DIVISIONAL UNIT: 3rd Canadian Infantry Division
9th Infantry Brigade
58th Battalion - Central Ontario
Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO: 654301
RESIDENCE: Goderich – Ontario
DATE OF BIRTH: May 26, 1893
Sittingborn – Kent - England
DATE OF DEATH: October 26, 1917 24 years 5 months
CEMETERY: Tyne Cot Cemetery – Ieper –
West-Vlaanderen – Belgium
XXIV A 14
PARENTS: Mr. Charles and Emma Mayhew – Kilburn – London – England
Occupation: Miller Religion: Methodist
Enlistment: Goderich – January 18, 1916 – 161st Huron Battalion
Enlistment Age: 22 years 7 months
The 161st Battalion arrived in England on November 11, 1916.
On November 27th, he transferred to the 58th Battalion and goes overseas into France on November 29, 1916. He arrived at his unit in the field on December 22, 1916.
Private Mayhew lost his life in battle during an attack located west of Passchendaele.
The Division began their advance in the early morning hours by following along the destroyed Gravenstafel-Passchendaele road toward the Bellevue Spur. They overran the forward enemy positions before the enemy brought down a brutal artillery barrage down on them that lasted for hours. Their advance was halted because of the battlefield conditions and fierce enemy fire. They tried to hang onto their gains but eventually had to fall back. They then dug in and tried to find any type of cover. Their advance was 1,000 yards which was remarkable as the mud in places was waist deep.
Casualties numbered 2,900 with 600 being killed.
The advance started forward at 5:40 am under and rain filled clouds with light winds under a rolling barrage. The enemy quickly responded causing some casualties. The Brigade artillery was advancing but not evenly and this was causing casualties. The depth of the barrage was 300 yards.
The 58th / 43rd were the assaulting Battalions with the 52nd Battalion in support and the 116th Battalion in reserve. The advance continued with the capture of a number of “pill boxes” at Lamkerk and Dad Trench. It was here they came under extreme and heavy 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 coming down from Crest Farm and this was forcing the infantry to seek immediate cover in the shell holes. Following this, there was a heavy, bitter and bloody fight for Contour Trench. In the afternoon 64 enemy soldiers stood up and surrendered and this enables the enemy trenches to be consolidated and possessed.
Very heavy casualties were suffered during this advance and the following battle.
During the night machine-gun posts were posted in front of Contour Trench but the enemy showed no interest in trying to retake what they had lost.
The Battalion suffered extreme casualties on this day. Out of 500 men the casualties killed, wounded and missing were 303. This is a 61% loss.