CHAPS was recently contacted by Garrett Lapp, an amateur military historian about photos of Henry McEachen. Garrett recently acquired McEachen’s World War 1 uniform and medals and wants to put a face to him.
As it turns out, my mother, Dorothy was a favourite of Henry’s sister Flora and inherited many of her memories. That includes a picture of Henry and other members of her family. It also turns out that Mom had a W.W.1 uniform in her closet for many years and only sold it a few years back.
We’ll provide a copy of the photo to Garrett who in return provided these pictures of Henry’s uniform, medals, buttons and matches that were in the pocket.
History of Henry McEachen 183870 - Garrett Lapp
183870 Pte. Henry G McEachen
10th (Calgary) Battalion CEF
Originally from Cochrane, Alberta Henry traveled to Calgary to enlist on December 13th 1915, a few days after his 19th birthday. He initially trained with the 89th Calgary Battalion before being transferred to the 10th Battalion for service in France. He arrived in the trenches on August 27th, 1916 as the 10th Battalion settled into their positions at the Somme. A month later Henry along with the rest of the 10th Battalion helped take Thiepval Ridge despite numerous German counter attacks. By January after many months of living in the mud and blood of the trenches Henry became seriously ill. He suffered from severe bronchial pneumonia to the point where the doctors feared he might die. The severity of his illness meant he would spend the next eight months recovering in England while the rest of the 10th Battalion would go on to take Vimy Ridge and Hill 70. On August 26th, 1917 Henry finally was well enough to return to the 10th battalion at the front lines. From here until the end of the war Henry remained with his unit fighting during the Battles of Passchendaele, Amiens, and the Last 100 Days Offensive to name a few, miraculously remaining unscathed. After some much needed rest in England and Scotland Henry was finally sent home on April 10th, 1919 receiving his discharge in Calgary on the 23rd.