Honouring Our Military Ancestors Challenge (Day 9)

We Remember.

Canadian genealogy blogger, Patricia Greber, called family historians around the world to arms in honour of the veterans and the war dead to whom we owe our freedom. Now, Day Nine of the #MyMilitaryAncestor challenge is upon us!

Today, we are proud to help BIFHSGO’s Treasurer, Marianne Rasmus and her husband’s family, celebrate their cousin Lorne Gore (aka Gordon) Lane who gave his life at the Battle of Vimy Ridge one-hundred years ago.

Honouring Our Military Ancestors Challenge – Day Nine

Over the Top, A Canadian Soldier Gives His Best at Vimy
Contributing Author, Marianne Rasmus

Lorne Gore (aka Gordon) Lane was born in Ruthven, Essex County, Ontario on the 28 July 1897. He was the fourth of seven children born to Gore and Mary née Scratch. According to his Attestation papers, Lorne had been part of his high school’s Cadet program. On 7 October 1915, at the age of 18, he volunteered for service in Canadian Expeditionary Force and was assigned to the 70th Battalion.


Lane, Private Lorne
Private Lorne Gore Lane. Image Source: http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/memorials/canadian-virtual-war-memorial/detail/1570304 : accessed 9 November 2017.

On 24 April 1916, young Gordon sailed from Halifax to England aboard the SS Lapland, arriving on May 5th . Upon his arrival in England, he was transferred to the 26th Battalion and sent to the field in France on 9 August 1916.

On 12 September 1916, Private Lorne Lane was attached to his brigade as a scout. It was for his actions as a scout that he was awarded the Military Medal. The citation for his medal reads, “For conspicuous bravery, daring and especially good work on the night of 22/23 Nov 1916. When in charge of a patrol of two other men they came in contact with a German patrol in No Man’s Land and although both patrols saw each other, with great dash he outmaneuvered the enemy….” A German soldier was captured that night and, with the information obtained, a successful raid was conducted the following
evening. In a letter home, as reported in the Essex Free Press on 9 February 1917, he informed his parents that his “little stunt…pleased the general commanding No. 2 Division C.E.F., so much that he gave him a special 12 day’s [sic] pass to England” and “Upon his return to France [was notified] that he had been awarded the Military Medal.”


Newspaper Death Report
Image Source: The Windsor Evening Record, May 4th 1917, page 12.

Beginning on 9 April 1917, the 26th Battalion of the 5th Brigade of the 2nd Division participated in one of Canada’s most significant battles — the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Private Lane was killed on the first day of the battle at the age of nineteen. He was only one of the 3598 who lost their lives over four days. His body was never recovered but his name is one of the more than 11,000 inscribed on the Vimy Ridge Memorial in France.

In August 2011, my husband and I had the privilege and honour of visiting the Vimy Ridge Memorial to pay our respect to his memory and sacrifice.


Vimy Ridge Memorial with inset of inscription for Lane.
Photo from 2011 when Marianne and her husband visited the Canadian National Vimy Ridge Memorial in France. Inset: Inscription in honour of Lorne Gore (aka Gordon) Lane. Photo Source: Private collection of Marianne Rasmus.


YOU can help to make military ancestors go viral this month! Write your own blog posts, share your photos or records of your own ancestors on social media or just talk to someone! Of course, we’d love it if you shared OUR post with your friends too. Do all of the above for brownie points!

If you haven’t had a chance yet, please check out our other posts for the #MyMilitaryAncestor Challenge:
Day One – Infantryman “undoubtedly saved lives” at Passchendaele
Day Two – War was a family affair
Day Three – Measles, Mumps and the Military
Day Four  God who knows best has called you to rest
Day Five – “I expect you will have heard of the death of…”
Day Six –  The horror of gas attacks
Day Seven – Corkscrewing away from a Junkers 88
Day Eight – Unexpected engine trouble ends pilot’s career

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