BEST, Henry Watson

1st World War
Date of Birth
Date Attested
Attested at
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Regimental Number
Date of Death
Age at Death
45 years 1 month
Biographical Summary

DIVISIONAL UNIT:         4th Canadian Infantry Division
                                             12th Infantry Brigade
                                             78th Battalion - Winnipeg Grenadiers
                                             Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO:                   216116
RESIDENCE:                    Winnipeg – Manitoba. 
DATE OF BIRTH:            February 6, 1872
                                             Seaforth – Tuckersmith Township – County of Huron - Ontario
DATE OF DEATH:           April 9, 1917                        45 years     1 month
CEMETERY:                     Villers Station Cemetery – Villers-au-Bois –
                                             Pas de Calais – France
                                             VII     J     27
DAUGHTER:                     Sarah Best – London
Occupation:                        Farmer                                  Religion:     Methodist
Enlistment:                         Winnipeg – January 10, 1916 – into 100th Battalion
Enlistment Age:                 43 years     11 months

Private Best boarded the S.S. Olympic in Halifax and embarked from Canada on September 18, 1916 and arrived in England on September 25, 1916.
Private Best once in England he transferred to the 11th Reserve Battalion based in Shorncliffe, Kent on January 20, 1917. Then in mid February he transferred to the 78th Battalion and went overseas to France joining his unit already in the field on February 19, 1917.
The Battalion was in Vincent Tunnel at Vimy Ridge prior to the attack.
At zero hour and even before the barrage began the mine on the left was sprung and still prior to the artillery beginning the Battalion was on the move and were just about on the front lines when the barrage began to come down on the enemy.
The advancing infantry waves kept close to the barrage and “A & B” Companies reaching their objective on time. The third and fourth waves also reached their objectives and beyond.
The first objectives were consolidated and kept through the whole engagement
In the early hours of the battle and before properly organizing the front at one point was critical. The enemy was preparing to counter-attack and when they did so their advance was slowed by the machine guns and rifle fire from the Battalion. The front lines were denied forward observation due to heavy enemy machine gun fire from the flanks.
About 08:30 hours about 200 of the enemy began to come across the ridge in front of Cyclist Trench on a front of 250 yards and were able to come half way down the ridge staying in shell holes. The Battalion Lewis guns stopped the enemy. By shorty after 09:00 hours the position of the Battalion was shaky as both flanks were exposed. At noon small enemy parties could be seen in Cyprus Trench. By evening the left flank was still exposed and the enemy was still in force on the forward slope in front of Cyclist Trench and a barrage was brought down on the enemy there. The enemy 4.2” & 5.9” guns were active all day.
It was during this day of intense fighting where Private Best lost his life in battle performing his duties.

Not listed on a Huron County Cenotaph