An inscribed silver British War Medal awarded to Canadian Acting Lance Corporal Eugene Kent of the 19th Battalion.
Inscribed on edge: ‘1 20650 A. L. CPL. E. KENT 19-CAN. INF.’
The 19th Battalion participated in the famed Battle Of Vimy from Vimy 9 – 14 April 1917 the most famous Canadian action of the Great War, when the five Divisions of the Canadian Corps captured and held the vitally important high ground known as Vimy Ridge.
The 19th Battalion moved west from Vimy to Fresnoy where Kent was killed on May 7th 1917. He was 34 years old.
#120650 PTE E. KENT
Unit sailed from Canada April 17th 1916. Arrived England on April 29th 1916, to France 29th June 1916.
Enlisted in 69th Battalion then moved to the 19th Battalion.
Medals sent to his fiancée Myrtle Galbraith Saint John, N.B. She was also named as his beneficiary in his will,
Silver medal, tarnished. Ribbon nice condition, little fraying at end.
…From January through March 1917, the 19th Battalion carried out periods of training interspersed with tours of duty in the trenches of the Calonne and Thélus sectors. Between 27 March and 7 April, the battalion conducted more intensive training exercises: practising platoon, company, and battalion-level attacks, and participating in brigade offensive schemes. This was in preparation for the impending assault of Vimy Ridge, scheduled for 9 April…
...Lt-Col Millen had a great deal to be proud of in the conduct of his men on 9 April. In addition to the territory they seized, the 19th Battalion captured five machine guns, five German “Fish Tail Bomb Carriers,” two light trench mortars, and at least 120 prisoners. It was an outstanding morning’s work by all ranks. But the capture of the ridge and subsequent gains in follow-up actions over the next several days were achieved at considerable cost in lives. From 9 to 14 April, three officers of 19th Battalion were killed or died of wounds, and six others were injured. As for the other ranks, the grim toll was 32 killed, 154 wounded, and 27 missing.
The toll was even heavier in an exceedingly nasty action the following month, when the 19th Battalion relieved the 28th and 29th Battalions in the front lines near Fresnoy. The relief was almost complete in the pre-dawn hours of 8 May when the Germans launched a ferocious artillery and infantry assault. Their chief target was the village of Fresnoy, held by British troops along the 19th Battalion’s right flank. When the British were driven back, the Canadians were in serious danger of being outflanked. This forced them to withdraw part of their forces on the right. Counter-attacks to restore the situation met with initial success, and soon the 19th Battalion was in possession of its original front-line positions. Unfortunately, the neighbouring British units did not have sufficient reserves to restore the situation on their own front, and early that afternoon the 19th was forced to withdraw part of its force once again in order to link up with the British.