Captain 22892, Edwin Ralph Langton By Colonel PJ Fleury (Retired)
War impacts the people who experience it in many different ways. For some veterans it is an exciting experience that defines the remainder of their lives, for others a horror that they live with on a daily basis. Many soldiers return home to a country ready to forget and move on. They go back to work in industry, commerce or on family farms. Many friends and families never know or understand how war had changed their lives.
Edwin Langton enlisted in the 12th Battalion (Bn) Canadian Expeditionary Force (C.E.F.) on 29 September 1914 and sailed to Europe on October 4th 1914 with the 1st contingent of the C.E.F on board the SS Scotian, serving in Shorncliffe in the United Kingdom and in France. He then transferred to the 2nd Bn (Eastern Ontario Regiment) known as the “The Iron Second” in May 1916.
Between May 1916 and March 1918, he was promoted in the field through the ranks to Captain. This was quite an accomplishment, as all his promotions would have been as a result of his performance on the battlefield. His average pay during the war was $1 per day.
The Iron Second participated in a series of large battles throughout these years, including the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917. However, it was during the Battle of Passchendaele on the 6th of November 1917, just as the Canadians were capturing both Passchendaele Ridge and the village of Passchendaele itself, that Edwin was wounded by shell fragments and hospitalized for a month in France, followed by sick leave in Canada.
On January 1st 1918, he was awarded the Military Cross – an award given for distinguished conduct in battle; in this case likely due to his actions on or around the 6th of November 1917 at Passchendaele.
Edwin served for the remainder of the war as the 2nd Bn Intelligence officer. He sailed home to Canada in March 1919 and was discharged from the Army three months later. For his service he was awarded the Military Cross, the 1914-15 Star, and the British War and Victory Medals.
Edwin went on to farm in the Aylmer area and passed away in 1955. He is buried with his wife Della and son Ronny in Pink (Mountain View) Cemetery, at the corner of Chemin Vanier and Chemin Cook; close to his other son Bill, and not far from his old comrades from the 2nd Bn, James Lefurgey and Arnold Watson. Edwin’s descendants still live in the area.
LEST WE FORGET
The Remembrance Day Ceremony on November 11th will start at 10:45 at the Commemorative Park in Aylmer.
On November 11th 2022. Honour. Thank. Remember.