Harry McEwan (1894-1917)
Stockton youth fought with Canadian Army killed at Vimy Ridge
Born in Stockton-on-Tees on 6 February 1894, at the age of six Harry and his younger brother, Luke, were boarding with Catherine Dolan in Thornaby. In July 1906 Harry was one of a party of boys sailing to Canada with the Catholic Emigration Society. By 1916 Harry and his brother, Luke, who had arrived in Canada in 1910 were farming near Maple Creek in Saskatchewan and their mother, Elizabeth, was living with them.
Harry enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) at Regina, Saskatchewan on 25 February 1916 becoming Private 907143 of the 195th Battalion and was assigned to “A” Company. After completing their summer training at Camp Hughes, the battalion sailed from Halifax on 1 November on board the SS Empress of Britain, arriving in Liverpool ten days later. Posted to East Sandling Camp the battalion was immediately absorbed into the 32nd Battalion, and barely two weeks after arriving, Harry was posted to the 5th (Western Cavalry) Battalion, fighting in France as part of the 2nd Infantry Brigade, 1st Canadian Division. Sometimes referred to as the “Dismounted Horse”, he joined the battalion at the village of Houdain, just to the northwest of Vimy Ridge, in January 1917, having spent three weeks with the 1st Entrenching Battalion.
Harry was killed in action during the assault on Vimy Ridge on 9 April 1917. The 5th Battalion was part of Phase One of the attack, going only as far as the first German trenches. The War Diary noted that most casualties were from machine gun fire.
Harry’s identified remains were recovered, and he is buried at Nine Elms (Thelus) Cemetery.
Civil Parish: Stockton on Tees
Birth date: 06-Feb-1894
Death date: 09-Apr-1917
Armed force/civilian: Army
Residence: Stockton-on-Tees (birthplace)
55 Queen Street, Thornaby (1901 census)
Maple Creek, Saskatchewan (1916 census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta)
Religion: Roman Catholic
Employment: farmer (1916 census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta)
Family: Parents: James McEwan, Elizabeth McEwan
Siblings: Luke McEwan, Arthur McEwan
195th Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force
32nd Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force
5th (Western Cavalry) Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force
Medal(s): British War Medal
Memorial(s): Nine Elms Military Cemetery, Thelus, France
Contributed by Jean Longstaff, Durham | Jim Busby, Canada
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