Edward Joseph Harshaw

Information about birth

Date of birth:
Place of birth:
Lindsay, Kawartha Lake, Ontario, Canada

General information

Last known residence:
Beamsville, Ontario, Canada

Army information

Canadian Expeditionary Force
Lance Corporal
Service number:
Enlistment date:
Enlistment place:
Valcartier Camp, Quebec, Canada
 —  Canadian Infantry, 4th Bn. (Central Ontario)  (Last known unit)

Information about death

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


Chester Farm Cemetery
Plot: II
Row: B
Grave: 4

Points of interest 4

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

My story

Edward was born in 1895 in Lindsay, Ontario. He was the son of John and Ellen Harshaw. Edward had two brothers and a sister. The family lived in Beamsville, Ontario. When the war broke out, Edward worked as a lineman for the Toronto Power Co. in Allanburg. Volunteers were being recruited everywhere. There was no shortage of candidates. Tens of thousands wanted to join the Expeditionary Force. Due to the oversupply, only the best qualified were selected. An inveterate athlete, he was exactly the profile the army was looking for and Edward enlisted in September 1914 at Valcartier Camp, Quebec. He was attached to the 4th Battalion (Central Ontario). In early 1915, he went to France with the first Canadian contingent. In June 1915, Edward was wounded at Festubert when shrapnel hit him in the shoulder. He was not able to rejoin his unit until December.

In early 1916, the Canadian Army Corps took up positions south of Ypres. In the days following the Battle of St Eloi, the 4th Battalion rotated in and out of the front line. On 26 May 1916, the battalion manned the infamous sector 'The Bluff', an artificial rampart, a remnant of the excavations for the nearby Ypres to Komen Canal. The rampart was a thorn in the Germans' side. It was never quiet and the sector was regularly undermined and shelled. Such was the case on 26 May when German artillery destroyed the New Year trench just after noon. There were 15 casualties. During the following night, New Year trench was already being restored as if the shelling had never taken place. It seems almost a mundane, trivial event, which disappeared into the folds of World War I history, but for Edward, barely 21, the action became fatal.

He would not leave Flanders again. Edward died of his wounds and was buried just behind the front line in Chester Farm Cemetery Plot: II, Row: B, Grave: 4.

Sources 4

Grimsby Historical Society
Sources used
Personnel Records of the First World War (Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa (LAC) RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 4115 - 54).
Sources used
War diaries: 4th Canadian Infantry Battalion (Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa (LAC), RG9-III-D-3, Volume number: 4915, Microfilm reel number: T-10707, File number: 360).
Sources used
War Graves Registers: Circumstances of Death (Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa (LAC), RG 150, 1992-93/314; Volume Number: 190).
Sources used

More information 3