NAME: AITCHISON Joseph Wallace
DIVISIONAL UNIT: 4th Canadian Infantry Division
12th Infantry Brigade
38th Battalion - Ottawa and area
Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO: 654001
RESIDENCE: Wingham – Ontario
DATE OF BIRTH: March 27, 1897
Teeswater – Bruce County - Ontario
DATE OF DEATH: April 11, 1917 20 years 1 month
CEMETERY: Bruay Communal Cemetery Extension – Bruay –
Pas de Calais – France
PARENTS: Mr. William and Elizabeth Aitchison – Wingham – Ontario
Occupation: Butcher. Religion: Presbyterian.
Enlistment: Wingham - December 2, 1915 - 161st Huron Battalion
Enlistment Age: 18 years 8 months
Private Aitchison along with his Battalion departed Canada from Halifax on November 1st and arrived in England on November 11, 1916. Private Aitchison on November 29, 1916 transferred to the 58th Battalion and went to France in December of 1916.
The Canadian Corp artillery was very active during the early morning hours of April 6th and then again between 11:30 am and 12:30 pm. Both the heavy and light guns were shelling the enemy rear areas. Between 8-9 am the heavy trench mortars onto the areas of Cyrus and Baby Trenches. Then the medium / heavy trench mortars fired upon Clutch and Cyclone Trenches. The Vickers machine guns were very active during the early morning hours.
During the daylight hours of April 6th Allied planes were active in the skies overhead but so was the enemy anti aircraft fire.
During the Vimy Ridge offensive he was severely wounded on April 6, 1917 and died from those wounds on April 11, 1917. In addition to his wounds there were complications from pneumonia and he died at No. 22 British Casualty Clearing Station - Bruay. Previously he had been reported dangerously ill from his wounds.
The Battalion was in the trenches during the day. At 8:30 pm the enemy put up a green flare and this was followed by an heavy artillery barrage onto the front of the Battalion for five minutes. At 10: 30 pm the enemy again used his artillery on the front-line trenches and support trenches for about an hour. Some of the shells from this barrage fell on his own front lines. Then during the evening, the enemy brought his artillery fire onto Granby Dump and again he shelled his own lines. This took place a few times. During one of these enemy artillery shoots is when our research says Private Aitchison was very seriously wounded.