Each soldier tells a story.
Visitors to Mountain View Cemetery, located west of Fraser St between 31st Ave and 43rd Ave in Vancouver, can find some 329 Commonwealth war graves of those who served in WW1, a Cross of Sacrifice, and a spectacular view of the Coast Mountains north of Vancouver. The Jones 45 section of the cemetery has the largest concentration of WW1 war graves.
What an array of Canadian regiments and service branches. In addition to several artillery and infantry units, there’s the Cyclist Battalion, Dental Corps, Engineers, Forestry Corps, Infantry Works, Medical Corps, Military Police, Militia, Mounted Police, Naval Volunteer Reserve, Overseas Railway Construction Corps, Pioneers, Railway Service Guard, Railway Troops and Signal Corps.
The Australian Infantry, A.I.F. and several British regiments (Lancashire Fusiliers, The Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment, Royal Air Force, Royal Army Service Corps, Royal Engineers, Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Reserve) are also here.
To me, one grave stands out. Private Herbert Bailey, 26th December 1918, age 16.
Bailey was born in Dover England, the son of Harold and Edith Bessie Bradley. He signed up in Victoria BC in April 1916, giving his birth date as 5 January 1898. He was actually born in January 1902. He was 14 years old.
In December 1916, just before his 15th birthday, he sailed from Halifax to England, then on to France in January 1917. He served in the trenches until, in March 1917, he was gassed at Vimy Ridge. At a medical board in July 1917, he was struck off strength … the officials were on to his true age. He was shipped back to Canada in August. He died of pneumonia in December the following year. His epitaph: He died for King and Country. Aged 16 years 11 months. Gone but not forgotten.
Thanks to Susan, kindred spirit in seeking out several Vancouver memorials.
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March 19, 2018 at 10:18
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