Septimus Harrison

Soldier Details:

Private Harrison 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 Harrison is listed on the Aberfoyle Cenotaph. He is shown as a “Lance Corporal”.

Aberfoyle Cenotaph Photo M. Pirie

Aberfoyle Cenotaph Names Photo M. Pirie

Septimus Harrison
Private 4th Battalion 11092
June 16, 1915
Vimy Memorial
Resided in Moffat ON (Guelph-Milton)
Maple Leaf Legacy Project

Commemorative Details:

Private Harrison’s body was not recovered. His name, like many other at that time, is engraved on the Vimy Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.

Vimy Memorial. photo by CWGC

Milton Soldiers on the Vimy Memorial (Google Earth).

Soldier Summary:

Private Septimus Harrison is not listed on the Milton Cenotaphs but he clearly was a “Milton Soldier”, his wife Mary resided in Milton and he served with the 20th Halton Rifles guarding the armouries. Newspaper reports of his death refer to him as  one of two Milton boys (Harrison and Williams) who were killed on June 16, 1915 in an artillery bombardment. Three other Milton boys (Anderson, Paterson and Bradley – who wrote the letter) survived.

Private Harrison attested on September 22, 1916 at 36 years of age.  He had previously served in the British Royal Artillery, where it is reported he was sentenced at Courts-Martial to prison, where he spent 9 of the 12 months.

In June of 1915 the 1st Division of the Canadian Expeditionary Force was mid-way between Ypres and Arras in the area of Festubert and Givenchy (Nicholson Sketch 15). On June 15th the Canadian’s were at Givenchy and the 4th Battalion (1st Division, 1st Brigade) was just north of La Bassee Canal (Nicholson Sketch 16). Septimus was in “E” Company.

The unit War Diary reports there was a heavy bombardment by the enemy against the Canadians on June 15, 1915, followed by relative quiet on the 16th. Perhaps Private Harrison was killed on the 15th, as that is when the giant mine was exploded at “Duck’s Bill” and heavy bombardments followed by both sides. There are no particulars given in Private Harrison’s service record and no casualty lists in the war diary.

The images of the Aberfoyle Cenotaph by Marika Pirie were posted on the Virtual War Memorial for Private Harrison.

For detailed information on the 4th Infantry Battalion, please refer to their unit history: W. L. Gibson. Records of the Fourth Canadian Infantry Battalion in the Great War, 1914-1918 (Toronto, 1924).

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