L/Cpl. Elwood John William Richards MM, born in Sydenham, Ontario, in September 1895, attested into the 146th Battalion on May 24th, 1916.

The 146th BN supplied 276 men to the 4th CMR in November and December of 1916, and the below "Sweetheart Pin" (also see notes below) was a regimental commemoration of their second festive season in the field.

Elwood was wounded on September 7th, 1917, whilst the regiment was holding the line in the Vimy area.

At some point Elwood was involved in an action that subsequently saw him awarded a Military Medal (British War Medal for bravery) by "1st Division Order" on November 9th, 1918 - this was just two days before the war ended.

Records indicate that Elwood also received a Victory Medal; to be eligible for the Victory Medal, the soldier had to have served at least one day in France, a requirement which Elwood met. All military appointments and awards of gallantry and meritorious service were announced in the London Gazette.

Elwood's medal award was reported in the London Gazette, Issue 31430, Third Supplement, July 3rd, 1919 - Page 8351 - Elwood Richards. In the Gazette, "His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of the Military Medal for bravery in the Field to the under-mentioned Warrant Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and Men:" and Elwood's name is mentioned under the "Canadian Force" section. No specific citation supporting the medal award is available.

Surviving the war with no futher recorded injury, Elwood was struck off strength in April 1919, and went on to marry Lena May Lindsay in Sydenham, Ont. in April 1920. They had two children together before Elwood passed away in Kingston, Ontario, in January 1952.

Historical Notes on the Sweetheart Pin

Military researcher Arnie Kay, advised that the pins such as these were made available for purchase to the soldiers in the field, to send to their sweethearts and family members back home at Christmas time.

Arnie added, "The back has a pin back rather than two lugs which the collar dogs (pins meant to be worn on jacket collars or hats) would have. They were made in the likeness of the collar dogs and manufactured by all the Battalions and sold to the boys to send home to family, mostly to sweethearts."

Elwood Richards would most likely have bought this pin as a gift, written on the inscription card, and sent it home to a family relative, perhaps directly to his aunt - Hattie Caverly (Bruce Denyes' great-grandmother), as a Christmas gift / memento from the field. This means that the inscribed writing is Elwood's; the handwriting does match his writing found in other military documents.

Huge thanks are extended to Bruce Denyes (whose great-grandmother, Hattie Richards (nee Caverly), was Elwood's aunt) for supplying the image of the 1916 Christmas Cap Badge, and to Arnie Kay for the additional information about the Sweetheart Pin.