DIVISIONAL UNIT: 1st Canadian Infantry Division
1st Infantry Brigade
4th Battalion - Central Ontario
Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO: 22653
RESIDENCE: Wingham – Ontario.
DATE OF BIRTH: July 14, 1870
Ilford – Sussex - England
DATE OF DEATH: December 29, 1915 45 years 5 months
CEMETERY: St. Quentin Cabaret Military Cemetery – Heuvelland –
West-Vlaanderen – Belgium
I B 8
WIFE: Mrs. Margaret Darnell – Wingham / London – Ontario
Occupation: Iron Moulder Religion: Church of England
Enlistment: Valcartier – September 26, 1914 into the 12th Battalion
Enlistment Age: 44 years 1 month
William came to Canada and took work as an iron-moulder in Wingham.
His unit departed from Canada on October 3, 1914 on the SS Scotian and would have arrived in England sometime about the middle of October.
He transferred to the 4th Battalion on June 25, 1915 while based at Shorncliffe - Kent. Then it was overseas into France and he joined his unit already in the field on June 28, 1915.
Sergeant Darnell had returned from 8 days of leave on Christmas Eve and had been back with his unit on the front for about 5 days.
The day was considered to be quiet. About noon a squadron of aircraft passed overhead and attacked the enemy front lines.
Sergeant Darnell was killed in action during this day from the fire of an enemy rifle grenade in the Brigade’s left section while he was in the trenches near Wulverghem in Belgium. While his Company was doing front line trench duty at about 4 pm he was proceeding along the trench when an enemy rifle grenade exploded about three feet in front of him and the rod from the grenade entered his chest and he died immediately.
Shortly following this the Battalion was relieved and this was completed at 5:50 pm and proceeded to go into reserve.