CALDER, Alexander Douglas MacDonald

1st World War
Date of Birth
Date Attested
Attested at
Toronto, Ontario
Regimental Number
Date of Death
Age at Death
28 years 8 months
Biographical Summary

DIVISIONAL UNIT:        1st Canadian Infantry Division
                                             3rd Infantry Brigade
                                             15th Battalion - 48th Highlanders of Canada
                                             Company 4
                                             Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO:                   800221
RESIDENCE:                     Toronto – Ontario.
DATE OF BIRTH:            July 24, 1888
                                             Seaforth – Tuckersmith Township – County of Huron - Ontario
DATE OF DEATH:           April 9, 1917                        28 years     8 months
CEMETERY:                     Nine Elms Military Cemetery – Thelus –
                                             Pas de Calais – France
                                             I     F     33
WIFE:                                 Gertrude R. Calder – Toronto - Ontario
PARENTS:                         Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Calder
Occupation:                        Tinsmith                               Religion:     Presbyterian
Enlistment:                         Toronto – March 16, 1916 into the 15th Highland Battalion
Enlistment Age:                 27 years     6 months

Private Calder boarded the S.S. Scotian and arrived in England on August 19, 1916. While at Witley Camp - Surrey he was Taken on Strength by the 15th Battalion and went overseas into France and joined his unit already in the field on December 9, 1916.
Private Calder was killed in action while he advanced with his unit during the attack on Vimy Ridge.
Private Calder apparently had a premonition that he might die soon and his last letter home to Canada expressed those feelings. This was April 6th. He had asked that his family to look after his business affairs for the benefit of his wife and child. 
At 05:00 hours the enemy was lightly shelling but very few casualties suffered abd the Brigade Stokes guns had blown up an enemy ammunition dump.
At 5:30 am the Canadian artillery barrage opened up upon the enemy front lines and they went “over the top” advancing in two fine lines. The Germans replied with a shower of lights of all colours with a very feeble artillery reply. The remaining waves of the advance then followed in good order. The front line trenches and the enemy support trenches were taken easily and quickly. The first objective was Zwolfer Weg and it was taken at 6:05 am and for 30 minutes the Battalion rested and reorganized. The enemy artillery was somewhat more active and placed a light barrage on his old front line. The Battalion had sent 100+ prisoners back. When the attack again moved forward there was less opposition and there were fewer casualties. 
The second objective Zwollern Stellung was taken at 8:25 am and again the Battalion dug in and reorganized. Lewis gun posts were established in the front of the line. This was 8:55 am. The Battalion put out Lewis gun posts and the 1st Brigade then passed throught to continue the advance. The Battalion was now holding Augsberger Weg along with Swischen Stellung Trenches.
For the rest of the day on April 9th the Battalion dug in, reorganized themselves and bettering their positions.
One of the fatalities on this day was Private Calder who fell on the battlefield performing his duties.