DIVISIONAL UNIT: 1st Canadian Infantry Division
1st Infantry Brigade
1st Battalion - Western Ontario
Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO: 400054
DATE OF BIRTH: June 22, 1892
Drogheda – County Meath - Ireland
DATE OF DEATH: May 3, 1917 24 years 10 months
MEMORIAL: Vimy Memorial – Vimy
Pas de Calais - France
PARENT: Mrs. J. H. Magill – St. Catherines - Ontario
Occupation: Carpenter Religion: Roman Catholic
Enlistment: January 26, 1915 – Clinton
Enlistment Age: 22 years 7 months
The Battalion was located at the Arleux Loop under light winds from the north and north-west with good weather.
All men received 48 hours worth of rations/water on May 1st. By the end of May 3rd it was much more difficult to get rations to the men.
Under a heavy enemy artillery barrage the Battalion advanced, the flanks were checked and “D” Company had the left flank but gained their objective in very heavy fighting. By 5:40 am both “B” & “C” Companies had gained their objectives, but “B” then swung around the left flank to prevent being cut off. The enemy was strong on the left flank and a counter-attack was expected and at 6:33 am there was very heavy enemy machine-gun fire from the left flank and the enemy was massing on the ridge and the road and were approaching from the high ground from Bois Villian. At 8:15 am there was much heavy enemy activity and the enemy was shelling Fresnoy heavily. By 10:30 am the left flank situation seemed to be obscure but with the assistance of the artillery the Battalion secured the left flank.
The enemy counter-attacked during the early afternoon along the whole front and they were repulsed by machine-gun and artillery fire. At 1:25pm there was more enemy activity indicating another enemy counter-attack. The enemy artillery barrage was severe at this point and many casualties were inflicted. At 2:37pm the enemy laid down another barrage on the left and the Bois Villian Wood was full of the enemy.
By 7:15pm “A” Company had no surviving officers and most NCOs were lost; “B” Company had one officer left and he was wounded and “C” & “D” Companies had two officers and Company had very few NCOs and specialists. They had been under a severe shelling for the last 15 hours.
Now in the late evening at 10:20 pm the machine-guns were being moved forward when a report that an SOS came from the left front and the artillery was notified.
At the end of the day the Battalion had four officers remaining and the left flank was in better shape.
It was during this day when Sergeant Vallely received his fatal wounds and fell in action.