This is the War Diary of one Canadian Soldier in the Great War, one among many.

William Lucas Hayes (WLH) joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) in February                               1915 as a private soldier.  He ended it as a Lieutenant with a Military Cross and a German wife.


That he survived, is down to two factors, luck and a desire to do the best. 


This website is a tribute to him and chronicles his life as part of the Canadian Army.  It is also a tribute to what became the Canadian Army, a force, that by the end of the war, had defined a nation.


The pages that follow do not rewrite the history of Canada’s part in the Great War (this has been done admirably well by others) but shows how one man’s good fortune and determination brought him safely home again.  They follow him, not only to Vimy Ridge which all Canadians with an interest in War History will know about, but also some of the other battles, equally difficult and dangerous, into which he was sent.


This has been created from war diaries and documents in the Canadian Archives, now on line. It also uses in a small way, family historical information. Every attempt has been made to be accurate, but any corrections or comments on Lieutenant W L Hayes, his battalion or this record would be welcome. Please e-mail


When new information is received or released, updates to this website will be made. Please check back again.


This information is now available as a talk, suitable for clubs and societies.  Please see for more information.

The War Diary of

Lieutenant William L Hayes M C


2nd Canadian Division, Canadian  Expeditionary Force (CEF)

6th Infantry Brigade (The Iron Sixth)

28th Battalion (The Northwest Battalion)

D Company