Unit: 8th Canadian Infantry
Commemorated: Menin Gate Memorial Ypres
Raymond William Newbury was born on the 6th August 1879 in London and, cost aged 36, he joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He had, some years earlier, immigrated to Canada, as a result of the Canadian Governments drive to encourage settlement by those from the home land. His Father, William Henry Newbury resided at Murcot, Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire having moved there from 97 London Road Camberley Surrey. Raymond was not married and was a carpenter by trade.
Raymond joined the forces on the 29th November 1915 at Winnipeg, and was posted to the 144th Training Battalion. After completion of his basic training, Raymond sailed overseas aboard the SS Olympic, embarking from Halifax Canada on the 18th September 1916, arriving at Liverpool on the 25th September 1916. Raymond completed his training in this country before being sent to the Western front, France on the 21st April 1917.
By this time he had transferred and was now on the strength of the 8th Battalion (90th Rifles). He was not to last in the front many months for, on the 29th November 1917, he was reported as missing in action from or about 10th November. An inspection of the Battalion War Diary reveals, for the period 8th to 11th November, that the battalion was in the Ypres salient and took over the front line trenches from the 13th Canadian Infantry Battalion, in the area of Mosselmarkt. This was in preparation of an assault, which was to start on the 10th November. As soon as the battalion arrived, however, they encountered heavy shelling and by the evening of the 9th they had already suffered casualties to the extent of 5 Officers and 60 other ranks. 25% of all other ranks had been buried by the shell fire during the past 24 hours.
Still the attack had to be pressed home and, already weary, the 8th Battalion punctually went over the top at 6.30am on the morning of the 10th November. Immediately, the battalion ran into difficulties and, by 7.00am, observers reported seeing “large numbers of Khaki clad soldiers returning over the crest at our objective”. By 7.15am the O.C. of the Support Company, 1st South Wales Borderers, came to the 8th Battalion’s HQ and reported. Basically, it was they, who had lost their way, had retired, and thus left the flank of the Canadians exposed. In addition, the Canadians were receiving heavy machine gun fire from pockets of the enemy that had not been mopped up in the advance. The Canadians were in trouble and were trying to make the best of it by digging in. The left assaulting company of the Canadians was, at this stage, now commanded by a Lieut. C.B.Smith. There was still much confusion, as the battalion war diary becomes very muddled at this stage. Their plight continued until relieved by the 5th Canadians during the late evening of the 10th. The 8th battalion reported all present at Belleview at 1.00am on the 11th with total battalion strength of only 231 all ranks. It was during this action Raymond was killed.