Friday, October 28, 2011

Captain George Alton Cline

Captain George Alton Cline

Work of Signallers

UTS Roll of Honour 1914 - 1916 published Sunday, December 31, 1916

Sunday, October 29, 1916

Transcribed by: M. I. Pirie

Capt. George A. Cline was part of the 1st Contingent in August 1914. His contribution was covered in the pages of the Burlington Gazette. The UTS Annals (1916) describe him as "one of the few experts in signalling and field-telegraph and telephone work in Canada".
During the battle of St. Julien he had charge of the communications of the first Brigade which, thanks to his efforts, were kept intact. During this engagement he was struck by shrapnel which broke a tunic button and lead pencil, luckily leaving him unharmed. Later he was made head of the Divisional Signallers for the First Division and was attached to Headquarters. In the early summer of 1916 he received from the French government the order of Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, a decoration conferred only for very distinguished services.1

October 29, 1916.

 I started to write you just one week ago to-day but had to stop for some reason and this is the first chance I have got since.
 Before I forget to answer your question, I hasten to inform you that my official position is O.C. 2nd Canadian Divisional Signal Company. I took over the command of the unit shortly before the Somme scrap and consequently had my hands pretty full for a while. I can't of course, tell you much about the business. I have seen a "tank" and have been in one. I have seen towns utterly destroyed by shellfire and watched the bombardment of several German strongholds. Best of all, I have seen Mr. Boche defeated and that is what we have all been looking for, for two long years. 
 You people at home have probably wondered what has been happening between times. You have heard of us at Ypres, Festubert, etc., and the intervals are blank. Those intervals represent, however, hard work with pick and shovel, building trenches, or digging in cable. Day after day we have to be ready for an attack or to attack - Sunday or Monday, winter or summer, rain or shine. But we have had time to think in these intervals and we have been looking for our "Day", which has, I believe, come at last. If next spring doesn't see the Boche in full retreat, he must have something up his sleeve worse than tanks. 
I saw Jarrett, who was in Form 1 when I left, in ...1 before we came South, and have just had a card from him to say that he is well. I hope he manages to get a decoration. My officers and men received three Military Crosses and thirteen or fourteen Military Medals for the recent engagements. We were lucky enough to have only two wounded. 
 Please give my best regards to the school in general. 

Link Attestation Papers

Link Canadian Great War Project

Link Canadian Great War Project

Link Major George Alton Cline, Greenwood Cemetery, Burlington, Ont.

Link Capt. George Alton Cline - UTS Schools ROH, Toronto, Ont.

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