The Great War: Vimy Ridge
George Van Wyck Laughton, M.C.

Canadian - Serving in the British 3rd Army, 34th Division,  
26th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers (Tyneside Irish)


Home Reference Links Military Service The Hero The Battle (Arras) Tyneside Irish Nicholson CEF The Archives Certificates Gazette Record Memorabilia Veterans Affairs Site Updates Site Index 

This page last updated on March 07, 2013


This web site summarizes my research on the Great War (1914 - 1918) as seen by Lt. George Van Wyck Laughton, M.C., primarily as it applies to the Battle of Arras. This includes the famous capture of Vimy Ridge by the Canadian Expeditionary Force, a parallel  assault to the British action to the south, referred to as the First Battle of the Scarpe (April 9 - 14, 1917).  The subsequent Capture of Hill 70 is historically referred to as the Second Battle of the Scarpe (April 23 - 28, 1917).  The Third Battle of the Scarpe (May 3 - 4, 1917) historically marks the capture of Fresnoy by the 1st Canadian Division, in concert with the British 3rd Army. 

Although a Canadian, Grandfather Laughton was serving as an Officer with the British 3rd Army during the Scarpe Battles. As such he was not directly involved in the capture of Vimy Ridge, he was on the immediate south boundary of the 1st Canadian Division on that fateful day in April 1917. Further details on this topic are provided in the web site section Battle of Arras

George Van Wyck Laughton, M.C.
Regimental Number 82130

June 1911 - June 1914: 26th Middlesex Regiment
December 1915: 7th Regiment Canadian Fusiliers
1915: 142nd Canadian Overseas Battalion
1916: 32nd Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force
1917: BEF 3rd Army, 34th Division 26th Northumberland Fusiliers

Additional details on Grandfather Laughton's military service on this site now cover his time in the Militia, his early days in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) and finally his transfer from the CEF to BEF accept an Officers Commission in the Imperial Army.

The rest of George's family members can be found on one of these two sister web sites:

The Laughton Family Tree (all details on family members)
The Laughton Ancestors (links to family member pages)
Gilbert Laughton's Twitter Page (announcements only)

All available maps, notes, letters, links and battle plans have been posted and additional documents will be added as they are retrieved and scanned.  Additional documentation has been retrieved from the Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa and at the United Kingdom National Archives (formerly Public Records Office in Kew). Thanks to members of the CEFSG and GWF who continue to send in additional details - now more than 7 years after the site was started. 

This site was developed to rejuvenate the family's knowledge of Grandfather Laughton and many other Canadian soldiers who served in the Great War.  This aspect of Canadian history had apparently been dropped from the school curriculum sometime after I graduated from secondary school in 1969.  A second Great War project was subsequently initiated to look into the exploits of my maternal grandfather, Josiah Chancellor Kennedy, also initially with the CEF (Princess Patricia's) and later transferring to the BEF (Royal Irish Rifles).

The history of George Van Wyck Laughton as part of the "Laughton Genealogy" is detailed on our Family Tree Website.  There you will find George's Page, which also has the links to the Toronto Star Archives reporting on his exploits at Vimy in WW1.  We have recently realigned this web site to improve navigation through the various pages.

  1. Background / Home
  2. Reference Links
  3. Site Index
  4. Update Notifications - Register Here
  5. Military Service
    - Militia Experience
    - Service Record Summary
    - CEF to BEF Transfers
  6. George Van Wyck Laughton, M.C. "The Hero"
  7. Battle of Arras, Nicholson's Official Record
     - Nicholson Text and Extracts
     - Nicholson Maps
  8. Battle of Arras, Plans and Personal Notes
     - Vimy Ridge: Historical record
     - Vimy Ridge: Private battle record
    Destruction of the Town of Arras, 1914-1917
  9. Certificates of Military Service
  10. The Archives of G. V. Laughton
     - Certificates of Military Service
    Documents for National Archives, Ottawa Canada
     - Documents from UK National Archives
     - London Gazette Notices
     - Chris Baker Report
  11. Battlefield Memorabilia
  12. Tyneside Irish
     - 34th Division
     - 26th Northumberland Fusiliers

(for other photos of George in uniform check the photo quiz page)

My thanks also to the following  Forum Members who have provided additional information:

The CEF Study Group and CEF Forum Members, who have dedicated a great deal of time to document the role of the Canadian Expeditionary Force in the Great War.

Chris Baker and his many cohorts at the Great War Discussion Forum who research the British Expeditionary Force and interactions with the CEF.  We have now posted the report prepared by Chris Baker based on the records help at the UK National Archives.  You will find that record in the Archives - Chris Baker Report.

I would welcome any input, criticism, corrections or suggestions that relate to the information that I have collected.  In some instances I have transcribed words from the original documents that may not be correct, so if you see an error, please let me know.  As this information is posted on the Internet you are of course welcome to use any of this information in your own research, however an acknowledgement to the web site (in honour of George Van Wyck Laughton) would be most appreciated.  In particular, I encourage the younger generation that did not have grandparents or great aunts and uncles, who fought in the Great War, to learn from the exploits of the Allied Soldiers.  If you are a student and you want additional information, please contact me by e-mail and I will do the best I can to assist you.

I have now added links to all the documents and photographs so you should be able to "click" on them and see them in a larger format as scanned.

In memory of all of those that served,

Richard Van Wyck Laughton


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