PENDER, Oliver Lawrence

1st World War
Date of Birth
Date Attested
Attested at
Cobourg, Ontario
Regimental Number
Date of Death
Age at Death
23 years 11 months
Biographical Summary

DIVISIONAL UNIT:         4th Canadian Infantry Division
                                             2nd Canadian Heavy Artillery Group
                                             2nd Brigade of Canadian Garrison Artillery
                                             5th Siege Battery
                                             Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO:                   1260502
RESIDENCE:                    Palmerston - Ontario
DATE OF BIRTH:            May 18, 1893
                                             Wingham – Turnberry Township – County of Huron - Ontario
DATE OF DEATH:           April 21, 1917                      23 years     11 months
CEMETERY:                     Villers Station Cemetery – Villers-au-Bois –
                                             Pas de Calais – France
                                             V     E     1
PARENTS:                         Mr. Lawrence and Annie Pender – Palmerston - Ontario
Occupation:                        Banker                                  Religion:     Presbyterian 
Enlistment:                         April 15, 1916 – Cobourg - Ontario
Enlistment Age:                 22 years     11 months

He left Canada as a passenger on the Empress of Britain and arrived in Liverpool on June 26, 1916. He transferred to the 165th Seige Battery on July 5, 1916 based at Horsham and arrives in France on September 21, 1916. At the beginning of November 1917 the 165 Seige Battery became the 5th Seige Battery.
Gunner Pender was originally attached to the 1st Brigade of the Canadian Garrison Artillery, and on April 18th his Brigade was informed they would be moving to the 2nd Brigade to assist in counter battery operations.
On April 21st they moved to the 2nd Brigade positions as part of Counter Battery Group #3 and began their duties in counter battery duties.
On this day the visibility was very good and the enemy artillery was very active. They were located in the vicinity of St. Eloy.
Gunner Pender was manning the largest artillery piece in the Canadian artillery and this Battery had guns with a 9” bore. Their maximum range was about 8 ½ miles.
They were positioned near Souchez and during the day the left section was heavily shelled resulting in 16 casualties. From 5:13 p.m. until 6:02 p. m. the battery fired 15 rounds at which time they had the enemy bracketed. Then between 6:18 p. m – 10:15 p. m. they fired another 135 rounds.
The German artillery returned fire killing 2 men and wounding 7 more men.
It was during one of these actions when Gunner Pender lost his life.
Gunner Pender died from his wounds at No. 12 Canadian Field Ambulance.
During the day the 5th Seige Battery fired 960 rounds onto the enemy positions.
The targets in Counter Battery operations is the enemy guns, launchers, mortars, material and men serving them and the objective was to neutralize the enemy fire. The four functions of Counter Battery operations were to acquire the enemy targets, the use of intelligence, fire control and the actual fire control of the guns.
The 5th Siege Battery would have had 8 Officers and 223 men of other ranks and their battery had 6  9.2’ howitzers. The weight of the shell was 290 pounds and it was effective for 13,000 yards. This gun had to be transported in three loads on wheeled trailers – the body and cradle, the bed and the barrel. These artillery pieces wighed 20,000 pounds to 25,000 pounds depending on the Mk. As well the range varied from 10,000 -14,000 yards depending on the Mk.