DIVISIONAL UNIT: 1st Canadian Infantry Division
1st Infantry Brigade
1st Battalion - Western Ontario
Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO: 19072
RESIDENCE: Zurich – Ontario
DATE OF BIRTH: February 15, 1892
Zurich – Hay Township – County of Huron - Ontario
DATE OF DEATH: June 15, 1915 23 years 4 months
MEMORIAL: Vimy Memorial – Vimy –
Pas de Calais - France
PARENT: Mr. John Brenner – Zurich - Ontario
Occupation: Labourer Religion: Lutheran
Enlistment: Valcartier – September 12, 1914 into 9th Battalion
Enlistment Age: 22 years 7 months
Private Brenner departed Canada and arrived in England about mid October 1914.
The Battalion found itself in battle position prior to 3 pm when they reached the trenches opposite of where they would attack. The 2nd withdrew to the right to make room for them. From 3 pm – 6 pm the 1st Battalion waited for the order to charge and to pass the time sang songs which were not printable. Between June 12-15th, the 4th Battery of the Canadian Field Artillery placed two guns in the front trench, had dug them in and protected with sandbags and their purpose was to cut enemy wire, level enemy parapets and destroy enemy machine-gun positions.
The Division brought down a intense bombardment against the enemy lines at 5:45 pm with the enemy replying actively against the Battalion. At the same time, the infantry knocked down the parapets in front of the two guns. In just 15 minutes the infantry had completed their objectives. As the infantry advanced the enemy ranged in with their artillery on the Battalion’s guns. Just prior to 6 pm when the advance was to proceed, the enemy blew up a mine under the 1st Battalion killing or wounding 50+ men. The advance proceeded with 4 & 2 Companies leading followed by No. 3 in support and No. 1 in reserve. The Battalion bombers were trying to advance against the enemy trench system and at 8:10 pm it was reported that the runners sent out had not returned. At 8:20 pm artillery support was asked for against enemy positions. At 8:27 pm the Battalion reported it was being held up 100 yards from their objective. The report at 8:45 pm was the Battalion was in possession of the 2nd enemy trench. The Battalion found itself in difficulty and they were having trouble holding their positions. More artillery support was requested at 10 pm. At 10:50 pm it was reported that only two platoons were holding the left of the crater and that those who had advanced were now cut off. Then those in the trenches were bombed out by the enemy on both flanks. At 11:15 pm the information was the
3rd Battalion would continue with the attack and that the 1st Battalion was to immediately reorganize itself.
It was during this day of fighting that Private Brenner lost his life while performing his duties in the field near Givenchy. Perhaps he was a runner.
Not on a Huron County Cenotaph