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  • A Military Medal to the 52nd Canadian Infantry 1917
  • A Military Medal to the 52nd Canadian Infantry 1917
  • A Military Medal to the 52nd Canadian Infantry 1917

Item: C4301

A Military Medal to the 52nd Canadian Infantry 1917

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A Military Medal to the 52nd Canadian Infantry 1917

(439535 Pte C.J. GAGNON. 52/CAN:INF:). Naming is officially impressed. Dark patina, edge nicks, bruised, light contact, better than very fine. Accompanied by a copy of his Attestation Paper and research from the Canadian Great War Project website. Footnote: Charles Joseph Gagnon was born on November 19, 1892, the oldest of six sons born to Joseph Gagnon and Victoria Gagnon (nee Madore) of Keewatin, Ontario. He was raised in Keewatin and was employed at sewing flour bags for the Lake of the Woods Milling Company before signing his Attestation Paper with the 52nd Infantry Battalion "New Ontario Regiment", on August 4, 1915, in Kenora, Ontario, at the age of 22, naming his next-of-kin as his father, Joseph Gagnon, stating that he had no previous military service, that he was not married and that his trade was that of Labourer. The Battalion was raised in Western Ontario under the authority of G.O. 86, July 1, 1915. The mobilization headquarters was at Port Arthur, Ontario (modern day Thunder Bay). The Battalion began their travel by train to Saint John, New Brunswick on November 4, 1915, with a stop in Ottawa on the way, where they were inspected by the Governor General of Canada, the Duke of Connaught, before arriving in Saint John on the 8th. The Battalion sailed from Saint John on November 23, 1915 aboard the S.S. California, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel J.A.D. Hulme with a strength of 48 officers and 1,032 other ranks, arriving in Plymouth, England on December 3rd. They trained at Witley Camp in Bramshott for eight weeks before landing in France on February 21, 1916. The Battalion served in France and Belgium with the 9th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division, joining them on February 23rd. Sixteen months later, near the end of June 1917, Gagnon was injured and admitted to No. 22 General Hospital at Camiers, suffering shrapnel wounds to his right leg and left arm. Gagnon was awarded the Military Medal for actions that he took that fateful day in June and was published in the Fifth Supplement to the London Gazette of September 14, 1917, number 30287, on September 17, 1917, page 9614. His citation for the medal appears on his Canada Military Honours and Awards Citation Card: "While in charge of a limber loaded with detonated Mills Grenades, a shell exploded nearby blowing away the tailboard of the limber. His mules bolted and though his arm was shattered, he stuck to his post and eventually succeeded in bringing his team to a standstill, thus probably saving the lives of soldiers who were in the vicinity at the time. His arm has since been amputated." Gagnon was invalided to England and admitted to the 2nd Southern General Hospital at Bristol, where he was treated for the next thirty days. He was then transferred to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital at Bear Wood, Wokingham, Berkshire for twelve days, before arriving at his final treatment facility, the Military Convalescent Hospital at Woodcote Park, Epsom, where he would remain for the next thirty-four days. While at Woodcote Park, he was transferred from the 52nd Infantry Battalion to the 18th Reserve Battalion. After his discharge from hospital, he was awarded his Military Medal and reinstated with the 52nd Infantry Battalion, returning to France on November 9, 1917 and reporting to duty with his unit on December 1st. He continued to serve in France for the next fifteen months, until February 13, 1919. Eleven days later, now in England, he was admitted to No. 12 Canadian General Hospital at Bramshott on February 24th, suffering from a bout of Influenza. Gagnon died of Bronchial Pneumonia, complicated by the Influenza, on March 9, 1919, at the age of 26. He is buried in Grayshott (St. Joseph) Roman Catholic Churchyard, Grayshott, Hampshire, England, Grave Reference: B. 19. and is commemorated on page 534 of the First World War Book of Remembrance. In addition, he is commemorated on the Lake of the Woods Milling Company Plaque and the Town of Keewatin Plaque, both of which are located in the Keewatin Legion and on the Keewatin Cenotaph. Two of his brothers, William and Adelarde, also served overseas during the war and were fortunate enough to return to Canada.
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