Local Soldiers

Over 200 young men from the Creston Valley served in the Great War. Any who had enlisted prior to the autumn of 1916, and had not yet been killed, invalided home, or sent to military hospitals to recover from wounds, were almost certainly on the Vimy battlefield.

Below is an alphabetical list of those soldiers known, or believed, to have been at Vimy Ridge. This list will be updated as further details of their service records are available. Those who were killed in the battle or its immediate aftermath are marked with (K); wounded are marked with (W).

Note: As further details become available, we are finding soldiers originally included on this list who were not, in fact, at Vimy Ridge. Rather than deleting their names altogether, we have added an asterisk (*) following their names, and included further details of their whereabouts at the time of the battle, following another asterisk at the end of their service details.

Very special thanks to John Dinn for his many hundreds of hours of research that have made this list possible!

Adams, John (W)
Regimental No: 706895 Rank at enlistment: Pte.
Born: 25 Dec 1885, Doune, Perthshire, Scotland
Occupation: Rancher, Gray Creek BC
Enlisted: 22 Dec 1915, Nelson BC
Previous Military Service: #4 Battery, Royal Highlanders (Territorials)
Service Details: Sailed from Halifax on 23 Jul, 1916 aboard the SS Olympic, arriving in Liverpool, England on 31 Jul 1916. His battalion was absorbed by the 16th Reserve Battalion 7 Jan 1917 and was immediately transferred to the 102nd Infantry Battalion (“A” Company), CEF. Private Adams landed in France 17 Feb 1917 and joined his battalion in the Vimy Sector a week later. In early March, he was temporarily attached to the 176th Tunneling Company, Royal Engineers (in preparation for Vimy Ridge), rejoining his battalion on 3 Apr. Wounded 6 Apr 1917 (gun-shot wound in left knee) while taking over in relief at the front line in the final build-up to the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Following six months in specialist and convalescent hospitals, he embarked for Canada from Liverpool 6 Nov 1917 and was discharged from service on 20 Mar 1918.

Andrew, John Marshall
Regimental No: 461329 Rank at enlistment
Born: 18 Apr 1897, Neepawa MB
Occupation: Fruit Rancher, Creston BC
Previous Military Service:
Service Details: Following battalion absorption and transfers, served with the 44th Infantry Battalion, CEF; disembarked at Havre, France 12 Aug 1916. For two years Private Andrew fought in all the major battles with nothing more than a sprained foot. Wounded (gun-shot wound in right forearm and right hip) 10 Aug 1918 near Fouquescourt, Battle of Amiens. After four months convalescing in England, sailed for Canada 14 Dec 1918.

Barton, Marshall Hale Bradshaw*
Regimental No: 338995 Rank at enlistment: Gunner
Born: 21 May 1896, Winnipeg Manitoba
Occupation: Express messenger on SS Kokanee, Creston
Enlisted: 7 June 1916, Vancouver BC
Previous Military Service:
Service Details: “Marshall Barton is the latest Crestonite to sign up for the big German scrap. He has enlisted with the 68th Artillery in Vancouver, and is one of a draft of 100 who will be leaving any day now for the training camp at Shorncliffe. Marshall was keen to go with the First Canadian Contingent about two years ago, but owing to the family bereavement at that time was persuaded to remain at home until now. He takes to field battery work like a duck to water and is hoping the training in the Old Country will be of short duration.” [Creston Review, 21 Jul 1916]. Embarked 15 Aug 1916 aboard SS Grampion, disembarking 24 Aug 1916. Gunner Barton was posted to the 1st Brigade, 1st Canadian Divisional Artillery on 13th November 1916. He served in France with the 4th Battery, Canadian Field Artillery. Proceeded to England 21st March 1919 and returned to Canada 14th April. *Barton was definitely involved in the build-up to Vimy Ridge. However, on 4 April 1917, he was admitted to a stationary hospital at nearby St-Pol with a bad case of the mumps, and therefore would have missed the battle itself.

