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BLACKER, Robert James

1st World War
Date of Birth
Date Attested
Attested at
Clinton, Ontario
Regimental Number
Date of Death
Age at Death
34 years 10 months
Biographical Summary

DIVISIONAL UNIT:         4th Canadian Infantry Division
                                             11th Infantry Brigade
                                             102nd Battalion - North British Columbians
                                             Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO:                   326871
RESIDENCE:                    Clinton – Ontario  
DATE OF BIRTH:            October 12, 1883
                                             Clinton – Goderich / Hullet / Tuckersmith Townships – County of Huron - Ontario           
DATE OF DEATH:           August 11, 1918                   34 years     10 months
CEMETERY:                     Crouy British Cemetery – Crouy-sur-Somme –
                                             Somme – France
                                             VI     B     11
PARENT:                           Mrs. E. Blacker – Clinton 
Occupation:                        Farmer                                  Religion:     Methodist
Enlistment:                         Clinton – January 5, 1917 
Enlistment Age:                 33 years     3 months

Private Blacker arrived in England on April 7, 1917. Private Blacker transferred to the 8th Reserve Battalion based in Shorncliffe - Kent and then on August 21, 1917 transferred to the 102nd Battalion. It was then over to France and he joined his unit in the field on September 7, 1917.
In November he received light wounds and he was able to rejoin his unit by late December.
In May of 1918 he was taken on strength by the Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp and placed under stoppage of pay to make good the value of an entrenching tool and carrier he had lost on the battlefield.
He then rejoined his unit in the field at the end of May 1918.
On August 9th Beaucourt Woods was strongly held by the enemy, and just as Private Blacker was moving forward with his Company to support the front Companies he was struck in the abdomen by an enemy shell. He was immediately attended to at the Regimental Aid Post and then evacuated to No. 5 British Casualty Clearing Station located at either Vecquemont or Proyart where he succumbed to his wounds on August 11, 1918.
The Battalion was tasked with taking the Sunken Road and Beaucourt Woods.
The two ends of the woods were strongly defended and “A” Company on the right took serious casualties. “D” Company then came forward to support and assist. Once they had the edge of the wood the Battalion quickly cleared the wood. Once again however, they came under severe enemy fire from a trench on the brow of the hill lying between the road and the woods. The enemy was engaged and there was bitter hand to hand fighting. While all this was taking place they were under heavy enemy trench mortar and machine gun fire. The left Company “D” was itself under strenuous enemy opposition.
Once through the wood and about 300 yards further on there was a system of enemy trenches well defended and the Battalion advanced and cleaned up this trench system. The enemy began to retire and by 4:30 pm the Battalion had taken its final objective.
Casualties for two days were 17 killed and 94 wounded or missing.