DIVISIONAL UNIT: 4th Canadian Infantry Division
10th Infantry Brigade
47th Battalion - West Ontario
Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO: 654647
RESIDENCE: Goderich – Ontario
DATE OF BIRTH: October 22, 1882
Portsmouth - England
DATE OF DEATH: September 28, 1918. 35 years 11 months
CEMETERY: Raillencourt Communal Cemetery Extension – Raillencourt –
Nord – France
I A 20
WIFE: Mrs. Catherine Redfern – Goderich - Ontario
Occupation: Carpenter Religion: Methodist
Enlistment: Goderich – March 20, 1916 – 161st Huron Battalion
Enlistment Age: 33 years 5 months
The S.S. Lapland departed Canada on November 1, 1916 and ten days later they arrived in Liverpool.
The objective for the Canadian Corps was to attack and take the Marcoing Line. The enemy defences of Cambrai included trenches, machine gun fortifications and barbed wire and these were not always on the maps the Canadians used. Cambrail was very important to the Germans. The 4th Division was on the right of the 3rd Division and attacked and broke throught the Marcoing Line near Raillencourt. By night the Marcoing Line had been taken and consolidated. Enemy machine guns had caused heavy casualties in the ranks of the 4th Division. They were depleted in numbers and exhausted.
Private Redfern lost his life in action while he was in charge of a section, and leading his men forward during the attack on Raillencourt. He was killed instantly after being struck by enemy machine gun fire.
Today the winds were north-east with good weather and good observation.
The Battalion assembled on Pilarim’s Rest Hill with “B” Company in extended order across the whole of the front as a screen. “A” Company was right assault and “D” Company was left assault and “C” Company was in support.
The 50th Battalion was left and the PPCLI was right.
The advance was with the Battlaions on either side, attacking and capturing the village of Raillencourt and Sailly and the railway line and where the 44th Battalion would leap-frog.
The barrage began at 6:30 am, the advance followed the rolling barrage and no opposition until on the outskirts of Raillencourt where very heavy machine-gun fire was met from the buildings on the fringes and from the Marcoing Line. Following stiff fighting the objectives were met. The positions were then consolidated. The PPCLI on the right had not come up so a defensive right flank was formed.
Several enemy aircraft were flying low and directing their artillery onto the Battalion but the enemy machine-gun fire was still heavy.
At 2 pm “A” Company had established a dump. At 3 pm “C” Company reached their objective and consolidated.
The Battalion learned at 6:30 pm that the 44th / 46th Battalions were going to attack to secure the Cambrai-Douai Road and then at 7:30 pm it was learned the enemy was counter-attacking but the 44th Battalion had withdrawn through the
47th Battalion and proceeding to meet the threat. The 44th Battalion had the support of artillery at 11pm.
The casualties were 15 men killed and 66 wounded or missing.