Baston, John (W)
Regimental No: 29530 Rank at enlistment: Pte.
Born: 17 Oct 1883, Edinburgh Scotland
Occupation: Bank Clerk, Creston BC
Enlisted: 23 Sep 1914, Valcartier PQ
Previous Military Service: Officer Training Corps (1 year); 72nd Regt. Seaforth Highlanders, Vancouver (enlisted May, 1914)
Service Details: 16th Battalion (The Canadian Scottish); Canadian Ordnance Corps. (C.O.C.). Sailed for France on 12 February 1915 and disembarked at St. Nazaire three days later – 1st Canadian Division, 3rd Infantry Brigade. Slightly wounded 23 Apr 1915 , trenches south of Kitcheners Wood, 2 miles west of St. Julien. Was confined to a French hospital and returned to his battalion two months later. Transferred to Canadian Ordnance Corps (C.O.C.) on 26 Jan 1916, 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade. Posted as clerk to Headquarters (C.O.C.), 3rd Canadian Division on 8 May 1916. Wounded 3rd Ma, 1917 (shrapnel fractured right leg) fractured at Neuville St. Vaast, near Vimy Ridge by an aeroplane bomb; invalided to Shorncliffe, England. Returned to France, joining Headquarters, Canadian Corps, 4 Oct 1917 and commenced Ordnance Officer training. Promoted to Warrant Officer, Class 1 24 Feb 1918 with Assistant Director Ordnance Services (A.D.O.S.). Demobilized 3 Aug 1919 and returned to duty with the Canadian Bank of Commerce. Awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre for Devotion to Duty At Passchendaele Jan 1918; Meritorious Service Medal for Services in France and Belgium Jul 1919.

Beutlich-Millar, Finlay (K)
Regimental No: 228386 Rank at enlistment: Pte.
Born: 22 Jul 1898, Edinburgh Scotland
Occupation: Clerk, possibly at Bank of Commerce, Creston
Enlisted: 20 May 1916, Calgary AB
Previous Military Service:
Service Details: Enlisted with 13th Canadian Mounted Rifles at Calgary. Embarked at Halifax on 29 Jun 1916 aboard Olympic, arriving in England on 5 Jul 1916. Drafted to Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in France on16 Oct 1916 being part of the 3rd Canadian Division, 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade. Killed in action, 9 Apr 1917: During the assault on Vimy Ridge, Private Beutlich-Millar was hit in the back with a piece of enemy shell just after leaving the craters on the morning of April 9th. He succumbed to his wounds shortly afterwards at the Dressing Station.

Birkbeck, James Douglas
Regimental No: 442331 Rank at enlistment: L. Cpl.
Born: 22 Apr 1893, Lancashire England
Occupation: Rancher, Gray Creek BC
Enlisted: 25 Aug 1915, Vernon BC
Previous Military Service:
Service Details: Arrived in France on 13th August, 1916, becoming part of the 4th Canadian Division, 11th Canadian Infantry Brigade. L/Corp. Birkbeck was a model soldier, being awarded a good conduct badge in May of 1917 and records indicate he wasn’t wounded or sick for the entire four years of service. He was discharged at Hamilton, Ontario on June 18th 1919.

Burn-Callander, Frank
Regimental No: Rank at enlistment: Lieutenant
Occupation: Farmer and Game Warden, Creston BC
Enlisted: about February 1916
Previous Military Service:
Service Details: Creston Review 14 Jan 1916 indicates that Frank Burn-Callander received a commission as Colour Sergeant of the 107th Regiment, Royal Field Artillery, a British unit, and he probably formally enlisted in England. He had been gazetted as Lieutenant with that unit by 11 Feb 1916. Was in France, commanding a trench mortar battery by mid-December 1916. Served with 50th Battery, 34th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery at Vimy Ridge; received Military Cross “for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. When acting as Brigade F.O.O., [Forward Observation Officer at Vimy Ridge] the post was heavily shelled, but he succeeded in sending back timely and valuable information. During operations it was due to his great daring and knowledge of the situation that communications were maintained with the rear.” Invalided to rest camp Sep 1917 to recover from shell shock.

Butterfield, Douglas
Regimental No: 430274 Rank at enlistment: Pte.
Born: 14 Sep 1893, London England
Occupation: Rancher, Wynndel BC
Enlisted: 3 Mar 1915, Victoria BC
Previous Military Service: 107th East Kootenay Regiment
Service Details: Transferred to the 31st (Alberta) Battalion 11 Sep 1915 and embarked for France a week later. Wounded 8 Apr 1916 at St. Eloi Craters, Ypres Salient, Belgium; shell/shrapnel to left foot and left arm. Sent back to England for three months convalescence and rejoined his battalion near Voormezeele, Ypres, Belgium in August. By August 1918 he had survived several major battles unscathed and attained the rank of Sergeant. Slightly wounded to left leg and neck 11 Oct 1918 during the advance through the town of Hordain in the Cambrai Sector; again sent to England for convalescence and was discharged from duty in Vancouver on 28 Mar 1919.

