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Name: Wilfred Adolphus Wyman Rank: Private Service No: 415848 Division: 25th Battalion. Date of Birth: April 11, 1897 Place of Birth: Sand Beach, Yarmouth Co., NS Date of Enlistment: August 12, 1915 Place of Enlistment: Aldershot, NS Date of Enlistment: August 12, 1915 Age at Enlistment: 18 Height: 5 feet, 6¼ inches Complexion: Fair Eyes: Grey Hair: Fair Martial Status: Single Trade: Draughtsman Religion: Baptist Next of Kin: Florence Wyman (Mother) Sand Beach, Yarmouth Co., NS Date of Death: November 6, 1917 Age at Death: 21 Memorial: Menin Gate (Ypres) Memorial, Belgium Panel Reference: Panel 26 - 30. Commemorated on Page 354 of the First World War Book of Remembrance Displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on August 1 Listed on the Yarmouth War Memorial Wilfred Adolphus Wyman was the son of Captain Wilfred Wyman and Florence Nightingale (Gavel) Wyman of Sand Beach, Yarmouth Co., NS.
Wilfred Adolphus Wyman
Wilfred graduated from the Yarmouth County Academy with honours in the class of 1913. His intention was to pursue electrical engineering having previously started a course of studies with the Soranton International Correspondence Schools and was offered a position with a large engineering concern in Philadelphia. He declined the position until after the war and enlisted in the 40th Battalion on August 12, 1915. He completed training at Valcartier Army Camp in Quebec. By October 30, 1915 he was at Bramshott Camp in England. “Well, I can describe my trip by saying I never want to cross the Atlantic in the same way. The eatables and the sleeping places for privates get the best of me ... We arrived in Liphook and marched into Bramshott Camp after a lengthy train ride from Liverpool. we are in huts, about 40 per hut. It is a palace alongside what we had. December 26, 1915: “I spent the worst Christmas I ever had.” January 16, 1916: In a letter to his sister Iona, a student at Acadia University, “Tell papa that if he had a battalion to dig ditches for him, he could have his whole farm dug over in a few weeks. We extend out in a line, each man having two feet each side of him and the space he stands on to dig to the required depth and width. Digging for an hour and then relieved for an hour you’d be surprised how quickly we can sink into the ground.” March 3, 1916: “I expect to leave this afternoon or early tomorrow, I suppose. When I am in the trenches, papa and Maynard (his younger brother) will be planting the seeds and throwing the manure peacefully on your little farm in Sand Beach.” March 27, 1916: “The sound of guns and bombs do not keep me awake when a chance comes for a rest.” April 4, 1916: “I have joined the 25th Battalion ... I have got a wrist band, field dressing, big jack knife, identifiable disk, name and number and 25th Battalion marked on it.” Within days, Wilfred came down with pneumonia and was admitted to No 22 General Hospital, Camiers on April 7. The following day he wrote home “I just got out here when the climate hit me, or , rather my health, and now I am a wreck although gaining strength and feel better today. I have had pneumonia and do not want to have it again. Still have difficulty breathing. Just three more days and I will be 19 years old. We have a few Canadian nurses in this ward and they are very kind to us soldiers.” On April 24, 1916, he was evacuated to England as the doctors realized he had a bad appendix. On May 31 he wrote, “I had my operation 13 days ago. There are two things I am going to do or else die trying. That is, become an experienced electrical and mechanical engineer and remove every darn spot from would be pure white skin. Cheer up, mother. We are not dead yet and better days are coming.” Wilfred was a heavily freckled redhead. It was mid-summer before he was returned to France. On August 15, 1916, he wrote that he expected in a few days to be the most “speedy” part of the line where “they push the plow and speed the telegram”. (Where they bury the dead and send word home to their families) On September 17 Wilfred was wounded at Courcelette. He wrote home on September 30, “I am in the above hospital (Second Western General) seven miles from Manchester. I was wounded on the 17th in a charge on a German trench by a machine gun bullet, I think, tearing a large hole in my left leg, about four inches below the hip in my left leg, going right though and knocking me off my pins. For 24 hours I lay in a shell hole just about 1,000 miles beyond the back of the other side of nowhere, but these