The Role of David Russell Hearn in WW1

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There are a number of great Canadian soldiers, doctors and nurses who participated in different battles of WW1. Most of them had to pay the ultimate price of death for taking part in the wars. As such, their names and contributions have been archived in the Canadian historical books and memories. One of those soldiers was David Russell Hearns. A young man aged 23, David was one of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces that were trained and sent on a mission to the western front war in France (David Russell Hearns, 1). Although the west front consisted of other soldiers, the Canadian troops were the most and thereby, many of them were killed in the process. Specifically, David Russell was in the 27th battalion that patrolled the western front. Notably, the Canadian force had sent four divisions in the WW1. According to David Russell Hearns (1), Two of those divisions; the Canadian Cavalry Brigade and the Canadian Independent Force and which were not in any way dependent on the general Canadian Corps, had their battle on the western front.

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The Vimy Ridge Battle

David Russell Hearns was one of the soldiers who lost their lives when fighting the Vimy Ridge. This battle was part of what was common known as the Battle of Arras. This battle was in the Vimy Pas de Calais region of the French Republic (First World War.Com, 1). His force consisted of four divisions and was fighting against three divisions of the Germany army. The brevity of this battle was surprising as it only took four days; from 9 April to 12 April 1917. Indeed, the battle formed the beginning of the battle of Arras, which was led by the British. Their action was used by the British army to divert their attention from the French Novella Offensive.

Objectives of the Vimy Ridge Battle

The goals of the brief Vimy Ridge war were diverse. In this regard, the Canadian expeditionary force, which was an independent part of the Canadian Corps, was led by Lieutenant-General Sir Edwin Alderson (First World War.Com, 1). However, on the 16th day of May 1916, the Canadians Corps had to restrategize. As such, Lieutenant-General Sir Julian Byng took over from Edwin. The battle was aimed at taking control of the high ground that was held at that time by their rivals, the German soldiers. Specifically, they intended to monitor the field along the escarpment found at the northernmost end of the Arras offensive. After the capture of the said territory, the southern front could move upwards without the threat of suffering the fierce German fire.

David Russell Hearn Participation in the Vimy Ridge Battle

In 1915, at the age of 21, David enlisted with the 80th infantry battalion. However, the force trained for one year in Canada and moved to England in 1916. After fourteen days, David arrived in England on S.S. Baltic. On the 9th day of June 1916, David was transferred to the 74th battalion. Seven days later, this force was split leading David to the 51st Battalion. After being in the army for one year, David was moved to the Canadian Casualty Assembly Center in Folkestone, England. Due to the influx of casualties to the soldiers of the British Somme offensive, additional troops were required. After being transferred to the 11th Reserve Battalion in Shorncliffe, David was now aware of his imminent deployment to France.

On the 21st day of October 2016, David was further transferred to the 27th City of Winnipeg Battalion, a 5th Infantry Brigade of the 2nd Canadian Division. Just as the battle of Somme was winding down, David arrived in France and joined the group of other Canadian Expeditionary sliders in the fight of the Vimy Ridge. The task ahead was to capture the Vimy Ridge. At this stage, David played a significant role in the battle. Their success on this front made them advance about 6 kilometers, but they lost 11,000 soldiers. Luckily, David survived this time. The first and second divisions advanced and attacked the Arluex-en-Gohell village. After an action with the Germany soldiers, David was reported missing and was later presumed dead.

Chronology of the Events of the Vimy Ridges Battle

On the first day of the attack of the German soldiers by the Canadian expeditionary forces, and which occurred on the 9th day of April 1917, the Canadian troops were very successful as they captured most parts of the Ridge with the support of the creeping barrage. However, after their defeat of a salient of a considerable measure of German resistance, the town of thelus fell on 10 April 1917, the second day of the attack. Additionally, the crest of the ridge also fell after the Canadian soldiers emerged victorious on the second day of the assault. The final fundamental goal of the Canadian troops was achieved on the fourth and final day of the attack. Specifically, a fortified knoll, which was just outside the French town of Givenchy Gen Gohelle, was captured forcing the salient Germany soldiers to retreat to the poppy mericourt line. Indeed, the Canadian soldiers had won the Vimy battle but not without causalities as David Russell among the soldiers lost their lives.

Part B: Biography of David Russell Hearns

General Information

David Russell was born on February 10, 1894, in Napanee Ontario to the parents of John Sylvester Hearns and Theressa Loucks. He was a sailor who traded in making boats in the great lakes of North Fredericksburg Township in the company of his father and brother. At the age of 21 and specifically on 1913, he got married to Myrtle Hall, a lovely young woman from the neighboring village of Picton Ontario. A year later, the two had a son who was named Charles Edward.

David Russell Hearn died aged 21 on May 3, 1917 while fighting with other soldiers in the Vimy Ridge Battle of the WW1. His regimental number was 220205. He belonged to the 27th Battalion of the Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regiment). Specifically, David was part of the Canadian expeditionary soldiers deployed in the western war front in France. When he disappeared- and was presumed dead, David was buried in the Vimy memorial cemetery that is located in Pas de Calais, France. This cemetery contains the names of the over 11,000 soldiers who lost their lives during the battle of the Vimy Ridge. As such, the cemetery was a gift from the France government to the Canadian people for their military help in fighting Germany during WW1.the following is a section of the Vimy memorial cemetery.

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Description of the Battle

The Vimy Bridge battle occurred on the Vimy Bridge, which is located in the Pas de Calais region of France. The purpose of the contest was to oust the Germany soldiers who had invaded the French borders. David, together with other Canadian expeditionary soldiers confronted the three divisions of the Germany soldiers. However, he died from the gunshot woods after they were ambushed by the Germany soldiers. Specifically, the four groups when on different sides of attack, shielding one another from the enemy. However, David was unlucky as he was among those soldiers who disappeared. It was presumed that they were dead as they could not be searched due to fear of the enemy. In my hypothesis, David died out of gunshot wounds as he was unable to match with the intensity of the other soldiers. Therefore, after he was injured, he was left behind and was shot dead by the Germany soldiers. The following is a map of the Vimy Ridge battlefield.

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The Role of David Russell Hearn in WW1

The role of David Russell Hearn in the WW1 cannot be stated enough. He, among other soldiers, took the bold step of leaving their native country and went to France for the sake of maintaining international peace and security. This act showed courage and dedication to the call of duty. Specifically, at that tender age of 23, David was brave enough to be in the war front. This calls for him to be considered as a hero in the Canadian Republic. Indeed, losing his life in war front showed how prepared he was to protect the commitment of the Canadian Corps. I, therefore, chose him as the subject of my research as he was a dedicated soldier who participated in a fierce battle at a young age.

Works Cited

"David Russell Hearns - The Canadian Virtual War Memorial - Veterans Affairs Canada". N.p., 2016. Web. 4 Mar. 2016.available at:

"David Russell Hearns - WW1 Memorial And Life Story". N.p., 2016. Web. 4 Mar. 2016.available at:

"First World War.Com - A Multimedia History Of World War One". N.p., 2016. Web. 4 Mar. 2016.available at:

"Manitoba Regiment - Canadian Infantry - Regiment History, War & Military Records & Archives". N.p., 2016. Web. 4 Mar. 2016.available at:"

Vimy Memorial - The Canadian Virtual War Memorial - Veterans Affairs Canada". N.p., 2014. Web. 4 Mar. 2016.available at:

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