I’ve come across reports of an incident involving the poet Robert Service (The Cremation of Sam McGee, Shooting of Dangerous Dan McGrew) and the Canadian Engineers.

In the book Robert Service – Under the Spell of the Yukon, page 173, it is mentioned that Service was with the Engineers Oct 1918. This includes being with a recce party, which accidentally liberated Lille France.

From the web site http://www.RobertWService.com

” He returned to the war with a chauffeured Cadillac and an officer guide, to write about the Canadian Expeditionary Force for their government. In the course of his work he accidentally liberated the town of Lille. He wrote another book, with the manuscript title War Winners, a file of prose reports on the support operations working to keep the Allied forces in the field. He wrote it furiously to promote the war effort, and tore it up on Armistice Day, in disgust with everything about the whole conflict.”  http://www.robertwservice.com/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=4&page=2

Basically Service and the recce party entered Lille France before the official liberation of the city on 17 Oct 1918. Thus were seen by some of the local population as liberators.

However other than these two references, I have not been able to locate any other mention of Robert Service and the Canadian Engineers. The Engineer unit is not identified in either reference.

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