- Place of Use Continent - North America, Country - Canada
- Category Communication artifacts
- Sub-category Documentary artifact
- Department Arms and Technology
- Museum CWM
- Earliest 1918/01/31
- Latest 1920/12/31
- Inscription (obverse/avers): HE DIED FOR FREEDOM AND HONOUR BERT YOUNG BOLAND; E.C.P.;25; (reverse/verso): W
- Materials Bronze
- Rank Private
- Service Component Canadian Expeditionary Force
- Unit 42nd Canadian Infantry Battalion
- Person / Institution Subject, Boland, Private Bert Young
- Measurements Thickness 0.5 cm, Outside Diameter 12.0 cm
- Caption Medals Project- Boland, Bert Young
Bert Young Boland was born in Eganville, Ontario, on 15 August 1897. He was the son of Thomas G. and Margaret Boland. The fourth of six children, Bert had two older brothers, an older sister, and two younger sisters.
Boland was a student when he enlisted in the 73rd Battalion on 6 November 1915 in Montréal, Quebec. After initial training in Canada, he embarked for England with his unit on RMS Adriatic on 31 March 1916. The ship arrived in Liverpool on 9 April 1916. The 73rd Battalion then immediately moved on to Bramshott, a Canadian military facility in Hampshire, England, for further training.
On 12 August 1916, Boland proceeded to France, disembarking in Le Havre the next day. Six days later, he was transferred from the 73rd battalion to the 42nd Battalion. He joined his new unit in the field the following day.
Wounded in the right leg on 2 July 1917 at Avion, Boland received basic treatment in the field and was shipped to England eight days later. After brief stays at a number of hospitals, he was finally transferred to the No. 16 Canadian General (Ontario Military) Hospital in Orpington, Kent, on 29 August 1917. It was at Orpington that Boland received the treatment he need, including the removal of a piece of shrapnel from his thigh. After recovering from his wound, he rejoined his battalion on 7 April 1918.
Boland was killed by a sniper on 12 August 1918 when his unit assaulted the Parvillers Trench system during the Battle of Amiens. His body was lost on the battlefield. Shortly after his death, five of his comrades wrote to his mother, expressing their sympathy. They stated:
“Your son was one to be proud of indeed; his work that day and on many other occasions winning the admiration of the whole company. The boys held him as an example of all the sterling qualities of a soldier and friend. In the face of certain death he refused to take shelter and continued to fire his gun into the ranks of the enemy after it had been four times hit and his steel helmet penetrated.” The Renfrew Mercury published this letter on 13 September 1918.
Bert Young Boland is commemorated on the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, on Vimy Ridge, in France.