Guy Maddison Vaisey AM

b. 15/07/1889 Hampstead, London.  d. 18/04/1918 France.

DATE OF AM ACTION: 06/04/1917 Fermancourt, France.

Guy M Vaisey AM

Guy was born at Hampstead, London, England, on 15 July 1889, the first of two children born to Charles Thomas St. Clere Vaisey and Emily Jessie Sparke. Charles and Emily married in the summer of 1888 in Birkenhead, Cheshire, having Guy the following summer. Their second child, Monica, was baptized on 6 June 1891 at Westminster, London. When Guy was born, his father Charles’ occupation had been noted as bank cashier. Sadly, Charles died at the age of 48 on 5 June 1905 at Flower-house, Catford, Kent. At the time he was living in Oystermouth, Glamorgan, Wales, so he most likely died while travelling on bank business. His estate of £1200 was left to his widow, Emily.

For several years up to his graduation from secondary school in 1907, Guy was a student at Merchant Taylors’ School, which was fully funded by Merchant Taylors’ Company. During his last year at the Merchant Taylors’ School, in 1907, Guy received the Royal Humane Society Medal. No further information was obtained about the specifics of the award Guy received, but it was awarded for acts of bravery in the saving of human life and for effecting successful resuscitations. Guy would have been less than 18 years old. According to his school records, Guy commenced studying at the Veterinary College in Camden Town, but in 1909 he emigrated to Canada, where on 7 October 1909 he commenced homesteading at Stauffer, Alberta. In homesteading records, he indicated that he did not intend to become a citizen of Canada. He commenced living on the land on 5 April 1910, living in a shack he had constructed. In 1913, at the age of 24, Guy returned to England, where, like his father and grandfather, he became a member of the Cirencester Society in London. This was, and continues to be, a Gentlemen’s Dining Society in existence before 1702.

 But then war broke out and Guy was one of the earliest to enlist. His regimental number was 18100. He was transferred to Valcartier, Quebec, with A Company, 9th Battalion and traveled to the Front aboard the SS Zealand, leaving on 4 October 1914. He was transferred to the 3rd Battalion and saw active service in Ypres from 5 March 1915. Within 10 days, however, Guy was admitted to the No. 1 Canadian Field Ambulance; by 23 April 1915 he was still fighting diarrhoea and enteritis and was transferred to England. On 7 May 1915 he was discharged and returned to the Front. On 2 January 1916, Guy was promoted to corporal, and on 2 April 1916 he was sent to attend cadet school with a view to being granted a commission. On 4 September 1916, Guy was discharged to a commission in the Imperial Army at Shoreham, England. Guy had applied for and was appointed to a commission in the Special Reserve as a second lieutenant with the Gloucestershire Regiment on 8 November 1916. He quickly rose in the ranks and was appointed to a regular commission as a second lieutenant on 18 December 1917, serving with the 1st Battalion. On 20 May 1917, Guy was on special leave when he married Elizabeth Jessie Cameron, aged 21, at St. Peter, Notting Hill, Kensington and Chelsea. Her father, Peter Cameron, was already deceased when Elizabeth married Guy.

 The war diary of the 1st Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment (commonly referred to as the Glosters) describes the terrible battle at Givenchy and Festubert in northwestern France, which commenced on 9 April and ended 18 April 1918, the day on which Guy was fatally injured. Guy was admitted to No. 1 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station on 18 April 1918 with gunshot wounds to his abdomen and wrist. He died that same day and was buried at Pernes British Cemetery in Plot 1, Row C, Grave 25. Guy was posthumously awarded the British War Medal (for service overseas between 1914 and 1918), the Victory Medal (for service in an operational theatre) and the 1914–15 Star (for service in the war against Germany between 5 August 1914 and 31 December 1915).



On the 6th April, 1917, during bombthrowing practice at a Divisional Bomb School in France, one of the men under instruction, having extracted the pin from a Mills grenade, allowed the grenade to slip out of his hand. Lieutenant Vaisey, seeing what had happened, dashed round a traverse in the trench from which the practice was being conducted, picked up the grenade, and threw it clear of the trench; it exploded almost immediately. The action was performed at great personal risk, as the thrower was in his way and was dazed with fright. Lieutenant Vaisey by his courage and prompt action undoubtedly prevented a fatal accident. Lieutenant Vaisey died of wounds in April last.



Plot 1, Row C, Grave 25