Thursday 24 January 2013

Private Wilfred Laurence Bancroft

Born on 23 December 1895 in Cherrywood, Ontario - son of Mrs. Mary Colby, Whitby, Ontario (attestation form) / son of Thomas and Mary Bancroft, Whitby, Ontario (CWGC) - attestation form notes trade as farming, single, no current or previous military service, height of 5 feet 7.5 inches, chest of 37 inches, fresh complexion, blue eyes, fair hair, Baptist.

Joined the 126th Canadian Infantry Battalion on 23 October 1915 (number 775228) - taken on the strength of the 38th Battalion in France on 4 or 6 December 1916 - killed in action on 9 April 1917 - name listed on the Vimy Memorial, France.

Recommended for an unnamed decoration, likely a Military Medal - no award - unit recommendation 1 March 1917: "For conspicuous work during the raid carried out by this Battn on the enemy trenches Feb 22/17."

(Updated with a photo of Pte Bancroft's inscription on the Vimy Memorial that I took in August 2012).

(sources: Library and Archives Canada (, online attestation papers; Canadian War Museum, 19740281-001, Manu 58F 2 3, 207th Canadian Infantry Battalion and 38th Canadian Infantry Battalion, Nominal Roll; The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa Regimental Museum, A400-0007, Master Personnel List for the 38th Canadian Infantry Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force; Commonwealth War Graves Commission, "Debt of Honour" register,; Canadian War Museum, 19680229-001, Manu 58C 1 2.18, Honours and Awards, 38th Battalion (Records of recommendations for honours and awards and mentioned in dispatches 19161121 19190117))

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