DIVISIONAL UNIT: 3rd Canadian Infantry Division
9th Infantry Brigade
58th Battalion - Central Ontario
Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO: 654736
RESIDENCE: Bluevale – Ontario
DATE OF BIRTH: February 8, 1898
Bluevale – Morris Township – County of Huron – Ontario
DATE OF DEATH: August 23, 1917 19 years 6 months
CEMETERY: Aix-Noulette Communal Cemetery Extension – Aix-Noulette –
Pas de Calais – France
I K 24
PARENTS: Mr. & Mrs. Joseph McKinney – Bluevale – Ontario
Occupation: Farmer Religion: Presbyterian
Enlistment: Wingham – April 8, 1916 – 161st Huron Battalion
Enlistment Age: 18 years 2 months
Private McKinney arrived in England on the S.S. Lapland on November 11, 1916. On November 30th, he transferred to the 58th Battalion, goes overseas into France and joins his unit in the field on December 23, 1916.
Private McKinney had served ten months in the trenches prior to his losing his life. He lost his life in action whilst performing his military duties in the trenches at Cite St. Pierre which is located north-west of Lens.
The diaries of the 58th state there were NO casualties suffered on August 23, 1917. The winds were South-south-west at 20 mph. The diaries state the situation was normal the whole day.
“A” Company furnished 52 men as a carrying party for the 4th Canadian Machine Gun Company as well as 21 men for the Brigade Bombing Officer.
On August 24th, the winds were south-west at 10 mph.
The diaries state one ordinary rank was killed in action. “B” + “C” Companies supplied 183 men as carrying parties for various units within the Brigade. The diaries also report the situation as normal. We can only assume that the one man who lost his life was Private McKinney.
Brigade diaries for August 23rd state the weather was fair with some cloud with good visibility and winds were westerly at 15 mph.
The Brigade was at FOSSE 10 and the diaries state there was a violent artillery duel.
Brigade diaries for August 24th state weather was fair with cloudy intervals and a few showers with westerly winds at 20 mph.
Brigade intelligence for August 23rd states that the enemy artillery placed a barrage on Chicory Trench from 03:20 am until 03:30 am. Then from 04:00 am until 7:15 am hostile enemy artillery fire came down on Mill Hill Road and Reservoir Hill. About 7 am the enemy began to shell with their 5.9” and 4.1” guns. At 6:50 am the enemy heavily shelled Chicory Trench. At 6:55 am the enemy placed a medium barrage onto Mill Hill Road, Puits 4 and Fosse St Louis and then at between 04:00 am 10:00 am the brought a barrage down on Fosse 1 and along the railway track. In the later morning, the enemy began to use his 77mm guns. There was some shelling by the enemy in the afternoon and from 6 pm until 9 pm the enemy artillery was quiet. From 10 pm until 1 am on the 24th there was some enemy fire.
Brigade intelligence for August 24th states the very early in the morning the enemy used gas shells for a short period and then between 4 am and 5 am there was enemy shelling onto the front lines and support trenches with their 77mm guns. Between 6 am and 9:30 am the enemy placed about 200 rounds using his 4.1” and 5.9” guns. Then between 8 am and 9:30 am there was heavy shrapnel from the enemy 77mm guns.
During the afternoon, there was scattered shelling the whole time from the enemy 4.1” and 5.9” guns and then in the early evening the enemy artillery came down on the front line and support trenches as well as Hill 65. This enemy fire continued into late evening.
It is felt that Private McKinney was killed in action during one of the enemy artillery barrages onto the front line and support trenches.