Butterfield, James Edward
Regimental No: 687597 Rank at enlistment: Pte
Born: 15 Jan 1876, London England
Occupation: CHemist, Wilmer BC; formerly rancher, Wynndel BC
Enlisted: 5 Feb 1916, Athalmer BC
Previous Military Service:
Service Details: On arrival in Roclincourt, Arras, France in March 1917, was attached to Wireless Depot Company, Royal Engineers. In September 1917 Sapper Butterfield was hospitalized with myalgia and was returned to England. For the remaining 20 months, he was in service with the Canadian Engineer Training Depot, returning to Canada in August 1919.

Butterfield, John Crotch
Regimental No: 443358 Rank at enlistment: Pte.
Born: 11 Mar 1885, London England
Occupation: Chauffeur, Wynndel BC
Enlisted: 28 Aug 1915, Vernon BC
Previous Military Service:
Service Details: Arrived in France with the 54th Infantry Battalion on 13 August, 1916 and was attached to the 11th Canadian Trench Mortar Battery, 11th Canadian Infantry Brigade. Wounded 9 Aug 1917, near Lens, France. He was returned to England, being hospitalized for several months. Served with the Canadian Army Service Corps in various roles from June 1918 to demobilization in November 1919.

Clarke, John [Jack] Charles

Regimental No: 186544 Rank at enlistment: Pte.
Born: 8 Feb 1880, Liverpool England
Occupation: Shipping Clerk, Wynndel BC
Enlisted: 23 Aug 1915, Winnipeg MB
Previous Military Service:
Service Details: 90th Canadian Infantry Battalion (Winnipeg Rifles); transferred to the 27th Infantry Battalion CEF on 3 Sep 1916, landing in France two days later. Pte. Clarke served with the 27th Battalion for over two years. He was discharged at Witley Camp on account of short-sightedness on 29 Jan. 1919

Clarke, Ralph Ellis*
Regimental No: 187057 Rank at enlistment: Pte
Born: 8 Nov 1884, Liverpool, England
Occupation: Gasoline Engineer, Wynndel BC
Enlisted: 23 Aug 1915, Winnipeg MB
Previous Military Service:
Service Details: 90th Canadian Infantry Battalion (Winnipeg Rifles); the battalion was absorbed by 11th Reserve Battalion, CEF in July 1916 and he was transferred to the Canadian Army Service Corps at Witley Camp, England and later attached to the 5th Divisional Train, Witley. Served in No. 1 Canadian Army Auxiliary (Horse) Company in France for one year and was discharged on 19th May 1919. *Further research indicates that Ralph Clark was not at Vimy Ridge: he was still in training with the 5th Divisional Train, (Royal) Canadian Army Service Corps at Whitley Camp, England.

Coomber, Harry Alan
Born: 11 Aug 1884, London England
Occupation: Farmer, Boswell BC
Enlisted: 22 Sep 1914, Valcartier PQ
Previous Military Experience: 14th Middlesex Rifle Volunteers M. I. – 5yrs.
Service Details: After four months of training on Salisbury Plain, sailed for France on 11th February 1915 and disembarked at St. Nazaire three days later – 1st Canadian Division, 2nd Infantry Brigade. Wounded 1 Jul 1915, Ploegsteert, south of Messines, Ypres. Received a gunshot wound to the left thigh at Trench 62; spent more than three months in hospitals in England, then appointed to a commission with the Home Counties (Kent) Royal Garrison Artillery. He quickly rose to the rank of Lieutenant by the summer of 1917 and was attached to the 138th Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery in early 1918 when he was awarded the Military Cross: “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. This officer directed the withdrawal of guns, in full daylight, under heavy shell fire, and with enemy aeroplanes flying at 100 feet plastering them with machine-gun fire. Two guns were got clear, with six wagonloads of stores and ammunition, two men and two horses being wounded, and he only left when all available wagons had been sent away. Killed in action, 29 Apr 1918 at Gentelles Wood, west of Villers Bretonneux, Amiens, France: “No cover could be obtained beyond splinter-proof shelters, and the enemy artillery rained shells of all calibres into the wood continually. It was also a most difficult task getting ammunition to the position, owing to the road coming under heavy high explosive and gas shell fire very frequently. In this respect, the ammunition convoys of our Battery were extremely fortunate to escape serious damage, but the casualties to personnel and horses of other artillery units were very heavy. The men on the guns were not so lucky, and a number of the men were wounded, and Lt. Coomber died of wounds received at this spot.”