Charles Ivan Wightman

Information about birth

Date of birth:
Place of birth:
Huron County, Ontario, Canada

General information

Last known residence:
Belgrave, Huron County, Ontario, Canada

Army information

Canadian Expeditionary Force
Service number:
Enlistment date:
Enlistment place:
Blyth, Ontario, Canada
 —  Canadian Infantry, 58th Bn. (Central Ontario)  (Last known unit)

Information about death

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


Passchendaele New British Cemetery
Plot: V
Row: B
Grave: 10

Points of interest 4

#1 Place of birth
#2 Last known residence
#3 Enlistment place
#4 Place of death (approximate)

My story

Charles Ivan Wightman was born on 6 June 1894 in Belgrave, Huron County, Canada. His mother, Mary Howatt and his father Charles Wightman were both farmers. He had a younger brother and an older sister. Charles Ivan followed in his parents' footsteps and heled on the farm. On 25 March 1916, when he was 21, he enlisted. He was assigned to the 161st Huron Battalion and a few days later, he shipped from Canada to England. After 2 weeks of training, he was promoted to Lance Corporal. At his own request he was demoted to Private, so he could go to the front with his fellow soldiers. On 24 November, he was transferred to the Canadian Infantry, 58th Battalion (Central Ontario), part of the 9th Canadian Brigade, of the 3rd Canadian Division. On 27 November, Charles and his battalion landed in France. He was briefly hospitalized and rejoined his Battalion on 6 July 1917.

On the night of 25-26 October 1917, during the Battle of Passchendaele, the 9th Brigade assembled in preparation for an attack on the strongpoints of Laamkeek and Bellevue. Capturing these positions would place them on a spur of the Passchendaele ridge. By 4am the line-up was complete. Moments later, the attack began. The Germans rained down shells and showered the Canadians with rifle fire and machine-gun fire. Despite this, the 58th Battalion still managed to capture three bunkers and a small trench system near Laamkeek. In capturing these positions, Charles' Battalion suffered heavy losses as they operated in the open, leaving them vulnerable to machine-gun fire from the high lying bunkers at Bellevue.

Charles Ivan Wightman, 23, was killed on 26 October 1917. He was buried between Haalen and Deck Wood, a few hundred metres east of Laamkeek across the Ravebeek stream. He was exhumed several years later. Charles Ivan Wightman now rests in Passchendaele New British Cemetery.

Sources 4

Census of Canada, 1901 (Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa (LAC), RG31-C-1).
Sources used
Personnel Records of the First World War (Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa (LAC) RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 10346 - 31).
Sources used
War diaries: 58th Canadian Infantry Battalion (Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa (LAC), RG9-III-D-3, Volume number: 4942, Microfilm reel number: T-10749, File number: 446).
Sources used
War Graves Registry: Commonwealth War Graves (Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa (LAC): RG150, 1992-1993/314, Box 39-244; Box: 134).
Sources used