HORAN, James Ambrose

1st World War
Date of Birth
Date Attested
Attested at
Dryden, Ontario
Date of Death
Age at Death
35 years 10 months
Biographical Summary

DIVISIONAL UNIT:        4th Canadian Infantry Division
                                             10th Infantry Brigade
                                             46th Battalion  -  South Saskatchewan or “Suicide” Regiment
                                             Canadian Infantry Corps
RESIDENCE:                    Dryden – Ontario 
DATE OF BIRTH:            December 27, 1880
                                             Seaforth – Tuckersmith Township – County of Huron - Ontario
DATE OF DEATH:           October 25, 1916                 35 years     10 months
MEMORIAL:                    Vimy Memorial – Vimy –
                                             Pas de Calais - France
WIFE:                                 Mrs. Gertrude Horan – Kenora - Ontario
PARENTS:                         Mr. & Mrs. John Horan – Seaforth – Ontario.
Occupation:                        Agent                                    Religion:     Roman Catholic
Enlistment:                         Dryden – January 15, 1916
Enlistment Age:                 35 years

This soldier departed from Canada on June 29, 1916 and arrived in England on July 5, 1916. On April 18th, he transferred to the 14 Canadian Reserve Battalion based at East Sandford. The he transferred to the 46th Battalion in the second half of September and goes overseas into France. He joins his unit in the field in the middle of October 1916 on October 17. 1916.
He is with his unit a total of 8 days before paying the supreme sacrifice.
Lieutenant Horan was killed in action during military operations with his brigade in the trenches near the town of Courcelette, France.
The word was the 44th Battalion would attack Regina Trench on the 24th of October but then was postponed until 7 am on October 25th. The 46th was to supply one Company to provide covering fire, repel any enemy counterattacks, and send forward a digging party to connect Regina Trench with the Canadian line.
Just prior to 7am a shell hit at one end of the trench the 46th was in – one man was buried up to the neck but he was killed, another was buried up to the waist and those that were buried up to the knees or waists had to be pulled out of the sucking mud.
Just after 7 am the 46th went over the top with No. 5 & 6 Platoons and they were to go over several hundred yards to their left to reach the trenches where the 44th had gone over the top. Then 7 & 8 Platoons followed.
The enemy machine-gun fire and shelling was deadly and it was heavy. 
Just as 7 & 8 Platoons were reaching the line of the 44th, Lieutenant Horan was seen standing at the junction in the trench where the 46th was to turn right. He called out to Lieutenant Copp of the 7 & 8th Platoons and said “don’t bring your men to this corner. It’s suicide!” At this time those platoons were about 100 feet away from the junction and the 7 & 8th then went overland to their objective instead of following the trench.
The enemy trained their machine guns on that corner where the men of the 46th were going to and cutting down anyone moving that way. Lieutenant Horan shortly after warning 7 & 8 Platoons was killed where he was standing and he died immediately.
The casualty rate for the 46th Battalion in the 27 months it was in the field was 91.5%. They lost 1,433 men being killed and 3,484 men being wounded. In the time they were in the field the 46th Battalion received 16 battle honours.