Members of the 3064 Rocky Mountain Ranger Army Cadets participated in the parade and ceremonies at the Cenotaph Sunday

Members of the 3064 Rocky Mountain Ranger Army Cadets participated in the parade and ceremonies at the Cenotaph Sunday

Names of local soldiers who fought at the Battle of Vimy Ridge researched

Research indicates that nine soldiers from the Williams Lake area fought at the Battle of Vimy Ridge in France during the First World War.

Department of Veterans Affairs and Commonwealth Graves Commission records indicate that 11 soldiers from the Cariboo were involved in the Battle of Vimy Ridge during the First World War, says Captain Bill Sheridan, Commanding Officer of the 3064 Rocky Mountain Ranger Army Cadets who did some research in preparation for the 100th anniversary commemoration of the battle.

Not all of the information he found was complete.

He learned that two soldiers from this area died in the trench raids leading up to the Battle of Vimy Ridge: Private John Hugh Ellis, (54th Canadian Expeditionary Force (Kootenay Regiment)) who died March 1, 1917 and  Private Edwin Percival Snider (1st CEF) on 5th March, 1917.

Nine soldiers from this area fought in the battle with various divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force: William Isnardy (29th CEF), James McLeese (54th CEF); E. English (29th CEF); F. Smith (54th CEF); John W. Eagle (54th CEF); R. Ritchie (27th CEF), A. Dunn (54th CEF); R. Baker (72nd CEF Seaforth Highlanders of Canada); W. Baker (2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles).

Records indicate that all of the soldiers survived the Battle of Vimy Ridge but eight of them died in the conflict before the war ended. He said there was no death record for John W. Eagle so it is likely that he was not killed in the First World War.

He was only able to find more detailed information on William Isnardy who fought with the 29th Canadian Expeditionary Force which was part of the British Columbia Regiment, better known by its nickname Tobin’s Tigers after the regiment’s Lieutenant Colonel and Commanding Officer H. S. Tobin.

Isnardy survived the Battle of Vimy Ridge but was killed several months later on July 27, 1917 at the age of 22 and was buried in France. He was listed as being born Feb. 15, 1895, the son of Joe Isnardy of Chimney Creek. His occupation was listed as cowboy and residence as Soda Creek.

Sheridan said most of the regiments the soldiers fought with during the First World War no longer exist.

They were eventually amalgamated with other regiments to form new Canadian army units.