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Britain and the Commonwealth declared war on the German Empire on August 4, 1914. Fernie, like much of the rest of Canada, responded with a wave of excitement and patriotic fervour. Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph MacKay opened a recruiting office on Victoria Avenue on the morning of August 12, and by the end of its first day 48 men volunteered. By August 28, now numbering 93, Fernie’s first contingent departed. Amid stirring speeches and cheering crowds, the volunteers marched to the train that would take them to the training camp at Valcartier, and then on to Europe.

This level of fanfare would become standard for all subsequent military departures, repeated regularly for the next four years, as volunteers rushed to join a multitude of units: the 2nd, 11th and 13th Canadian Mounted Rifles, the 30th Battalion, 13th Battalion (Royal Highlanders of Canada), the 143rd Battalion, and later our own local unit, the 54th Kootenay Battalion, among others.

So many volunteered that by the summer of 1916 locals feared the coal mines would shut down for lack of men to work them.

Those left behind laboured to ‘keep the home fires burning’, while fundraising tirelessly to support the war effort overseas. Locals banded together to support patriotic organizations such as the Canadian Patriotic Fund, the Canadian Red Cross, and the Tobacco Fund. In the summer of 1915, $1,000 was raised to provide the 54th Kootenay Battalion with its own Lewis machine gun.

Many who volunteered did so out of a sense of duty, but also of adventure. There was a general belief the victory would swift and glorious, that the war would be, ‘Over by Christmas.’ But the Christmases passed, and the years dragged on, and the war that was meant to End War began to claim staggering numbers of Canadian lives. In the end, it killed 64,962 Canadians and Newfoundlanders between 4 August 1914 to 31 August 1921. This number includes not only those who perished during the war, but also veterans who died of their wounds in the years following.

Total recruitment numbers are difficult to pin down, but according to our best estimates, around 1500 men left to fight from Fernie, Michel, Coal Creek and area, and of that number, just under 100 perished, although that number, too, is not exact. The cenotaph does not include those Italian, Belgian and French reservists, or Russians who volunteered from Hosmer.

Records are lost, memories fade, and we are left with 94 names, carved onto the sides of a block of granite. If the cenotaph reminds us of their names, then perhaps these simple biographies will remind us of their humanity- that before they were letters engraved in stone, they were fathers, sons, and brothers; butchers, coalminers and bank clerks; men who were a part of their community, and who left wounds in that community when they were gone.

SACRIFICE AT THE FRONT

While the personal history of all the 94 men listed on the cenotaph in Fernie are unknown to us, we have been able to learn about many of them, including:

N. Akke

  • No information

Jock Anderson

  • No information

John A Anderson

  • No information

John Francis Annon

  • Born Stellarton, Nova Scotia on January 14th 1893.
  • Coalminer.
  • His family, including his father Dominick and brother, William, lived in Winnifred, Alberta.
  • He was 5’11” tall with brown eyes and dark brown hair.
  • Enlisted September 23rd, 1914, as a private in the 13th Battalion, The Black Watch of Canada.
  • Died of acute myelitis (inflammation of the spinal cord) at the No. 3 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station, Rouen on July 25, 1916. He was 23.

John Appleby

  • Born January 31, 1885 in Louth, Lincolnshire, England.
  • Teamster at Coal Creek. He was 5’8” tall with grey eyes and dark brown hair. His sister was named Miss Rose Appleby.
  • Enlisted May 10, 1916 as a private in the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles.
  • Killed in action, August 22 1917, at Loos, Belgium.

Robert John Black

  • Born July 1, 1880 in Fergus, Ontario, Canada.
  • Superintendent, Morrissey, Fernie and Michel Railway.
  • He married Mary Snow on September 4, 1907. He and his wife lived at 37 Baker Avenue. They had a daughter, Marjorie and a son, Albert Fraser.
  • Enlisted December 13th, 1915. He was a Major in the 54th Kootenay Battalion.
  • Wounded April 14, 1917. Died of wounds April 16, at No. 6 Casualty Clearing Station.
  • Buried Barlin Communal Cemetery Extension, France.

John Thomas Bough

  • Born October 26, 1897 at Brownhills, Staffordshire, England.
  • Coalminer
  • His father was also John Bough, and his mother was Ann Bough. They lived at 40 Chipman Avenue.
  • Enlisted August 26, 1915
  • Killed by shell fire during an enemy raid on our trenches at Hill 70, March 21, 1918.
  • Buried at Aix-Noulette Community Cemetery Extension

Harry (Henry) S. Branch

  • Born March 21, 1885 in Whitehaven, Cumbria, England.
  • Moulder at the Fernie Iron Works.
  • He was 5’9” tall with grey eyes and brown hair.
  • Enlisted March 3, 1915. Private in the 48th Battalion, Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary’s)
  • Reported missing June 3rd, 1916 in the trenches near Mount Sorrel. Declared dead February 21, 1918.

