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Grey County Reads -2021


Remembering: Three Soldier's stories from WWI

fred and emerson smith

Fred and Emerson Smith, brothers from Eugenia. 

BY SOUTHGREY.CA STAFF — As Remembrance Day approaches, we remember those who fought bravely in WWI. We're sharing stories of three soldiers and their experiences.  

WWI started on July 28, 1914 and ended on November 11, 1918.

Fred Smith was in the 15th Battalion, Canadian Infantry. His parents were Adam and Kate Smith who lived in Eugenia. Fred was gassed and captured at the Battle of St. Julien, a part of the Second Battle of Ypres, April 24 to May 4 in 1915. This was the first mass use of poison gas by the German army.

Fred remained a prisoner of war in Germany until he was exchanged and moved to Switzerland. He died on July 22, 1918, before the end of the war.

Fred Smith with others in prison garb

Fred Smith with others in prison garb.


Emerson Smith, Fred's brother

Emerson served in the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles. He had only experienced two months of action in Europe when he was killed at Vimy Ridge in 1917. He is buried at Petit Vimy British Cemetery in Pas de Calais, France. He was 36.

The grave site of Emerson Smith

The grave site of Emerson Smith at Petit Vimy British Cemetery in Pas de Calais, France.


clark macmillan in uniform

Clark MacMillan

Clark MacMillan was the son of Mr. and Mrs. John S. MacMillan from Artemesia Township, brother to Kate, Annie and Duncan MacMillan. He was in the Canadian Infantry Battalion and drove horses.

Clark survived the war and came home to be given medals and honours from Artemesia Township. 

It was believed that he contracted tuberculosis in Europe and it remained dormant in his body. He died at the age of twenty-six on the way to Arizona on March 27, 1925. His sister, Kate MacMillan donated many of Clark’s artifacts to South Grey Museum.

Photos supplied by South Grey Museum.


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