NAME: SULLIVAN Joseph
DIVISIONAL UNIT: 1st Canadian Infantry Division 3rd Infantry Brigade 15th Battalion - Central Ontario Canadian Infantry Corps
RESIDENCE: Parkhill - Ontario
FATHER: Mr. Patrick Sullivan - Dashwood / Mount Carmel - Ontario
AUNT: Miss Ellen Sullivan - Dashwood - Ontario
Joseph was raised in the Roman Catholic faith and prior to his enlistment he was employed as a mechanic. Upon his enlistment he was 5' 7" in height and his weight was 150 pounds. He was a man of fair complexion with blue eyes and auburn hair.
During the period following his enlistment and embarking from Canada Private Sullivan would have been taking training. During the month of August 1916, he travelled to Halifax in preparation for going overseas. He boarded the SS Olympia and on August 22, 1916 he embarked from Canada for overseas and arrived in Liverpool - England on August 30th. He then went to Witley Camp - Surrey and on October 15th he transferred to the 134th Battalion based at Bramshott - Hampshire. Very close to the end of November he transfers to the 15th Battalion - Witley Camp - Surrey before going overseas into France on November 28th. He is immediately sent to join his unit in the field and arrives on December 1st.
April 9, 1917 was when the four divisions of the Canadian Corps would advance together for the first time with their objective being the vital and strategic Vimy Ridge.
At 4:45 am the Battalion was fully prepared for the upcoming advance and were waiting in their assembly areas and exactly at 5:30 am on the morning of April 9, 1917 the artillery of the Canadian Corps began to throw all they had onto the enemy positions. The first two Companies of the 15th Battalion advanced in the first wave and the last two Companies followed in the second wave a short while later. The Battalion was able to report from Aspic Trench that they had observed an enemy SOS and that the enemy artillery at the front was very weak. The Battalion was able to take the enemy front lines and support areas at Zwolfer Keg almost immediately and they began to string their telecommunication wire. The time was 6:05 am. At this point the advancing infantry were able to rest for 30 minutes and at 7 am they began to again advance but were now finding the enemy artillery was more active and he brought down a light barrage onto his old lines but all the while the 15th Battalion was continuing with their advance. As the Battalion advanced to their second objective they found there was less enemy opposition and they were taking less casualties and their second objective Swichen Stelling had been reached and now they dug in and reorganized and as this took place Lewis gun posts were established in front of the 15th Battalion. To this point in the advance onto Vimy Ridge the Battalion had sent 100 enemy prisoners back. Then at 9:35 am units of the 1st Brigade passed through and they then continued with the advance. The 15th Battalion then spent the remainder of April 9th digging in and bettering their positions.
The Battalion began their advance with 860 men of all ranks and suffered casualties of 310 either killed, wounded or missing which was a loss of 36% and it was during this of advancing onto Vimy Ridge when Private Sullivan fell in battle.