DIVISIONAL UNIT: 3rd Canadian Infantry Division
9th Infantry Brigade
58th Battalion - Central Ontario
Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO: 654092
RESIDENCE: Hay – Ontario
DATE OF BIRTH: August 4, 1893
Hay - Stephen Township – County of Huron - Ontario
DATE OF DEATH: September 29, 1918 25 years 1 month
CEMETERY: Anneux British Cemetery – Anneux –
Nord – France
II D 13
PARENTS: Mr. John and Emily Smith – Hay - Ontario
Occupation: Labourer Religion: Church of England
Enlistment: Exeter – December 7, 1915 – 161st Huron Battalion
Enlistment Age: 22 years 4 months
The 161st Battalion had departed Canada and on November 11, 1916 they arrived at the port of Liverpool. Private Smith went overseas into France on March 29, 1918 and joined the 58th Battalion in the field on April 2, 1918. He then transferred to the 38th Battalion on August 12, 1918 and joined them on August 15th before transferring back to the 58th Battalion on September 13, 1918.
The Divisions were weakened from fighting the two previous days and they were in a very tough fight against the enemy. There was not any plan except to advance and there would be no pause in the Canadian Corps advance. Units of both the 3rd & 4th Divisions advanced and attacked along the Cambrai-Douai Road north-west of Cambrai. They faced uncut barbed wire and heavy enemy machine gun fire. They attacked St Olle and Cambrai. Other units attacked the western edges of Cambrai and suffered heavily. Units of both Divisions then attacked enemy positions along the Cambrai-Douai Road and they suffered heavily. There were few gains except the village of Sancourt was captured.
Battalion diaries: It is stated that on September 28th the Battalion was at the Marcoing Line and in the morning they were in close support of the advance following the 52nd Battalion. The 52nd was held up by the enemy resistance and the 58th Battalion was not able to pass through as planned. This delay changed the plan for now the advance would continue at 7 pm with the objective being the Marcoing Line. At 7 pm the artillery barrage began to fall onto the enemy positions and five minutes later the infantry went forward. There was close bitter and bloody fighting but the objective was attained. Casualties on this day were 18 killed, 173 wounded and 7 men missing.
On September 29th the advance resumed with the objective being St Olle and the Battalion formed between Baupame-Cambrai Road and the Arras-Cambrai Road. The plan was to establish posts along the Marcoing Line to the Canal. My mid afternoon the 116th Battalion was in control of St. Olle and a line was established between St Olle and Petit Fontaine. Casualties were 17 killed, 75 wounded and 8 men missing.
The records of Private Smith suggest it was during the push of September 29th when he lost his life on the battlefield.