Theophil Van Vaerenbergh

Information about birth

Date of birth:
Place of birth:
Nieuwerkerken, Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium

General information

Last known residence:
Chase, British Columbia, Canada
Roman Catholic

Army information

Canadian Expeditionary Force
Service number:
Enlistment date:
Enlistment place:
Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada
 —  Canadian Infantry, 102nd Bn. (Central Ontario)  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Passchendaele, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial
Panel: Panel 30T

Points of interest 4

#1 Place of birth
#2 Last known residence
#3 Enlistment place
#4 ‘Place of death’

My story

On 10 November 1917 the ridge around Passchendaele fell into Allied hands. After three months of unprecedented fighting, 600,000 casualties and more than 175,000 dead, the Allies broke out of the Ypres Salient and settled in a new salient at Passchendaele. 10 November may go down in history as the official end of the battle. At the front little changes. Surrounded on three sides, the Canadian garrison at Passchendaele is at the mercy of the German artillery.

On 17 November 1917 the 19-year old soldier Theophil Van Vaerenbergh is killed. The young man comes from Nieuwerkerken near Aalst. He is still a child when his parents flee 'poor Flanders'.

In 1916, the young emigrant signs up to fight in his native country. On 17 November 1917, Theophil's unit is under fire all day long. In a few hours, 12 men are killed. Theophil is one of them. The Belgian-Canadian finds a last resting place at the destroyed church of Passchendaele. As the crow flies, this is less than 70 kilometres from Nieuwerkerke.

Files 1

Sources 4

Personnel Record of Van Vaerenberg, Theophil. Library and Archives Canada, RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 9911 - 9, 622170.
Sources used
War Diary of the 102nd Canadian Infantry Battalion, October 1917. Library and Archives Canada, RG9-III-D-3, Volume number: 4945, Microfilm reel number: T-10752, File number: 456.
Sources used
War Diary of the 11th Canadian Infantry Brigade, October 1917. Library and Archives Canada, RG9-III-D-3, Volume number: 4904, Microfilm reel number: T-10696, File number: 317.
Sources used
War Graves Registry file of Van Vaerenberg, Theophil. Library and Archives Canada, Commonwealth War Graves. RG150, 1992-1993/314, Box 39-244; Box: 130
Sources used

More information 2