- Place of Use Continent - North America, Country - Canada
- Category Communication artifacts
- Sub-category Personal symbol
- Department Arms and Technology
- Museum CWM
- Earliest 1918/01/31
- Latest 1920/12/31
- Inscription (obverse/avers): HE DIED FOR FREEDOM AND HONOUR ROBERT ARCHIE COLPITTS; E.C.P.; (reverse/verso): W
- Materials Bronze, Cardboard, Paper
- Rank Private
- Service Component Canadian Expeditionary Force
- Unit 26th Canadian Infantry Battalion
- Person / Institution Subject, Colpitts, Private Robert Archibald
- Measurements Thickness 0.5 cm, Outside Diameter 12.0 cm
- Caption Medals Project- Colpitts, Robert Archibald
Robert Archibald Colpitts was born in Liverpool, England, on 4 July 1893. He was the son of George Washington Colpitts, a sailor, and Margaret Colpitts.
A farmer, Colpitts enlisted in the 104th Canadian Infantry Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force, on 3 November 1915 in Sussex, New Brunswick. He and his unit sailed for England on SS Olympic on 28 June 1916. The ship arrived in England on 6 July 1916, and the 104th Battalion proceeded to Caesar’s Camp, Shorncliffe, where its personnel was absorbed by the 17th Reserve Battalion and the 32nd Canadian Infantry Battalion, to provide reinforcements for the Canadian units already in the field.
Colpitts was transferred to the 26th Canadian Infantry Battalion (New Brunswick) on 9 May 1917 and joined the unit in the field one month later, on 6 June 1917. Two months later, on 15 August 1917, the first day of the Battle of Hill 70, he was reported missing in action. Assigned a “mopping up” role (following directly behind assaulting battalions to ensure that all resistance had been neutralized), his battalion had been one of the 10 battalions that had left the Canadian trenches at 4:20 a.m., at the start of the Canadian Corps’ attack on the German-held hill. The attack was successful, with all objectives being captured on schedule. Nevertheless, the battalion suffered a number of casualties from snipers, machine gun fire, and German counterattacks. In early 1918, Canadian military authorities declared that Colpitts, who was still missing, was presumed dead.
Robert Archibald Colpitts is commemorated on the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, on Vimy Ridge, in France.