Sunday 13 September 2009

Private Arthur James Hay, DCM

Born on 2 September 1895 in Toronto, Ontario - son of Priscilla Hay, Toronto, Ontario - at the time of his enlistment in 1915: trade as trunk maker, single, no current or previous military service, Roman Catholic, height of 5 feet 3 inches, chest of 34 inches fully expanded, medium complexion, grey eyes, brown hair.

Joined the 77th Battalion, CEF, in Smiths Falls, Ontario, on 21 July 1915 (number 144589) - transferred to the 38th Battalion, CEF, in Bermuda on 6 December 1915 - served with the 38th Battalion during its period of garrison duty in Bermuda - landed in France with the 38th Battalion on 13 August 1916 - invalided sick to England on 26 April 1917 - rejoined the 38th Battalion on 12 July 1917 - wounded on 5 September 1917 - invalided to England on 15 September 1917.

Awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal - official citation: "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. With one other man, he followed an officer into a dug-out. The occupants resisted, and the situation was critical, but they succeeded in capturing two officers and seventy-five men, besides two machine guns and much ammunition. His fearlessness was most marked." - unit recommendation dated 17 April 1917: "For gallant conduct in their capacity of Company Runners during operation of Apr. 9/17."

(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; 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))


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info on Pte. A.J. Hay. He was one of two runners with Lt. Col. Thain W. MacDowell when he won his VC at Vimy Ridge. Here is link to some photograps regarding Hay - . I am also interested in learning more about 788589 Pte. James Thomas Kobus as well. He was the other runner that assisted MacDowell (who was a relative of mine).

Ken said...

Thanks for this information. I will take a better look at the Canadian Letters and Images project when I get a chance. Perhaps they'll let me use the photo on this blog. As for Private Kobus - obviously I haven't got to him just yet, but I'm working on it. Thanks again.