September 22, 1916: Private Warren McEachern

MacEachern Warren cropped

Date of Birth: November 2, 1894* at Boston, MA

Parents: Angus & Mary A. McEachern

Siblings: One brother, Daniel Roderick

Marital Status: Single

Occupation: Carpenter

Enlistment: November 9, 1914 at Halifax, NS

Unit: 25th Battalion

Service #: 67060

Rank: Private

Previous Military Service: None

Next of Kin: Angus McEachern, Sydney, NS (father)

Wounded: September 16, 1916 at Courcelette, France

Date of Death: September 22, 1916 at No. 22 General Hospital, Camiers, France

Final Resting Place: Étaples Military Cemetery, Étaples, France

* Date of birth obtained from the 1901 census. Warren’s attestation papers give his birth date as March 1892.

Warren McEachern was born at Boston, MA on November 2, 1894. His father, Angus, was the son of Donald (Dunmaglass) and Mary (MacAdam) McEachern and a direct descendant of John “Red” McEachern, who emigrated from Dunmaglass, Scotland in 1792. The family was known locally as the “Gusset” McEacherns. Warren’s mother, Mary—Angus’s second wife—was a native of PEI.

Angus was somewhat of an entrepreneur. Having located a salty spring on the mountain, he partnered with a MacGillivray neighbour in an unsuccessful attempt to establish a salt mine in Dunmaglass. His first wife, Ann, and their son died of diphtheria around 1886, after which Angus married Mary. The couple relocated to Boston, where Warren and his brother, Roderick “Roddie”, were born. Mary passed away sometime before 1901 and her sons subsequently returned to Nova Scotia. Warren was raised in the Arisaig home of his great-uncle, Donald McAdam, while Roddie resided with Stephen and Mary McEachern, Arisaig.

A strapping lad who stood six feet tall and weighed 164 pounds, Warren enlisted with the 25th Battalion at Halifax on November 9, 1914—two days after the unit’s authorization—and departed for England with the battalion on May 20, 1915. Following a summer’s training, the battalion crossed the English Channel to France on September 15, 1915 and entered the trenches near Ypres, Belgium one week later.

Warren served with the 25th in the Ypres Salient for almost one year, relocating to the Somme region of France with the battalion in September 1916. On September 15, the 25th was one of several Canadian units spearheading an attack on the village of Courcelette, France. The day following the battle, Warren was wounded in the head and left shoulder by enemy machine gun fire and evacuated to No. 22 General Hospital, Camiers for treatment. He died of his wounds on September 22, 1916 and was laid to rest in nearby Étaples Military Cemetery, France.

Warren’s brother, Roddie, also enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force, but became ill during training and was discharged shortly afterward. He subsequently joined the Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve and was aboard a vessel in Halifax harbour on December 6, 1917, when the Mont Blanc, a French cargo ship laden with explosives, collided with the SS Imo, a Belgian relief ship. Roddie and a shipmate were standing on their vessel’s deck at the time of the resulting explosion, and were thrown onto land by the blast. Although “shell-shocked” by the experience, Roddie survived and returned to service. After the war, he settled in New Glasgow, where he married and raised a family.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s