Last November I had published my claim that more than one Canadian was killed in action on the last day of WW1 in Mons, Belgium.
Canadian Forces moved into Mons early on Nov. 11, when brigade commanders up knew the Armistice had been signed. It has been suggested there was symbolic value in taking Mons. Mons in Belgium was occupied by the British Expeditionary Force on Aug. 22, 1914 from where they were pushed back to Ypres.
After the war, former Commander of the Canadian Corps Sir Arthur Currie took a small newspaper to court over its claim the attack on Mons had been an unwarranted waste of life. Read more here.
During the trial, Currie’s team said no Canadian soldier died on the last day of the war in combat. He conceded many died of wounds that day and are buried in Northern France.
Currie’s team later in the trial accepted that one man, Lewis-gun toting Private George Lawrence Price, was killed in combat.
In my article I concluded that based on evidence at the trial – which Currie won – at least one other soldier died in action on that day (Corp. FJ Joyce) and there were likely others.
I have just found, by accident, something to back my claim.
The Canadian War Museum has in its collection a photo album of 147 pictures taken by Major Horace Dibblee, who served with number 5 and 9 seige battery of the Canadian Garrison Artillery.
Some amazing photos. Among them, on page 48 photos of Mons taken Nov. 11, including one with the cutline “Tower from which 8 Canadians were shot by enemy machine-gun less than one hour before 11 O’ clock on Nov. 11, 1918.” (refer to top of post)
Did any of them die. Did some die the day after or the day after that?
The Canadian casualty records for Nov. 1 – Nov. 11 show 26 officers and 219 other men killed in action or of wounds. Wounded for the same period was 100 officers and 1,594 men.
Bear in mind the defence in the Currie trial stated “that these records which deal with the publication of casualties to the world were deliberately falsified for the purpose of keeping from the world the knowledge of the loss of life.”
This was reacting to the one dead in combat on the day claim.
Thanks if you have read this to the end.