Sunday 26 April 2009

Captain Ralph Charles Geddes, MC

Born on 26 March 1890 in Port Elgin, Ontario - son of Alice Geddes, Port Elgin, Ontario - at the time of his enlistment in 1915: present address in Port Elgin, Ontario, trade as law student, single, no current or previous military service, Presbyterian, height of 5 feet 8 inches, chest of 39 inches fully expanded, medium complexion, grey eyes, black hair.

Joined the 5th University Company, CEF, in Toronto, Ontario, as an other rank on 2 December 1915 (number 487310) - transferred to the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, CEF, on 6 June 1916 - wounded on 19 or 22 July 1916 - invalided to England on 22 July 1916 - transferred to the 7th Reserve Battalion as a lieutenant on 14 February 1917 - taken on the strength of the 38th Battalion, CEF, as a captain on 25 April 1917 - wounded on 17 March 1918 - rejoined the 38th Battalion on 21 March 1918 - sent to England to attend the Khaki University on 2 March 1919.

Awarded the Military Cross - official citation: "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in operations around Valenciennes, from 1st to 5th November, 1918. For four days he commanded his company continuously in the front line, and it was due to his fine leadership, in face of heavy machine-gun fire, that his company gained their objective with few casualties. Later when held up, he made a daring personal reconnaissance to locate hostile machine guns. His work throughout was of the highest character, and the success of the battalion was in no small measure due to his wonderful example of courage and energy." - unit recommendation dated November 1918: "For gallantry during operations in the vicinity of Valenciennes from Nov. 1 to 5/18."


SimonK said...

Interesting summary, Ken. I knew nothing about him. His father gets no mention in the official records I've seen, but Ralph was the son of David Geddes, born in Scotland, and Alice née Kidner. Alice was certainly named as next of kin, but I don't know whether David was still alive in 1915.

Thanks for posting,

Simon Kidner

Ken said...


Thank you for your comment and the additional information.