Canada’s history has many untold stories like
that of Sergeant Matthew Archer who enlisted in Bradford, Ontario in 1916. Archer joined
the 4th Canadian Division and saw action in the Battle of Vimy Ridge
where he earned his Military Medal of Bravery for repelling enemy counterattacks for 48
straight hours by continually firing his Lewis Gun.
Archer wrote many reassuring letters to his mother and father: “Dear mother,
my one ambition is to come out of this war morally free and I’m sure if I remain in the
present state of mind I shall return to you as good a boy as when I went away.” He ends
his letter by promising to look for the silver lining, but later at a telling postscript,
“seeing as I can’t see a silver lining I will try to polish up the dark side.” On
August 17th, 1917 Matthew Archer was killed by a direct hit
from an enemy shell. Like so many other Canadians, Matthew Archer had made the ultimate
sacrifice. Just one of the many untold stories you’ll find in Canada’s Great War Album.