RMR Rotates Out of Trenches, Suffers More KIA

Monday, August 2, 1915


The Battalion War Diarist wrote nothing for this day: “8:00 p.m. Left trenches, went to Piggeries”[1]

THIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY: On this day “Brig.-General Turner inspected the trenches with care, and at night the 14th Battalion handed over the front to the 13th Battalion and proceeded to familiar billets in the Piggeries.  From this spot working parties moved forward regularly to the front and reserve lines;…”  [2]

On this day, August 2nd, the Battalion sustained another fatal casualty, in the person of Corporal Auguste Subreville (No. 26371), an ‘original’ of the 14th Battalion . He was born in Port Hamon, France on April 25, 1895. It is not known when or why he came to Canada, but his parents were still in France when he enlisted in September of 1914. He gave his occupation as “cook.’ His records merely show that he was ‘killed in action’ on this date with no further particulars being given. He was just 20 years and three months old, and was buried in what is now known as Ploegsteert Military Cemetery, along with eleven other members of the 14th Battalion who died in the area between July 6th and October 23rd of 1916.

Three days earlier, on July 30th another original member of the battalion was killed, namely Private Bert Goodman (No. 25839). Goodman was born August 30th 1892 at Burton-upon-Trent, in East Staffordshire, Eng. Again we do not know when or why Goodman came to Canada, but he enlisted in September of 1914 with the 1st Canadian Grenadier Guards, and was part of that Regiment’s contribution to the founding of the 14th Bn. His papers show that he was a baker, living with an aunt at 47 Church Street in Montreal. Once again, while his records show he was ‘killed in action’ at the age of 22 years, on July 30th 1915, no further particulars are given. He was also buried in what is now Ploegsteert Wood Military Cemetery.

Ploegsteert Wood Military Cemetery was made by the enclosure of a number of small regimental cemeteries

Ploegsteert Wood Military Cemetery, Belgium

“Ploegsteert Wood Military Cemetery was made by the enclosure of a number of small regimental cemeteries.

Plot II was originally the Somerset Light Infantry Cemetery, made by the 1st Battalion in December 1914. The 32 graves it contains, as well as ten in Plot I, are from that battalion.

Plot IV, the Bucks Cemetery, was made by the 1st/1st Buckinghamshire Battalion, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, in April 1915. 11 of the 20 graves it contains are from that battalion.

Plot III contains 16 graves of the 1/5th Gloucesters, made between April and May 1915, and in Plots III and I there are 12 graves of the 8th Loyal North Lancs from October to December 1915. However, these plots were known as Canadian Cemetery, Strand, from the 28 Canadian graves of June to October 1915 in Plot III, and from the trench running nearby. [Of these 28 Canadian graves, twelve are the graves of members of the 14th Battalion CEF, Royal Montreal Regiment].

The cemetery as a whole was used sparingly in 1916, and again by the New Zealand Division in July and August 1917. It was in German hands between 10 April and 29 September 1918. Ploegsteert Wood Military Cemetery contains 164 First World War burials.”

[1]  War Diary, 14th Canadian Battalion, The Royal Montreal Regiment, August 2, 1915.  Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e044/e001089768.jpg
[2]  R.C. Featherstonhaugh, The Royal Montreal Regiment 14th Battalion C.E.F. 1914-1925, Montreal, The Gazette Printing Co., Ltd., 1927, pg. 66.
[3]   http://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/51602/PLOEGSTEERT%20WOOD%20MILITARY%20CEMETERY
[4]  Ibid