In memory of
Bombardier
JAMES "ALEXANDER" MacLean Coburn
August 22, 1886 - March 30, 1918

Military Service:

Service Number: 335954

 

Age: 31

Force: Army

Unit: Canadian Field Artillery, ​Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF)

 

Division: 3rd Div. Trench Mortar Bty.

Commemorated on Page 386 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.

Military Service Records: 

When a recruit signed up for the Canadian Expeditionary Force in WW I he filled in an attestation paper that indicated his willingness to serve in the military and provided such information as date of birth, next of kin, height, weight, complexion, occupation, etc. As such these papers are of genealogical importance. The links below are to a scanned copy of the attestation papers of James Alexander MacLean Coburn completed on 3 July 1916, in Woodstock New Brunswick.

Date of Enlistment:
July 3, 1916, Woodstock, New Brunswick, Canada

 

Additional Information:

James "Alexander" MacLean Coburn, born 22 Aug 1886, son of John G. Coburn and Margaret Ann Nesbitt, Harvey, NB, died 30 Mar 1918, France, Battle of the Somme.


Cemetery:
La Targette British Cemetery, Pas de Calais,France.

La Targette British Cemetery is in the Western angle of the cross roads at Aux-Rietz. This Cemetery was formerly known as the Aux-Rietz Military Cemetery, and was begun at the end of April, 1917, and used by Field Ambulances and fighting units until September, 1918. Sixteen graves were brought in from the immediate neighbourhood after the Armistice.

In March-April 1917, the artillery of the 2nd Canadian and 5th Divisions, and certain heavy artillery units, had their headquarters in a deep cave at Aux-Rietz. Nearly a third of the graves, including Bdr. Alexander Coburn, have an artillery connection.

The 21st Canadian Infantry Battalion erected a wooden memorial in the cemetery to their dead of April, 1917. The cemetery covers an area of 2,852 square metres and is enclosed by a stone curb on two sides, and on the other two by a low rubble wall.

The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.

The cemetery contains 638 First World War burials, 41 of them unidentified. There are also three Second World War burials, two of which are unidentified.

 

Location:
Neuville-St Vaast is a village 6.5 kilometres north of Arras, a little east of the road from Bethune to Arras. La Targette British Cemetery lies to the south-west of the village on the north-west side of the road to the village of Maroeuil.

 

Grave Reference:
I. J. 5.

Targette
Targette plan

The First Battle of Somme (1918) 21 Mar - 5 Apr 1918

The First Somme battle of 1918 is also known as the Battle of Saint-Quentin or the Second Battle of the Somme. It lasted from March 21–April 5 1918. The 1918 Spring Offensive or Kaiserschlacht was a series of German attacks along the Western Front during the First World War, which marked the deepest advances by either side since 1914. The German Artillery rained down shells on the British and Allied positions, purposely targeting the British artillery and rear lines of troops, ready for what they hoped would be a lighting attack to split the British and French Lines, hoping to push the British forces back to the channel. Casualties on both sides were horrendous.

The first attack of the German Spring Offensive (codenamed Michael) was launched from the Hindenburg Line, on March 21, in the vicinity of Saint-Quentin. It reached a crisis at Villers-Bretonneux a little to the east of the key Allied communications centre of Amiens. The winning of that battle by the Allies, marked the beginning of the end of the First World War, as this Western front was much the most significant by this stage and the German advance stalled largely through an inability to maintain supplies.

As an important part of the German tactics in this battle was to target artillery it is possible that Bdr. Coburn was killed in action on March 30 as part of routine German counter battery fire, although his death could have been accidental (e.g. faulty ammunition or artillery piece misfire).

 

Source:
Wikipedia, Veterans Affairs Canada

 
In memory of
Private
ARCHIBALD "ARCHIE" LITTLE
May 15, 1884 - May 19, 1918

Military Service:

Service Number: 3256948

 

Age: 34

Force: Army

Unit: Canadian Infantry (New Brunswick Regiment), Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF)

 

Division: 1st Depot Battallion

 

Commemorated on Page 450 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.

