Gordon Taggart

Mar 6, 1898

Born in Fenelon Falls, Ontario Mary Taggart.  No father is listed on the birth registration


Dec 11, 1915

Attested into the 109th Battalion CEF in Fenelon Falls, Ontario

Ø  Number 725559

Ø  Next of kin given as Mary Cooper, mother, Cameron, Ontario

Ø  Previous occupation given as Farmer

Ø  No previous military experience given

Ø  Religion given as Methodist

Ø  Assigned to “C” Company

Gordon Taggart lied about his age, having been born March 6, 1898, but stated he was born March 1, 1897

In the spring of 1916, the 109th went to Camp Borden near Barrie for advanced training


Jul 23, 1916

Embarked the SS Olympic in Halifax, Nova Scotia



Jul 31, 1916

Disembarked in Liverpool, England and proceeded to the Bordon Camp, near Longmoor, Hampshire


Aug 16, 1916

The battalion moved to Bramshott to continue training


Oct 5, 1916

Transferred to the 21st Battalion


Oct 6, 1916

Arrived at the CBD (Canadian Base Depot) in the Rouelles Camp, Havre, France as part of a draft of 917 reinforcements from England and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion


Oct 22, 1916

After leaving the base depot, Private Taggart joined the 21st Battalion in billets in Bully Grenay, France and was assigned to No. 14 Platoon, “D” Company


Apr 6, 1917

No. 14 Platoon was ordered to proceed to Zivy Cave to join a work party near Vimy Ridge on the night of April 6-7.  While moving forward to Zivy Cave, the platoon was held up by an artillery barrage and Private Taggart was buried by the explosion of a shell.  He was uncovered by his comrades, but was dizzy and confused.  He remembered that he was to go to Zivy Cave which he did but could not locate his comrades, so he remained there to wait.


Apr 9, 1917

After the attack on Vimy Ridge by the Canadian Corps, Private Taggart was recorded as missing in action.


May 24, 1917

Gordon Taggart stayed in Zivy Cave and went unnoticed for some time until a member of the 19th Battalion questioned him.  Private Taggart had no identification on him and was so confused that he said he was a member of “D” Company, 2nd Canadian Pioneer Battalion.  He was sent to their headquarters under guard, but once it was discovered that he did not belong there, he was returned to Zivy Cave.  It was then discovered that he belonged to the 21st Battalion.


May 25, 1917

Private Taggart was escorted to the 21st Battalion under arrest and subsequently charged with desertion and loss of kit.  It seems that his entire kit went missing while he was absent.


Jun 12, 1917

A Field General Court Martial was convened in the town of Hersin-Coupigny with Private Gordon Taggart was charged with Desertion and Loss of Kit.  Testimony indicated that while at Zivy Cave, the accused seemed confused and not thinking clearly.  It was determined that while he was sleeping in the cave, his platoon had moved on to join the work party and since his only orders were to go to Zivy Cave, he thought it best to remain there to wait for further orders.

The court found him not guilty of Desertion, but Guilty of being Absent Without Leave and sentenced him to 6 months Imprisonment in Hard Labor.  Under review, this sentence was quashed and his record cleared of all charges, although he was required to pay for his lost kit.


Private Taggart’s testimony at his Court Martial



Nov 9, 1917

While the 21st Battalion was employed in the support trenches on the Passchendaele, front in Belgium, Private Taggart was sent out on a large work party.  This party came under an artillery attack and suffered heavy casualties and several of the men were reported missing, among those was Gordon Taggart.


Nov 28, 1917

Private Taggart was finally located in the 1st New Zealand Field ambulance, having been taken there when he was wounded.  Once he was located, he was transferred to the No. 3 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) where it was discovered that he was suffering from Lymphadenoma, a serious disease of the lymph nodes.


Nov 30, 1917

Transferred via the No. 5 AT (Ambulance Train) and admitted to the No. 57 Canadian General Hospital in Boulogne, France


Dec 16, 1917

Transferred to the No. 7 Stationary Hospital in Boulogne and Pulmonary Tuberculosis was added to the diagnosis and he was placed on the dangerously ill list


Dec 27, 1917

Private Gordon Taggart died while a patient at the No. 7 Stationary Hospital and was buried in the Boulogne Eastern Cemetery


Following the war, the British War Medal, Victory Medal, Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny), Scroll and Memorial Cross were sent to his mother, Mrs. M. Cooper, RR #2, Cameron, Ontario


Gordon Taggart is honoured on the Fenelon Falls War Memorial



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