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Thursday, 15 September 2016

Remembering Private William Robert Gideon Cameron - KIA September 15/16, 1916

William Robert Gideon Cameron was the youngest of three children born to Alexander and Janet (Polson) Cameron, Guysborough Intervale, Guysborough County, on January 17, 1892. William moved west to Alberta sometime prior to 1911, obtaining a homestead grant near Peace River.

On July 2, 1915, William enlisted with the 66th Battalion at Edmonton, AB. He departed for overseas aboard SS Olympic on April 28, 1916, receiving a transfer to the 49th Battalion (Edmonton) on June 6, 1916. Five days later, William arrived at the 49th’s camp near Winnizel, Belgium, the unit having recently retired from fierce fighting at Sanctuary Wood.

The 49th relocated to the Somme region of France with the Canadian Corps two months after William’s transfer, arriving at Albert on September 13. Two days later, its soldiers entered the line near Courcelette as Canadian units prepared to attack the French village. Initially assigned to a support role behind several battalions, its Companies were called forward as the battle progress throughout the evening of September 15, fighting continuing into the following day.

Private William Robert Gideon Cameron was among the 38 49th Battalion OR killed in the fighting at Courcelette during the night of September 15/16, 1916. His remains were never recovered from the field. William’s name is inscribed on the Canadian War Memorial, Vimy Ridge, France, one of 11,285 soldiers lost on France’s battlefields, all of whom have no known final resting place.

William Robert Gideon Cameron's name on Vimy Ridge Memorial.

William Robert Gideon Cameron’s story is among the 72 detailed profiles contained in “First World War Honour Roll of Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, Volume I: 1915 - 1917,” available at

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