Lt. Arthur Ross Ackerman


Name/Rank: Lieutenant Arthur Ross Ackerman

Battalions: 2nd Battalion, 1st Canadian Trench Mortar Battery

Born/Recruited: Peterborough/Peterborough

Known as in Letters: Art Ackerman

Files: http://central.bac-lac.gc.ca/.item/?op=pdf&app=CEF&id=V0026-S008


Arthur Ackerman is one of the first times in Vincent's letters that he writes about finding out one of his friends has been killed on the battlefield. It is fairly early in his letters and before Vincent even gets to France. Arthur signed up at the beginning of the War and can be seen on the Nominal Role for the 2nd Battalion, which was dated July 31, 1915. On that Nominal Role he is seen as a Lance-Corporal. He would be promoted to temporary Lieutenant on December 1915. It seems that he was hospitalized for an illness in February of 1916, and was discharged from the hospital by mid-March that same year.


He was awarded the Military Cross on July 19, 1916 for "Conspicuous gallantry in the field", which really doesn't tell you a whole lot, but it means he was probably a very brave soul. In August of 1916, Arthur switched to the 1st Canadian Trench Mortar Battery, which he does explain in his letter to Vincent. Unfortunately, Arthur would be gravely wounded around September 24, 1916, and would die of his wounds a couple of weeks later in England, on October 11, 1916.



Arthur Ackerman listed in the 2nd Battalions Nominal Role

September 12, 1916 to Margaret:


" Received a letter from Art Ackerman giving me a little advice which will come in handy and saying he expected to see me soon. He also said that if I got across in the Infantry and had a little experience he would do what he could to get me into the Trench Mortar Battery."


October 7, 1916:


"We just heard the sad news of poor Art Ackerman’s death last night. The experiences he had gone through are too much to come through without cost. He has done his part and done it well. I just received a letter from him only one week before he got hit and he gave me some advice which I will always remember."


It seems from his letters he respected Arthur very much and he was very sad to see him go. It must have been hard to receive a letter from a friend and just days after that letter was received realize that he is no longer among the living.


Unfortunately, about 5 years ago, Arthur's grave in Peterborough was vandalized. This brought up some local articles about him which can be found below, as well as what Veterans Affairs Canada has on the man.


Peterborough Examiner: https://www.thepeterboroughexaminer.com/news-story/8215172-vandalized-monument-replaced-lieut-ross-ackerman-s-gravestone-in-little-lake-cemetery-was-damaged-by-vandals-in-december/


MyKawartha.com: https://www.mykawartha.com/community-story/5217146-who-is-the-man-behind-the-vandalized-wwi-grave-at-little-lake-cemetery-/


Veterans Affairs Canada: https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/memorials/canadian-virtual-war-memorial/detail/2756856


Thank you for reading, and as always feel free to share!


Michael Ritchie

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