Wray Van Tassel Chambers

Thank you to Bruce Kettles for providing the service file


Dec 11, 1895

Born in Salford, Ontario to William Henry and Elizabeth Jane (nee Newton) Chambers.


Jan 11, 1916

Attested into the 168th Battalion in Ingersoll, Ontario

Ø      Number 675142

Ø      Next of kin given as Mrs. Jennie Chambers, mother, Salford, Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Farmer

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Methodist


Apr 8, 1916

Granted leave to go home and work on his farm, presumably to plant his crop.


May 8, 1916

Rejoined the battalion from leave.


Oct 30, 1916

Embarked the SS Lapland in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Nov 11, 1916

Disembarked in Liverpool, England and the battalion proceeded to the West Sandling Camp, near Hythe, Kent.  On arrival there, the entire battalion was absorbed into the 12th Reserve Battalion for further training.


Dec 5, 1916

The 12th Reserve Battalion was absorbed into the 39th Reserve Battalion at West Sandling.


Jan 4, 1917

Private Chambers was transferred to the newly formed 6th Reserve Battalion also in West Sandling.  Following his transfer, the 6th Reserve Battalion moved to Seaford.


Apr 17, 1917

Transferred to the 21st Battalion.


Apr 18, 1917

Arrived at the CBD (Canadian Base Depot) in the Rouelles Camp, Havre, France as part of a draft of 85 reinforcements for the front and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion.


Apr 21, 1917

Left the CBD and joined the 21st Battalion in the support trenches between Vimy Ridge and Farbus and assigned to “A” Company.


Jul 28, 1917

Attached to the 4th Canadian Trench Mortar Battery for duty.


Aug 10, 1917

While visiting the 21st Battalion’s “A” Company Headquarters near Fosse 10, in order to retrieve his mail, he received shrapnel wounds to his head, legs and chest by the accidental explosion of a Mills Bomb.  After receiving first aid from the battalion’s Medical Officer, he was transported to the No. 6 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) for treatment.


Aug 13, 1917

Transferred to the No. 7 CCS.


Sep 4, 1917

Invalided to England aboard the Hospital Ship Newhaven


Sep 5, 1917

Admitted to the Horton War Hospital, Epsom.

Posted to the EORD (Eastern Ontario Regimental Depot) while in hospital.


Dec 21, 1917

Transferred to the Military Convalescent Hospital, Woodcote Park, Epsom to continue his recovery.


Feb 15, 1918

Discharged from hospital and placed On Command to the 3rd CCD (Canadian Convalescent Depot) for rehabilitation.


Apr 4, 1918

Discharged to duty and posted to the 6th Reserve Battalion, Seaford.


Sep 4, 1918

Posted to the 21st Battalion.


Sep 5, 1918

Arrived at the No. 2 CIBD (Canadian Infantry Base Depot) in Etaples, France and TOS the 21st Battalion.


Sep 9, 1918

Left the CIBD and joined the CC Rein C (Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp) in Aubin St. Vaast.


Sep 10, 1918

Left the CC Rein C to join the battalion.


Sep 11, 1918

Joined the 21st Battalion in Divisional Reserve near the Droucourt Queant Line as part of a draft of 50 reinforcements, mostly men rejoining the battalion from hospital.


Sep 23, 1918

While on a night patrol, he was wounded by a German stick bomb (potato masher) and evacuated to the No. 23 CCS.

Sep 24, 1918

Private Chambers died the next day of his wounds while a patient at the No. 23 CCS.

Duisans British Cemetery
Etrun France

Following the war the British War Medal, Victory Medal and Memorial Cross were sent to his mother, Mrs. Jennie Chambers, RR #1 Salford, Ontario.

The Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny) and Scroll were sent to his father, W.H. Chambers, at the same address.


Above is a plaque in the Salford Ontario United Church.  It should be noted that this was originally a Methodist Church.    Wray Chambers, is the first name while his best friend, Archie Harrison's  name (also a 21st Battalion member), is the second from the top.  In addition, the Chambers family donated a stained glass window for the church to honour their family

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