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BUCHANAN, William Percy

1st World War
Date of Birth
Date Attested
Attested at
Toronto, Ontario
Regimental Number
Date of Death
Age at Death
26 years 6 months
Biographical Summary

DIVISIONAL UNIT:        4th Canadian Infantry Division
                                             11th Infantry Brigade
                                             75th Battalion - Mississauga
                                             Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO:                   681365
RESIDENCE:                     Toronto – Ontario 
DATE OF BIRTH:            January 12, 1891
                                             Blyth – Morris Township – County of Huron - Ontario
DATE OF DEATH:           June 8, 1917                         26 years     6 months     
MEMORIAL:                    Vimy Memorial – Vimy –
                                             Pas de Calais - France
WIFE:                                 Ethel Buchanan - Wingham
PARENTS:                         Mr. and Mrs. Robert Buchanan - Blyth
Occupation:                        School Teacher                    Religion:                     
Enlistment:                         Toronto – March 3, 1916 into the 170th Battalion
Enlistment Age:                 25 years     1 month

Upon his graduation from Wingham High School, received his teaching credentials from the University of Toronto where he is listed on the Honour Roll of Service and upon his enlistment was teaching at Carleton Street Public School.
He and his unit went overseas in October of 1916 and then into France in December 1916. Private Buchanan distinguished himself while on the battlefield and this is where he earned his stripes.
During the battles that were Vimy Ridge, Private Buchanan served with the Lewis gun section of the Battalion.
The 75th Battalion was located at La Coulotte and Souchez area. Apparently, things on the front were quiet until 7 pm when the enemy began an artillery bombardment that caused some casualties. One of their observation balloons was able to observe the Battalion preparing for their advance onto the enemy lines which was to take place at 11:45 that evening. One of those casualties was Private Buchanan.  He had been shot throught the head and both of his legs were broken. This took place during a midnight advance before Lens. He died instantly.
Between 8-9:30 pm on the night of June 8th, the enemy brought down a very heavy artillery barrage onto the Battalion front and support lines which caused disorganization in the planning of the upcoming raid.
11:45 pm hour was zero hour and the infantry advanced and cleared their lines before the enemy shelling onto these positions began.
The Right Flank took the Black line and pushed as far as the junction of the railway embankment and the Lens-Arras Road. Here the enemy resistence greatly stiffened and the Battalion suffered severe casualties and the advance stalled. Ten enemy dugouts in Coulotte Trench support were destroyed.
The Centre captured the Black Line plus the railway embankment as far as the Canada Trench. The enemy held this area with strong machine-gun positions and the Battalion took very heavy casualties. Enemy dugouts in Toronto Trench and the railway embankment were destroyed.
The left Flank advanced and took the Black Line and advanced all the way to the Red Line.
Following the advance, the enemy brought down their artillery onto the front and support lines causing heavy damage and casualties.
During this raid 28 men were killed in action; 118 men were wounded and 11 men were missing. It was during this very brief but bloody sixty minute fight when Private Buchanan lost his life.