My Grandfather, Alfred Mist
On Oct. 6 he arrived in England aboard the SS Corsican and placed with the 39th Battn.
On Dec. 15 he was placed with the 64th Battn., and then to the 34th Battn. on the 1st of Jan., 1917 he moved on to the 39th Battn.
With the 39th, 64th and 34th Battalions he was learning the art of war in the fields of England.
April 16 saw him moved on to the Canadian Forestry Corps. The war effort required a very large amount of lumber for a variety of projects. Among them, barrack blocks, temporary bridges and yes, rifle stocks.
April 20th the 21st Bttn. relieved the 31st Bttn. in the support trenches at Neuville Vitasse.
On April 24th they relieved the 18th Bttn. at the Front Line!
On April 29th, in conjunction with the 19th Bttn., they raided the the enemy defences at Neuville Vitasse. After the strike, they were relieved by the 22nd Bttn. and were moved back to Wailly.
On the 3rd of May they relieved the 27th Bttn. at the front line near the Mercatel section.
On the 15th of May they were relieved by the 25th Bttn. and moved back to Wailly.
On the 22nd of May they relieved the 28th Bttn. in the support trenches near Telegraph Hill Switch. On the 24th of May, Alfred Mist turned 18 in the muddy trenches of France.
On the 29th of May they relieved the 18th Bttn. at the front near Neuville Vitasse.
On the 3rd of June they were relieved by the 22nd Bttn. and moved to Wailly Wood.
On the 9th they relieved the 29th Bttn. in the reserve trenches in the Mercatel section.
On the 15th they relieved the 20th Bttn. at the front line.
On the 19th they raided the enemy trenches.
On the 21st they were relieved by the 25th Bttn. and moved to Bretencourt.
On the 27th they were moved to Fosseux for training.
On the 13th of July they were moved to Berneville. Also on this day, grandpa was awarded the Good Conduct Badge!
On the 14th they relieved the 1st London and the 7th Middlesex Bttns. in the Telegraph Hill Switch.
On the 19th they were relieved by the 15th Bttn. and moved to the rear and over the next several days were trained in advancing and attacking with tanks.
On the 3rd of Aug. they moved into the Cagny-Amiens front.
On the 4th they were moved to the Bois L'Abbe to relieve the 16th Australian Bttn.
At 4:20 AM on the 8th of Aug. the 4th British Army commenced an attack in conjunction with the Canadian Corps. Marcellane was captured by the 21st Bttn. at 7:15 AM and the Bttn. CO, Lieut- Col. E.W. Jones DSO was killed in action at 7:30 AM.
On the 9th the Bttn. advanced about 2 miles and bivouacked in the old German defence line at Caix Wood.
On the 10th they relieved the 27th Bttn. east of Rosieres. Then on the 13th they moved forward and relieved the 46th Bttn. near Chilli.
On the 14th they are relieved by the 25th Bttn. and moved into to the support trenches west of Foquescourt.
IT WAS HERE THAT MY GRANDFATHER WAS GASSED FOR THE FIRST TIME. THE BATTALION'S CONSTANT DRILL ON PUTTING ON GAS MASKS PAID OFF, AS THERE WERE NO CASUALTIES LISTED ON THIS OCCASION.
On the 16th of Aug. the Bttn. captured Fransart and were then relieved by the 44th Bttn. and moved to Caix Wood.
On the 24th they relieved the 29th Bttn. at the front near Telegraph Hill Switch.
Beginning on the 26th of Aug. the 21st Bttn., in conjunction with the 3rd British Army, began an offensive which saw the Bttn. attain all of it's objectives. The Bttn. continued it's advance to the Sensee River, and proceeded to attack enemy positions east of the river! On the 28th they were relieved by the 8th Bttn. and moved to a bivouack at Wancourt.
On the 2nd of Sep. the Drocourt-Queant line was captured by the Bttn.
On the 12th they were relieved by the 27th Bttn. and moved to Buissy Switch.
On the 16th they relieved the 18th Bttn. at the front.
On the 20th they were relieved by the 18th Bttn. and moved back to Buissy Switch.
On the 22nd they relieved the 18th Bttn. at the front, and on the same day, the Germans raided A Company's post and were completely repulsed!
On the 25th they were relieved by the 6th Yorkshire & Lancashire Bttn. and moved to Hendecourt.
1st of Oct. saw them moved to an area south west of Bourlon.
The 9th saw the Bttn. moved to Escaudoeuvres.
On the 10th the 21st Bttn. supported the 18th Bttn. in an attack on the Germans south west of Iwuy.
On the 11th an attack was mounted in the area of Avesnes-Le-Sec.
On the 12th they were relieved by the 6th Gordons, and moved to Eswars.
