DIVISIONAL UNIT: 1st Canadian Infantry Division
1st Infantry Brigade
1st Battalion - Western Ontario
Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO: 654708
RESIDENCE: Goderich – Ontario
DATE OF BIRTH: May 31, 1875
Goderich – Goderich Township – County of Huron - Ontario
DATE OF DEATH: September 27, 1918 43 years 3 months
CEMETERY: Ontario Cemetery – Sains-les-Marquion –
Pas de Calais – France
I A 23
WIFE: Mrs. Agnes Stokes -Goderich
PARENTS: Mr. & Mrs. Sanford Stokes – Goderich - Ontario
Occupation: Mechanic Religion: Presbyterian
Enlistment: Goderich – March 25, 1916 – 161st Huron Battalion
Enlistment Age: 40 years 10 months
The S.S. Lapland with the 161st Battalion on board departed Halifax and Canada on November 1, 1916 and arrived in England on November 11, 1916.
Private Stokes and his Battalion went to Witley Camp – Surrey upon their arrival in England. In March of 1918 the 161st Battalion was absorbed into the 4th Canadian Reserve Battalion at Bramshott – Hampshire. Then at the end of March 1918 he was Taken on Strength by the 1st Canadian Battalion. He then went overseas into France to the Canadian Base Depot and following that joined his unit in the field on May 13, 1918.
Private Stokes was very seriously wounded on September 27, 1918 and taken to No. 23 British Casualty Clearing Station – Agnez-les-Duisans and his wounds proved too serious and he passed away shortly after.
The Battalion was to be involved in the advance of September 27th and in the evening of September 26th the move forward to the assembly areas began and this was completed by 10:30 pm. During the night the enemy shelled the sunken road during the night and used gas shells. The Battalion was located at the Cambrai Road.
At 5:20 am on the morning of September 27, 1918 at 5:20am the barrage began to fall onto the enemy positions nd after about 7 minutes the enemy began to feebly reply with his “wizzz bangs”. At 7 am as the advance continued it was very noticeable that the enemy artillery was much lighter. Shortly after 8 am the advance forward met very heavy enemy machine gun fire especially at the railroad.
Progress was now quite slow but the Green Line was under Battalion control at 11 am. Then at approximately 2 pm one Company of the Battalion was in the Sunken Road and another Company began consolidating near the crest of a hill. Another Company moved ahead and consolidated their positions at the railroad.
Shortly after this the 2nd Brigade passed through and began crossing the Cambrai Road. The Company positioned on the Green Line reported that the 2nd & 3rd Battalions were passing through.
The enemy was now falling back in small groups while under continuous machine gun fore from the Brigade and Battalion gunners.
Orders then came down for the Battalion to stand fast for the night.
During this advance the casualties were 20 men killed and 114 men wounded.