DIVISIONAL UNIT: 3rd Canadian Infantry Division
7th Infantry Brigade
49th Battalion - Edmonton
Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO: 404564
RESIDENCE: Hagersville – Ontario
DATE OF BIRTH: May 1, 1892
Perth - Ontario
DATE OF DEATH: June 5, 1916 24 years
MEMORIAL: Ypres (Menin Gate) – Ypres
West Vlaanderen – Belgium
Panel 24 – 28 - 30
PARENTS Mrs. Eliza Rivers - Seaforth
Occupation: Student Religion: Presbyterian
Enlistment: April 19, 1915 – Toronto into the 35th Battalion
Enlistment Age: 22 years 11 months
He left Montreal with his unit after boarding the SS Metagama on Actober 16, 1915 and arrived in England on
October 25, 1915.
Rupert received his education at Hibbert Public School and at Seaforth Collegiate Institute and then at the University of Toronto where he achieved his Second class Teaching Certificate. At the time of his enlistment he was teaching at Hagersville. Rupert is remembered on the University of Toronto - Roll of Service. He is also remembered on the Ontario Teacher Roll of Honour.
At midnight on June 2rd – 3rd the advance moved forward to the jumping off point and immediately the Battalion was under an enemy artillery barrage. At 2:10 am the Battalion was ready to attack but the 52nd was not there. Patrols were sent out to Concert Dugouts and another along Hill Street and the Battalion was ordered to make bombing contact with the enemy.
The Battalion was forced to advance alone left of Gourock Road and right of Warrington Avenue. They advanced until enemy machine-gun, rifle fire and artillery fire stopped their advance.
Gourock Road Trench, Warrington Avenue and Bydand were gained and they pushed further along Hill Street.
Private Rivers lost his life in battle during an attack upon Sanctuary Wood. The Battalion had advanced to the counter-attack on Sanctuary Wood on June 3rd and at the time took very heavy losses. They held the ground until they were relived on June 5th.
From our research and the reading of the battle diaries we feel confident that Private Rivers and the 49th Battalion were in the Ypres Salient and during the days of June 3rd – 4th. The Battalion was involved in a number of counter-attacks against the enemy who was positioned in Sanctuary Wood. At the end of
June 4th the casualty count for the two days was 45 men killed, 257 men wounded and 69 men missing.