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Sunday, 2 October 2016

Remembering Private Peter Fougere & Lance Corporal Arthur Stanford Horton - KIA October 2, 1916

Peter Fougere was born on April 31, 1897 at Larry’s River, Guysborough County, NS. The oldest of Simon and Sophia (Petipas) Fougere’s three children, Peter was raised by his maternal grandparents, Peter and Sophia Fougere, following his mother’s tragic death after the birth of the couple’s third child.

Peter Fougere (right) & his sister, Sophia.

On April 31, 1915, Peter enlisted with the 64th Battalion at Sussex, NB. Transferred to the 40th Battalion in October 1915, he departed for England with his new unit on October 18, 1915. After spending the winter of 1915-16 in England, Peter was transferred to the 5th Battalion Canadian Mounted Rifles on March 15, 1916.

Pte. Peter Fougere, Larry's River.

Another Guysborough native, Arthur Stanford Horton, followed a similar path to the front line. Arthur was born at Canso on November 17, 1893 to Hiram Charles and Henrietta “Hattie” (Worth) Horton. He enlisted with the 40th Battalion at Sydney, NS on August 9, 1915 and accompanied Peter Fougere to England. Promoted to Lance Corporal shortly after arriving overseas, Arthur reverted to the rank of Private in the spring of 1916 and obtained a transfer to the 5th Battalion Canadian Mounted Rifles (CMR) on the same day as Peter.

The two Guysborough soldiers crossed the English Channel to France on March 16, 1916 and proceeded to Belgium’s Ypres Salient, where they served a regular rotation with 5th CMR throughout the spring and summer of 1916. Peter and Arthur were in the line at Maple Copse on June 2, 1916, when German forces launched a major attack on their section. 50 % of 5th CMR’s soldiers in the line that day became casualties by day’s end. While Arthur emerged unscathed, Peter received shrapnel wounds to his back and spine and was invalided to England for treatment.

Later diagnosed with “shell shock,” Peter spent several months recovering from his injuries. Upon returning to France on September 5, he rejoined 5th CMR as the unit made its way to the Somme region of France. Arthur was promoted to Lance Corporal on September 16, and returned to the trenches with Peter and their comrades eleven days later.

On October 1, 1916, 5th CMR participated in an attack on Kenora Trench, one of two fortified positions protecting a larger German stronghold known to Canadian soldiers as “Regina Trench.” While the unit succeeded in reaching its objective, fierce counter-fire and the failure of flanking battalions to advance forced 5th CMR’s soldiers to abandon the location on the following day.

Pte. Peter Fougere was killed sometime during the two days of fighting at Kenora Trench. His remains were never recovered from the battlefield. Peter’s name is inscribed on the Canadian War Memorial, Vimy Ridge, France, erected in memory of more than 11,000 Canadian soldiers who died on France’s battlefields and who have no known grave.

Pte. Peter Fougere's name on the Canadian War Memorial, Vimy Ridge, France.

Officials initially reported Lance Corporal Arthur Stanford Horton as “missing in action,” but subsequently determined that he was “killed in action” on October 2, 1916. Arthur was laid to rest in Regina Trench Cemetery, Grandcourt, France.

Lance Cpl. Arthur Stanford Horton's headstone.
Detailed summaries of Peter's and Arthur's family background and military service are among the 72 profiles published in "First World War Honour Roll of Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, Volume I: 1915 - 1917," available at .

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