Private William Given Affleck, 2nd Battalion, Eastern Ontario Regiment, Canadian Expeditionary Force, born 14 September 1891 at Elie, was the fourth son of David Affleck, a Station Master, and Isabella Affleck, of 5 Rankeillor Street, Elie, Fife.


His siblings were David, John, Elizabeth, Lumsden and George.  


He was employed as a Bank Clerk when he emigrated on ss Cassandra from Glasgow to St John, New Brunswick, Canada, arriving on 29 March 1912, then was employed by the Bank of Toronto at Peterborough, about 80 miles north-east of Toronto. On 12 August 1914, he wrote to his brother, David, that he intends to enlist:


I will go down to Quebec with the Peterboro boys on Friday. I just got seven rotten teeth pulled today with the object of making myself eligible.


On 26 August 1914, he had a medical examination at Valcartier and was passed fit for overseas service, then on 22 September, he attested at Valcartier Camp, stating on the form that he had served for three years in the 7th Black Watch (Territorials). On 3 October 1914 his unit sailed for Britain, arriving on 25 October, when he immediately arranged for an allowance of $20 (Canadian) per month for his brother, Lumsden, of 431 Dudley Avenue, Fort Range, Winnipeg, Manitoba.


On 29 January 1915, he was transferred to 2nd Battalion at Tidworth, and on 8 February promoted Acting Quartermaster Sergeant in London. On 1 March, his father wrote to his brother, David, saying:


Had a letter from the Sergeant to say he is well but very busy there, by now over 50 men on the staff. He expects to be busier still as the casualty lists come in from the Canucks at the front...


On 24 April, he was promoted to Staff Sergeant and on 1 August, stopped the allowance to Lumsden Affleck for 'personal reasons'. At some time after this, he started assigning pay of $20 (Canadian) per month to his mother. On 1 November he was promoted to Staff Quartermaster Sergeant. On 21 February 1916, he was admitted to 2nd London General Hospital, Chelsea, suffering from tonsillitis, then discharged to duty on 6 March, then confirmed as WO 1st Class Superintendent Clerk. He was billeted c/o Mrs Newsome, 12 Griffiths Road, Wimbledon.  On 1 March 1917, he then returned to the Reserve Battalion at Shomcliffe, and returned to the ranks. In a letter to David, from ‘C’ Company, 6th Canadian Reserve Battalion, Seaford, Sussex:


I have been in the Brigade Hospital for 13 days with tonsillitis. I was just ready for the draft, but it left a few days after I was struck down. I ought to be in France inside a month.


On 25 April 1917, he was transferred to Eastbourne for a tonsillectomy, then arrived at Canadian Base, France, on 21 June


He was killed in action, during the Battle of Passchendaele, on 13 September 1917, age 26, a day after his birthday, and is buried in Communal Cemetery Extension, Aix-Noulette, Pas de Calais, France.


On 4 June 1921, a Memorial Cross was sent to his mother. This was the gift of the Canada Government, issued as a memento for personal loss and sacrifice on the part of widows and mothers of Canadian sailors and soldiers who laid down their lives for their country during the War. It was silver, suspended on a purple ribbon.


His brother, David, wrote this poem, ‘Wullie’ after his death:


'Twas Winter nicht, outside was cauld,

Deep snow lay on the grund

Inside the cottage, lichted lamp,

Cast beam on path, ice bund.


Ma granny stayed there by herself,

Grandpa died lang ago.

Her only son in France there, fell,

Tae her, an awful blow.


She answered tae my knock, "Come in",

Draw ouer yer chair, ma man.

Yer claes I'm dootins faur oure then,

Your blue wi cauld, I'll wain.


Wi crackit then aboot different things,

The wark, The Kirk, the weather.

An syne at last, aboot what war brings,

Tae many a laddie's mither.


For years an' years she took me back,

And incidents re-counted.

‘Bout Wullie's every nick an nack.

An hoo he trials surmounted.


An' on the table by her chair,

His drawings he'd done at school.

An a' his books - she had them there.

Beside her on the stool.


An aften times that night I felt,

I'd better no' been there.

Fore I'd gaen in I'm sure she knelt,

Wi' Wullie at her chair.

 Private William Given Affleck

People Home About Home Front Fighting Front Casualties Communication Remembrance

Casualties

  William Given Affleck

  William Barclay Binning

  Colin Carmichael

  Fotheringham Brothers

  Hugh Annesley Gray-Cheape

  Louisa Jordan

  William MacDuff

  McFarlane Brothers

  Alexander Malcolm McNeill

  James Drysdale Meikle

  George Hair Pagan

  Raith Rovers

  War Hospitals

    - Craigforth Convalescent

    - Dunfermline Hospital

  James Wishart

  Women

 Fife’s War

site search by freefind advanced
Scotland Home. Official