Edgar Earl Doxsee enlisted in 1915 as a Signaler with the 77th Battalion.
Edgar Doxsee was born in Ontario in 1893. When he turned 20 he moved to Auburn, New York to apprentice in saddlery hardware. He was there when war broke out in August 1914. He told his family at the time that if the war wasn’t over by Christmas, he’d return home to Canada and join the army.
Earl was 22 when he enlisted in August 1915 and was soon on his way to England with the 77th Battalion as a Signaler. In July 1916, Earl was reassigned to the 50th Battalion as a reinforcement during the Battle of the Somme, where he was wounded in November 1916.
Earl was still in hospital during the attack on Vimy Ridge in April 1917. He returned to his unit later that year where he served out the rest of the war. Twenty years later, Earl served again with the Home Guard during the Second World War.
Remembrance Day Poem
Many years later while living in England with his parents, Earl`s great-grandson, Jeffrey Butler visited the battlefields and cemeteries of the First and Second World Wars.
Jeffrey heard about his great-grandfather but had never met him. After his return to Canada, while in sixth grade, Jeffrey composed the following poem in honour of his great-grandfather, which he was asked to read on Remembrance Day.
For my Great-grandfather, Earl Doxsee
To Flanders's Fields I did go
To see the crosses row on row
Lots, and Lots of young men died
Defending their country with their lives.
Now as I walk it is green and peaceful
But my heart is heavy and is full of sorrow
For here men killed and fought in battle
Now they don't hear the machine gun rattle.
Mothers, Wives, young sons, and daughters
Grieve the death of the ones slaughtered
Hope to see them again one day
Flander's Fields what a long way away.
In the battle of the Somme my Great Grandpa fought
He was lucky to survive, so many others did not
After the war my Great Grandpa came home
He left behind his friends in Flander's fields all alone.
The young gallant men we must remember
Every year on the 11th of November
Rest in peace where poppies wave
Memories of you in my heart will be saved.
Jeff Butler, Age 11
Remembrance Day Poster
In a similar tribute, Earl`s great-granddaughter, eight year old Emma Sultmanis, placed first in the Remembrance Day Poster Contest in 2006, run by the Royal Canadian Legion, Ontario Provincial Command, with her colour poster, shown above.