Profiles of Courage at Vimy Ridge

Badge of the Canadian Engineers during the Great War
Non-commissioned officers of the 6th Field company, Canadian Engineers, pose in Belgium four months after the Armistice. 6th Fd Coy dug tunnels at Vimy Ridge, patched up roads near Amiens and defused mines after the war.
Publication Date: 
06 Apr 2017

 

As a way to recognise the victory and sacrifice at Vimy Ridge, Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) has published a series of Profiles in Courage listing a number of soldiers, including one Sapper.

Sergeant Sam Glode, a Mi’kmaq soldier from Nova Scotia, joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War and spent most of the conflict serving with a tunnelling company in the Canadian Engineers. His unit helped dig tunnels and carve out underground dugouts in the lead up to the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Corporal Glode would later earn the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his brave and devoted duty in clearing German mines and demolition charges in the weeks after the Armistice that ended the fighting in November 1918.

Another VAC article under the heading of Aboriginal soldiers tells us more about Sgt Glode.

I'll never forget the first night. I stayed out most of the night, watching the flares go up over No Man's Land, like fireworks, and hearing the cannons and bursts of rifle and machine-gun fire.

Sam Glode

Sam Glode joined the CEF at the age of 35, enticed by the security of regular pay, plus food and clothes. Before the war began, this Mi' kmaq from Nova Scotia had been a lumberjack, as well as a hunting and fishing guide. In 1915, he became an infantry soldier and soon after, assumed a new occupation, as a Canadian Engineer (CE) in Belgium and France.

For most of the Great War, Glode served with the 6th Field Company, CE. The company dug tunnels in Belgium, carved dugouts at Vimy Ridge and patched up roads near Amiens. When the Armistice was announced, Glode was back in Belgium, about to earn the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DSM).

Although the war had officially ended, Allied soldiers were still active. The Canadian Corps was advancing toward Germany, where it would later assume occupation duties. Corporal Glode's company was in the lead, searching for mines and demolition charges. On the 19th and 20th of November, Glode personally removed 450 charges. His DCM citation states, "He showed great devotion to duty and an utter disregard of personal danger."

Sam Glode returned to Nova Scotia in the spring of 1919 and resumed his hunting and guiding occupations. He died at Camp Hill Hospital in Halifax on 25 October 1957.

Note:  As mentionned, the above information was taken from the VAC site.  Further research has discovered some errors.  Sam served in the 1st Canadian Tunnelling Company (not the 6th Fd Coy as recorded by VAC) and finished the war as a Sergeant.  Portions of an interview with Sam Glode are included on this site.