838965 Pte. Thomas Albert Dickson & 839057 Pte. Norman Robert Dickson where farm boys from the community of Orchard, located in Normanby Township, Grey County, Ontario.

Leaving their older and younger brothers to work the family farm, the two young men took it upon themselves to enlist in the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the Great War.

Thomas Albert Dickson, or Bert, as he was known, was born on December 15th, 1896, and attested into the 147th Battalion on March 7th, 1916, whilst his younger brother, Norman Robert, born on January 14th, 1897, attested on April 26th, 1916.

Enlisting just in time to leave for Camp Niagara they would soon find themselves on the move again, as the conditions at Camp Niagara were poor. The unit left for 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 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. In a reinforcement draft both men were taken on strength of the 4th C.M.R. on June 17th, 1917.

Both men served with the unit through Hill 70 and Passchendaele. In May of 1918 Norman would transfer to the Canadian Machine Gun Corps, whilst Bert continued to served with the 4th C.M.R. until he was wounded on May 25th, 1917.

Bert's wound appears to have been severe enough to take him out of the war as he was subsequently struck off strength on January 1st, 1919. Norman returned to the unit before being struck off strength of the 4th C.M.R. on March 29th, 1919.

Both men are remembered on the Holstein Cenotaph.

The above biography credit and thanks to: George Auer.