dark hours are ever for the present.” Months later he wrote again of the incident. “I know I was reported killed in France after the battle as I was all alone for about 24 hours between our line and Fritz. He took some of our wounded boys prisoners but he did not get me although I could not walk or crawl - I could fire a rifle which I did.” He was transferred from Second Western General Hospital to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Woodcote Park, Epsom on November 10, 1916. Just prior to his transfer, he wrote on November 3, 1916, “How I wish this war were over and I was just free of this discipline and once more could enjoy life. However, I live in hopes that some day I will tumble and struggle to the place I often think of.” A month later, writing from Woodcote Hospital he told his mother that if it was his fate to die a young man he was prepared to accept it. He also said he was as ready as the next guy to endure pain and hardship without squawking. He was discharged from the hospital on December 18, 1916. It is then he met a young girl, Ella Urquhart of Aberdeen. In a letter of January 15, 1917 he wrote, “My dear lady friend sent me a cake and a silk handkerchief which is enclosed with a picture of her. You asked me to say something about her. She is a college girl and a great singer, kind hearted, sensible and everything that one could want in a young lady.” Wilfred was in a Reserve Battalion during this time and in April the entire company was quarantined for mumps. This caused the company to miss the action at Vimy Ridge. He was now 20 years old. May 12, 1917: “Just a few lines from Branshott before proceeding to France tomorrow or Monday. I am in the pink of health and the highest of spirits. Some day I will be coming back again. May 25, 1917: “Just a few liens to let you know I am back in France in the pink of health.” June 24, 1917: “The country behind the lines is very beautiful. July 12, 1917: “Just a line to say I am well and going strong. I received your letter of June 18 when I was in the front line. ... We had quite a few casualties but on the whole it was not a bad trip in. We had to make a trench for ourselves and it is named “Tusket”. Lieutenant Trask (also from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia) gave it that name and Lieutenant Clements named his “Pubnico”. I am at present behind the line in a nice billet. I am in the machine gun section and my mate on the gun has just treated me with lunch from the YMCA counter and it is great after bully beef and hard biscuits. July 15, 1917: “I am going to the trenches again. The weather is glorious.” In early August Wilfred was on a gun course for ten days and wrote, “I am about ready to go back to the Battalion”. August 27, 1917: “I liked my machine gun course fine. We had many casualties the last trip in.” October 11, 1917: “I am in the pink of health with lots to do in the mud to one’s neck. You know what ground is like after days of rain. I had a nice box from the Saturday Night Club a few weeks ago. It had travelled many m,any places and was a wee bit shell shocked. The Minard’s liniment is great for one’s feet after being soaked in mud and water for two or three days. I will be glad when I get your box from home, mother, as out eatables in the trenches are very unpleasant to the taste, Don’t worry. Keep smiling like I do and everything will go on just the same. Your loving son, Wilfred.” On November 6, 1917, Wilfred was at Passchendaele. There is conflicting reports as to what happened to Wilfred Wyman. Wilfred ...”had dug a “funk hole” on the left of the Company and was resting there on November 6, 1917 when an enemy shell landed on the parados of the funk hole, smashing it in and killing him instantly”. However, Cpl Ernest Munroe, also from Yarmouth NS and with D Company 15 Platoon, 25th Canadian Battalion, provided an eye witness report of Wilfred’s death with the Wounded and Missing Department of the Canadian Red Cross Society. “I knew Wyman quite well. He was a chum of mine. He came from the 40th Battalion. On November 6 at Passchendaele we had moved up to the front line in support. Wyman was in front of me in the machine gun section. He was number one on a gun. A small shell came over and exploded close to him. He was hit through the heart and died instantly. I was an eye-witness. I do not know where he was buried. Her was an engineer by trade, good singer, red haired. We called him “Ginger”.
Sources: Canadian Virtual War Memorial Library and Archives Canada A Monument Speaks, Arthur Thurston