DIVISIONAL UNIT: 3rd Canadian Infantry Division 8th Infantry Brigade 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles Canadian Infantry Corps DATE OF BIRTH: Stratford - Townships of Downie / Ellis / North Easthope / South Easthope - County of Perth CEMETERY: Stratford - Avondale Cemetery - County of Perth - Ontario WIFE: Mrs. Dora Holmes - Brussels - Ontario PARENTS: Mr. and Mrs. James Holmes - Perth County Personal: Height 5' 8", weight 160 pounds. Dark complexion with brown eyes and dark hair. Emerson was employed as a blacksmith with the Grand Trunk Railway and was raised in the Methodist faith.
Private Holmes departed Halifax on October 31, 1916 and arrived in Liverpool on board the SS Caronia on November 11, 1916. At the end of 1916 he transferred to the 8th Canadian Reserve Battalion and then on January 19, 1917 he transfers to the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles. He joined his unit in the field on February 20, 1917. At 5:30 am on April 9th the infantry of the 1st Battalion began to advance as the artillery barrage was falling onto the enemy positions and in five minutes they had reached the first enemy line. At 5:42 am the advance had reached the enemy support lines and by 5:55 am the infantry was moving onto the Swischen Stellun Trench which was well beyond the enemy support trenches. At 6:05 am the last advancing wave of infantry had passed over Flapper Trench. Then, at 6:10 am the enemy brought down a heavy artillery barrage onto the men of the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles positioned at the Flapper Trench and Artillbrik Weg Trenches. Swischen Stellun Trench was captured at 6:18 am and here machine gun posts were set up. At 7:18 am the Companies of the 4th Mounted Rifles began to consolidate their positions. At 9;30 am the enemy began to shell the recently captured Canadian positions. By 11 am the 4th Mounted Rifles had completed their consolidation and had taken severe casualties at the strong points that had been established. At 11:15 am they advanced and took another 150 yards of front to the left of Cable House and they then dug a a good deep trench across the whole front about 100 yards in rear of the the La Folie Farm with a garrison of about 150 and 4 Lewis guns. In addition, a number of Vickers guns positions were established with one Stokes gun in the middle of the trench. By 3:30 pm it was apparent the enemy would not be counter attacking. Following the attack onto Vimy Ridge and the capture of the Ridge was when Private Holmes was reported as missing but the next day he was located in the field with wounds to his left arm and wrist. Private Holmes by April 13th was a patient at Queen Mary Military Hospital - Whalley - Lancashire. Six weeks later on May 26th he was transferred to a Canadian Corps Hospital - Epsom - Surrey. Three months then pass and on July 24th he is transferred to a Red Cross Hospital - Ramsgate - Kent. Five weeks later at the end of August he goes to a Canadian Corps Hospital - Epsom - Surrey. On December 11, 1917 Private Holmes is ordered to go to the Canadian Discharge Depot and on December 23rd he embarks from England for Canada. His wounds would lead to 50% mobility in his left wrist. He had also lost the majority of his gripping power in the hand and his circulation was very poor and his hand was also cold. He is also in pain from where the bullets entered his body. He is able to extend his fingers except for for his middle and index fingers which can extend 50%. Flexibility in the thumb is 35%. All this information was brought to the attention of the Canadian Corps Medical Board in Canada on January 25, 1918. Their recommendation was he was fit for duty but under Category CIII which now meant he was only fit for service in Canada. On February 2, 1918 Private Holmes was discharged from the service of the Canadian Corps. On June 26, 1918 Emerson married Dora Watson in Blyth - Ontario. Emerson passed away in Stratford from the effects of influenza and pneumonia at 60 Inverness Street.