Gunner Cochrane
Stanley Cochrane enlisted in the 9th Overseas Siege Battery, Canadian Expeditionary Force, in July 1916 in Saint John, New Brunswick.

He was employed as a shipper in the Surprise Soap Co. He told his recruiting officer that he was the sole supporter of his widowed mother. The Militia Dept arranged to send $15 per month of Stanley's pay to his mother.

While training with his unit at Partridge Island, Stanley and 49 of his comrades instead responded to a call for volunteers in late 1916. Calling themselves The "Nifty Fifty" they embarked from Halifax on SS Canada in January 1917.

Gunner Cochrane entered the line in June 1917, just before the Third Battle of Ypres, also known as Passchendaele. His job as a driver entailed handling pack mules. The terrain at Passchendaele was so badly torn up by shelling and incessant rains that supplying the forward batteries with shells became extraordinarily difficult. Mules were used extensively at the front & tended to behave better than horses under battlefield conditions.

The following spring, March 1918, Gunner Cochrane went to London on two weeks' leave. Unfortunately, he contracted gonorrhea and was hospitalized for several weeks, forfeiting some of his regular pay.

He rejoined his unit in time to be part of the "Hundred Days" offensive from August 1918 to the Armistice. A photograph taken in Mons in November 1918 shows Gunner Cochrane astride a cavalry horse.

Gunner Cochrane returned to Canada in March 1919, having served two and a half years in the CEF. He married his sweetheart and moved to Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, raised a family, and passed away at the age of 92 in 1987. He is buried there in Woodlawn Cemetery.

NOTE ON SOURCES: Gunner Cochrane's complete service record and Attestation Papers are online at Library and Archives Canada. Personal photos are privately held by Gunner Cochrane's family; other items (Nifty Fifty menu, Kitchener message & Gas mask instructions) courtesy the New Brunswick Museum.
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