John George Henry Heyd


John George Henry Heyd joined the Canadian Army on Valentine’s Day, 1916, joining the 91st (Elgin) Battalion. At the time, John was living at the YMCA in St. Thomas, Ontario working as a drug apprentice. Born to John G. Heyd and Mary E. Heyd in Ethel, Ontario, his family then relocated to Mount Forest.


At the time of enlisting, John was 5 foot 6 and a quarter, and 145 pounds. Being up to date with his vaccinations and not having any defects, he was declared fit for service.


After embarking on the SS Olympic at Halifax on the 29th of June, John and the 91st disembarked in Liverpool England after a 7 days journey. Shortly after, on the 20th, Private Heyd was transferred to the 36th Battalion, and then transferred again to the 38th Battalion on August 20th. The next day, Heyd and his new Battalion were shipped across the channel to Havre, and from there they proceeded to the Western Front.


After spending months in the field, Heyd took park in a NCO course on February 10th, 1917. Shortly after this was Vimy Ridge. The 38th Battalion was in the 4th Canadian Division, whose purpose on the 9th was to capture the two most prominent features of the ridge. These features were Hill 120 (“the pimple”), and Hill 145. In the aftermath of the chaos, Private Heyd was reported missing on the 21st, 12 days after the action took place. The Pimple was not fully secured until 6:00PM on the 12th of April, making it the last objective to be secured due to the ferocity of the German defenders, and their favourable ground. It was not until the 14th of June that Private John Heyd was officially reported killed in action.


Private John George Henry Heyd is commemorated at Canadian Cemetery No.2, in Neuville-St. Vaast, France.


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