Soldier 214384, France and Flanders

Several of the best articles in Hellfire Corner came from people who, initially, wrote to me to talk about some aspect of  the site, or about some special interest which they have. Tom Arnott is one such visitor and I am glad that the Internet brought us together. Starting from a simple idea - researching the Great War Career of his grandfather, who served with the Canadian Infantry Force in the war - Tom has developed a very far-reaching  and informative series of articles which tell the war-stories not only of his grandfather, but also of his battalion and even of Canada itself. I have good cause to be grateful to Tom for deciding that Hellfire Corner was the place to publish his work.

Tom Morgan

Tom Arnott's Introduction to the Series of Articles

In the summer of 1914, my grandfather's generation innocently sailed away to war. A generation full of hope, and promise, like their country, that was slowly feeling its way through the early years of a new century.

For hundreds of thousands, the next four years would thrust them into a brutal and cruel war, far from Canada's shores. Close to 60,000 of those men would die. Their final resting place would be in a distant, foreign land.

What follows is the story of the events leading to one very ordinary soldier's 2 year and 8 month experience in the service of his King and Country in the "War To End All Wars". This soldier was not unlike those he served with, those who served the King and the British Empire. However, unlike many of his comrades he did not make the ultimate sacrifice. He did lead a 'charmed life' during this period and was very fortunate to return to Canada and continue his life. There are 30 individuals who walk this earth today because he did.

Ira Kilbourne "Red" Arnott (IKA), fought in France and Belgium with the 2nd Canadian Infantry Battalion (approx. 1150 men). When this man and his Battalion are placed in the proper context of the war, a story emerges about events that happen 80 years ago. This time period, for most of us, is pretty much a forgotten piece of Canadian history. The magnitude of the slaughter of IKA's generation should make us realize just how lucky the Canadians of this generation really are.


Background to the Great War



Canada goes to War



The 2nd. Canadian Infantry Battalion



Pte. Arnott goes to War



2nd. Canadian Infantry Battalion
while Pte. Arnott served



Pte. Arnott gets his "Blighty."


Pte. Arnott's Return to Canada



Friends of "Red" Arnott
in the 2nd. Battalion





For a direct link to the author of this article, EMAIL TOM ARNOTT

All articles accessed from this page Copyright © Tom Arnott,  September,1997.

Return to the Hellfire Corner Contents Section