many questions to ask about the
lines, but I think they will not be going in.
I have many a chat with Buster Whytock and Bill Hawthorne as they are
about the only ones left in the Bn. With whom I ever chummed much. Mr. Webb is just the
same as ever and I think he will get along fine in France.
Fred F. is still away from the Bn. On a traffic control job and Bert
H. in the transport section.
I saw Bob Elliot from Tweed today. He is in the 2nd Bn.
Must soon close as I want this to go in the mail tonight. Hoping to
hear from some one soon.
I am your loving Fred.
Sgt. W.A. Glover 636120
- Bill Hawthorne. – (born July 12, 1887 in Ireland) a Butcher living
in Madoc who joined the 155th Battalion on Jan. 3, 1916. He was wounded on Oct.
- Buster Whytok is likely Sgt. Carl J.
Whytok who was not a member of the 155th. Carl Whytok (born Mar. 10, 1897 in
Madoc) joined the 33rd CFA on Oct. 30, 1915. He joined the 21st
Battalion in May 1917. He was wounded on April 20, 1918.
- Mr. Webb is Lieut. Edgar Webb (born in
Toronto on Dec. 10, 1888) who was living in Madoc when he joined the 155th on
Jan. 11, 1916. He was in the Militia (15th Reg’t A.L.I.) with the rank of
Sergeant at the time of his enlistment. His occupation is shown as physical instructor. He
was gassed on Oct. 11, 1918 and removed to England, the following day.
- Bob Elliott – (born Feb. 19, 1892
in Tweed, Ontario) a Mail Clerk who joined the 155th Battalion on Dec. 29, 1915
France, Dec 27/17
My Dear Mother & All
Just a few lines this evening before I retire for the night. I am
feeling fine and hope you are all the same both now and when this reaches you.
I have been very busy since coming from my leave and neglected
writing. The boys were in the line when I came back on the 18th but the they
soon came out again and are now back for a good rest. But I must say it isn’t much of
a rest either as they drill us pretty hard.
Still anything is ahead of dodging shells as we have had the chance of doing so for a few
Canadian mail has been very scarce as yet this Christmas and I am
beginning to think that some of it must be lost on the way. I hope you received all the
little gifts that I sent when in Scotland on my leave. There was quite a pile of letters
awaiting me when I came back and three or four parcels: one from Geo. Maybee, another from
John and a third from Mrs. Jones. I must write a reply to them as soon as I can.
Well Christmas has again passed and I had a fairly good time although
I am afraid not so good as last year. It happened that I was most unlucky in having to do
a guard when ?? (BC) that day so instead of having a Xmas dinner I had the supper
consisting of turkey, plum pudding, nuts, apples etc. But many times did I think of you
all and wonder what you all would be doing. Even though I couldn’t be present myself
still my thoughts were there nearly the whole day and I hope that you all enjoyed
yourselves to the utmost. But any how you will be telling me all about in the letters I
hope to receive.
At present we are having very cold weather here and I am glad I am not
in the trenches. But still I cannot help but think of the poor boys who are there.
Just last night I got a box of chocolates and a pair of socks from
Lottie Harris and I intend writing to them soon.
It is now nearly bedtime so must soon close. Wishing you all a Happy
I am your loving Fred
France Apr 17/18
My Dear Mother, Father & All
Just a few lines this morning in answer to those dated Mar. 10th
from Florence & Mother and also one Mar 17. I am glad that you were all well at the
time and might say that I am fine at the present and have been so the past few weeks since
I last wrote. The day I got the last Canadian mail I just had a chance to read them when
we had to start in the line and so you see my reason for delay in answering as we got no
chance while in the trenches. Also while in there I got three boxes, one from you at home,
one from Bessie F and another one from Phil’s. Maybe they weren’t welcome! That
surely is the place we appreciate them most of all as I often long for a taste of
something from home.
