DIVISIONAL UNIT: 2nd Canadian Infantry Division
4th / 5th Infantry Brigade
2nd Machine Gun Battalion
Canadian Machine Gun Corps
SERVICE NO: 654186
RESIDENCE: Brussels – Ontario
DATE OF BIRTH: July 19, 1897
Brussels – Grey / Morris Township – County of Huron - Ontario
DATE OF DEATH: August 31, 1918 21 years 1 month
CEMETERY: Mont Huon Military Cemetery – Le-Treport –
Seine Martime – France
VII E 6A
MOTHER: Mrs. F. J. McCracken – Brussels - Ontario
Occupation: Painter Religion: Methodist
Enlistment: Brussels – January 6, 1916 – 161st Huron Battalion
Enlistment Age: 18 years 6 months
Private McCracken arrived in England on November 11, 1916 with the 161st Battalion. That same day he transferred to the Canadian Machine Gun Depot. On March 12, 1917, he transferred to the Canadian Machine Gun Pool. He then joined the 4th Canadian Machine Gun Company on April 2, 1917.
On the morning of August 27th, the men of the 2nd Battalion were standing and watching an Infantry Brigade pass through and begin their attack, the Germans brought down a very heavy artillery barrage around the machine-gun positions.
Private McCracken was in charge of a machine-gun and while he was manning it an enemy shell exploded nearby and a piece of shrapnel pierced his steel helmet and he was very seriously wounded. He was immediately tended to and was then transferred to the dressing station, and from there evacuated to No, 2 Canadian General Hospital at Le Treport.
The Battalion was located at Agny.
At 10:00 hours the 4th and 5th Brigades attacked forward with the objective being Cagnicourt. No. 1 & 3 Companies supported the infantry with overhead firing onto enemy positions following in their “A” echelon limbers.
At 4:30 pm No. 3 Company reported he was held up at Senlis River and the battery was located in the ridge to the left of Vis-en-Artois with “N” Battery in the rear. Ammunition was being sent up by mules and at this time casualties were 6 men wounded.
On August 31st, 1918, Private McCracken died from his wounds.
The Company he was attached to was using the Vickers machine gun which fired 600 rounds per minute and his Company would have had 24 machine guns, 16 Officers and about 375 men.