838031 Pte. William Fawcett Campbell was born to Sarah Campbell on September 28th, 1891 in Annan, Grey County.

William was the third of four children born to Sarah, and her only son. With no father listed in the 1911 census, the 23 year old was living at home, working in one of the many furniture factories in Owen Sound when hostilities broke out.

With the raising of the 147th (Grey) Battalion William joined the cause, attesting to it on November 27th, 1915. Billeted locally over the winter the 147th Battalion mobilized in the spring of 1916 and departed for the training grounds of Camp Niagara. As the conditions in the Camp were wanting the unit moved to the new training facility of Camp Borden in late June.

In September the unit received their orders to proceed overseas, but due to an outbreak of diphtheria they were detained in Amherst, Nova Scotia, for over a month. The unit finally sailed for Great Britain on November 14th, 1916, on the S.S. Olympic, a sister ship to the Titanic.

On January 1st, 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 Battalion and the 4th C.M.R., the latter receiving 354 former 147th Battalion men through the course of the war. William was taken on strength of his new unit on February 17th, 1917.

William fought in the Battle of Arras, a battle that saw the Canadian Corps storm Vimy Ridge. Continuing to serve with the unit through the trials of Passchendaele and through the Battle of Ameins, William was killed on August 28th, 1918, during the Battle of Arras, 1918:

"During a successful attack South of Boiry and while advancing through an area which had been previously shelled with gas shells, Private Campbell inhaled some of the gas and died within a few minutes."

Private William Fawcett Campbell lies at rest in Vis-en-Artois British Cemetery, Haucourt, and his service is remembered locally on a Memorial plaque within the sanctuary of Georgian Shores United Church.

Biography credit: George Auer