DIVISIONAL UNIT: British 2nd Cavalry Division
Lord Strathcona’s Horse - Royal Canadians
Canadian Cavalry Brigade
SERVICE NO: 226365
AWARDS: Medaille d’ Honneur from the French Government
RESIDENCE: London - Ontario
DATE OF BIRTH: June 29, 1898
Edinburgh - Scotland
DATE OF DEATH: October 9, 1918 20 years
CEMETERY: Troisville Communal Cemetery – Troisville – Nord – France
Nord – France
PARENTS: Mr. Campbell and Helen Wares – Exeter - Ontario
Occupation: Clerk Religion: Presbyterian
Enlistment: September 14, 1916 – London – into 8th Canadian Mounted Rifle Depot Regiment
Enlistment Age: 18 years 3 months
Originally enlisted in December 1915 but was not of age. Re-enlisted and departed Canada for England on the S.S. Olympic and arrived in Liverpool and immediately posted to the 199th Battalion on May 18, 1917. Then he was attached to the 125th Battalion at Witley until the end of March 1918 when he returned to the 119th Battalion. On March 28th he was transferred to the 58th Battalion. Mid way through April 1918 he transferred to the Lord Strathcona’s Horse.
On October 9th the Canadian Cavalry Brigade were located at Nauroy, where the weather was fair but with a cold wind. The Canadian Cavalry Brigade which included the Lord Strathconas were ordered to advance to Maertz and seize the high ground northwest of Le Cateau.
The operation began in the early light hours and the Lord Strathcona’s Horse were acting as the left flanking guard for the Brigade and seize tactical points in succession on the left flank. At 09:55 am the mounted the Lord Strathcona Horse reached the infantry front lines and found the enemy holding the woods and the front of Bois-de-Gattingy, and “B” Squadron was given the order to seize the wood. Covering machine-gun fire was brought to bear, and 30 of the enemy abandoned their guns and became prisoners. The main body of the Brigade then moved up behind the woods, and it was then learned the enemy was holding a line of rifle pits parallel to and east of the road. Artillery fire was brought down on the enemy positions. Machine gun fire was then used to cover the advance of the Lord Strathconas and the rest of the Brigade along with supporting artillery fire. They then charged the enemy rifle pits. By 11:00 am this part of the operation was complete and 43 prisoners were taken. The order was then given to seize the line at Bois-du-Mont-Auxvilles along with the factories and farms along the edge of the road. Enemy fire made it impossible to keep horses on the western slope as the only cover was low brush. One troop rode into the wood, dismounted and sent their horses to cover, opened fire on the enemy to the north. The remaining part of the Squadron passed around their troop in the woods, occupied the farms along with the eastern edges of the wood. Then at 1:30pm the order to clear Bertry and capture Troisvillers was given. Another Squadron advanced and captured Troisvillers and found no enemy in the southern portions of the town. Patrols were then sent out and it was found that the enemy had machine gun positions at the edges of Reumont and the British artillery then brought down an artillery barrage upon the enemy positions. By the evening of October 9th, all the high ground had been consolidated.
It was during the action of this day when Private Wares lost his life.
Private Wares was awarded the Medaille A’Honneur with the Glaives en-Argent (bronze) by the President of the French Republic.