On the 14th they were moved to the support trenches north east of Iwuy.
On the 18th THE ENEMY WITHDREW ON OUR FRONT LINE ALONG THE SENSEE RIVER!
On the 19th the Bttn. was relieved and moved to Waurechain-Soux-Faulk for some needed rest.
On the 31st of Oct. H.R.H The Prince of Wales visited the Bttn.
The 1st of Nov. the Bttn. was located at Aniche.
On the 4th they were bused to Petit Foret-Aubrey area. On the 6th they were moved to St. Saulve.
On the 7th the Bttn. was moved to Blanc Misseron and then on the 8th they moved on to Elouges.
On the 9th of November the Bttn. began the final push towards the city of Mons in Belgum. That day they advanced the line 1,400 yds towards Mons and stopped at Noirchain.
At 8:40 AM on the 11th, the Bttn. was told that hostilities would end at 11:00 AM. They continued on to Mesvin that day.
The Bttn. reached Mons on the 15th and by then the Germans were well on their way to laying down their arms. At this point the men were allowed a celebration party in the city they were about to liberate when the surrender came.
For their struggle through France and Belgum towards the city of Mons, the Bttn. was awarded the Battle Honor "PURSUIT TO MONS"
On the 18th the Bttn. began the march to Germany as part of the army of occupation.
December 6th the Bttn. crossed the Belgian - German frontier.
As part of the 2nd Div., the 21st Bttn. occupied various parts of Germany to ensure the defeated army complied with the terms of surrender. This continued until April 3rd of 1919, when they embarked at Le Havre on the SS Western Australia for Southampton England!.
After the war's end, he was shipped home aboard the SS Caronia from Liverpool on the 14 May, 1919. He had not yet turned 19!
HONORS EARNED FROM
If you have an interest in the 21st Battalion, please consider joining the "21sters", a Yahoo Group whose interest is in preserving the 21st Battalion's history.
"Misty" Signs Up Again For WWll!
During the interval between the 2 Great Wars, Misty found work at Weston´s Bakery in Toronto and delivered bread door to door with his trusty horse and buggy. He was married to Kathleen and settled into the domestic life.
At the outbreak of hostilities in Europe, he wanted to serve again. In June of 1940, he joined the Royal Regiment (Non Permenant Active Militia). He was deemed to be too old to see combat, but because of his WW1 service, he was given the rank of Sgt. and made a drill instructor.
Dec. 9, 1940 he joined the Canadian Active Service Force, and was assigned to #2 District Depot in Toronto.
The Heady Days Before Shipping Out
He was shipped to England on 1st of March, 1941 to assist in the training of the new soldiers in the 1st Canadian Infantry Holding Unit at Witley.
Dec. 1941 he was transferred to the 2nd Div. Infantry Unit as an instructor.
Training was sometimes confused and on occasion it was deliberate for security reasons. He was involved in the training for the raid on Dieppe and on the night of Aug. 18-19, 1942, the division boarded ships for what was thought to be another training exercise but grandpa wound up in a fight for his life on the beaches of Dieppe!
He was reported missing in action twice, but managed to escape capture. On the 7th of June 1943 he was transferred to the #9 P.O.W.E. (Prisoner of War Escort)
He remained at #2 DD Toronto until his discharge on 19 Nov. 1945.
With all of the different units that grandpa served with in both wars, his heart was with the 21st Battalion. He grew up in the trenches with the "21sters", saw his first action there, and I'm sure had at least one father figure to help him along.
Because of this, he was an active member of the 21st Battalion Club, and attended several reunions. The following is an excerpt from the Program of Events as printed in THE COMMUNIQUE (the 21st Bttn. Club newsletter) for the 50th Anniversary at Kingston, Sep. 18-20, 1964:
ALFIE MIST -- MASTER BAKER
We are informed by Alf Tugwood that Alfie Mist, good comrade, whom we remember well as a welcome visitor at Sunnybrook last winter, is going back to his old profession of master - baker for the occasion of our 50th Anniversary. He has made the bold statement that he will not only bake one cake, but two -- one for ceremonial purposes and one for eating. As he states that these cakes -- on his authority and responsibility as a master of the art of baker, will be the greatest, the ultimate in achievement, the finest.
Alfie, my good friend and comrade, our best wishes. May the cakes be the lightest in weight, the finest in texture, of mouth-watering deliciousness, with icing a half-inch thick and as soul-satisfying in goodness! Go to it, old friend -- and if the cakes, either of them, fall, . . . . well, we better not go into the possibility, it is too terrible to contemplate. With the certain dire effect on your so mild disposition and all.
MY NOTE: Although his family and civilian friends affectionately called him Misty, it is apparent that his army buddies called him Alfie.
HONORS EARNED FROM
Send email to