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Canadian Artillery, 5th Battery in the Great War - The Wartime Memories Project -

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Canadian Artillery, 5th Battery

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Those known to have served with

Canadian Artillery, 5th Battery

during the Great War 1914-1918.

  • Quick Stuart Henry. Gnr.

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Feb 2018

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Gnr. Stuart Henry Quick 5th Battery Royal Canadian Artillery

On September 26, 1914, just six weeks after Britain had declared war on Germany, Stuart, a printer working with the Newmarket Era newspaper in Newmarket, Ontario, had voluntarily enlisted in the Canadian Army in Quebec City, Quebec. One of the first group of Canadian soldiers (known as the First Contingent) to be sent to Flanders, Gunner Quick as he became, was assigned to the 5th Battery, 2nd Brigade of the 1st Division Canadian Field Artillery. He sailed for Europe with the Canadian Expeditionary Force on October 3 on the Cunard liner RMS Ivernia, amongst an armada of 31 transport ships carrying 83,000 troops from the Dominion, the largest military force that has ever crossed the Atlantic at one time.

After disembarking at Plymouth on October 20th, he travelled to Amesbury by train the next day, thence on to Westdown North Camp, to undergo training in England, at the Canadian military training base on Salisbury Plain. There, in canvas tents, they spent one of the worst winters on record in England. In early February, Stuart's regiment was sent to France and in March took part in his first action in the Battle of Neuve Chapelle. Soon after he took part in the Battle of Ypres and experienced the horror of the Germans chlorine gas attacks. Somehow he managed to survive this and for the next 15 months, he was up to his neck in mud and gore in the trenches of Flanders exchanging high-explosive shells with the German troops who probably didn't want to be there either.

Early in the morning of 6th of May 1916, Stuart's luck ran out. Whilst out on a night-time reconnaissance patrol at the front with two comrades, a German shell exploded a few feet from them, killing Stuart instantly and badly wounding his friend Sid Williams. His other chum, Signaller George Arthur McClintock escaped with a hole in his cap, a rip in his coat sleeve and minus part of his trousers. All of these three were First Contingent men, who up until then had managed to come through some serious action, including, without a scratch. Today, Stuart's remains are buried in the Reninghelst New Military Cemetery, Reninghelst, a short distance from where he was killed.

Alan Bartlett

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