839016 Pte. William Elmer Richardson

At the turn of this century the Durand Group was exploring the Goodman Subway, one of eleven subways used during the assault of Vimy Ridge. The researchers often came upon graffiti left behind by the soldiers of the Great War.

Unlike the graffiti found in the Grange Tunnel, many of those found in Goodman could be easily dated to the war years, as the tunnel appeared to have been undisturbed since its' entrances had been sealed off some time after the war. The Canadian Corps occupied the Ridge on many occasions after the famous battle.

As can be seen (above - click on the picture for a larger image) by the date left by 147th BN man, 838719, Private Lorne McDonald of Woodford, Ont., who left his name on June 13th, 1917. 4th CMR man, 839016, Private William Elmer Richardson's name, of Proton Station, Ont., can be read directly below that of McDonald's.

Pte. William Richardson was born in Proton Station, Ontario, on May 23rd, 1896, and was a farmer in Grey County with previous military experience with the 31st Regiment when he attested into the 147th Battalion in Owen Sound in March 1916. He was taken on strength with the 4th CMR on April 22nd, 1917, in a reinforcement draft and served with the unit for the remainder of the war.

Biography credit and thanks to George Auer.

Image credit The Durand Group.