Elezer SteeleBattalion:40th Battalion; 25th BattalionRegimental Number:415621 Rank:PrivateDate of Birth:April 23, 1891 Place of Birth:Northern Bay, Bay De Verde NFLDDate of Enlistment:April 12, 1915Place of Enlistment:Yarmouth, NSAddress at Enlistment:NAAge at Enlistment:24Height: 5 feet 10 1/4 inches Trade:MinerMarital Status:Single Religion:WesleyanNext of Kin:Mrs Alice Moores (Mother), Northern Bay, Bay De VerdeElezer Steele ( Eleazer) was the son of Alice Moores (formerly Steele), of Northern Bay, Bay De Verde, Newfoundland, and the late Samuel Steele. The war diary of the 25th Battalion indicates that on April 27, 1916, the date of Eleazer Steele’s death, that the unit had 3 wounded and one killed by shell fire. Eleazer Steele was a friend of Herbert Cunningham, also of the 40th Battalion. Following the death of Eleazer, Herbert wrote home to his sister Geneva the following letter:Date of Death: April 27, 1916Age at Death: 25Cemetery: Dickebusch New Military Cemetery, BelgiumCommemorated on Page 167 of the First World War Book of RemembranceDisplayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on April 15 and April 16(Not listed on the Yarmouth War Memorial)Sources:Library and Archives Canada (Attestation Paper)Commonwealth War Grave CommissionVeterans Affairs CanadaPhoto and letter: Mike Cunningham (Yarmouth NS)
Well Geneva no doubt you have heard long ago about poor old Steele and I can tell you I feel very bad about it. He had lots of funny ways about him but we had been through so much together and he thought a lot of me too. The last time I saw him he bought me my dinner. I was broke at the time and chances looked slim of getting any dinner as they had 2000 men to feed that day. But poor old Steele has gone and it can’t be helped. I have seen quite a lot of that lately and I find the best thing is to let it pass out of your mind altogether. Geneva, quite a number of the old 40th have gone. I have had some close shaves myself but as yet, I am safe & feeling OK. Mother will have Steele’s money on her hands won’t she? Well tell her to keep it in the bank till I return and I will tell her what to do. And if anything happens to me, why use your own judgement.
Herbert Cunningham (left) Eleazer Steele (right)Photo: Courtesy of Mike Cunningham (Grandson of Herbert Cunningham)