(15th Infantry Battalion) Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF)
Private 438874, Andrew Gibson Lusk
By Colonel P.J. Fleury MSM, CD1
The Hundred Days Offensive was the final period of fighting of the First World War, during which the Allies launched a series of offensives against the Central Powers on the Western Front from the 8th of August to the 11th of November, 1918.
By this time, the 100,000 soldiers of the Canadian Corps, composed of four Heavy Divisions, had become known as the “Shock Army of the British Empire” and for the Germans, whenever the Canadians appeared in a sector, an Allied attack was imminent. Canadian Corps operations during this period included: the Battle of Amiens 8-11 August 1918; the 2nd Battle of Arras, 26 August to 3 September 1918; the Canal du Nord & Cambrai 27 September to 11 October 1918; the capture of Valenciennes 1-2 November 1918; and the capture of Mons, Belgium 10-11 November 1918.
Andrew Gibson Lusk was born on the 23rd of April 1888, the last of James and Alice Jane Lusk’s 10 children. The family had settled in the township of Eardley in the early 1800’s where they farmed. The village of Luskville was named after the Lusks.
Enlisting on the 29th of January, 1915, as part of a reinforcing draft, Andrew sailed with his cousin Robert, on the S.S. Missanabie from Montreal, arriving in England on the 13th of September, where they joined the 12th Reserve Battalion. The Battalion was then training at Shorncliffe Camp, in Kent. In February 1916, he was assigned to the 15 Battalion (48th Highlanders of Canada) and sent to France, where he joined his new unit in March. In April, he was temporarily attached to the 2nd Tunneling Company, where in June, he suffered a gunshot wound to his hand. He rejoined his Battalion in September 1916, and participated in the Somme Offensive that fall and in spring 1917, took part in the Canadian Corps assault and capture of Vimy Ridge.
On the 15th of September 1917, the 15th Battalion moved to Cité St Pierre, nears Lens, France. While there, the Battalion supplied work parties to repair trench systems. On the 13th of September, while forward with a work party, he was poisoned by a German gas attack and buried by an exploding shell. He spend six weeks recovering in hospitals and convalescent centres. He was then released to the Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp, followed by temporary service with the 3rd Trench Mortar Battery, before returning to the 15th Battalion in August 1918. On the 1st of September, 1918, at about 9 am, as part of the 2nd Battle of Arras, while advancing with his platoon in the rear of “Crow’s Nest” Wood, Private Andrew Gibson Lusk was struck by shrapnel and killed instantly.
Private Andrew Gibson Lusk was buried in the field and later re-interred in the Quéant Road British Cemetery in the village of Buissy, France. In April 2010, a bronze plaque was unveiled at Hendecourt-les-Cagnicourt in France to commemorate the capture of the Crow’s Nest.
LEST WE FORGET
The Remembrance Day Ceremony on November 11 will start at 10:30 am at the Parc Commémoratif in Aylmer.
In honour of the Centennial of Armistice (1918-2018) the Aylmer Legion Branch 33 is inviting you after the ceremony to a Special Reception which will take place at the Aydelu Recreation Centre from 12:00 to 6:00 pm. To mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, there will be an historical exhibit, WW1 re-enactors, free lunch, live band, and much more.
On November 11th 2018. Honour. Thank. Remember.