One quarter of the Newfoundland officers and men who went into battle at Monchy fell into enemy hands as prisoners.
Among them was William Quinton, Regiment number 2738.
The teenager form Princeton, Bonavista Bay, had taken two bullets - one in his right foot, and another in the left leg - during the battle. He was picked up by the Germans on April 16 and taken to prison camp.
His daughter, Barbara Oates, of Clarenville, says her father didn't say a whole lot about the war, or the 22 months he spent as a POW, but did offer up bits and pieces of his story from time to time.
"I can remember him saying they would have to crawl to the dressing station at the camp to have bandages applied to their wounds, then crawl back to their sleeping area."
As a POW he got shuffled around from camp to camp. For most of his captivity, however, he was at camp Gefargeueulager in Doeberitz, Germany where he worked in an open pt coal mine.
Meanwhile, back in Princeton, it was weeks after his capture before his family found out where he was.
As the family story goes, one morning his older sister, Frances, came downstairs and announced, "Will is alive. He's in a place that starts with 'D'."
Her mother, Ann Helena, shushed her, telling her she must have been dreaming, yet when the post arrived later that day, Frances' premonition proved to be correct.
A telegram informed the family that William was indeed a prisoner of war.
Mrs. Oates' family album contains many photos her grandfather brought back form the prison camp as well as a couple of post cards his mother received from him during his internment.
One of the postcards, written in December, 1918, indicates that word of an allied victory was reaching the camp.
"Some chaps say they are sure…but I am not…" he notes a few days before Christmas.
On Dec. 25, 1918 he writes, "Plenty of rumours."
The next day, he writes, "Going for sure…dead cert."
On Dec. 27, 1918, Pte. Quinton finds out for sure he will soon be a free man again.
"Leaving here 2 o'clock tomorrow. Don't believe it!" he penned to his mother on the back of the postcard.
Pte. Quinton soon found himself in Holland, being taken care of by Albert Albertsen and his family. As soon as she knew where he was, his mother, Anne Helena, began sending care packages of food to her son.
Eventually, Pte. Quinton was repatriated to England and from there he
In Holland, Quinton got his first good meal in a long time and had the coal dust, which had practically become part of his skin, gradually scrubbed away.
During the battle, Pte. Quinton was exposed to mustard gas. It scarred his lungs, causing him health problems for the rest of his life. He constantly suffered from Bronchitis.
Back in Princeton, Pte. Quinton went to work with his father Joliffe who owned a dry goods store in Princeton and a squid drying and canning factory in nearby Southern Bay.
In 1926, he married Elma Carberry of Burgoyne's Cove.