Military Service Records: 

When a recruit signed up for the Canadian Expeditionary Force in WW I he filled in an attestation paper that indicated his willingness to serve in the military and provided such information as date of birth, next of kin, height, weight, complexion, occupation, etc. As such these papers are of genealogical importance. The links below are to a scanned copy of the attestion papers of Archie Little completed on 16 April 1918, in St. John, New Brunswick when he was drafted into the 1st Depot Battallion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force under the Military Service Act of 1917.

Date of Enlistment:
April 16, 1918, St. John, New Brunswick, Canada

 

Additional Information:
Private Archie Little was the son of Robert Archibald Little and Jane "Janie" Robison , of Harvey Station. Born 15 May 1884, Harvey, and died 19 May, 1918, WWI, Spinal meningitis while in training.

Cemetery:
Harvey Settlement Cemetery, Harvey Station, York County, New Brunswick,Canada

 

Grave Reference:
1Little Family Plot. Section A, Plot 384.

Stone reads:
Archie Little, died May 19, 1918 aged 34 years.

1. Swan Hall, J.,Craig, H.C., Wood, G., Wood, M. 1999. Harvey Settlement Cemetery 1837-1999, ISBN 0-9687457-0-9, 141 p.

 

Newspaper obituary

2From newspaper obituary - 1918:

Private Archie Little
The body of Private Archie Little who died at the hospital at Saint John on Sunday, was brought to his late residence at York Mills on Monday evening.

The funeral was held there yesterday and was largely attended. Interment was in the cemetery at Harvey.
The deceased, who was about thirty years of age, was the eldest son of Mr and Mrs Robert A. Little of York Mills. He had been in the military training camp at St. John only a few weeks when he was seized with a heavy cold which developed into spinal meningitis, which terminated fatally after about a week's illness. He was a young man of excellent character and his death is very deeply regretted.

2. Watson, J.S., Swan, B.S., Hall, J.S., 1992. The Little Family of Harvey Settlement, 380 p.

 
In memory of
Private
ARTHUR FREDERICK KINGSTON
October 1, 1889 - August 12, 1918

Military Service

Service Number: 1030674

 

Age: 28

Force: Army

Unit: Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regiment), Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF)

 

Division: 42nd Battallion

 

Commemorated on Page 442 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.

Military Service Records: 

When a recruit signed up for the Canadian Expeditionary Force in WW I he filled in an attestation paper that indicated his willingness to serve in the military and provided such information as date of birth, next of kin, height, weight, complexion, occupation, etc. As such these papers are of genealogical importance. The links below are to a scanned copy of the attestion papers of Arthur Kingston completed on 24 April 1917, in Fredericton, New Brunswick when he signed up with the 236th O.S. Battallion (New Brunswick Rifles - Sir Sam's Own).

Date of Enlistment:
April 24, 1917, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada

 

Additional Information:
Private Arthur Frederick Kingston was the son of Benedict "Bene" Kingston and Elizabeth Jane "Lizzie" Henry, York Mills, Harvey Station, York Co., NB. born 1 Oct 1889, Harvey, and died 12 Aug 1918, WWI, Battle of Amiens.

 

Cemetery:
Bouchoir New British Cemetery, Somme, France.

Bouchoir is a village in the Department of the Somme on the straight main road from Amiens to Roye. The Bouchoir New British Cemetery is on the north-east side of the road nearly 2 kilometres south-east of the village.

From Peronne take the N17 to Roye then the D934 to Amiens. Travel for approximately 8 kilometres and just before the village of Bouchoir the cemetery will be found on the right hand side of the road.

 

The village of Bouchoir was lost to the Allies on 27 March 1918 during the German armies massive sprng offensive but was recovered by the 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade on 9 August 1918. The New British Cemetery was created after the Armistice when graves were brought there from several small Commonwealth cemeteries and from the battlefields round Bouchoir and south of the village. Almost all date from March, April or August 1918. The graves in Plots I and II are numbered consecutively from 1 to 144. Those in Plot III are numbered from 1 to 135, and the same system applies to Plot IV. Plots V and VI are numbered by rows in the usual way.

