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KNIGHT, Charles Edwin

1st World War
Date of Birth
Date Attested
Attested at
Goderich, Ontario
Original Unit
Regimental Number
Date of Death
Age at Death
21 years 3 months
Biographical Summary

DIVISIONAL UNIT:         3rd Canadian Infantry Division
                                             9th Infantry Brigade
                                             58th Battalion - Central Ontario
                                             Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO:                   654629
RESIDENCE:                    Goderich – Ontario 
DATE OF BIRTH:            July 27, 1896
                                             Sarnia – Sarnia Township – County of Lampton - Ontario
DATE OF DEATH:           October 26, 1917                 21 years     3 months
MEMORIAL:                    Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial – Ieper –
                                             West Vlaanderen – Belgium
                                             Panel 18-24 & Panel 26-30
PARENTS:                         Mr. William and Jennie Knight – Sarnia – Ontario
Occupation:                        Factory hand                        Religion:     Methodist
Enlistment:                         Goderich – March 20, 1916 – 161st Huron Battalion
Enlistment Age:                 19 years     8 months

The 161st Battalion arrived in England on November 11, 1916. On November 27th, he transferred to the 58th Battalion went overseas and entered France and then joined his unit in the field on December 22, 1916.
Private Knight lost his life in action while his unit was located west of Passchendaele.
In the pre sunrise hours of October 26, 1917 the 3rd Division began their advance toward Passchendaele. They had to follow what was once the Gravenstafel-Passchendaele road toward the Bellevue Spur. They advanced and overran the forward enemy positions. The conditions were horrendous with mud being waist deep on the battlefield. Ths made the advance even more difficult. The enemy finally reacted and brought down a murderous barrage onto the Canadians. They held onto their gains for awhile, but the enemy fire forced them to fall back, dig in and seek whatever cover they could find. The Division was not successful in achieving their objectives but they still advanced 1,000 yards.
The casualties numbered 2,900 with 600 of those losing their lives.
The artillery began shortly prior to the advance at 5:40 under wet and heavy cloud and light winds. The enemy 
      artillery responded and caused casualties. The Brigade artillery was advancing but slower on the right  
      than the left and this was causing casualties. The depth of the barrage was 300 yards.
The 58th / 43rd Battalions were assaulting – the 52nd Battalion was in support and the 116th Battalion in reserve.
The advance moved forward and some “pill boxes” were captured at Lamkerk and Dad Trench. Here
      they experienced heavy enemy machine-gun fire from the enemy trenches and heavy enfilade fire from  
      Bellevue Farm to the left of the front.
More heavy enemy fire was experienced from Crest Farm and forced the men to seek cover in shell holes. Following this there was a bloody and bitter fight for Contour Trench. During the fight 64 enemy soldiers stood up and surrendered and the Battalion was able to secure the enemy trench system.
Very heavy casualties were taken during the heavy and bitter fight on this day.
During the night machine gun posts were set up in front of Contour Trench but the enemy was not interested in 
      trying to regain what they lost.
303 men were either killed, wounded or missing on this day. That was 61% of the 500 men who began the advance.