DIVISIONAL UNIT: 2nd Canadian Infantry Division
4th Infantry Brigade
18th Battalion - Western Ontario
Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO: 124407
RESIDENCE: Seaforth - Ontario
DATE OF BIRTH: January 21, 1896
Paris - France
DATE OF DEATH: August 8, 1918 22 years 6 months
CEMETERY: Crucifix Corner Cemetery – Villers-Brettoneux
Somme – France
I B 2
PARENT: Mrs. Ellen Chart – London – England
SISTER: Mrs. C. Windle – London – England
Occupation: Farmer Religion: Church of England
Enlistment: November 4, 1915 - London
Enlistment Age: 19 years 10 months
Private Vanner embarked from Canada on April 26, 1916 and arrived in England on board the SS Lapland on
May 5, 1916.
He transferred to 39th Battalion at West Sandling on July 6, 1916. He was then drafted to reinforce the 18th Battalion and went overseas into France, to the Canadian Base Depot on August 18, 1916.
Private Vanner became ill with influenzaon August 25, 1916 while in Belgium on August 24, 1916 and then transferred to No. 2 General Hospital based in Le Havre on the North Sea Coast seriously ill with lobar pneumonia. Then he invalided to England and admitted to 3rd Western General Hospital based in Cardiff – Wales. He goes to other medical facilities and then on May 11, 1917 he transfers to the 18th Battalion on and proceeds overseas into France and arrives at the Canadian Base Depot on May 28, 1917. He arrives at the 2nd Canadian Entrenching Battalion already in the field on June 15, 1917.
Then on August 20, 1917 he joined the 18th Battalion in the field.
On the morning of August 8, 1918 there was a heavy mist which obscured the enemy lines and their objectives. Zero hour was set for 4:30 am and at 4 am the enemy artillery laid down a heavy barrage onto the Battalion position and with very heavy fire onto the wood to the south-west of Villers Brettoneaux.
At 4:30 the Brigade artillery began falling onto the enemy positions. The objective was some 200 yards to the east of Marlclave and the adjoining quarry. By 7:45 am the Battalion had reached the extreme edges of the objective. To this point the casualties were light due to the heavy mist. The battalion captured enemy 5.9” Howitzers and 7.7 mm guns, much signal equipment and valued surgical and medical stores.
The Battalion then pushed on another 300 yards and set up a defensive line and considerable enemy opposition was being encountered from well concealed enemy machine gun nests.
The advance caused 150 casualties of which 30 were killed in action.
It was during this advance in heavy mist where Private Vanner fell in action performing his duties.