Duncan Archibald Roy Coleman

Thank you to Bruce Kettles for providing the service file


Aug 11, 1897

Born in Foresters Falls, Ontario to William Stephen and Margaret Blacklock (nee McKillop) Coleman


Aug 17, 1915

Attested into the 77th Battalion in Smiths Falls, Ontario 

Ø      Number 144947

Ø      Next of kin given as Mrs. S. Coleman, mother, Foresters Falls, Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Student

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Church of England

Ø      Assigned to “D” Company


Oct 23, 1915

Embarked the SS California in Quebec City, Quebec as part of the 77th Battalion’s 1st Reinforcing Draft

Oct 31, 1915

Disembarked in Plymouth, England and the draft proceeded to Shorncliffe.  On arrival in Shorncliffe, the entire draft was absorbed into the 12th Reserve Battalion


Mar 15, 1916

Transferred to the 21st Battalion


Mar 16, 1916

Arrived at the CBD (Canadian Base Depot) in the Rouelles Camp, Havre, France as part of a draft of 1,288 reinforcements from England, and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion.


Mar 18, 1916

Left the CBD to join the battalion


Mar 21, 1916

Joined the 21st Battalion in billets in Ridgewood, France as part of the 4th Brigade Reserve.


Apr 22, 1916

In the early morning hours, while in a dug out in the front line near Voormezeele, Private Coleman suffered from shrapnel wounds to both legs.  It was later determined that he also suffered from shell shock.

He was admitted to the No. 6 CFA (Canadian Field Ambulance).  After receiving first aid, he was transferred to the No. 10 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) for further treatment.  Because of the serious nature of the wounds, he was transferred via the No. 15 AT (Ambulance Train) and admitted to the No. 3 Canadian General Hospital, Boulogne, where surgery was performed to remove the shrapnel.


May 6, 1916

Discharged to the No. 1 Convalescent Depot in Boulogne


May 16, 1916

Discharged to the Base Depot in Havre and posted to “A” Company for those recovering from wounds and illness


May 25, 1916

Admitted to the No. 2 Canadian General Hospital, Le Treport, with a diagnosis that reads NYD (Not Yet Determined).  This was later changed to read “Mental”


May 27, 1916

Invalided to England aboard the Hospital Ship Asturias

Transferred to the CCAC (Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre) while in hospital


May 29, 1916

Admitted to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley


Jun 7, 1916

Transferred to the Moore Barracks Hospital, Shorncliffe with a diagnosis that now reads Neurasthenia, a nervous disorder, also used to describe shell shock


Jun 8, 1916

Transferred to the Granville Canadian Special Hospital, Ramsgate


Jul 26, 1916

Discharged to duty and posted to the 39th Reserve Battalion in West Sandling


Jan 4, 1917

Transferred to the newly formed 6th Reserve Battalion in West Sandling


Apr 21, 1917

Transferred to the 21st Battalion


Apr 22, 1917

Arrived at the CBD in the Rouelles Camp, Havre, France as part of a draft of 3,000 reinforcements from England, and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion.


Apr 24, 1917

Left the CBD to join the battalion


May 21, 1917

Rejoined the 21st Battalion in the front line trenches just beyond Vimy Ridge as part of a draft of 149 reinforcements.

There is no explanation in the file as to why it took almost a month to join the battalion.


Aug 15, 1917

The 21st Battalion, as part of the 2nd Division of the Canadian Corps attacked the high ground near Lens, France known as Hill 70.  This was strongly defended by German forces and once removed, mounted several counter-attacks that were repelled by the battalion.  The fighting was fierce and often involved hand to hand combat and many casualties were suffered on both sides.  During this battle, Private Coleman was wounded and removed to a nearby field ambulance for first aid before being evacuated to the No. 6 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) where he died of his wounds.

Barlin Communal Cemetery
Pas de Calais, 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 Coleman, Foresters Falls, Ontario


Duncan Coleman is also honoured in the family plot in the Howard Cemetery, Foresters Falls, Ontario

In additon, he is honoured on the Pembroke Ontario War Memorial

Return to Tribute list