 

Casualty Details: UK 542, Canada 214, Australia 6, South Africa 1, Total Burials: 763

 

Grave Reference:
V. D. 29

bouchoir
bouchoir photo

Battle of Amiens

Private Arthur Frederick Kingston was killed on Day 5 of the Battle of Amiens, which began on August 8th 1918. This battle marked the opening phase of the Allied offensive later known as the Hundred Days Offensive that ultimately led to the end of World War I. Allied forces, spear headed by the Canadian Corps advanced over seven miles on the first day, one of the greatest advances of the war although as the Canadians progressed beyond the reach of artillary support, and with the arrival of German reinforcements, their momentum slowed. The battle is also notable for its effects on German morale with a large number of German forces surrendering. This led Erich Ludendorff to famously describe the first day of the battle as "the black day of the German Army." Amiens was one of the first major battles involving a significant number of tanks and marked the end of trench warfare on the Western Front. Fighting became mobile once again and remained so until the armistice was signed on November 11th, 1918.

 

Newspaper obituary

 

From newspaper obituary - 1918:

Pte. A. F. Kingston
Pte. Arthur Frederick Kingston, whose death in action was reported August 12th, was the son of Mr and Mrs Benedict Kingston, of York Mills, NB, and was twenty eight years of age.


Pte. Kingston went overseas with 236th Kiltie Battalion in November 1917. He was afterwards transferred to another battalion and served three months in France.


Letters received by his mother from his lieutenant attest to his splendid courage and gallantry in face of the enemy, and how nobly he met his death, during the great drive which commenced August 8.


Besides his parents, he is survived by six sisters and two brothers, who have the sympathy of all in the loss of a worthy son and brother.

 
In memory of
Private
GRAY LITTLE
March 17, 1892 - August 28, 1918

Military Service

Service Number: 445112

 

Age: 26

Force: Army

Unit: Canadian Infantry (New Brunswick Regiment), Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF)

 

Division: 26th Battallion

 

Commemorated on Page 450 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.

Military Service Records: 

When a recruit signed up for the Canadian Expeditionary Force in WW I he filled in an attestation paper that indicated his willingness to serve in the military and provided such information as date of birth, next of kin, height, weight, complexion, occupation, etc. As such these papers are of genealogical importance. The links below are to a scanned copy of the attestion papers of Grey Little completed on 16 June 1915, in Sussex, New Brunswick when he signed up with the 55th Battallion, Canadian Expeditionary Force.

Date of Enlistment:
June 16, 1915, Sussex, New Brunswick, Canada

 

Additional Information:
Private Gray Little was the son of Alexander Little and Mary Ann Coburn, Harvey Station, York Co., NB. Born 17 Mar 1892, Harvey, and died 28 Aug 1918, WWI, Second Battle of Arras.

 

Cemetery:
Sun Quarry Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.

Cherisy is a village approximately 13 kilometres south-east of Arras. The Cemetery is 1.5 kilometres south-east of the village on the north-east side of the D38 road to Hendecourt. Cherisy village was captured by the Allied 18th Division on May 3, 1917, but lost the same night; and it remained in German hands until it was retaken by the Canadian Corps on August 27, 1918. The cemetery takes it name from a flint quarry, known to the British Army as Sun Quarry, located a short distance south-east of Cherisy. The Cemetery covers an area of 462 square metres and is enclosed by brick walls.

Most of those buried in this cemetery were killed between 26 August and 28 September 1918 during the Battle of Arras.

Casualty Details: UK 30, Canada 161, Total Burials: 191

 

Grave Reference:
D. 11

Sunquarry
Sunquarry

The Second Battle of Arras (26 Aug - 3 Sept, 1918)

Private Gray Little was killed on Day 3 of the Battle of Arras, which began on August 26th, 1918. In this Battle the Canadian Corps, 100,000 strong attacked successive strong German lines and by September 2 had reached the Canal du Nord and in the process broke and turned the main German position on the Western Front.

