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American Joins Canadian Army - Soldier to major in 2 years - wins two MCs

54/102 CEF

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Its World War one - 40,000 Americans cross the border to fght the Hun - here is one story

Frank Gary may well have been the German`s worst nightmare.

His story is proof that determination always wins the day.

What follows is a short biography of a guy from Iowa who came up to Victoria BC - joined the Army and went overseas in 1916. He went from soldier to Major in 2 years - won 2 X Military Crosses - but sadly died of wounds on 2 Sep 1918.

Frank Gary - a Major in the 102nd Infantry www.donlowconcrete.com/102 and what happened to him

http://www.donlowconcrete.com/102/warpages/102CHAP11.htm - he won 2 Military Crosses - 1 step below the Victoria Cross.

"At 8.30 p.m. on the evening of Sept. 1st (1918) the Battalion fell in and marched off to the First Assembly Point in Vis-en-Artois - (in the direction of Cambrai France). It was a bright starlight night, and the roads were packed with traffic of all kinds. Enemy planes were very active, and on the way we were held up by a blazing ammunition lorry which had been fired by a bomb and was shooting off the contents of its dangerous load in every direction. The approach to our Assembly Point was difficult in the extreme, lying on the other side of a rolling expanse which was thickly fenced with our own barbed wire; in the starlight it was difficult to keep to the winding trails which led through the barriers, and the whole surface of the ground was deeply furrowed with disused trenches. By 1.00 o'clock the following morning, however, we reached cur destination, an extensive sand-pit which afforded excellent cover from the shells which began to drop around us immediately on our arrival. Here we slept until gas shells falling in our midst at 4.45 a.m. compelled our unwilling arousal and the furtive fingering of the ever-objectionable gas mask. It was a chilly dawn, and we were heartily thankful for the tot of rum which was served out just as the barrage broke out at 5.00 am., the signal for the First Canadian Division to "go over." Directly in front of the 11th Brigade was the 12th, to whom had been allotted the task of actually breaking through the main line of defence; behind the 12th Brigade, on our own immediate front, was the 87th Bn., who were to pass through the former east of the Drocourt-Queant Line, and through whom we were to leap-frog after they had captured Ecourt St. Quentin, our own objective, being first laid down as Oisy-le-Verger, on the east bank of the Canal du Nord, though this programme was subsequently modified.

The barrage was extraordinarily intense, and one hour after its commencement we moved forward, maintaining a distance of 1,000 yards from the 87th Bn. Within half-an-hour we passed into a zone of continuous barrage fire put over by the Hun to catch the supporting units. The terrain in this district is undulating, and the descending slopes were pitilessly swept by a hail of shell and machine gun fire, causing comparatively heavy casualties. It was at this point that Major J. F. Gary, M.C., fell mortally wounded by a shell; another claimed six of the Headquarters batmen and cooks, killing one outright, fatally wounding a second and seriously wounding the remaining four. "

Major Frank Gary native of the United States of America - Canadian Infantry 102nd Inf Bn CEF http://www.cwgc.org/cwgcinternet/certificate.aspx?casualty=467909

Civilian trade - Electrician

Born in the USA

Died in France - 2 Sep 1918

Significant Dates

03-Sep-15 Joins up in Victoria - Willows Camp - wife lives in Sioux City IOWA

23-Sep-15 Discharged - to be an officer Trained in Comox BC

01-Jan-16 Musketry Instructor

01-Apr-16 Sails from Halifax Nova Scotia on board Olympic - sister ship of Titanic

26-Apr-16 Bramshott UK Signals course

29-Apr-16 $97 Month / Pay

01-May-16 Shorncliffe Musketry course

04-May-16 att to 44th Bn

23-May-16 $111 Month / Pay

12-Jun-16 back from light Machine Gun Course

13-Aug-16 Overseas with the 67th Pioneer Bn

14-Aug-16 Lands at Le Havre

19-Jan-17 Acting Major - London gazette 30085 22 May 1917

01-Feb-17 $147 Month / Pay

10-Feb-17 mentioned in London Gazette 29936 page 1442 2 Oct 1917

28-Apr-17 Substantive Capt

01-May-17 SOS to 102nd Bn on 4th Div re-org or pioneers

17-May-17 Light Machine Gun Course

24-Aug-17 Leave in Paris

30-Aug-17 Back from Paris

01-Oct-17 $186 Month / Pay

09-Apr-18 temp Maj

28-Jun-18 Leave in Paris

10-Jul-18 Sr Offr crse Aldershot

09-Aug-18 Departs Aldershot

19-Aug-18 2nd C. O. R. D. believe Canadian Overseas Reinforcement Depot

23-Aug-18 departs for 102nd Bn

30-Aug-18 Back from Paris

02-Sep-18 Admitted to No 7 Casualty Clearing Station - Dies from German Arty Shrapnel

16-Sep-18 Bar to MC London Gazette 30901 16 9 18 Probably the raid of April 1918 http://www.donlowconcrete.com/102/warpages/102chap8.htm

19-Feb-21 Memorial scroll sent to widow - Gladys in Lankershim California c/o JF Kegley

23-Dec-21 Dead Man`s Penney sent to widow - Gladys in Lankershim California c/o JF Kegley

Today he rests in France at LIGNY-ST. FLOCHEL BRITISH CEMETERY, LIGNY-ST. FLOCHEL BRITISH CEMETERY, AVERDOINGT http://www.cwgc.org/cwgcinternet/casualty_details.aspx?casualty=467909

60 miles from Calais http://www.cwgc.org/cwgcinternet/cemetery_details.aspx?cemetery=53700&mode=1

- map - http://maps.msn.com/directions.aspx?&StartName=Calais%2c+Nord-Pas-de-Calais%2c+France&StartLocation=50.95303%2c1.85283&EndName=Averdoingt+(third-order+administrative+division)%2c+Pas-de-Calais%2c+Nord-Pas-de-Calais%2c+France&EndLocation=50.34475%2c2.44375&DataSetLangID=EUR%2c409&RouteType=Quickest&RouteUnit=Miles

Lest we forget


54/102 CEF

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The Cdn deployments offered high pay for the times.............. I believe there wasa  slow down in the USA due to the upset cotton market that was interrupted when the CHERMANS went wild..... and hence unemplyment rippled throughout the economy.... full emplyment came when the factories filled up for UK and French/Russian war orders - many US citizens took offer to discharge from Cdns in France and go to the AEF.....


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High intensity war tends to lend to oppurtunities for rapid promotion.