839161 Pte. Roy Albert Cross was born in Morrisburg, Ontario, on March 31st, 1897.

Working as a painter when war was declared, Roy attested into the 147th Battalion at Camp Borden on October 5th, 1916, just as the unit was tearing down camp to head for Europe.

Authorized in September 1915, the 147th Battalion mobilized in Owen Sound and billeted locally over the winter. In the spring of 1916 it left for training at 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. The men headed home for a final week of leave before departing for England and the European battlefields.

Even during this time the unit continued to recruit, putting on displays of different types in a last ditch effort to bring the unit up to full strength. Their attempts did have some effect, clearly, as 19 year old Roy signed up at the last minute, as the 147th Battalion left for Halifax the very next day.

While en-route the unit was detained in Amherst, Nova Scotia, for over a month, due to an outbreak of diphtheria. The unit finally sailed for Great Britain on November 14th, 1916, on the S.S. Olympic, sister ship to the earlier ill-fated 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.

On April 22nd, 1917, Roy was taken on strength of the 4th C.M.R. in a draft of reinforcements replacing the casualties the unit took during the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Seeing service with the unit through Passchendaele and into the final 100 days, Roy was wounded on or around October 28th, in the actions later known as the 2nd Passchendaele; a battle which raged from October 26th to November 10th. For the 4th C.M.R. the numbers spoke for themselves: 67 killed, 203 wounded, 21 missing, with a further 29 evacuated due to chills and trench foot.

Private Roy Albert Cross did survive the war and was stuck off strength from the 4th C.M.R. on March 19th, 1919.

Biography credit: George Auer