Major Acland’s Wounds Serious
Crawled Back to Canadian Lines After Trying Experiences in Shell Crater
From: The Toronto Globe, Friday December 15th, 1916, page 5.
Private advices indicate that Major Peregrine Acland, son of Mr. F.A. Acland, Deputy Minister of Labor, was more severely wounded than was at first thought, and the hospital surgeons do not expect him to be fully recovered for perhaps a year from the present time. Major Acland was removed Rouen to London about November 28, and was placed in Mrs. Arnold’s hospital in South Kensington. The medical reports are said to be on the whole encouraging, but there have been many flucuations, and the young officer has been at times in a critical condition. It will be many months beofre he will be in condition to cross the Atlantic, and Mr. and Mrs. Acland have gone to England on a brief visit.
Major Acland’s wounds are in the head and chest, but it is understood to be the chest wound which throughout have been most dangerous. The officer was wounded at the battle of Thiepval, or Courcelette, about 1:30p.m. He dropped immediately into a shell hole, where the stretcher-bearers applied temporary dressings, and, leaving a water bottle at hand, were compelled to have him, the wounded man being apparently in a dying condition. The officer was asked for messages to friends, but remarked that he had written his friends fully the day before, knowing this battle was impending. For the first hour or so Major Acland also thought the end had come. Then, however, his strength began to revive somewhat and he looked for an opportunity of returning to the British front. His would was bleeding profusely, and he feared death from exhaustion. The barrage also changed –German or British is uncertain –and shrapnel began to fall around, and actually in the shell hole. Stretcher-bearers were sent out for him, but failed to find him.
Shrapnel at last inflicted a severe head wound, and Major Acland, who seems not to have lost consciousness at any time, determined to use his remaining strength in trying to reach his comrades. The shrapnel had temporarily almost blinded him, but he was guided to the Canadian front by the flashes of the guns, and staggered in at 3:30 in the morning, fourteen hours after receiving the first wound. Though both wounds were severe, vital parts had by a miracle escaped, and after the first few days the surgeons reported that with reasonable good fortune he would recover. His progress has been fair, and, as stated, in spite of fluctuations, the last reports are not discouraging.
Major Acland enlisted in August, 1914, as a private, but sailed with the first contingent as a Lieutenant in the 48th Highlanders. He gained a Captaincy by October, 1915, and the Military Cross and promotion to Major in July, 1916.
Read the article in its original context here: The Globe 1916 – 12 December 15th – Friday p.05
The same article was reprinted in the Prince Rupert Daily News on Saturday, December 30th, 1916, Vol VII, No. 305, page 3. The only difference was an introductory line about his time at the Daily News, while the title used his Christian name as opposed to his rank.