Postcards from Somewhere in France -8- Discovering Will
If you follow this Blog you may recall the wonderful postcards from France that were found last fall when cleaning out my parents things before their move. I posted some of them during Remembrance Week in November. Buried in a Burkes Jewellers box, this stack of postcards had been sent to my Grandmother, Gladys (Harmer) Murray from her fiancee, Will, from the front during WWI (see Postcards from Somewhere in France).
We talked a lot about Will and what he may have been like, and about how his death, near the end of the Great War, changed the course of events for my Grandmother and for us. Who was Will? That was the question I asked my father, and he answered. His name was Billy Haskins!
Once we had a name, we were able to learn so much more about him. There are lots of resources to research WWI soldiers and their resting places.
A visit to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website and some smart searching and we began to find out a lot more about Will Haskins.
W H A Haskins, as he is listed, was the son of Mr. W. Haskins, of 427, Courtland Avenue, Kitchener, Ontario. Grandma was from Stratford, not so far away. We still wonder how they met.
Will was a Corporal at the time of his death, although the photos we have, show him in Private and later Corporal, uniforms. He was in the Scottish Regiment of Canadian Infantry, 16th Battalion. He died on the 28th of July, 1918, just four months before the end of the war. He is buried in Wanquentin Communal Cemetery Extension.
There are some other documents pertaining to his service and death.
This document, in The Supplement to the London Gazette, August 8, 1918, indicates he was awarded a medal: WillHaskensMedal . It also lists him as a Private in the Machine Gun Corps. We think that medal is still in the personal effects of my Grandmother and we may still have it. We’re still searching!
This Headstone Schedule confirms that he was in the Canadian Scottish Regiment, although it lists his date of death as July 26th, 1918.
Rest in Peace, Will.