Alexander Campbell

Thank you to Bruce Kettles for providing the service file


Feb 17, 1892

Born in Milngavie, Scotland.


Jul 25, 1915

Shown on the payroll of the 12th Regiment, York Rangers in Toronto, Ontario.

A note entered on the payroll sheet says “Quota for new Battalion”. 


Aug 10, 1915

Attested into the 83rd Battalion in Toronto Ontario 

Ø      Number 171049

Ø      Next of kin given as Margaret Campbell, mother, 4 Learmont Terrace, Milngavie, Scotland

o       A note in the file requests that Nan Watt, friend, 5 Callender St., Parkdale, Toronto, Ontario also be notified

Ø      Previous occupation given as Floorman Finisher

o       Later noted as Foreman

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Presbyterian 

He was sent to Belleville, Ontario for training.


Aug 15, 1915

Removed from the payroll of the 12th Regiment.


Sep 25, 1915

Embarked the RMS Corsican in Montreal, Quebec as part of a reinforcing draft for the front lines.


Oct 6, 1915

Disembarked in Plymouth, England 

On arrival in England, the draft was absorbed into the 39th Reserve Battalion at West Sandling for further training.


Feb 3, 1916

Transferred to the 21st Battalion.


Feb 5, 1916

Arrived at the CBD (Canadian Base Depot) in the Rouelles Camp, Havre, France and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion.


Feb 15, 1916

Left the CBD to join the battalion.


Feb 17, 1916

Joined the 21st Battalion in the front line N & O trench system.


Sep 15, 1916

The 21st Battalion was assigned the task of taking a German strong point in a sugar refinery at Courcelette as part of the larger battle of the Somme.  During this battle, Private Campbell was killed in action and his body was never found.  Below is from the Circumstances of Death file at Archives Canada: 

“When his Battalion made their attack on September 15th 1916, he went over with the fifth wave, and was last seen about 1 P.M. with a machine gun crew, in a shell hole, about 30 yards to the right of Bapaume Road.  Early the next morning it was discovered that an enemy shell had made a direct hit on their position, and all that could be seen was the tripod of the gun together with pieces of equipment, but no sign of any of the gun crew, nor has any information since been received concerning Private Campbell.” 

Because he has no known grave, he is commemorated on the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, Vimy Ridge, France.

Following the war the British War Medal, Victory Medal, Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny), Scroll and Memorial Cross were sent to his mother, Mrs. Margaret Campbell, 4 Learmont Terrace, Milngavie, Scotland.


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