In Phil’s letter he mentioned about
selling his place. No doubt they will hate to leave just as well as you will to see him go
and I hope that they are fortunate enough not to get a farm so far away. I quite well
agree with Phil when he says he hasn’t enough land. I suppose the children are
getting to be great kids by now and I would just love to see them again. Norma and Anna
sent me some puffed rice crackle and I enjoyed it more for the fact that it came from my
I wish I could attend some of the plays that are being given. But then
I may be able to do so some time. May that be soon is my sincere and constant wish.
Just think another month is about gone and summer will soon be here
again. The weather is quite warm although we have cool nights but we have been very
fortunate indeed not having much rain or mud.
I had a letter from Lottie Harris a few days ago and so glad that she
still remembers me. I suppose they still miss Harold very much and I know his mother takes
it very hard even though it is nearly a year since he was killed. I haven’t heard
from Earl B. yet but imagine he made England by this time. At least I hope so anyway and
if he can Canada.
I was glad to get the socks you sent and must thank Florence for the
sleeping cap she made and sent me.
Must now close as the mail is just being collected. Will write again
just when I can. Remember me to any one inquiring of me. I remain with heaps of love to
everyone of you.
Your loving boy, Fred
- Earl B.
– Earl Burnside (born Jan.
16th, 1897 in Madoc). Earl was a school teacher at the time he joined the 155th
Battalion on Jan. 17, 1916. He was wounded (by a bullet in the neck, according to Harold
Harris of Madoc Township) on Apr. 15, 1918;
France, May 1-18
My Dear People at Home
Just a few lines before I go to bed tonight. I am sitting beside a
dandy fire in my little dug-out and just wish you could see me. The main thing I
don’t like is the rumble of the nearby guns even though by this time I have got so
used to them. Your letters (Florence’s) received a few days ago dated Mar. 24 and 31st
and glad you were all so well at the time as this leaves me at the present. This past few
days it has been quite wet and muddy here and so pretty disagreeable at our queue. But
then we can only expect the same at this time of year.
I can well imagine how busy you have been with the sap, cows and other
common spring chores and just wish I were there to take a hand in them. I was indeed
surprised to hear of Phil selling his place but hope it may be all for the best. I just
had a long letter from Margaret F. and now the girls both write to me. I think its so good
of them too. I guess they are taking it pretty hard about both boys being called in the
army. And I tell you it does seem too bad too.
It is sad news for me to tell you that two more of the boys from home
have paid the supreme price, Flemming Rollins and Herb Phillips. They were both killed
just a few days ago (April 27 according to the War
Graves Memorial Website) and I feel it my duty to write to both their mothers which I
intend doing just as soon as I can. My it seems terrible just to think of the fine young
fellows who are giving up their lives so willingly over here. We all admit they are dying
a brave death, but even so it is hard to see them leave.
John O. and Fred F. are both real well and looking fine. I hope the
box with the maple syrup and sugar soon gets here as my mouth waters when I think of it.
It is now nearly bedtime so I will bid you all a goodnight once more.
I will write again just as soon as I can. Heaps
of love to you all.
France, May 3 – 18
My Dear Mother –
Just a short note before
I leave the billets for the line. While sitting on the grass waiting for the
“fall-in” to go, I must relieve my mind by writing a letter home. This has been
a grand day. The sun has been shining so brightly. The fields are covered with green grass
and the trees are just about leafed out. So you see everything is typical of spring.
I have had no mail from Canada for some time and am anxiously looking
for some all the time. Hope it comes when I am in the trenches as that is the place we
most appreciate things from home or in fact anyone we know. I hope the box with the maple
syrup soon gets here as when I think of it my mouth begins to water.
I had a letter from Earl B. and he is in England getting on fine. But
then I have sad news to tell – Fleming R. and Herb P. are killed. Perhaps I told you
that in the letter that I wrote a few days ago. I intend to write to their mothers just as
soon as I get the chance. But to tell the truth we get such little time to write that some
of those who I owe letters will have to pardon me for not answering their letters more
Must go now and perhaps may not get a chance to send any more for some
time. Remember me to those whom I should write to and any asking of me. Heaps of love to
all at or away from home.
