400907, Pte John Edwin Hatch was born in Eden, Elgin, Ontario, on 22nd February, 1888, to Jesse and Sarah Hatch.

When John attested into the 33rd Battalion in London, Ontario, in May 1915, he was married to Ella and working as a moulder in a local foundry. He also had previous military experience under his belt, having served 6 years in the militia with the 25th Regiment.

After initial training in Canada, the 33rd Battalion sailed for England, with John's contingent departing on 17th March, 1916, and arriving on March 25th. With immediate transfer to the 4th CMR on landing in France the following day, John and 19 of his fellows left the Canadian Base Detail on the 30th, and made for the 4th CMR, then having just taken up front line trenches in front of Armagh Wood, close to Sanctuary Wood and Mount Sorrel, a few kilometres south-east of Ypres, Belgium. They reached their new unit the following day and no doubt saw many familiar faces there, as 38 fellow former 33rd Battalion men had arrived earlier and been transferred to the 4th CMR on May 8th.

The morning of June 2nd saw the opening of the 'Battle for Mount Sorrel', a German local offensive to flatten the front between Sanctuary Wood and Klein-Zillebeke. Having had barely enough time to settle in with the new regiment, John was in the thick of the heaviest and most ferocious bombardment of the war to that date. By close of day, 193 men of the 4th CMR were dead, sadly including John, and 350 had been taken POW.

Like so many lost that morning, John's body was not recovered. With this being the case, he is remembered on Panel 32K of the Menin Gate Memorial in Ieper, and on the Baymen West Cemetery memorial in the Town of Richmond, Elgin County, Ontario.

Credit and many thanks for the image and biography goes to Roy Sullivan, additional service details for which were supplied by 4cmr.com.