DIVISIONAL UNIT: 1st Canadian Infantry Division
2nd Infantry Brigade
7th Battalion - 1st British Columbia
Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO: 127094
RESIDENCE: Fordwich - Ontario
DATE OF BIRTH: July 22, 1896
Enniskillen – Lampton County - Ontario
DATE OF DEATH: June 13, 1916 19 years 11 months
MEMORIAL: Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial – Ieper –
West Vlaanderen – Belgium
PARENTS: Mr. William and Esther Montgomery – Fordwich - Ontario
Occupation: Bank Clerk with Bank of Religion: Presbyterian
Hamilton in Fordwich.
Enlistment: October 11, 1915 – London into the 71st Battalion
Enlistment Age: 19 years 3 months
Private Montgomery departed Montreal on the S.S. Metagama and arrived in Liverpool on November 30, 1915. He transferred to the 7th Battalion on May 26, 1916 and then went to France.
Private Montgomery was in the trenches with his unit near Mont Sorrel when he died in action. His body was never able to be recovered dues to the vicious enemy artillery bombardment.
The 7th Battalion was preparing itself for a counter-attack onto the enemy positions and in fact had been preparing for the previous two days. The Battalion was in position at Hill 60 and were holding the sub-section.
In the opening minutes of the advance at 1:00 am of June 13th, there was to be a heavy trench mortar bombardment and they were to use phosphorus bombs and this would take place at the same time the advance was to begin. The trench mortars were on Hill 60. The machine-guns of the Brigade were to provide long range covering fire for the advancing infantry.
At 1:00 am the advance went forward and the trench mortar barrage on the enemy positions was very effective, especially in the area of the Snout.
The mortar bombardment was lifted at 1:30 am and just about then it was reported that Mount Sorrel had been taken by the 3rd Battalion. Due to the effective Trench Mortar bombardment the enemy machine-gun and rifle fire was not heavy.
Eventually, the enemy brought down very heavy artillery fire and this was passing over Mount Sorrel to Square Wood and from an area from the X Trench to Battersea Farm and the rear of Hill 60 where the Battalion was located. Then at 10 am the enemy brought down artillery fire onto Hill 60 and the whole line where the Battalion was situated was subject to a very violent bombardment. The battalion found it very difficult to keep their positions.
These heavy artillery bombardments by the enemy onto the position of the Battalion caused extreme casualties and it then became apparent the Battalion would have to be relieved.
In the evening of June 13th, the enemy began their artillery shelling onto the position of the battalion and this kept up the whole night of June 13/14.
It was during these enemy artillery bombardments of the morning and evening of June 13/14 when Private Montgomery lost his life on the front lines.