ERWIN, Russell Samuel

1st World War
Date of Birth
Date Attested
Attested at
Camp Hughes - Carberry - Manitoba
Regimental Number
Date of Death
Age at Death
20 years 2 months
Biographical Summary

DIVISIONAL UNIT:        2nd Canadian Infantry Division
                                             6th Infantry Brigade
                                             28th Battalion  -  North West
                                             Canadian Infantry Corps.
SERVICE NO:                   441390
RESIDENCE:                    Prince Albert – Saskatchewan 
DATE OF BIRTH:            September 6, 1896
                                             Bayfield - Goderich / Stanley Townships – County of Huron - Ontario
DATE OF DEATH:           December 25, 1916              20 years     2 months                  
CEMETERY:                     Hersin Communal Cemetery Extension – Hersin – 
                                             Pas de Calais – France
                                             I     D     7
FATHER:                           Mr. George David Erwin – Prince Albert - Saskatchewan
Occupation:                        Drug Clerk                           Religion:     Methodist
Enlistment:                         September 20, 1915 – Camp Hughes – Manitoba into 53rd Battalion.
Enlistment Age:                 19 years     
Private Erwin arrived in Liverpool on April 9, 1916 and embarks for France and arrives there and then transfers to the 28th Battalion and joins them in the field on June 11, 1916.
During the day the enemy attempted an attack accompanied with heavy artillery fire and two men were killed. It is thought from our research that Private Erwin was one of the men who lost his life in action during the enemy activity. This was in the Souchez area of the front.
On Christmas Day 1916 the weather was fair. Early in the morning the gas alert was on but this was relaxed at 10:30 am and the Brigade was very heavy onto the enemy from 10 am until noon and it was shelling the enemy wire to the right of the Battalion. The enemy retaliated with a 60 pound shells in the area of York Trench. The afternoon was very quiet and then at 9:30 pm a party of eight enemy soldiers was seen approaching. Upon being spotted they immediately opened up with rifle and machine gun fire and then fires a SOS signal which brought an immediate reply from the enemy artillery and the shells fell onto the centre and right areas of the Battalion front and in the area of the Headquarters trench. This is when we feel Private Erwin fell.
The Brigade artillery replied with vigor with all calibres of gun participating until 11:15 pm when the situation calmed down.