This watch belonged to H182arry Duncan Lockhart 223539 who served with the famed 85th Battalion which stormed the last hill at Vimy Ridge on April 9, 1917.  This is an especially valiant feat considering the battalion up to that point was considered a “work” battalion. As the April 9 attack unfolded, the battalion’s role changed significantly. While advancing infantry units successfully captured most of their initial objectives along the well-fortified ridge, German positions in front of Hill 145—the ridge’s highest and most strategically important feature—withstood the initial artillery bombardment. Emerging from their dugouts as the 4th Division’s 11th Brigade advanced up the ridge, the German soldiers held out against the 87th and 102nd Battalions and enfiladed the Canadian left flank with devastating machine gun fire.

As the overall success of the day’s assault hung in the balance, Canadian commanders hastily discussed their options. Late in the after183noon, they selected the 85th Battalion’s “C” and “D” to execute a direct assault on the strategic German position. At 6:45 p.m., the two companies advanced up the ridge without artillery cover, in the face of relentless machine gun fire. Dwindling German supplies and lack of reinforcements, combined with the determination of the assaulting troops, resulted in the position’s capture and solidified the Canadian Corps’ hold on the ridge. Two decades later, the Canadian government erected the Canadian War Memorial atop the exact location where the 85th’s soldiers made their battlefield debut.

The entire 85th Battalion remained “in the line” on the newly captured ridge until relieved on April 14. Their first combat experience under their belts, the unit was permanently assigned to the 4th Canadian Division’s 12th Brigade, where it served alongside the 38th (Ottawa), 72nd (Seaforth Highlanders of Canada) and 78th (Winnipeg Grenadiers) Battalions for the remainder of the war.

His war record can be found here. http://central.bac-lac.gc.ca/.item/?op=pdf&app=CEF&id=B5704-S046

Regimental Number:
223539
Survived War:
Yes
Force:
Army
Regiment:
Canadian Infantry
Battalion:
85th Battalion
Company:
Place of Birth:
Millstream, Kings County, New Brunswick
Country:
Canada
Next of Kin:
Mr C M Lockhart (father), Cupid, Victoria County, New Brunswick
Address at Enlistment:
Moncton, New Brunswick
Date of Birth:
March 11, 1891
Trade or Calling:
accountant
Marital Status:
Single
Prior Military Experience:
Yes
Place of Enlistment:
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Date of Enlistment:
April 10, 1916
Age at enlistment:
25
Height:
5 Feet 6 Inches
Chest:
35 Inches
Expansion:
2 Inches
Religion:
Baptist
Enlisted or Conscripted:
Enlisted
Saw service in:
Europe
Cause of Death:
Survived
Battle Died/Wounded: