DIVISIONAL UNIT: 2nd Canadian Infantry Division
6th Infantry Brigade
29th Battalion - Vancouver
Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO: 760390
RESIDENCE: New Westminster – British Columbia
DATE OF BIRTH: March 28, 1893
Essington – Staffordshire - England
DATE OF DEATH: August 21, 1917 24 years 5 months
MEMORIAL: Vimy Memorial – Vimy –
Pas de Calais - France
PARENTS: Mr. J. and Edith Handy – London – Ontario
Occupation: Cook Religion: Church of England
Enlistment: Vancouver – British Columbia – December 6, 1915 – 121st Battalion
Enlistment Age: 21 years 9 months
On August 14, 1916, the Empress of Britain with Private Handy on board departed Halifax and arrived in Liverpool on August 24, 1916. Private Handy transferred to the 3rd Canadian Pioneer Battalion on December 28, 1916 and proceeds to France arriving at the Canadian Base Depot on December 29th. He joins his unit already in the field on January 29, 1917. He is then transferred to the 29th Battalion on May 8, 1917 and arrives at the 29th on May 18, 1917.
Private Handy was killed in action after receiving wounds to the head from an enemy sniper. The unit was fighting in the area of Lens.
On the morning of August 21, 1917 the Battalion advanced at 04:35 hours and the advance continued all day. By the end of the day 65 had been killed, 190 men wounded and and 50 men missing.
At 04:12 hours the Battalion was taking casualties as the enemy artillery was falling on the Battalion parapet.
“B” Company was on the right during the advance. Lieutenant Sutherland got into Cinnebar Trench and given the orderfor “rapid fire” when he was killed by a sniper. Sergeant Stevens who was nearby picked up the rifle and was about to open fire when he was killed by a sniper. The next senior Corporal met the same fate in the same place. Those who survived inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy. One Lewis gunner fired until he was also killed by a sniper. Those remaining got out of Cinnebar Trench and began firing at the enemy and causing casualties. More and more of the enemy were seen advancing from underground bunkers. The enemy was sniping from a house was inflicting casualties. The fighting continued all of that day with “B” Company doing most of its fighting in Cinnebar Trench and during the afternoon supplies in the form of ammunition, trench bombs arrived at “B” Company. The objective now was to attack the enemy and drive him our of Cinnebar Trench. But then at 2: 30 pm elements of the 29th Battalion holding Cinnebar Trench had been forced to retire due to heavy enemy shelling and heavy enemy counter attacks. A block was set up in Conductor Trench about 200 yards from the junction of Chicory and that parties of the 27th, 28th & 29th Battalions were setting up defensively.
The enemy was seen massing in large numbers preparing for an attack. The artillery was now asked to resume their front line barrage it was felt that Commotion Trench be secured at all costs by having it properly manned and the artillery barrage on its original line. At 2:00 pm the enemy put up an intense barrage across the whole front and mainly in the support trenches and then began his attack and then attacked on the left of the Battalion position in the area of Nun’s Alley and it was with difficulty the Battalion kept the enemy off. The enemy also tried getting into the trenches on the right but they did not succeed.