A Great War Memorial Cross to the Van Doos
A Great War Memorial Cross to the Van Doos - GRV (62235 Pte. C. GERVAIS). Naming is officially engraved. Without ribbon, extremely fine. Accompanied by copies of his Index Cards, Attestation Papers, Service Records, Medical Records, Pay Records and Discharge Certificates. Footnote: Charles Gervais was born on February 23, 1885 in Montreal, Quebec, the son of Joseph Gervais and Delia Gervais. He signed his Attestation Paper with the 22nd Infantry Battalion "Canadiens Francais", on May 5, 1915 in Montreal, naming his mother as his next-of-kin, stating that he had no previous military service, that he was not married and that his trade was that of Roofer. The Battalion was raised in Quebec and mobilized in St. Jean, Quebec under the authority of G.O. 36, March 15, 1915. The Battalion sailed May 20, 1915 from Halifax, Nova Scotia, aboard the S.S. Saxonia, with a strength of 36 officers and 1,097 other ranks under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel F.M. Gaudet, arriving in England on the 29th. The Battalion served in France and Belgium with the 5th Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Division. Established in October 1914, at the beginning of World War I, the 22nd was created in response to a popular demand from people who wanted to have a regiment under which French Canadians could serve in their native language. The 22nd was the only active French-speaking infantry battalion on the war front to serve in the Canadian Corps. After three and half months training in England, he entered the French theatre with the 22nd Infantry Battalion on September 15, 1915, with the Battalion arriving on the front line in Belgium shortly thereafter. Gervais was wounded at Messines on November 26, 1915, suffering a "Shrapnel (gun shot) wound to the left arm, jaw, right arm and right buttock." He was admitted to No. 2 Canadian Stationary Hospital at Boulogne on the November 28th, then invalided and transferred to Bevan Military Hospital at Sandgate on December 1st, where he was taken on strength of the 23rd Battalion, beginning a series of hospital stays. After two weeks treatment, he was transferred for one month to Kent No. 2 Voluntary Aid Detachment Hospital at Ramsgate on December 13th, then to the Reserve Unit Military Hospital at Shorecliffe on January 11, 1916 for two months, before arriving at his final hospital on March 1st, the Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Woodcote Park, Epsom, where he also battled a case of Influenza, before being discharged on April 12th. He was later attached to 1st C.T.D. Machine Gun Base at Dibgate on May 16, 1916, then transferred back to the 22nd Battalion on June 28th, recovered from his injuries. Gervais was wounded again, this time at Courcellette on September 16, 1916, when a "Bomb exploded 5 or 6 ft. away from Gervais." He suffered "Extensive subconjunctival hemorrhage in lower half of globe. Diffuse retinal detachment from concussion. Shrapnel penetrated (his) shoulder." He was wounded in the left eye and was gassed. He was invalided to England, where he was admitted to 4th London General Hospital at Denmark Hill, London S.E. on September 20th for two months treatment, before being transferred to Westcliffe Canadian Ear & Eye Hospital at Folkestone on November 17th, where he convalesced for two weeks. After his discharge from Westcliffe on the 29th, he was attached to Sub Staff DPQR at Hastings on March 3, 1917, transferred to the 2nd Quebec Regimental Depot at Shoreham on March 30th, then attached to Base Duty on April 16th. He was placed on command to headquarters at Hastings on May 9, 1917, then placed on command to the 10th Reserve Battalion at Shoreham on June 23rd, before being attached to the Assistant Provost Marshal's office on September 6th. He was placed on command at the Canadian Convalescent Depot at Buxton on October 30, 1917, for return to Canada. Gervais was awarded two Wound Stripes on twice becoming a casualty in the field. He sailed from Liverpool, England aboard the S.S. Olympic on November 6, 1917 and was taken on strength at No.4 Military District and was admitted to Montreal General Hospital on December 11, 1917, where he convalesced. He was taken on strength of the Special Service Battalion at Montreal on November 21st until February 8, 1918, when he was transferred to D.M.H. Montreal, to seek additional treatment. Montreal was the headquarters for No.4 Military District, which had seven Military Hospitals. In his Medical History of an Invalid, dated April 9, 1918 at Montreal, it noted the condition of his eye: "R.E.V. light perception" and "shows opacities of lens & of vitreous due to Gun Shot Wound", with a probable detachment of the retina, his "right vision (was) reduced to perception of light". In regards to his ear, there was a "slight inflammation in middle ear right. Drum retracted, hears moderate voice at least 25 ft., whispered voice 5 ft. Complains of buzzing noises in ear from time to time. Disability 40% for eyes, nil for ear." Due to his reduced vision, it was recommended the he be placed in Category "E" (unfit for service in Categories A (general service), B (service abroad, not general service) and C (home service (Canada only)), as his condition was determined to be "permanent." He was discharged from D.M.H. on April 20, 1918. Gervais was discharged from Active Service as "Being Medically Unfit for Military Duties (Wounded)" on June 4, 1918, at No.4 Military District in Montreal, entitled to wear both the War Service Badge, Class "A", number 33184, along with a Class "B", number 618336. He married after his discharge, taking Louisa Gervais as his wife, but died soon after, on August 19, 1921, at the age of 36 and was buried at Montreal (Notre Dame des Neiges) Cemetery, Montreal, Quebec. His widow, Louisa Gervais, received his 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal, Memorial Plaque with Scroll, in addition to his Memorial Cross, with his mother, Delia Gervais also receiving his Memorial Cross.