DIVISIONAL UNIT: 3rd Canadian Infantry Division
9th Infantry Brigade
43rd Battalion - Cameron Highlanders of Canada
Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO: 802930 / 3131032
RESIDENCE: Centralia / Exeter - Ontario
DATE OF BIRTH: April 22, 1895 – McGillivray Township – County of Middlesex – Ontario
April 26, 1896 – McGillivray Township – County of Middlesex – Ontario
DATE OF DEATH: September 28, 1918 23 years 5 months 22 years 5 months
CEMETERY: Anneux British Cemetery – Anneux –
Nord – France
III A 19
PARENT: Mrs. M. Penrice – Centralia / Exeter – Ontario
Occupation: Farmer / Machinist Religion: Church of England
Enlistment: February 8, 1916 – Parkhill January 19, 1918 - London
Enlistment Age: 20 years 9 months 22 years 9 months
He enlisted twice. The first time in February of 1916 at which time he was declared not fit. The second time he was either conscripted or enlisted in January of 1918.
Private Penrice left Canada bound for overseas on the S.S. Cretic arriving in England on March 4, 1918. He was then taken on strength by the 4th Reserve Battalion based at Bramshott on March 5, 1918. He then transferred to the 47th Battalion and goes into France arriving there on August 20th and then to the Reinforcement Camp on August 23rd. He transfers to the 43rd Battalion and joins them in the field on August 31, 1918.
Private Penrice lost his life in action on September 28, 1918 while he was advancing with the men in his Company in front of the Marcoing Trench, located north east of Fontaine-Notre-Dame. He was killed from an enemy bullet to his head.
For this advance the 43rd was the leading Battalion. “D” Company was to come from the Bourlon Woods swing right and take Fontaine Notre Dame; “A” Company was to stay clear of the village for first part then swing right and take eastern portion of the village on the left of “D”; “B & C” Companies were to go straight ahead and break into the Marcoing Line and work south. The night was extremely dark and cold. At 9:05 am “C” Company reported that they were being held up by heavy wire in front of the Marcoing Line and that enemy machine gun fire was very heavy. They were ordered to get assistance from the 52nd Battalion and engage the enemy with Lewis guns and proceed. Later it was learned that “B & C” Companies plus the 52nd Battalion had become all tangleds up and the advance was held up. At 10:50 am it was learned that “D” Company had reached their objective with some casualties. At 11 am part of “B & C” and some of the 52nd were dug in and the location was in front of the Marcoing Line. “B” reported they were dug in between the road and the rail line. “A” Company reported they had encounteted extreme enemy fire, were suffering casualties and could not move forward. The whole advance was held up because most officers had become casualties. At 2 pm it was reported that about 45 men and one officer had dug in about 50 yards from the Marcoing Line and that the enemy seemed to be getting reinforcements and that he was holding the Marcoing Line very strongly. This position was also being continuously swept with enemy machine gun fire and enfilade fire from the right and artillery fire from the left. At 7 pm an order was issued that the 56th and 116 Battalions to continue with the attack and that the 43rd Battalion was to return to become the Brigade Reserve and reorganize. These are the conditions Private Penrice dealt with on the day he was killed in action.