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PTE. A. L. HENDRY

Arthur Leslie Hendry, born 9th April 1896 in Renfrew, Ontario, was a plumber at his time of enlistment on 17th November 1916. He initially enlisted into the Canadian Field Artillery (C.F.A.), specifically the 73rd Battery, before travelling to England aboard the S.S. Olympic and assembling with other Canadian units at Shorcliffe. Once in England, Hendry was transferred to the 7th Reserve Battalion for a short while before transferring to Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (P.P.C.L.I.) in July 1917. 

BATTLE OF PASSCHENDAELE - 30th October 1917

Hendry's Final Action

The Patricia's detrained in Ypres on 23rd October 1917 in heavy rain. Over the next few days the Patricia's took part in training, munitions transport and general preparation under the similar weather conditions they arrived in. From the first day the Patricia's sustained sporadic artillery fire from the Germans across the town which increased in intensity and frequency up to the 28th October before the battalion moved from the town to the Gravenstafel area.

 

Arriving in Gravenstafel, the Patricia's relieved the 116th Battalion in "DAD TRENCH" prior to the offensive on the 30th October 1917. On the morning of the offensive, the battalion was 600 strong, including 28 officers, all of which went over the top. Zero hour was given as 05:50AM as the men advanced behind a barrage of artillery towards the German front-line. The right side of the offensive was slowed due to smoke obscuring the advancing parties vision, but by 07:50AM prisoners started making their way back to the British lines. A significant advantage was made by the capture of a pillbox on the hill crest at 10:30AM with a request for reinforcements to hold the position.

Two Victoria Crosses were awarded for the capture of the pillbox - Sgt. George Mullin, VC and Lieut. Hugh Mackenzie.

Casualties began to heavily mount before noon, a call for stretcher bearers was made and the four companies were now below half strength when compared to less than eight hours before an estimated 250 from the original 600. Although capitalising on the capture of the pillbox and firmly cementing themselves on the high ground, by 20:00PM the battalion's strength was estimated to be at 180. Action spilled over into the following day with the Patricia's being sniped at early in the morning. Both sides sent out stretcher-bearers with white flags and cleared the battlefield by 18:00PM. By nightfall on the 31st October the Patricia's were relieved by the 13th and 42nd battalions and withdrew to Pommern Castle. 

 

The battalion suffered considerable casualties, from the war diary it recounts:

- 93 killed

- 199 wounded

- 3 died of wounds

- 1 shellshock

- 38 missing

A total of 354 casualties from an initial force of around 600.

Hendry fell on the battlefield whilst fighting beside his fellow countrymen. He is remembered on the Menin Gate, a stone's throw from where he lost his life. 

Hendry's medals, an Allied Victory Medal, British War Medal and Memorial Cross were sent to his mother, Mrs. Margaret Isabella Hendry at 108 Elizabeth Street, Renfrew, Ontario. His name is memorialised in the Book of Remembrance on Page 254 as well as the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry - Roll of Honour.

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