Private William Moody Strachan

Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, 13-year-old William Moody Strachan emigrated to Canada in 1904 along with his parents, Robert and Clara Strachan, his twin brother Alfred and four other siblings. The family settled in Toronto where Bill worked as a tinsmith.

Bill enlisted in the army in August 1915 and was assigned to the 39th battalion. Private Strachan, regimental no. 171212, arrived in England on February 3, 1916. Just two days later, he was transferred to the 22nd battalion and sent to the field. On March4, 1916, Bill was transferred once again, this time to the 24th battalion. His medical records provide details of injuries received in the field later that same year:

"This man was hit by a sandbag, caused by an explosion of a shell, while on duty in the trenches on Aug. 19th. He broke his collar bone while washing his face on Aug. 28th. This may possibly have been as a result of the previous blow. He was not to blame."

Admitted on August 31 to No. 10 Stationary hospital in St. Omer, France with a fractured left clavicle, he was subsequently transferred to No. 9 Red Cross Hospital in Calais on September 5, then to 2nd Western General Hospital in Manchester two days later. He was discharged from hospital on New Year's Day 1917.

In August 1917, Bill was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal without pay while attending map reading classes with the 23rd Reserve; he reverted to the rank of Private September 2nd, 1917. Exactly one year later, while with the 24th battalion, he suffered a gunshot wound to the spine. Bill died of his wounds on September 7, 1918, at the age of 27, in No. 47 General Hospital in Le Treport, France. He is buried at Mont Huon Military Cemetery, Le Treport.

Private William Moody Strachan was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field.

This account was provided by Private Strachan's great-niece, Nancy Visima.

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