The unit served in the Belgian Ypres Salient throughout the autumn and winter of 1915-16, receiving its first introduction to combat on April 15, 1916, when German forces attacked its positions in the St. Eloi craters, south of Ypres. Two days prior to Archie’s death, the 25th relocated to the Zillebeke area, where German forces had captured Mount Sorrel, a significant area of high ground, on June 2. Archie was killed during a massive June 10 bombardment of the 25th’s line, and laid to rest in nearby Bedford House Cemetery.
|Pte. Archie McIsaac's grave, Bedford House Cemetery.|
Two excellent books are available on the 25th’s war experience, edited/authored by Brian Tennyson, Department of History, Cape Breton University. The first, Merry Hell: The 25th (Nova Scotia) Battalion, 1914 - 1918, contains the memoirs of Captain Robert N. Clements, MC, who served with the unit throughout its time on the Western Front. The second, Percy Wilmot: A Cape Bretoner At War, chronicles the experiences of a 25th Battalion soldier. Both volumes are available online from Cape Breton University Press.