111531 Pte. Colin Melville Woodrow was born to Ross and Annie Woodrow, in St.John, New Brunswick, Canada, on September 26th 1895. He was one of three known children, having two younger sisters: Helen and Doris.


A Bank clerk by trade, and single, Colin initially attested into the 6th CMR, in Amherst, Ontario, on March 31st 1915. Having risen to the rank of Sergeant in October 1915, Colin was transferred to the 4th CMR in January 1916, under divisional reorganisation, though he had to revert back to Private. It was at this time that the first of three major disciplinary actions was brought against the young Colin, the first being in late January 1916, for being absent from his billet, which cost him 14 days field punishment no.1 (tied to a fence or gun carriage wheel for a few hours each day) and the loss of 2 days pay.


The 4th CMR suffered huge losses on June 2nd, 1916, in the Battle for Mount Sorrel near Maple Copse, south-east of Ypres, though Colin, part of 'D' Company, had miraculously managed to survive it. However, the regiment, rebuilt and put back into the thick of things later in July, found itself back in the vicinity of Maple Copse. Colin had just been promoted back to Sergeant - just after and directly due to the losses on June 2nd - and with heavy fire on their positions in the area again, Colin was wounded on July 25th, 1916, taking shrapnel to the left elbow and ear.


Invalided out of the field, Colin was hospitalised in Boulogne and then England until December 1916, but then found himself amidst his second disciplinary infraction, being arrested and put under court martial in mid-March 1917, for having been absent without leave between December 24th 1916 and January 4th 1917. This earned him 20 days detention and a forfeit of 48 days of pay. It is also noted that he had been demoted from Sergeant to Private in late of that January.


Around this time he was struck off strength from the 4th CMR and transferred to the 2nd Central Ontario Reinforcement Deports (C.O.R.D.) corps. Moving via the 8th and 3rd Reserve Battalions, Colin was hospitalised with scabies in late March, though was back with the 4th CMR in April 1918, with whom he remained until the close of the war.


However, on August 25th 1918, with the 4th CMR in the front near Feuchy, to the east of Arras, France, Colin was wounded again, this time by gassing and a shell wound to the left leg; an action which saw 5 officers and 115 other men wounded at the same time. Thus Colin saw out the remainder of the war in hospital.


After hostilities, Colin suffered illness, including dysentery, impetigo and tonsillitis, and further complications from the left leg wound.


Colin was transferred to the 1st C.O.R.D., then saw time back in the 3rd Reserve Battalion, though at this time he underwent his third and final disciplinary action, in March 1919, for again being absent without leave. This earned him 21 days detention on this occasion.


Pte. Colin Woodrow returned to Canada with his fellows in May 1919, embarking on May 14th and arriving back in Halifax on May 24th, whereupon he was demobilised on May 26th and returned home to his parents and sisters in St. John, New Brunswick.






Biography details with thanks and credit to 4th CMR researcher Mike Kavanagh.



Ed. note: family members are invited to contact website manager, Ian, of 4cmr.com, via email 4cmr.com