838055 Pte. William Coffie was born in London, England. William emigrated to Canada and settled in Hanover, Ontario, where he was working as a painter when hostilities broke out.

When war was declared, William joined the two independent Infantry Companies being recruited by the 31st Regiment for overseas service. With the authorization of the 147th (Grey) Battalion all men belonging to these two Companies were assigned to the new Battalion.

William attested to the 147th Battalion in Owen Sound on November 27th, 1915, and was assigned to "A" Company under the command of Captain Corrie. Williiam was billeted in Owen Sound over the winter, conducting his initial training locally, in the sheds and arenas around town.

In the spring of 1916 the outlying Companies of the Battalion were pulled together in Owen Sound and soon left for Camp Niagara to conduct further training. In June the Battalion moved to the new training facilities of Camp Borden and trained there until September when they were ordered overseas. En-route the Battalion was quarantined in Amherst, Nova Scotia, due to a diphtheria outbreak, which delayed their departure until November 14th. 1916.

The 147th Battalion ceased in January 1917, and William became a member of the 8th Reserve Battalion and from there was assigned to the 4th C.M.R. on April 22nd, 1917, just as the Battle of Arras was coming to an end.

Given the date William would have served with the 4th C.M.R. during the Battle of Passchendaele and into the Final 100 days of the war. He was struck off strength of the 4th C.M.R. on April 22nd, 1919.

Biography credit: George Auer