Private Farries is not listed on either the Victoria Park Cenotaph or the Haltonville Cenotaph. His name appears in references to Milton, thus we have included him on this site for the benefit of others who are researching soldiers associated with the Town of Milton. He is remembered on the Virtual War Memorial and in the Book of Remembrance, Parliament Buildings, Ottawa.
Private Farries’s body was not recovered. His name, like many other at that time, is engraved on the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres (Ipres) Belgium.
Private Farries was 36 years 8 months old when he had his medical examination at Valcartier on August 29, 1914. He had served in the British Militia and was probably eager to return to serve for “King & Empire“. He was probably a local labourer in Milton, as his pay records show he served with the 20th Halton Rifles guarding the armouries.
Captain Bastedo of Milton was also with the 4th Infantry Battalion and most likely recruited Private Farries from the 20th Halton Rifles.
Private Farries had a “thin” service file, showing only that he was sentenced to 14 days Field Punishment #1 for drunkenness on February 26, 1915 in England and then another 25 days in France for a 2nd offence on April 13, 1915.He is formally reported having been killed on April 23, 1915, a mere 10 days later.
Farries served in “E” Company of the 4th Infantry Battalion (1st Brigade, 1st Division). As history will always show, April 22, 1915 was a terrible day in even modern warfare, as it was the first use of poisonous gas at the 2nd Battle of Ypres. The 4th Battalion was in Vlamertinghe, east of Ypres when the attack took place. Early in the morning of the 23rd the 4th Battalion was ordered to move east of the Yser Canal to attack northward with the French Army on the east side of the Ypres-Pilckem Road. The enemy had already broken through after the gas attack and was digging in at Mauser Ridge. The 4th moved into the shallow valley at 5:25 am, assuming they had French support, where they were met by heavy rifle, machine gun and artillery fire just east of Tuco Farm (Nicholson Sketch 7).
The War Diary reports the action for April 23, 1915 and continuing. The Commanding Officer and Adjutant were killed in action in the reported 487 casualties (killed, wounded and missing). Private Farries was one of the 487 men in that report.
Currently there are no additional images of Private Farries on the Virtual War Memorial.