NAME: BATES Albert Russell
DIVISIONAL UNIT: 1st Canadian Infantry Division
1st Infantry Brigade
1st Battalion - Western Ontario
Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO: 654346
RESIDENCE: Goderich – Ontario
DATE OF BIRTH: October 29, 1898 -
Goderich – Township of Goderich – County of Huron – Ontario
DATE OF DEATH: September 27, 1918 19 years 11 months
CEMETERY: Ontario Cemetery – Sains-les-Marquion –
Pas de Calais – France
II A 21
PARENTS: Mr. William and Margaret Bates – Goderich &Toronto - Ontario
Occupation: Labourer Religion: Methodist
Enlistment: Goderich - January 17, 1916 - 161st Huron Battalion
Enlistment Age: 17 years 3 months
The 161st arrived in England in November of 1916. Private Bates was Struck off Strength of the 161st and Taken on Strength by the 4th Canadian Reserve Battalion at Bramshott - Hampshire on February 23, 1918. He is overseas in France on March 28th, 1918 and arrived at Canadian Base Depot on March 29th. Private Bates transferred to the 1st Battalion and joined his unit in the field On May 8, 1918. The fight for Cambrai and the Canal du Nord was to begin on September 27, 1918 with the 1st Division advancing and fanning out across the Arras-Cambrai road and then taking the enemy positions in front of the Marquion Line. The 4th & 14th Battalions would attack and then the 1st & 13th Battalions would pass through and take the Marquion Line. The 1st Division moved rapidly and soon had Sains-les-Marquion, the Marquion Line and Marquion.
Private Bates was killed in action and died instantly after being struck by enemy machine gun fire during operations in the vicinity of the Canal du Nord.
The barrage began at 5:20 am and there was a feeble enemy reply – “D” & “C” Companies jumped off at 6:00 am, with “A” & “B” following at 6:10 am. At 8:15 am Battalion HQ moved to the ruined Deligny Mill.
The advance met with heavy enemy machine-gun fire, especially at the railway causing the 3rd Battalion to be slowed. Progress was slow, but at 11:00 am the Green Line was reported in our hands.
Before 2:00 pm “A” Company was on the sunken road and “B” Company was consolidating on a two-platoon front near the crest of a hill. “D” Company went forward to occupy and consolidate on the railway. At 2:05 pm it was reported the 2nd Battalion had passed through the 1st Battalion and were crossing the Cambrai Road.
“A” Company was at the Green Line reporting the 2nd & 3rd Battalions passing through.
The enemy was retiring gradually, in small groups, under continuous Machine Gun fire. The barrage by the Battalion artillery was well beyond the Green Line by 11:00 am. The Companies then dug in at the objective, and stood fast for the night. Dispositions were made to protect against enemy counter attacks and rations were brought up.
Casualties included 20 killed and 133 wounded.