Unit: 44th Bat. Canadian Infantry.
Commemorated: Raillencourt Cemetery Extension, France
Born on the 27th July 1886, Daniel was the brother of Mrs. Susan Houlden, whose son is also commemorated on the Kirkstead Memorial. Like many of his generation, Daniel emigrated to Canada some years before the outbreak of the war to try his hand in the new world. Before he enlisted, he worked as a farm labourer in Millbrook, Manitoba. He was 32 years old when he died on the 28th September 1918.
Having enlisted on the 10th March 1916 at Winipeg, Daniel was sent to the 203rd Battalion Canadian Infantry with whom he completed his initial training. He embarked for England, with his unit which was some 957 men strong, on the S.S. Gramplan on the 26th October 1916. On arrival in England, he was shortly thereafter drafted to France to join the 44th Battalion, Canadian Infantry along with a further 316 men from the 203rd battalion.
In September 1918 the 44th Bn CEF were in the 10th Brig. of the 4th Canadian Div. in the Canadian Corps. On 2nd September 1918 the Canadian Corps attacked the Drocourt-Queant line to the south west of Arras. Their objectives were the crossings over the Canal du Nord between Sains lez Marquion and Palluel and then the high ground beyond the canal. The 4th Div line of attack was with their right flank against the Arras to Marquion Road, the 44th Bn was assigned a secondary objective and did not take part in the initial asssault on the Drocourt-Queant line which commenced at 5am on the 2nd. The 47th & 50th Bns of the 10th Brig with the 38th, 72nd & 85th Bns. of the 12th Brig., took the initial objective by breaching the Drocourt-Queant trench system by 8am.
The second phase of the operation began with the 44th, the 54th, 75th and 87th Bns. of the 11th Brig., and the 78th of the 12th Brig passing through the line. They suffered many casualties during their approach march and their advance passed beyond the range of their own artillery and the tanks which had supported the first phase. After the initial encouraging start the 4th Div. were unable to proceed further. Orders were issued overnight in which the orders for the previous day were repeated that Canadian Corps would advance on the Canal du Nord between Sains lez Marquion and Palluel and seize the high ground between east of Recourt and east of Etaing. However the Canadian Brig commanders reported to their Div commanders that the severe casualties sustained on 2nd, and the inadequate time and means to prepare, would make any succes unlikely.
The Canadian Corps commander Lt-Gen. Currie reported these concerns to First Army and at 12.20am on the 3rd the orders were varied to following up the enemy if he retired. Early morning air patrols reported that there were no Germans west of the Canal du Nord. As the 44th and 46th Bns in 10th Brig moved forward, they drew heavy artillery fire but reached the high ground between Ecourt St Quentin and Recourt. By 26th September the advance in the British area had recovered all of the ground lost to the Germans during the March offensive and were now facing the Hindenberg Line.
On the 28th the battle to cross and secure the Canal du Nord commenced. The 10th Brig was on the left of 4th Div, the 47th and 50th Bns started of at 4;15am from Quarry Wood and after stiff fighting took Raillencourt, Sailly and the part of the Marcoing Line south of the Marquion to Cambrai Road. The other two Bns of the 10th Brig the 44th and 46th moved off at 8am, the 44th Bn reached the Sailly to Cambrai light railway line and the 46th took the part of the Marcoing Line north of the Marquion to Cambrai Road.
At 10am the Germans began counter-attacks against the 44th Bn which lasted throughout the morning. The 44th Bn held on even though its right flank was open because the units of the 3rd Div which should have been up had not succeeded in their advance. In the early afternoon the 3rd Div renewed their assault which enabled 10th Brig to move forward and by 3am on the 29th 44th Bn had established itself on the Cambrai to Douai Road. Daniel had fallen at the last hurdle.