MORGAN, William Edward

1st World War
Date of Birth
Date Attested
Attested at
Clinton, Ontario
Regimental Number
Date of Death
Age at Death
27 years 5 months
Biographical Summary

DIVISIONAL UNIT:        3rd Canadian Infantry Division
                                             9th Infantry Brigade
                                             43rd Battalion - Cameron Highlanders of Canada
                                             Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO:                   654065
RESIDENCE:                    Clinton – Ontario 
DATE OF BIRTH:            March 17, 1891
                                             Liverpool - England
DATE OF DEATH:           August 17, 1918                   27 years     5 months
CEMETERY:                     Boves West Communal Cemetery Extension – Boves –
                                             Somme - France
                                                 A     15
PARENTS:                         Mr. William and Charlotte Morgan – Liverpool - England
Occupation:                        Farmer                                  Religion:     Methodist
Enlistment:                         Clinton – December 6, 1915 – into 161st Huron Battalion.
Enlistment Age:                 24 years     8 months

The 161st on November 1, 1916 arrived in Liverpool on November 11, 1916. On December 11th, he then transferred to the Canadian Army Medical Corps based at Westenhanger – Kent. Then on July 17, 1917 he moved to the 4th Canadian Reserve Battalion and is with this unit until December 20th when he transfers to the 43rd Battalion. He goes overseas into France on December 22, 1917 and then joins his unit already in the field on December 24, 1917.
Private Morgan received serious wounds while taking part in the attack on Damery Wood on August 16th.  He received medical attention for the wounds to his right knee and was then transferred to No. 49 Casualty Clearing Station where he died the following day.
The morning was quiet when orders were received to advance the Battalion and for them to keep up with the French on the right who were going to advance on Goyencourt and the defending trenches.
“A” & “B” Companies pushed out patrols who tried to make all of the ground they could. Then at 11:15 am the heavy French bombardment began with the enemy artillery replying with a heavy barrage on Damery and the ground up to Damery Wood. The French were moving successfully and then “A” & “B” Companies sent out strong patrols in skirmish formation and the balance of these companies in Artillery formation. “B” Company left one platoon in the trench it was holding between Damery Wood and the village and it was early evening when they again joined the Company.
The advancing patrols met a considerable amount of heavy enemy machine-gun fire from the trenches in front of Fresnoy. Blavet Wood resisted and was overcome.  “B” Company occupied part of Thuringe Trench in a semi-circle to beyond Blavet Wood.
Then from 2 pm onwards the positions being held by the Battalion were subject to a heavy bombardment and a large number of casualties were taken.
At 5:30 pm when the enemy was weakening the Battalion attacked Fresnoy from the right and left with “B” Company right and “A” Company left. “B” Company followed the Thuringe Trench attacking from the south-west corner of Fresnoy partly across open ground and partly by the trench systems defending Fresnoy on the west. “A” Company attacked across the open with “D” Company moving forward of the Parvillers-Goyencourt Road and occupied a position vacated by “A”Company. As soon as the attack began the enemy put down a heavy barrage east of the road and then opened up with every machine-gun they could bring to bear.
The advancing infantry were having difficulty and they rushed the enemy with sections of men and with little groups and took the trenches west of Fresnoy.
The Companies were now too weak in strength numbers to advance further without reinforcements. A line was then established east of the Parvillers Road from our junction with the French to Blacet Wood.
The Battalion had 15 killed, 116 wounded and 38 missing.