Posted by: mcfinder | March 20, 2011

Heroes of the Line: Major E A Chisholm, MC and 2 Bars. RFA

Major Edward Alexander Chisholm, MC and 2 Bars, RFA

Record of Service:

  • Born in Canada 26/7/1892
  • Previous to the outbreak of war had served with the 18th Battery, Canadian Garrison Artillery, rising to the rank of Captain.
  • Volunteered for service as part of the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force on 27/11/1914
  • Transferred to the 161st Brigade, Royal Field Artillery in November 1915 and embarked for France on 25/12/1915, and as part of the 32nd Division saw action on the Somme, Arras, Amiens, and Sambre
  • Appointed Acting Major on 16/9/1916
  • Appointed Acting Major once more on 1/10/1918

Major Chisholm was killed in action in the last week of hostilities, on 7/11/1918, aged just 26. He is buried at Grand-Fayt Communal Cemetery, in Northern France. His Military Cross and 2 Bars were sent to his family on 7/7/1919. The Brigade Diary recalls his last brave action:


KLI advanced through the Borders and A&S. Highlanders at 8.30am this morning. A/161 moved in close support. B/161 and C/161 received orders to move into positions to cover the objective or line established, with a range of approximately 3000 yards…C/161 moved through LE GRAND FAYT, and was delayed until a bridge was constructed, crossing about 11am. A/161 engaged hostile machine-guns throughout the day. Major E.A. CHISOLM (C/161) accompanied by B.S.M. LAY endeavoured to work round a hostile machine gun to capture the crew. Major CHISOLM was killed by a machine-gun bullet.

National Archives: WO95 2380

WW1 Medal Entitlement:

1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

Military Cross and 2 Bars:

  • Military Cross listed (no Citation) in Gazette issue 30340 (16th October 1917)
  • 1st Bar listed (no Citation) in Gazette issue 30507 (1st February 1918)
  • 1st Bar Citation published in Gazette issue 30780 (2nd July 1918)
  • 2nd Bar listed (no Citation) in Gazette issue 31266 (1st April 1919)
  • 2nd Bar Citation published in Gazette issue 31680 (9th December 1919)

1st Bar Citation – 2nd July 1918

T./Capt. (A./Maj.) Edward Alexander Chisholm, M.C., R.F.A.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He displayed magnificent gallantry in preparing a forward position, in getting all his guns into action there, and bringing up a large amount of ammunition in a very short time. Though the position was in full view of the enemy and approached by a single road, which was in very bad condition and was continually shelled, he personally organised every detail of the work under constant heavy fire and great difficulties. The success of the battery was due to this officer’s untiring zeal, fearless example, and determination to succeed, which were worthy of the best traditions of the regiment.

2nd Bar Citation – 9th December 1919

T./Capt. (A./Maj.) Edward Alexander Chisholm, M.C., C/161st Bde., R.F.A.

Near Ora, on 4th November, 1918, he went forward to reconnoitre a position for his battery, and found the infantry held up. He went forward by himself, and captured ten prisoners and an enemy field gun. He sent back the ten prisoners by an orderly from his battery, and then went back and led up a party of infantry to secure the gun which he had captured. He was constantly under machine-gun fire.



Taken from ‘For Conspicuous Gallantry: Winners of the Military Cross During The Great War – Volume 1’ by Scott Addington.


  1. He was one of those who managed to survive four years only to die in the last week. That is absolutely appalling. Good site.

  2. He was my father’s uncle whose memory the family still cherishes. It was a shock to his family that on Armistice Day he died. Thank you for the details regarding his military decorations. He had already been enrolled in law school when war broke out. His brother, Col. Hugh A. Chisholm (my grandfather – RCAMC), was also highly decorated, but did not die in battle. Of 6 brothers, four volunteered (Raymond was a pilot with RAF, and Angus was an officer on a US naval boat), one registered for the US draft late in the war (John “Jack”), and the last stayed on the farm in Cape Jack, Antigonish Nova Scotia (William) to keep the home fires burning.

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