The Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry Memorial

November 18, 2017.  On July 30 of this year we posted a blog entry on WW1 soldier Charles Benjamin Murray BUXTON, known as Charlie, and asked for a photo and information on him. (See Who Can Put A Face To Charles Benjamin Murray Buxton?)  As well, the request was included in an article in the County Line Courier that was published on August 9.  (See CLC p30 Aug 9 2017 Face for Arsenault)

We included an excerpt from an August 13, 1915 letter written to Buxton’s aunt, Minnie Marchbank of Alma, letting her know that her son George was all right.  It was through the Marchbank connection that we were able to find a photo, actually two!

George Marchbank survived the war, and his son John of Nanton, Alberta, a veteran of the Korean War, had a photo of his father and Buxton, which he shared.

IMG_0185 photo of george marchbank and charles buxton

George Marchbank on the left, and Charles Buxton on the right. (Photo courtesy of John Marchbank family collection)

John Marchbank

Royal Canadian Legion member John Marchbank, son of George Marchbank, the cousin of Charles Buxton. (Photo courtesy of John Marchbank family collection)

The second photo of Buxton came from a period just before the war interrupted his career as a school inspector in West Prince.  Through the newspaper archives, Pieter found a 1954 reference to a display of hockey photos found at Myricks store in Alberton.  One of the photos was of the 1915 Alberton Regal Hockey Team… and one of the players in the photo was C. B. Buxton!

It appeared that while inspecting schools, Buxton stayed with his aunt Minnie, and found time to play on the Alberton Regal Hockey Team.  A call to the Alberton Museum verified that they had the team photo.  We immediately made a trip to Alberton and met with Arlene Morrison, Museum Manager, who explained that the 1915 photo was donated by Eileen Oulton.

CIMG7941 Aug 11 2017 Arlene Morrison and Pieter with 1915 hockey photo

Arlene Morrison and Pieter Valkenburg at Alberton Museum with the 1915 Alberton Regal Hockey Team Photo. (Photo courtesy of Eileen Oulton Collection)


Inset from the team photo of Charles Benjamin Buxton, who played centre for the 1915 Alberton Regal Hockey Team. (Photo courtesy of Eileen Oulton Collection)

As Buxton was with the Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry, our next stop on the war memorial trail in Belgium was the Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry Memorial in Zonnebeke. The Princess Pats were the first Canadian troops to arrive in Belgium, and fought in most of the battles in Belgium between 1915 and 1918.

The memorial is right beside a corn field, on land donated by Jules van Ackere in 1958, right at the edge of the road.

CIMG8789 Sep 9 2017 Pieter at PPLI memorial in Zonnebeke

Pieter at the Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry Memorial in Zonnebeke. You can see the maple tree behind the memorial. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

The memorial was redone in 2015 and has a centennial plaque plus a bronze Marguerite daisy insignia, indicative of the cap badge worn by the troop during 1915.  As well, a Canadian Sugar maple tree was planted.

CIMG8784 Sep 9 2017 insignia of PPLI with bronze marguerite flower

Bronze Marguerite daisy insignia on the memorial. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

The memorial, which is much smaller than Pieter expected, commemorates the Battle of Frezenberg on May 8, 1915, marking the area they successfully defended, the Bellewaarde Ridge.  By the end of the battle, out of a complement of 546, only 4 officers and 150 men had survived.

Charlie Buxton was not in this battle. He enlisted on April 10, 1915 in the 1st University Company, which was formed to reinforce the Patricia Patricia’s Light Infantry, and sailed to England, then travelled on to France.  On July 17, 1915 he was taken on strength by the Patricia Patricia’s Light Infantry in France.

Buxton died in June 1916 in Sanctuary Wood, during the Battle of Mount Sorrel, our next stop on the war memorial trail.

Comments or stories?  You can share them by emailing us at or by commenting on this blog.

© Daria Valkenburg

One thought on “The Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry Memorial

  1. Pingback: A Visit To Sanctuary Wood Cemetery | Borden-Carleton Cenotaph Research Project

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s