DIVISIONAL UNIT: 1st Canadian Infantry Division
1st Infantry Brigade
4th Battalion - Central Ontario
Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO: 6888
DATE OF BIRTH: March 31, 1878
Goderich – Township of Goderich – County of Huron - Ontario
DATE OF DEATH: October 8, 1916 38 years
MEMORIAL: Vimy Memorial – Vimy
Pas de Calais - France
PARENTS: Mr. William and Louisa Slade – Reading - England
Occupation: Labourer Religion: Church of England
Enlistment: September 22, 1914 – Valcartier - Quebec
Enlistment Age: 36 years 5 months
We know William was born in Goderich and at some time his parents went to Reading in England.
Private Slade boarded the SS Laurentic and embarked from Canada on October 4, 1914 and in early February of 1915 he transferred to the 9th Battalion in Tidworth. On February 26, 1915 he transferred to the 1st battalion Infantry Base Depot. He is drafted to France and joins his unit on April 2, 1915. He was wounded in the field during April 1915. He is Taken on Stregth by the 36th Reserve Battalion on September 29, 1915 and then transfers to Epsom where the Battalion is on May 3, 1916. He then trasfers to the 1st Battalion in West Sandling on May 25, 1916 and then transfers again to the 4th Battalion on July 9, 1916.
The Battalion is in the assembly trench Sars in front of Courcelette. Each Company has one Squad of Battalion bombers and two Lewis guns. The 3rd & 4th Battalions are attacking. At 4:50 am the Brigade Artillery began an intense creeping barrage with the infantry following and a heavy barrage onto the enemy positions. When the Battalion crossed Dyke Road which was in a depression 75 feet x 25 feet and they had to veer to the left because the enemy wire was uncut. However, the Battalion found gaps and allowed them to enter the enemy trench. Because of this veer in direction the 3rd Battalion and 4th Battalion were in the trench in the same area and then a bombing party went up the trench and established a connection with the British Brigade on Dyke Road.
At 1:20 pm word was received that the enemy was massing and the Briade heavies were aksed to provide a barrage onto the enemy trenches. The plan was now to proceed to the second objective but this was interrupted by a very strong German bombing attack against both ther 3rd and 4th Battalions. As this was taking place the enemy brought down a barrage onto both battalions and the jumping off trenches. This assault by the enemy forced the Battalions to withdraw from the trenches and back to the jumping off trenches.
The casualties the Battalion suffered on this day of battle was 25 men killed, 197 men of all ranks wounded and 137 men missing. Private Slade was one of the men who fell in battle and was listed as missing.