DIVISIONAL UNIT: 4th Canadian Infantry Division
10th Infantry Brigade
46th Battalion - South Saskatchewan
Canadian Infantry Corps
RESIDENCE: Goderich - Ontario
CEMETERY: Villers Station Cemetery – Villers-au-Bois –
Pas de Calais – France
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WIFE: Mrs. Laurie Nisbet – Goderich - Ontario / Victoria – British Columbia
Occupation: Insurance Agent /
Real Estate / Accountant Religion: Presbyterian
Personal: Height 5' 7" and his weight was 150 pounds.
“Sandy” prior to his enlistment enjoyed football and was on the YMCA team and had earned the reputation of being a very good lawn bowler. He was also a member of the Menesetung Canoe Club.
In the business community he was on the board of the Goderich Board of Trade as the Treasurer. He was employed as an accountant and he and his wife Laurie lived at the corner of St. Patrick and Wellington Streets.
Private Nisbet left Canada bound for Liverpool on the S.S. Olympic arriving about mid April of 1916. He transferred to the 10th Infantry Brigade Trench Mortar Battery on May 25, 1916. He then goes into France and arrives there on August 11, 1916. That same day he is taken on strength with the 46th Battalion but then is detached for duty with the 10th Brigade Trench Mortar Battery. Then in early March of 1917 he leaves the 10th Brigade Trench Mortar Battery and rejoined his unit on March 7, 1917.
On the morning of the 10th of April, orders were received that “A” & “B” Companies presently in the crater below Hill 145, were to advance on Hill 145 in conjunction with “C” & “D” Companies and that the attack would go “over the top” at 3:15 pm. The order to attack at 3:15 pm and not at noon never reached the 46th Battalion.
At 4 pm the enemy brought down a very accurate and heavy artillery barrage onto “A & B” Companies.
There was a small barrage which opened up on the right of the target and this is when the two attacking platoons advanced and set up outposts in Basin and Cyanide trenches as originally ordered. Three and one quarter hours later at 3:15 pm the remainder of the Brigade attacked and the two platoons of the 46th advanced even further along the two trenches.
For the rest of the day “A” & “B” clung to their positions under constant heavy enemy machine-gun and artillery fire.
At one point a patrol went out to investigate the position of “C’ Company but were not able to ontain information and were held up from heavy enemy machine gun fire. Lieutenant Nisbet lost his life during military operations as he was directing the construction of new trenches following an attack onto the Zouav Valley south of Givenchy. He was struck in the neck from an enemy bullet and he died immediately.
The “Suicide Battalion” as the 46th Battalion became known received 16 battle honours following their 27 months in the field. In this period of time they lost, 1,433 men killed and 3,484 men wounded for a casualty rate of 91.5%.