Etc. -- R. Louis Dugit Killed in Action, 1917
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The following is from a page 1 article in the 17 May 1917 issue of the Simcoe Reformer newspaper.

Lieut. Robert Louis Dugit

A cable from Ottawa on 10 May brought the sorrowful news that Lieut. Robert Louis Dugit of Simcoe was killed in action, May 3rd, 1917.

Last week the cable announcing the death in action of Lieut. Dugit arrived just as The Reformer was going to press, and we were only able to mention it very briefly. 

Lieut. Dugit, it will be remembered, was in command 
of the third contingent for the war recruited in Simcoe. With his men he left Simcoe for Niagara in May, 1915. That autumn he went overseas, and he had seen considerable active service in the trenches.

Lieut. Dugit was born and reared in Woodstock. He came to Simcoe five or six years ago as an officer of the Molsons Bank. After his marriage he left the bank's service to engage in business with his father-in-law.

His wife was Bertha, younger daughter of ex-Mayor 
R. S. McGill, her elder sister being Mrs. Simpson, wife of Captain Rupert Simpson of the Imperial Army. 

Two young children survive, one, a little daughter, he had never seen. Lieut. Dugit has a brother in Khaki overseas. His widowed mother now resides in Toronto.  

R. Louis Dugit

The following is from a page 1 article in the 5 Jul 1917 issue of the Simcoe Reformer newspaper.

An Interesting Letter

The Reformer is under obligations to Mrs. Dugit for permission to publish this interesting letter. It is from Brigadier-General, Canadians, B.E.F., and was written in France, 13 Jun 1917.

To Mrs. R. L. Dugit:
Dear Bert, -- It is impossible for me to fully express my deep regret at hearing from Pearl of the loss you have sustained. It is awfully hard luck, and I am very, very sorry. One cannoot say more and mean it, and yet it seems so little. I had no idea of his arrival in France, or I should have tried to look him up.

From the O.C. of his battalion I have heard your husband was instantly killed by machine gun fire, during an attack by the Canadian Division on [redacted], and while performing a very gallant act. The record of the [redacted] Canadian Division during the recent fighting was a memorable one, and will live for many a day. The zenith was reached when this division, having steadily fought their way through the German lines for a distance of six miles, attacked and captured and held Fresnoy against all attacks. It was a most difficult operation, carried out by sorely tried troops, and is looked upon  as the crowning achievement of the Canadians in the Vimy operations.

Your husband was in command of No. 1 Company, and leading it in the attack. A report came back that his men were coming under rifle grenade fire. He went forward to verify the report and clear up the situation. In doing this he was caught by German machine gun fire and was instantly killed. 

He was buried just west of the village of [redacted] by Lieut. James, an officer of his company, and a brief service was held over his grave. The grave was suitably marked and I understand both the O.C. of his battalion and Lieut. James has written you.

This, Bert, is a bald account of a very gallant act, performed during a memorable action. You have every reason to be intensely proud of both the manner in which you husband lived and died. His O.C. reports that he was a most courageous and efficient officer -- nothing more can be truly said of any officer.

An incident which I look upon as the finest unsolicited testimonial Canadians have received, occurred after this action. A Bosch Major was captured in Fresnoy. He was being escorted back by one of our staff officers. He spoke English very well. On the way back our staff officer was pointing out the different lines of German trenches we had taken in succession. At last, after a walk of over six miles, the old German front lines were reached, and pointed out. They stood there for a few moments and looked back.

"But," said the German officer, "you must have used several divisions." "No," said the staff officer, "the [redacted] Canadian Division did it all." The Bosch looked at him, then looked back and simply said, "I do not believe you; it is impossible."

As long as officers of the type of your husband are forthcoming we can and will do it. [Redacted], as you no doubt had heard, was lost, but not by us; when it comes into our hands again, I will visit the spot and see that your husband's grave is suitably marked with a permanent memorial.

In conclusion, Bert, let me again extend my deep sympathies to you and the kiddies.

The following is an extract from a letter home to his wife from Sergt.-Major Winter, page 5 of the 19 Jul 1917 Simcoe Reformer.

"I was so sorry to hear of  poor Lieut. Dugit's death. 
I had not heard anything till I got your letter. I was 
sad; I received your letter in the morning and I had 
the pleasure of meeting some of our officers in the afternoon, some out of the old 37th. The first words 
from them were about Lieut. Dugit. I want you to give my sympathy to Mrs. Dugit, and tell her I would have liked nothing better than to have been with him, and 
to have died with him, as he was the best officer and friend that I had in the Canadian forces...."


Also see Louis' Attestation paper: side 1 | side 2

Image from microfilm

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