On August 27, 2018, the Coldwater Legion lowered its flags to honour Lance Corporal William Metcalfe Newlove of Coldwater, who was killed in action 100 years ago while serving on the front lines in France.
William Newlove was born on May 3, 1883, in Richmond, Yorkshire, England. By the beginning of the First World War, William had moved to Canada and was residing in Coldwater.
On November 11, 1915, he enlisted in Orillia with the 157th Overseas Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He was 32 years old and married. On his Attestation Form he is described as 5 feet 5 inches tall, with brown eyes and brown hair. He identified his religious denomination as Church of England, and his trade as labourer, with no previous military experience.
Private William Newlove, regimental number 643999, sailed to England on the S.S. Cameronia, arriving on October 28, 1916. After some training in England, he landed in France on February 11, 1917, to join his front line unit, the 116th Canadian Infantry Battalion, part of the 3rd Canadian Division.
William Newlove, by then promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal, first suffered gunshot wounds in shoulder and thigh during operations around Vimy in the spring of 1917. Following several months of recovery, he rejoined his unit and returned to action. In the morning of August 27, 1918, shortly after leaving the "jumping off" trench for an attack on Bois du Sart near Arras, he was killed instantly by an enemy shell. His battalion's casualties by the end of the attack were 45 killed, 227wounded, and 23 missing.
Two years later, William's wife, Alice, would have received the awards her husband was entitled to: the 1914-1918 British War Medal; the Inter Allied Victory Medal; a Memorial Plaque (a bronze medallion often referred to as "Dead Man's Penny"); and a scroll from King George V. She would also have received a Memorial Cross ("Mother's Cross").
Lance Corporal William Metcalfe Newlove is buried at Vis-en-Artois British Cemetery, Haucourt Department of the Pas-de-Calais, France. He is commemorated on page 477 of the First World War Book of Remembrance, located inside the Memorial Chamber in the Peace Tower in Ottawa.
We will remember him.