WW1: Life of a Soldier

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World war I: The Life of a Soldier

Lieutenant Herbert Howard Whitehead

Date and Place of Birth, Next of Kin (123)

Lieutenant Herbert Howard Whitehead was born November 22, 1885 in Toronto Ontario. �Herbert was part of the Canadian Infantry as well as the Royal Flying Corps. Not only was he a foot soldier but a pilot as well. He trained in England with his Battalion until their call to duty to France on 18 September 1915.� He saw service throughout Europe in the Battle of Ypres and the Battle of Somme. His next of kin is Mary Whitehead who lives at 4583, Windsor Street, Vancouver, BC., Canada. �

Battalion and RFC (308)

Lieutenant Herbert Howard Whitehead enlisted with the 31st Canadian Infantry Battalion.� As well he was also part of 2nd sqdn. Royal Flying Corps. The 31st battalion was formed on 16 Nov 1914 and Herbert enlisted the day after that.�

The battalion served until June 1919.� The 31st Battalion had a reputation as an effective and fierce fighting unit. The 31st Battalion never surrendered any ground during the war and served in many famous battles such as Vimy and Passchendaele. In the Battle of Passchendaele, the 31st Battalion had the honour of capturing the village of Passchendaele. �The Battalion earned 19 battle honours during the Great War.

Herbert was also part of the RFC. And after being permanently attached to it on June 4, 1916, it was the most likely cause of his death. Early in the war, arming the aircraft was difficult because of obstructions such as the propeller, wing and struts. RFC pilots faced a difficult challenge as their enemy had air superiority and weaponry. The weather was also a significant factor on the western Front with the prevailing westerly wind favouring the...