Every soldier tells a story. Some stories end the same way.
Sun Quarry Cemetery is 1.5 km SE of the village of Chérisy (near Arras) on the NE side of D38, the road to Hendecourt-lès-Cagnicourt. Of 191 WW1 burials, eight unidentified, 161 are Canadian. According to Commonwealth War Grave Commission records, the cemetery was made by the fighting units and most of those buried there were killed between 26 Aug and 28 Sep 1918. In other words, they are buried close to where they fell.
Five headstones in Row A mark the graves of five men from the 15th Battalion of the Canadian Infantry who died on 30 Aug 1918.
Lance Corporal Francis Thomas (Fred) Critcher 602851
Born 16 Feb 1899 (London, Eng), son of Annie Critcher, Preston, ON. A labourer (worked a lathe). Attested 5 Aug 1915 (age 16 – lied about his age). Died age 19. Row A, Grave 4.
Private Edward Jones MM 1087090
Born 15 May 1895 (Lancashire, Eng), son of Mrs E (Annie?) Dearmant, London, Eng. A farmer in Janetville, ON. Attested 11 Jan 1917, age 21. Died age 23. Row A, Grave 5.
Private Frederick Towns 436853
Born 21 Jan 1891 (Grand Forks, N Dakota) Son of Sarah and Elzer Towns, Coronation, AB. A farmer and machinist. Attested 9 Feb 1915 (age 24). Died age 27. Row A, Grave 6.
Soldier rest / Thy warfare o’er / Dream of fighting fields no more (Sir Walter Scott)
Private George Blakley Ledgerwood 50143
Born 18 Nov 1888 (Pembroke, ON), son of Elizabeth Blakley and Alexander Ledgerwood. A drug clerk. Attested 16 Feb 1915 (age 26). Died age 29. Row A, Grave 7.
Private Alfred Thomson 2393305
Born 27 Jan 1899 (Aberdeen, Scotland), son of Elizabeth Anderson and William Thomson, Milton, ON. A spinner and farmer. Attested 10 Apr 1917 (age 18) Died age 19. Row A, Grave 8.
Father in thy gracious keeping / Leave we our dear laddie sleeping (after John Ellerton)
The 15th Battalion records of service tell how they died:
Killed in Ulster Trench (U.4.C.31) during heavy enemy bombardment shrapnel wound in the head causing his death. Witness 437209 Sgt FH Taylor. Killed 4 am. Death resulted immediately. Buried by 1st Div. Burial Officer 1.9.18 at Sun Quarry Cemetery on Cherisy-Hendecourt Road.
Three had immigrated to Canada from the UK, one from the US. One was born in Canada. All unmarried, all volunteers. One a great uncle I never met.
Biographical info from Personnel Records of the First World War (Library and Archives Canada), Canadian Virtual War Memorial (Veterans Affairs Canada) and 15th Battalion Record of Service Cards (15th Battalion Memorial Project). Read here and here about the 15th Battalion’s actions in late Aug and early Sep 1918.
Welcome to more new followers this week. Thank you for joining the journey. I look forward to your comments.
September 9, 2018 at 05:03
My husband ‘s grandfather is buried in Sun Quarry he is George Howard 79158 driver
Royal Field Artillery Killed 7 Sep 1918, On 7 Sep 2018 I went with my daughter Christine and her husband Thomas to the mark death of George . he left behind a wife and 10 month old son who I am not sure if he ever met. So sad that so many young men in their 20s never got to have a life we should always remember them rest in peace and thank you
September 9, 2018 at 17:52
I found the visits to all the CWGC cemeteries moving, but none more so than those where I had a personal connection. How lovely that you and your family could honour George Howard on the anniversary of his death. Thank you for sharing the experience.