839052 Pte Malcolm Greenlees Kirkland was born on 20th April 20th 1893 in Wiarton, Bruce County, Ontario, to Samuel and Jessie Kirkland. Eventually the family moved to Owen Sound where Malcolm was working as a grocery store clerk when he enlisted.

Twenty-three year old Malcolm Greenlees Kirkland attested into the 147th (Grey) Battalion on 22nd April 1916, using his mother's maiden name as his second forename. Twelve days after his enlistment the unit left for centralized training at Camp Niagara. As the conditions at this Camp were wanting the unit was moved to the new training facility of Camp Borden in late June. It was late September before the unit finally received its orders to proceed overseas. After a short period of leave the unit departed Camp Borden by train on 6th October. Destined for the Port of Halifax the unit was detained in Amherst, Nova Scotia, for over a month when a number of soldiers contracted diphtheria. Malcolm would join those already in hospital when he came down with the measles. It wasn't until after the unit received a clean bill of health, that it finally sailed for Great Britain, on November 14th 1916 aboard the HMT Olympic.

On 1st January 1917, the 147th Battalion ceased to exist when it became the nucleus for the 8th Reserve Battalion, whose task it was to supply reinforcements to the 58th and 16th Battalions as well as the 4th C.M.R. Private Kirkland was taken on strength of the 4th C.M.R. on 7th March 1917 in the build-up for the Battle of Arras, where the Canadian Corps stormed Vimy Ridge.

Upon his arrival at the front, Malcolm was attached to the 3rd Entrenching Battalion. This battalion's mandate was to complete local engineering tasks for the 3rd Canadian Division. But, more importantly, it acted as a reserve pool of trained soldiers that their home unit could immediately draw upon if required. And they were sorely needed as the 4th C.M.R. suffered 179 casualties during the four day battle for the Ridge. Relieved on 12th April, the unit moved back to Dumbbell Camp where it was reinforced when Malcolm and a number other 4th C.M.R. men serving in the entrenching battalion reported for duty. Malcolm served with the unit through the remainder of the Battle of Arras.

In late August he was sent to the 3rd Division Training Centre and returned in time to take part in the 3rd Battle of Ypres. A battle remembered more for where it ended: Passchendaele. Coming through that battle unscathed he was granted 14 days leave over the Holiday Season and Malcolm headed for Paris. Like every young man facing death Malcolm enjoyed himself thoroughly, causing him to overstay his leave. Technically he was absent without leave, a charge that carried the maximum sentence of death by firing squad. For his indiscretion, however, he was sentenced to seven days' Field Punishment No.1 [tied to a fence or gun carriage wheel for two hours per day - though usually men were confined to barracks], and forfeited five days pay and put on Recorded Warning.

Serving through the remainder of the winter and the German Spring Offensive he was with the unit at the beginning of the Allied offensives known as the Last Hundred Days. Malcolm came through the Battle of Amiens in August, but was wounded in the left leg by shrapnel during the Battle of Arras 1918. Though hospitalized, he returned to the unit while it was engaged in the Battle of Cambrai. Then during the Pursuit to Mons, in October 1918, Malcolm was taken out of action for eight days after he inhaled some gas. Discharged from hospital, he was with back with the 4th C.M.R. in Belgium when the war ended.

After the armistice, Malcolm was granted a second leave period to the U.K., where he enjoyed himself once again. Except this time, he was hospitalized for over 60 days with an infection. This extended hospital stay caused him to miss out on returning home with the 4th C.M.R. It was only after he was cleared of disease free that he was shipped home. Malcolm departed Liverpool on 2nd June 1919, aboard the S.S. Lapland for his return journey home.

839052 Private Malcolm Greenlees Kirkland was struck-off-strength of the 4th C.M.R and the C.E.F. in Toronto on June 11th, 1919. After the war Malcolm emigrated to the United States, where he found employment in a steel mill in Ecorse, Michigan. There he met and married Ida Mae Smith and raised a family of ten children. Fifty-seven year old Malcolm Kirkland passed away, in Michigan, on 3rd February 1950.

Biography credit: George Auer, with thanks.