Canadian Memorial Cross, GV issue, 1445 Private H. A. Searle, Manitoba Regiment, H Company, 8th Battalion (Winnipeg Rifles) Canadian Infantry. Killed in Action at St Julien, Ypres on 25th April 1915 aged 23.
Hallmarked Silver, reverse engraved: “1445 Pte H. A. Searle”
The Canadian Infantry were heavily involved in the Second Battles of Ypres fought between 22nd April and 25th May 1915.
The 25th April was the 2nd day of the Battle of St Julien, where the Canadians were subject to severe Chlorine Gas attacks by the Germans, and received the advice of George Naismith, head of the Field Laboratory, C.E.F. that all they could do was “Urinate on their handkerchiefs and place them over their nose and mouth”.
The Canadian Division was almost annihilated at St Julien by the gas on 24th April.
Notably on the night of 24-25th April 1915, Company Sergeant Major Frederick William Hall of the same regiment, the 8th Battalion C.E.F. would earn a posthumous Victoria Cross for the battle, during the night, having heard groans of wounded men in the open and a large number of men missing from the regiment, he went out under the cover of darkness to rescue the wounded. On his 2nd trip back now under heavy fire he was in the act of lifting up a wounded man to save him, when he fell having been shot in the head and killed.
Harold’s body was never found, he is since commemorated on a Panel on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres with a date of death of 25th April 1915.
Noted by the Canadian government as “Killed in Action” during the “Attack at St Julien”
Harold Allen Searle, was born in London on 24th April 1893 and was a Hairdresser when he enlisted at Valcartier, Quebec for war service on 21st September 1914.