Wheeler Maracle signature

On this day in 1917 Wheeler Maracle was reported missing and later presumed to have died in a military operation of the 50th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force at Vimy Ridge. The unit’s war diary describes the twenty-minute engagement and notes that five men were missing after the action.

50th Battalion war diary for February 3rd 1917

VOLUME VII WAR DIARY 50th CANADIAN INFANTRY

VIMY RIDGE EAST OF SOUCHEZ
1917, 3 Feby

TIME SHOW COMMENCED
9PM. with intense bombardment on enemys front line
Raiding Parties reached enemys front line at 9.04PM.
Barrage lifted to enemys second line at 9.04PM.

RESULTS
Each party successful in their allotted task.
Estimated number of enemy killed & wounded 100
Number of prisoners brought in 7

CASUALTIES
1 officer (LIEUT W.L. COOK) missing believed killed. 4 other ranks missing believed killed. 1 other rank killed. 3 officers (LIEUTS A.S. MACULLOCH, A.M. SUTHERLAND and S.A. MOORE) wounded and 34 other ranks wounded

ENEMYS WORKS DESTROYED
Approximately 24 Dug outs, 8 Sniper posts, 5 Machine Gun emplacements, 2 Saps, 2 trench junctions and one mineshafts

INTELLIGENCE
During whole operation enemy shelled his own front line.
Identifications showed that the 16th & 17th Bavarians were opposing.

TOTAL DURATION OF OPERATIONS.
Twenty minutes

Wheeler’s body was not recovered: he is remembered on the Vimy Memorial and in Deseronto.

Deseronto memorial

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