Saturday, October 25, 2008
William Euerby Joins the CEF
William Edmund Euerby was living in Grand Forks, British Columbia when he attested to the 102nd Infantry Battalion in Comox, B.C. on January 24, 1916. At the time of his attestation he reported his age as 31 years, 1 month, having been born in Reading, Berks England on April 1, 1885. He was married to Emma Euerby and listed his occupation as an "Engineer". His service record clarifies that this was a "Locomotive Engineer".
He lists 4 years with the East Surry Regiment, which became part of the London Regiment (British) but he had probably left to Canada by that time. He then shows 4 years with the "R.M.R." which does not fit with a British Militia unit but could be the "Royal Montreal Regiment" if he stayed some time in the east before heading out west. The last Militia unit listed is the "Ind. Coy Rifles" in Grand Forks, British Columbia. I can not find a reference to that unit, but I suspect it might have been part of the "102nd Rocky Mountain Rangers".
At the time of his attestation, William reported that he had 4 children (2 boys, 2 girls) namely William Edmond (5), Albert Rigby (2), Ruth Ellen (10) and Edith Agusta (7). Edith Agusta Euerby is the maternal grandmother of John Ivan Laughton, for whom this service record summary has been prepared. Edith married John Addison Corbett Laughton #525302. The connections are shown on the Laughton Family Tree as part of the David Laughton 1861 clan.
Service Record of William Edmund Euerby
Although the 102nd Canadian Infantry Battalion did serve as an active unit in France and Flanders, as part of the 11th Infantry Brigade of the 4th Canadian Division, that is not the path that Sapper Euerby followed. That would be because the 4th Canadian Division was not formed until the Spring of 1916. The "War Office" stipulated that this could not take place before the CEF had augmented the depleted troops in the field with reserves from the new battalions.
Sapper Euerby did not stay with the 102nd Infantry Battalion, he was taken-on-strength by the 211th Infantry Battalion, which subsequently became part of the 8th Brigade Troops and formed the 8th Canadian Railway Troops. This makes good sense, knowing that by trade he was a locomotive engineer. The change may have also been initiated as a result of his vision problems, which are reported in this medical record. We know that Sapper Euerby travelled to England with the 211th Battalion as he was on board the S. S. Olympic that left Halifax on December 15, 1916 and arrived in Liverpool on December 28, 1916. Upon arrival in England he was made a Provisional Sergeant Drummer at Witley Camp, a position that did not follow with him into service in France.
The newly arrived troops usually received additional training at the bases in England. Medical Reports state that his vision was noted as "defective" on March 2, 1917. The records show that on March 17, 1917 he was transferred to the Canadian Railway Troops Depot at Purfleet England. On March 21, 1917 he was taken-on-strength with the 8th Battalion Railway Troops in France, where he reverted to his previous rank and pay of a Sapper on June 30, 1916.
The service records of Sapper Euerby indicate that he was promoted to Lance Corporal in the field on April 4, 1918. Reference to the details in the War Diary for April 4, 1918 (date 6-4-18) show that was the date he was appointed "Acting" Lance Corporal. His official and retroactive appointment was published in the War Diary on April 27, 1918.
On June 9, 1918 L/Corporal Euerby was injured in an accident with a motor lorry that resulted in a compound fracture of his leg (tibia and fibula). Medical records indicate that the accident took place in the Ypres sector of Belgium where he was accidentally run over by a motor lorry. This would have been during the period when the German Army was making its "Big Push" to the Marne. After treatment at the No. 3 Casualty Clearing Station he was shipped the same day to England on June 12, 1918, where he was posted to the Canadian Railway Troops Depot, again at Purfleet. L/Corporal Euerby had an operation at East Suffolk and Ipswich Hospital to "readjust the bone and affix a plate". The War Diary does not report that he was invalided to England until June 24, 1918. There is no mention of the injury to Sapper Euerby in the war diary of June 9, 1918.
The war diary of the 8th Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops tracks the movement of L/Corporal Euerby's movements at the front.
On May 23, 1919 Lance Corporal Euerby was invalided to Canada. His medical records show that he was continually bothered by the fracture of his leg in the June 1918 accident. In Canada Euerby had surgery at the Shaughnessy Military Annex to remove the screws that were inserted in the prior operations and to remove build up of bone around the area. He was then admitted to the Resthaven Section of the Esquimalt Military Hospital on October 21, 1919 for evaluation.
His only other reported medical problem was "Heat Prostration" that he suffered on the ship ("Megantic") when returning to Canada from England on or about June 3, 1919. He was briefly hospitalized at Savard Military Hospital and released, fully recovered.
Lance Corporal William Edmund Euerby was discharged from the Canadian Army on October 31, 1919.
The CEF WW1 Soldier Blog sites are best viewed on the Internet at the location shown on the bottom of each printed page. A printed copy may have been given to the family member for whom the summary report was prepared, in which case there may be additional attachments. If you are viewing the on-line version, please note that coloured underlined text is a hyperlink to a detailed document. All images in the main blog and the left side panel are also hyperlinked to other reports or images. For additional information, questions or comments e-mail Richard Laughton at or visit the Matrix Project.