Next of Kin: James B. and Cecilia E. Tiernay, Blyth, Ontario
Personal Details: 6 ft. 1 in., 184 lbs., ruddy complexion, brown eyes, fair hair, Church of England
Arthur Leopold Tiernay (Tierney) was born on his family’s farm, located one mile west of Blyth, in East Wawanosh Township. One of seven children, Arthur received his education at USS No. 11 Hullett and East Wawanosh where he regularly achieved honours standing. This is evidenced through an August 4, 1910, report in The Brussels Post which read, “THE WINNER.-Last Spring THE STANDARD offered a volume entitled “The Canadian Farmer’s Manual of Agriculture,” to the boy attending a rural school who took the best marks at the Entrance Examination held at Blyth. The winner was Arthur Tierney whom we congratulate on his success and hope he may win many a victory as he pursues his course both in and out of school.” In July of 1915 he accepted a junior position with the Blyth branch of the Bank of Hamilton.
Answering the call for recruits, Arthur left his bank teller’s job and enlisted with the 161st Huron Battalion in early 1916. According to a report in The Wingham Advance, high grade silver wrist watches were presented to 36 Blyth area soldiers, including Arthur Tierney, at an April 1916 concert put on by the Blyth War Auxiliary in the Industry Hall.
While in basic training Arthur was appointed Lance Corporal, a rank that was confirmed on November 22, 1916 after the battalion’s arrival at Dibgate Camp, near Shorncliffe, England. The 161st had shipped overseas aboard the S.S. Lapland and arrived on November 11, 1916. The following year, Arthur reverted to the rank of Private on August 29, 1917 while training at Witley Camp. In early March 1918 he was transferred to the 4th Reserve Battalion at Bramshott Camp, and subsequently to the 47th Battalion, which proceeded to France on March 28th. After spending a couple of weeks at the Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp, Arthur was transferred to the Canadian Machine Gun Corps. On June 7, 1918 he was transferred to the 1st Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade.
On September 27, 1918, the 1st Motor Machine Gun Brigade was located at Buissy and zero hour for the advance was 5:20 am. The assembly area was between Cagnicourt and Queant. No. 1 Company advanced with the 1st Brigade, No. 2 Company advanced with the 2nd Brigade, No. 3 Company fired the machine gun barrage and "A" Battery of No. 1 Company supported the 4th Battalion and "C & D" Companies advanced with the 4th Battalion. No. 2 Company with the 2nd Brigade sent No. 1 Section of "G" Battery forward with the 7th Battalion while No. 2 Section pushed forward and bring their firepower to bear onto the enemy from 1,000 yards distance south of the Arrad-Cambrai road. Meanwhile "K" Battery advanced with the 5th Battalion while "F" Battery advanced with the 10th Battalion. Losses for the Brigade to this point were 7 men killed and 12 men wounded. At 11 am the entire Brigade then concentrated with their vehicles south of Buissy and in mid afternoon at 2:45 pm they crossed the Canal du Nord and following this they concentrated at Sains-les-Marquion and it was here they remained for the night. Losses as they crossed the Canal were 1 man killed and 2 men wounded. The files of Private Tiernay nor the files of the 1st Canadian Motor Machine gun Brigade do not tell us if he fell in battle during the morning or afternoon advances.
The 1st Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade had 40 machine guns, 26 Officers and 406 men attached to it. Each Company had a Battery of 8 guns, 150 infantry on bicycles, motorcycles and medium trench mortars on lorries along with wireless / medical support personnel
Arthur was employed with the Bank of Hamilton and he and his family were of the Church of England faith. Arthur was one of thirty-five Bank of Hamilton employees who had enlisted to serve their county and who died in the line of duty. All those names are on a bronze plaque displayed at the former Bank of Montreal building in Hamilton.