DIVISIONAL UNIT: 4th Canadian Infantry Division
10th Infantry Brigade
47th Battalion - West Ontario
Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO: 654775
RESIDENCE: Auburn – Ontario
DATE OF BIRTH: May 12, 1890
Stanley Township – County of Huron - Ontario
DATE OF DEATH: September 29, 1918 28 years 4 months
MEMORIAL: Vimy Memorial – Vimy –
Pas de Calais - France
PARENTS: Mr. John and Julia McClinchey – Auburn - Ontario
Occupation: Student Religion: Presbyterian
Enlistment: Clinton – May 5, 1916
Enlistment Age: 26 years
The 161st Battalion departed from the City of Halifax at the beginning of November and arrived in England on
November 11, 1916.
At the end of February 1918, he transferred to the 47th Battalion and then went overseas into France and in early March of 1918 he joined the 47th Battalion.
Private McClinchey was killed in action whilst performing his duties in the trenches in front of the Bourlon Wood.
During September 28/29th 63 men were killed, 7 men died of wounds, 247 were wounded and 10 were missing.
From reading the diaries of the Battalion and the Brigade and taking into consideration the conditions of the time, we have concluded from our research that Private McClinchey was killed on September 28th but the details of his death would not reach command until September 29th, 1918. The Battalion diaries show no enlisted men deaths on September 29th.
During the fighting of September 28th, the wind was from the north-east, the weather and visibility were good.
The strength of the Battalion was low and numbered 428 men.
The Battalion was at Pillarim’s Rest Hill as follows – “B” Company was across the whole Battalion front as a screen.
“A’ Company was right assault; “D” Company was left assault and “C” Company was support.
The left flank was the 50th Battalion with right flank being the P.P.C.L.I.
They were to advance and capture Raillencourt, Sailly and the railway line at which time the 44th Battalion would leap-frog through.
The supporting barrage began to fall at 6:30 am and the infantry followed the barrage which was very heavy in the beginning but thinned out later.
There was no opposition until the outskirts of Raillencourt when heavy enemy machine gun fire began coming from the building of the town and from the Marcoing Line but this opposition was overcome. By 11:30 am the first objectives was being consolidated. The Battalion on the right was having difficulty so a defensive flank was set up on the right.
At this time, there were several enemy aircraft overhead and they were directing the enemy artillery fire onto the Battalion. As well enemy machine gun fire was still heavy in the forward areas.
At 2 pm “A” echelon began to establish an ammunition dump near the Battalion Headquarters.
At 3:00 pm a message was sent saying “C” had gained their objective ad were consolidating.
Another message from Brigade stated that the 44th / 46th Battalions were going to advance on the Camrai-Douai Road.
At 7:30 pm it was learned that the enemy was counter-attacking and that the 44th Battalion had with drawn. This came from “A” Company. “A” Company was preparing the meet the counter attack and believed they could be beaten back. This was accomplished with the assistance of a very heavy artillery barrage from the Brigade guns.
At 11 pm rations, water and ammunition was sent to the forward areas.
At 11:45 pm it was learned the PPCLI on the right flank was in good position, the 44th Battalion had again been able to advance and were in a good position and the 47th Battalion was now in support.
Casualties for this day were 15 men killed and 66 men wounded.