STRACHAN, Thomas Edgar Laidlaw

1st World War
Date of Birth
Date Attested
Attested at
Lone Butte - Alberta
Original Unit
Regimental Number
Date of Death
Age at Death
24 years
Biographical Summary

DIVISIONAL UNIT:        2nd Canadian Infantry Division
                                             6th Infantry Brigade
                                             31st Battalion  -  Alberta
                                             “B” Company
                                             Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO:                   696887
RESIDENCE:                    Lone Butte - Alberta
DATE OF BIRTH:            April 30, 1893 
                                             Fernbank – Perth County - Ontario
DATE OF DEATH:           November 6, 1917               24 years
MEMORIAL:                    Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial – Ypres
                                             West Vlaanderen – Belgium
                                             Panels 24 – 28 - 30
FATHER:                           Mr. William Strachan – Ethel - Ontario
Occupation:                        Farmer                                  Religion:     Presbyterian
Enlistment:                         April 29, 1916 – Lone Butte – Alberta into the 175th Battalion.
Enlistment Age:                 23 years

Private Strachan did his training travelled to Halifax and boarded the SS Saxonia and then embarked from Canada on October 4, 1916 arriving in England on October 13, 1916. He then transferred to the 21st Reserve battalion at Seaford and following that he transferred to the 31st Battalion and proceeded in to France and arrived at the Canadian Base Depot on April 19, 1917. He joined his unit in the field on May 14, 1917.
The Battalion moved forwar from Abraham Heights to the assembly area known as Crest Farm near the edge of Passchendaele. The first objective was a road running north-west from the town church to the right front boundary of the Battalion to the left boundary including the houses on the road. The second objective was a front from the right Battalion boundary to the left. The second objective was considered to be the main enemy line of resistance and “B’ Company was attack left and “D” was attack right. As they advanced they passed through “A” Company at the location of the first objective
As “B” advanced they encountered three well manned enemy dugouts on the right and to the left a bit of the Companies front. Then they encountered two concrete pill boxes and a few organized shell holes where the enemy was and the Battalion engaged the enemy with rifle fire and rifle grenades and eliminated this threat. The second objective for the Battalion was now secured. As “B” Company advanced they came upon some enemy machine gun and rifle fire and some harassment from enemy aircraft. As “B” Company had advanced they had passed the crest of the hill and now they encountered sever enemy snipring from the front and both flanks and severe losses were being taken. This enemy sniping delayed the action of advancing and securing the final objective. “B” Company put out their own snipers and their efforts were quite successful. “C” Company now passed through “B” Company and on the left front two more enemy pill boxes were encountered. “B” Company maintained their positions and they controlled the exit and entry of the defence. As well “B” Company had consolidated their positions and should the enemy counter-attack they were in a position to deal with it. The pill box on the left still had to be captured and “B” Company captured this and in doing so made it possible for the advance to continue on to the final objective. Two other pill boxes appeared but the area was secure and the Battalion had a commanding field of fire. Strong points were now established along the front and held by “C” Company while “B” & “D” held the main line of resistance.
These were the events of the day concerning “B” Company of which Private Stachan was a member. This day of advancing took the life of Private Strachan in action.