FURNISS, A. Bertram

1st World War
Date of Birth
Date Attested
Attested at
Clinton, Ontario
Original Unit
Regimental Number
Date of Death
Age at Death
27 years 11 months
Biographical Summary

DIVISIONAL UNIT:        2nd Canadian Infantry Division
                                             4th Infantry Brigade
                                             18th Battalion - Western Ontario
                                             Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO:                   654181
RESIDENCE:                    Clinton – Ontario 
DATE OF BIRTH:            September 2, 1890
                                             Toronto – Ontario
DATE OF DEATH:           August 28, 1918                   27 years     11 months
MEMORIAL:                    Vimy Memorial – Vimy –
                                             Pas de Calais – France
WIFE:                                 Mrs. Mossaline Furniss – Clinton – Ontario
PARENT:                            Mr. Frank Furniss – Clinton – Ontario
Occupation:                        Finisher                                Religion:     Church of England.
Enlistment:                         Clinton – January 3, 1916 – 161st Huron Battalion
Enlistment Age:                 25 years     4 months

  After his arrival in England on November 11, 1916 Private Furniss transferred to the 18th Battalion and leaves for France   
  on February 28, 1918. He arrives at his unit already in the field on March 15, 1918.
  Private Furniss lost his life during military operations at Vis-en-Artois from the effects of enemy shelling.
The Battalion diary states the attack was to take place at noon and that the 18th was to be in support of the 
21st Battalion. As they advanced towards the slope of the Senssee River they took heavy casualties from the enemy machine guns and withdrew to the cover of a sunken road fronting the enemy barbed wire and fire.
Brigade diaries say the weather was fine and warm with the 18th Battalion in behind the 21st Battalion as support.
The previous two days had been occupied with long and bitter fighting. On the morning of August 28th, the order was passed along to advance and the 4th Brigade was on the left support along a 700 yard front with the left resting on the Arras-Cambrai Road.
In the very early afternoon the artillery opened up on the enemy and the 4th Brigade began their advance forward, crossed the Senssee River to Olive Trench and Ocean Works. Here the enemy had good observation and during the advance the Battalion took very heavy casualties from enemy artillery and machine gun fire. The advance was slowed because the artillery had not been able to cut the wire in front of the enemy lines and the men were getting hung up. Our artillery was again brought down on Olive Trench and Cable Trench and an S.O.S. line was formed along the front and for hours the men were forced to occupy shell holes. A line of posts were then established well in front of the Senssee with the posts using sunken roads and banks as cover.
Casualties during those three days for the 18th were 310 men killed, wounded or missing.