- Fleming R. – This is James Fleming Rollins (born Feb 10, 1897
in Huntington Twp. Hastings Cty) a farmer at Ivanhoe who joined the 254th
Battalion on Dec. 20, 1916. He was killed on Apr. 27, 1918;
- Herb P.
– This is Herbert Phillips
(born August 1899 in Madoc) a clerk living in Madoc who joined the 254th
Battalion on Mar. 16, 1916. He died of his wounds on
Apr. 27, 1918;
Historical Calendar 21st
Canadian Infantry Battalion
- August 8th, 1918 - capture of
Marcelcave at The Battle of Amiens (Aug. 8th thru the 16th)
At 3:20 a.m. on August 8th,
the 21st reported itself in position. . . The attack opened up at 4:20 in the
morning without any preliminary bombardment.
There was a heavy ground
mist and that, coupled with the intensity of the (artillery) barrage, meant that the
officers had to use their compasses in order to maintain their direction.
At 7:15 a.m. the 21st
was reported as having passed through Marcelcave. . . The battalion was credited with
capturing four 4.1 cm. field guns, seven 5.9 cm. field guns and 17 machine guns. The 4.1
cm. field guns were taken over by the advance elements of the Canadian Artillery who used
the remaining ammunition to fire on the retiring Germans.
It had been a great day
for the Canadian Corps and the 21st Battalion; however the events of the day
were overshadowed by the loss of so many 21st lads, the principal one being
Lt.-Colonel (Elmer Watson) Jones their distinguished and affectionately regarded
The 21st was
relieved by the 25th Battalion during the early morning of the 15th
and moved to the Brigade Reserve. . . (Source
- Stephen J. Nichol’s book, “Ordinary
Heroes – Eastern Ontario’s 21st Battalion C.E.F. in the Great
Historical Calendar 21st
Canadian Infantry Battalion
- August 26th thru 28th, 1918 -
The Battle of Arras and the Drocourt-Queant Line (Aug.
26th thru Sept. 3rd)
Fred's death came in
what is now referred to as the "Last Hundred Days"
of World War I, when the Canadians Corps casualties were
the heaviest of the war. The month of August 1918 saw over 18,000 Canadian killed or wounded.
We are fortunate to have
two newspaper clippings saved by Anna Glover
that provide us with some background on Fred. These articles
were printed in some newspaper in 1918 (but not the North Hastings Review) following his
death. Since Anna was only about six years
old when her uncle was killed, we suspect
that the newspaper clippings were saved by another
relative and given to Anna to include in her collection.
The first of three
articles is an Obituary Listing entitled: THE LATE
SERGT. W. A. GLOVER. The article includes a picture of Sgt.
W. A. Glover wearing his uniform.
The article reads:
"Another one of the
finest of our young men has fallen in the
very thick of battle in the person of Sergt. W. A. Glover,
son of Mr. and Mrs. Alex Glover of Queensboro, Ont. To
write a worthy tribute of the deceased in a brief space
is a difficult task.
Previous to his
enlistment, he was engaged in the teaching profession,
and therein made a large circle of friends, for he
was a popular teacher, steadfast in character, thus winning
the confidence of all who knew him. In the early part of the war he carefully studied the situation and the need for men and became deeply
impressed with a sense of responsibility
resting upon him as a loyal subject to do his
Fully conscious that to
answer his country's call and to follow the
dictates of his conscience would mean hardship and
sacrifice, nevertheless he counted the cost and nobly
stepped forward enlisting in the 155th Battalion at Madoc, on Dec. 27th 1915
(should have read Dec. 28th), where he continued
his training until the battalion was called to Barriefield
In the month of October
(1916) he sailed from Halifax with his
battalion to England, where he completed his training
for active service in France. During December, 1916, a transfer was made to the 21st Battalion and,
crossing over to France, he began to share in
the real conflict for right and humanity.
