DIVISIONAL UNIT: 1st Canadian Infantry Division
1st Infantry Brigade
4th Battalion - Central Ontario
Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO: 491271
DATE OF BIRTH: April 18, 1893
DATE OF DEATH: October 10, 1916 23 years 5 months
CEMETERY: Adanac Military Cemetery – Mirumont
Somme – France
VI E 25
PARENTS: Mr. Richard and Mary Slater – Tiverton – Devon – England
SISTER: Mrs. George Webber – Tiverton – Devon - England
Occupation: Farmer Religion: Methodist
Enlistment: September 27, 1915 – London - Ontario
Enlistment Age: 22 years 5 months
Private Slater left the shores of Canada onboard the S.S. Lapland on March 17, 1916 and arrived in England on March 25, 1916. Then on May 25th he transfers to the 1st Battalion and one day later is Taken on Strength with the 7th Battalion which is in the field. On August 8, 1916 he joins the 4th Battalion.
Private Slater had been originally reported as missing and later when he was located it was made known he was killed in action.
Battalion diaries: These state that the Battalion was in the Albert area and that during the morning and afternoon the Battalion was on the move to Bouzincourt to the rear of the front and were in billets by 4:50 pm. No Casualties were reported.
However, the diaries state that on October 9th the Battalion was at the front and in their trenches near Le Sars and that they were under an enemy artillery bombardment for the whole day. The 8th Battalion then relived them in the evening and this was completed by 10 pm.
The diaries also state that the Battalion objective since October 7th were the German trenches running to the Dyke Road and these trenches lay due north of the Battalion assembly trenches. There was confusion in the advance for as they began to move forward they became confused and lost direction. In addition, as the Battalion came to the Dyke Road this feature ran diagonally from the true advance and as a result aligned themselves with the road in error, the terrain in front of the enemy trenches sloped to the west and south-west and the enemy wire was basically intact when the Battalion reached it. They entered the enemy trench on the 3rd Battalion front and then realized that there was intact wire between the enemy first and second trenches and an advance to these positions across open ground was not n option.
The option for the advance was to bomb down the trenches running north-west but this plan was abandoned as well because of the lack of bombs.
The trench was now held by the 3rd and 4th Battalions but to the Dyke Road it was held by the 4th Battalion.
There were several small enemy counter-attacks by the enemy during the morning of October 9th which was followed at 1:45 pm by a very intense enemy artillery bombardment onto his former trenches where the 4th Battalion was positioned. This was followed by a very large trench bombing raid by the enemy down Below and Gallwitz Trenches. The enemy was successful in placing a wedge between the 3rd and 4th Battalions at the Quadrilateral. This then forced the 3rd Battalion and some of the 4th Battalion down Regina Trench and the 4th Battalion had to go down Below Trench to the Dyke Road.
Several attempts to counter attack were made by the Battalion but they had to retire to the lines of the 23rd British Division because they ran out of bombs.
What renamed of the 4th Battalion went back to the original assembly trenches and here they waited until relived in the evening of October 9th by the 8th Battalion.
From this account we believe that it was during the fighting of October 9th when Private Slater fell in battle.