by Marilyne Lambert
My grandfather, Neil Lauchy Herd, was born in Cleveland, Ohio on Feb. 11, 1890. Unfortunately his mother died of Typhoid fever when he was only 2. Then he lost his father at 9 so was sent to live in Lake Ainsley, Cape Breton with his maternal grandparents. In 1906 he traveled on the Harvest train with his older brother Alex to Edmonton where he was able to find work building roads and bridges. He signed up for the Overseas Expeditionary Forces on Feb. 15, 1915, 4 days after his 25th birthday. His regiment number was 436893. I’m not sure which Company or Battalion he was with. He was wounded at Vimy Ridge at 9:30am on April 9 and evacuated to Kemsing Hospital in England. While there he fell in love with his nurse, Beatrice Lily Best, and they were married just 4 months later. After he recuperated he was involved in training and became a Sargent. A daughter was soon born, my mother Margaret, and both her and her mother arrived back in Edmonton in January of 1919 where they waited for Neil to demobilize and return to Edmonton. He soon arrived in Halifax on the Olympic with his comrades on April 21, 1919. Neil never spoke much about the war but he was very proud when both his sons enlisted in the Second World War. He lived a long and well travelled life until he passed away at 94 years old. His descendants number in the hundreds now and we all miss him very much.