THOMPSON, Robert Leslie

moved from brussels and st helens cenotaph as not on either stones

1st World War
Date of Birth
Date Attested
Attested at
London, Ontario
Regimental Number
Date of Death
Age at Death
21 years 11 months
Biographical Summary

DIVISIONAL UNIT:        1st Canadian Infantry Division
                                             3rd Infantry Brigade
                                             15th Battalion  -  
                                             Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO:                   127268
RESIDENCE:                    Ethel - Ontario
DATE OF BIRTH:            September 12, 1895
                                             Ethel – Grey Township – County of Huron - Ontario
DATE OF DEATH:           August 15, 1917                   21 years     11 months
MEMORIAL:                    Vimy Memorial – Vimy
                                             Pas de Calais - France
PARENTS:                         Mr. William Thompson – Ethel - Ontario
Occupation:                        Farmer                                  Religion:     Methodist
Enlistment:                         October 19, 1915 – London – Ontario into 71st Battalion
Enlistment Age:                 20 years     1 month

Upon his arrival to England Private Thompson transferred to the 51st Battalion in Bramshott in early June 1916, proceeds overseas to France on draft and arrives at Canadian Base Depot June 9, 1916. From June 10, 1916 he is on command to the 15th Battalion.  He attends Divisional Grenade School in August 1916.
He is wounded in the field on September 7, 1916 and received injuries to his face and left hand. He finally returns to his unit in the field during the month of May 1917.
This was day the Battalion advanced against Hill 70 and when taken on the defence of their objective.
At 4:25 am the Brigade artillery came down on the enemy front lines. Liquid Fire was also used against the trenches. As soon as the barrage began to creep forward the first wave infantry began to advance. As they advanced there was a light enemy barrage and machine gun fire from the left. The Puits 14 Bis was the first objective and it was mostly deserted. This trench was then consolidated and the first wave rested for 40 minutes. At 5:30 am the Brigade artillery begins to creep forward and the first two waves move ahead with the third wave staying at the just captured trench. More opposition was being met from small enemy parties in shell holes and the bombing parties dealt with this issue. At Bois Hugo one enemy machine gun was causing heavy casualties and a bombing part worked their away around the flank of the enemy nest and eliminated the threat. The enemy still remaining in the trenches on the left kept up their fire onto the Battalion causing mopre casualties. At 5:39 am the second objective was achieved and consolidation began and the Brigade artillery wall was still advancing onto the enemy positions. Crews came forward and began the task of putting Battalion strongpoints out in front of the Battalion front. At 7:50 am the enemy artillery fire increased at the first objective called the Puits 14 Bis and onto Island Trench and still very little enemy shelling on the Battalion front line areas. All the machine guns and trench mortars made it to second objective the green line. At 8:30 am the enemy shelling increased on our forward areas. At 10:30 the enemy were seen to be massing for a counter-attack but the Brigade artillery lessened the danger but the enemy did manage to launch a counter-attack at 12:45 pm and a second attack at 1:15 pm and both failed. By 2 pm it was clear the Battalion had achieved their objectives and were holding their ground and positions. The Brigade artillery slowed the firing rate and at 3 pm the situation was near normal. At 4:00 pm the enemy tried another counter-attack but this attack failed as well. At 8:05 pm the enemy infantry launched their fourth counter-attack and the Battalion repulsed this attack. At 9:15 pm the front was quiet and the Brigade artillery slackened but at 10:35 pm the enemy tried another attack and between the Battalion and the artillery the enemy was stopped. At 11:15 pm the Brigade artillery stopped firing.
It was during this day of advancing, fighting, consolidating and shelling when Private Thompson was killed in action.