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Remembering World War I Yarmouth Connections
Name: Edward Joseph Pothier Service Number: 469261 Rank: Private Service: 64th Battalion, 25th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Forces Awards: British War Medal 1914-1920, Victory Medal 1914-1919, 1 Gold Bar Date of Birth: May 12, 1896 Place of Birth: Yarmouth, Yarmouth Co., Nova Scotia Date of Enlistment: August 27, 1915 Place of Enlistment: Sussex, New Brunswick Age at Enlistment: 19 Address at Enlistment: Yarmouth, Yarmouth Co., Nova Scotia Height: 5 feet, 7 ½ inches Complexion: Fair Eye Colour: Hazel Hair Colour: Brown Occupation: Dry Goods Clerk, Salesman Marital Status: Single Religion: Roman Catholic Next of Kin: E. Pothier (Father) Yarmouth, Nova Scotia Date of Discharge: July 12, 1918 Age: 22 Date of Death: November 23, 1929 Age: 33 Cemetery: Our Lady of Calvary Roman Catholic Cemetery, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia Edward Joseph Pothier was the son of Eugene Agapit Pothier (1859-1922) and Marie (Amirault) Pothier (-1897) of Wedgeport, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia, and the brother of Mary Evelena (Pothier) Chisolm (1894-1975), Joseph Alfred Pothier (1897-1990), Mary Pothier (1911-2004) and Margaret Marie Pothier. Edward’s father remarried Elsie Jean (d’Entremont) Pothier (1873-1954) after his mother’s death. Prior to WWI, Edward worked as a clerk in Yarmouth. After enlisting in August 1915, and training in Canada he sailed to England from Halifax aboard the SS Adriatic on March 31, 1916. He was briefly transferred to the 12th Battalion on June 24, 1916, en route to Shorncliffe in Folkestone, Kent at the coast to be assigned to the Canadian 25th Battalion on June 29, 1916. Then, he crossed the English Channel to join his Battalion in the field in France. Edward was wounded by gunshot to his right arm at Courcelette on September 18, 1916. The Battle of Courcelette, or the Battle of Flers-Courcelette, was part of the Somme offensive. The Battle was fought from September 15-22, 1916. It resulted in thousands of battlefield casualties, but also signalled the start of new thinking in military tactics that would eventually solve the riddle of the trenches and help turn the tide of the war. Tanks were used in battle for the first time during the Battle of Courcelette as well as the creeping artillery barrage. From the field, he was initially transferred to a hospital in Boulogne, France, to be transferred back to England for treatment and recovery. He was transferred to England aboard the Belgian ship Jan Breydel on September 19, 1916, and admitted to the Metropolitan Hospital in Kingsland Road in London, England the next day on September 20, 1916. On November 14, 1916 he was transferred to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital at Hillingdon House in Uxbridge, Middlesex, England and discharged from hospital in March 1917. Edward returned to Canada onboard the Hospital Ship SS Letitia from Liverpool, England on March 12, 1917. He was admitted to the Pine Hill Convalescent Hospital in March and was released as an outpatient for a time to convalesce at home in Yarmouth. He did however return to Pine Hill on September 23, 1917, and was transferred to the Camp Hill Military Hospital from October 25 to November 13, 1917. It was determined on December 1, 1917, that he should be admitted to the sanatorium for treatment and recovery of the tuberculosis. Edward was in the city on December 6, 1917. Edward was wounded in the right eye by flying glass during the Halifax Explosion in the city on December 6th. Penetrating eye injuries were extraordinarily prevalent in the Halifax Explosion because of flying glass shards. The smoke cloud of the ignited SS Mont Blanc in the harbour drew men, women, and children to their windows, not knowing that minutes later the vessel would explode – shattering essentially every window in the city. Edward was released from convalescence to his home, and discharged from the military on July 12, 1918, but he never fully recovered from all his injuries and illness suffered while serving in the Canadian Infantry Corps. He settled into a residence on Kempt Street in Yarmouth. Edward found employment working as a street car conductor on the Main Street line until 1928 when the line shut down. Edward died November 23, 1929, in his home town of Yarmouth. His death was attributed to complications of multiple injuries sustained from duty during his service. Edward’s funeral was held at the St. Ambrose Cathedral in Yarmouth on November 25, 1929, and he is interred at the Our Lady of Calvary Roman Catholic Cemetery in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.
Edward Joseph Pothier
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Sources: Library and Archives Canada findagrave
The Capture of the Sugar Refinery at Courcelette by the Canadians on September 15, 1916, painted by Fortunino Matania, Beaverbrook Collection of War Art