During his twenty months
of active service he certainly upheld the
noblest traditions of our Canadian soldiers. Brave
and courageous in battle, chivalrous and manly in camp,
he was beloved of his companions, most of whom, unfortunately
have also been killed or wounded in the different
battles in which they were engaged. He, however came
through many minor conflicts, also the great battle of
Vimy Ridge, in April 1917, without injury.
He experienced the
vicissitudes of the dark day of the British
reverse in March (1918), when the army was driven back
to a few miles from Amiens. Yet his letters home showed
that he possessed an optimistic view as to the final result.
He lived to see his
expectation somewhat realized for he was doing
his part in the tremendous battle which brought about
a precipitous retreat of the Germans in the Arras and Amiens sector, wherein the enemy lost thousands of
prisoners and hundreds of guns. In this
mighty struggle on August 26th 1918, Sgt.
W.A. Glover fell while pressing onward into the enemy's
positions. Thus devoted to duty and to his country’s cause, he bravely gave his life
. . ."
A letter that was sent to
Fred's mother, Cynthia, from an E. H. Draper,
was published in the November 28, 1918 North
Hastings Review. Anna Glover included
this newspaper article in her collection. It reads:
"It is with
considerable regret that I take upon myself the duty
of regarding the death of your son, Fred, the best pal
I ever had in France. However being a friend of Fred's I take the liberty.
He was in the recent
engagement of Aug. 26th (the battle for the Hindenburg Line near Arras, France) and
was with me practically all the time that
morning. We went over side by side, but early
in the advance, we ran into a machine gun nest
and were temporarily hung up.
Fred was in the best of
spirits and talked cheerfully all the way
over. When the order came to rush the position, we rose
with the rest, and it was during that charge that a fatal bullet struck him.
Owing to the rush and
excitement, I was unable to get any of his
personal belongings, though when he fell I dropped beside
him, thinking that I might be of some service to him,
binding his wounds, but death had been instantaneous and without suffering. He looked as though asleep and
thus I was forced to leave him.
Fred was a general
favourite with all his company, and is sorely
missed by all. He was a credit to any unit."
Sincerely a friend,
a tribute website to the 21st Battalion http://21stbattalion.ca/tributedg/draper_eh.html
, I learned more about Everett Henry Draper who, I was told by Fred’s sister Florence
(Glover) Love, visited the Glover family when the War ended. For his efforts during the
battle at Arras, Sergeant Draper was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal by the King
of England (Jan. 16, 1919) The London Gazette reports: He was acting as company serjeant
major during an attack at Wancourt on the 26th of August, 1918 rendering
invaluable assistance to the one remaining officer. He led a bombing attack against a
strong point that was holding up our advance and captured it, killing some of the garrison
with bombs and some with bayonet. His gallantry and fine leadership were conspicuous
throughout the operations.
the November 7, 1918 North Hastings Review (just 4 days before the end of
the 1st World War), we find the Glover family's thank you:
Mr. Alex Glover wishes
through the columns of the Review, to express the sincere thanks of himself and family for
the many acts of kindness and expressions of sympathy shown them in their great
bereavement in loss of their son and brother, Fred, who paid the supreme sacrifice in
Sgt Winfred Alexander Glover
KIA August 26, 1918
Tilloy British Cemetery
Tilloy Les Mofflaines, France
Steve Glover is shown above visiting
his great uncle's grave
For the 7
nights leading up to November 11, 2010, the names of all Canadian soldiers were projected
onto the Belgian War Memorial in Ypres. At
the same time, the same names were being broadcast via the internet to schools across
Belgium and Canada. The image above shows
the opening ceremonies at the Belgian War Memorial on November 4, 2010.
Below on the
left is the name of Winfred Glover being projected on that wall. Below right shows the name being broadcast to the
schools. Each name appeared for 25 seconds
and each night 9,700 names were shown.