After the Allied success in the Battle of Amiens, August 8-11, a renewal of the offensive on an extended front again brought the Canadian Corps into action, this time with the British First Army in the Arras sector. Sir Douglas Haig directed the First Army to strike eastward from Arras, and the hardened Canadian Corps once again became the spearhead of the attack. The Corps would assault astride the Arras-Cambrai road, with the canalized River Scarpe forming its left-hand boundary. The assignment given the Corps Commander, Lieutenant-General Sir Arthur Currie, was both important and difficult. A series of formidable defence positions barred the Canadian path, and in fortifying these the Germans had made full use of the deeply cut valleys and intervening ridges that crossed the battle area. Strongest of all, about nine miles east of Arras, was the Drocourt-Quéant (or D-Q) Line. Extending northward as a switch-line from the main Hindenburg position, this formidable deep system of trenches, fortified with concrete shelters and thick belts of wire, had been constructed by the Germans to contain any Allied advance into the Douai plain.

The Canadians struck before dawn on August 26, with the 2nd Division on the right, south of the Cambrai road; the 3rd Division between the road and the Scarpe and on the left, north of the river, the 51st Highland Division, temporarily under Currie's command. Aided by a powerful artillery and machine-gun barrage, the attack made good progress. Early in the day, the 3rd Division took Monchy in a skilfully executed encircling attack. On the right, the 2nd Division captured the villages of Guémappe and Wancourt during the afternoon. By nightfall the Canadian Corps was holding a line 914 metres east of Monchy, having repulsed several counter-attacks launched by the enemy in a determined attempt to regain the battered town.

Orders issued by General Currie for the 27th were to break through the strong Fresnes-Rouvroy Line - an advance of eight kilometres. It took two more days of hard fighting before the strong defence system was pierced near Boiry-Notre-Dame; and when the Battle of the Scarpe ended on August 30, resolute enemy garrisons were still clinging stubbornly to sections of the Fresnes-Rouvroy Line.

In the first three days of the battle the 2nd and 3rd Canadian Divisions had advanced more than eight kilometres over difficult, broken country beset with a maze of stoutly held trenches, and had captured 3,300 prisoners and a large number of guns.

After a brief respite Currie launched the assault of the Drocourt-Quéant Line on September 2. As day was breaking, armour and infantry began advancing be-hind a strong barrage to storm the enemy's main defensive line in the west. South of the Cambrai road battalions of the 1st Division swept forward as their tanks knocked out enemy posts and flattened wire that had survived the preliminary gunfire. By 7:30 a.m. one battalion had overrun the main trenches and was into the German support line, as a fresh battalion passed through to seize the village of Cagnicourt. Suffering crippling casualties, the Canadians gained their objective in the Buissy Switch before mid-night.
Dury Memorial

In the centre the 4th Canadian Division, which had taken over much of the 4th British Division's front, had been fighting its own hard battle. Between Dury and the main road the front trenches of the D-Q line were sited along the forward slope of the long low hill of Mont Dury. The attacking infantry had, therefore, to advance up an open incline swept by the enemy's machine-guns. At the crest they came under deadly fire from more machine-guns, as well as from shelling by the German field batteries in the rear. In spite of mounting casualties the Canadian battalions, aided greatly by tanks, reached the crest by mid-morning and drove the enemy from a sunken road linking Dury with the highway. With the capture of Dury village in vicious fighting, the 4th Canadian Division had gained its first objective. During the night the enemy fell back, and on September 3 the Canadian Corps, meeting no resistance, advanced some four miles to take up positions over-looking the next obstacle-the Canal du Nord.

 

In the bitter fighting of September 2, seven Victoria Crosses were won by Canadians. The enemy's enforced withdrawal had taken place on a wide front - with no fewer than four German armies retiring into the Hindenburg Line, and two more falling back in the north. Such was the measure of the Canadian achievement in smashing defences of the Drocourt-Quéant position. In the first four days of September the Canadian Corps captured more than 6,000 unwounded prisoners, and inflicted heavy German casua