Alex Fairweather Bunch

  • Born November 30, 1876, Dundee, Scotland
  • Carpenter.
  • He and his wife Annie lived at 66 Dalton Avenue. He was 5’ 6” tall with brown eyes and dark brown hair.
  • Enlisted May 13, 1916. A Lieutenant Corporal with the 13th Field Ambulance, Canadian Army Medical Corps.
  • Killed instantly by an enemy shell while dressing the wounded in a dugout. September 2, 1918.
  • Buried at Vis-en- Artois British Cemeter, Arras France.

Andrew Cameron

  • Born January 23, 1886 in Westville, Nova Scotia.
  • Miner.
  • He was 5’7 ¾” tall with brown eyes and black hair. He had a coal scar over his right eye.
  • His brother, James Cameron, lived in New Aberdeen, Cape Breton. His mother, Mrs. Margaret Baird, lived in Frank Alberta.
  • Enlisted August 20, 1914 as a private in the 4th Battalion. (War was declared August 4, 1914.)
  • Killed in action on the 26th of April, 1915 at the Battle of St. Julien, age 29.

John B. Cartmell

  • Born 1891 in Whitehaven, Cumberland, England.
  • Coalminer.
  • Enlisted March 1, 1916. Lance-Corporal, Royal Engineers, Railway Operating Division.
  • Killed in action November 3, 1918.
  • Buried St. Sever Cemetery Extension, France.

Thomas George Chedgey

  • Born March 31, 1888 at Cannington, Somerset.
  • Cook.
  • His father, Charles Chedgey, was a coalminer at Coal Creek.
  • He was 5’11” tall, 180 lbs with blond hair and blue eyes. He had a tattoo of a ring around his right arm.
  • Enlisted September 26, 1914 as a private in the 12th Battalion.
  • Reported missing May 18, 1915.

Charles Clarke

  • Born October 25, 1877 Chesterton, England.
  • Coalminer.
  • He was 5’10” tall with dark hair and grey eyes.
  • He and his wife Elizabeth had three children: Abraham, Eliza, Katharine and Charles (born in 1917)
  • Enlisted March 4, 1916. Corporal, 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles.
  • Killed by machine gun wound to the stomach, August 10, 1918
  • Buried, Bouchoir British Cemetery, France

Robert Connell

  • Born July 19, 1885 in Saltcoats, Ayrshire, Scotland.
  • Coalminer.
  • He lodged in a house in West Fernie.
  • He married Ann Mary McAllister at Saltcoats sometime between 1914 and 1915.
  • He was 5’6” tall with blue eyes, red hair, and freckles.
  • Enlisted September 24, 1914 in the 5th Royal Highlanders. He was promoted to Corporal, then Lance-Sergeant.
  • Killed in action, May 1, 1916.

James Corrigan

  • Born December 6, 1890 at Drum Park, Lanarkshire, Scotland.
  • Coalminer.
  • He lived at 148 Pellatt Avenue. His sister, Mary, was married to Neil McCallum, Fernie’s Fire Chief.
  • He was 5’6” tall, with dark grey eyes and dark brown hair.
  • Enlisted August 23, 1915 as a private in the 54th Kootenay Battalion.
  • Died of wounds September 14, 1916 at Lord Derby War Hospital, Warrington. He was 24 years old.

Kenneth Craig Corsan

  • Born January 16, 1893, in Montreal.
  • Tax collector and surveyor.
  • He was the son of Dr. Corsan and his wife Charlotte. They lived at 20 Victoria Avenue.
  • He was 5’9 ½” tall with dark brown eyes and dark brown hair.
  • Enlisted May 17, 1915. Private, 54th Kootenay Battalion.
  • Wounded by a bullet to the shoulder, June 4, 1916. Died of infection June 19, 1916, age 23.
  • His brother, Stewart, died in June 1917 in a military hospital and is also on the cenotaph.

Stewart Glassford Corsan

  • Born January 7, 1899 at Trail, BC.
  • Student at St. Michael’s University School in Victoria. Member of the University School Cadet Corps. His father, Dr. Douglas Corsan and his mother Charlotte lived at 20 Victoria Avenue.
  • He was 6’ tall with dark hair and brown eyes.
  • Enlisted May 22, 1916 as part of the 19th Overseas Battalion, Canadian Reserve.
  • Died of diphtheria at the Military Isolation Hospital at Aldershot, England on June 4, 1917. He was 18.
  • Buried in Aldershot Military Cemetery.
  • His brother, Kenneth C. Corsan, died of his wounds on June 19, 1916 and is also on the cenotaph.

John Cyril Deed

  • Born May 22, 1870 at St. Albans, England.
  • In 1894 he joined the Royal Marines and served until 1905. After he retired he moved to British Columbia in 1911. He trained and commanded the 1st East Kootenay Contingent until September 1914, when he was ordered to return to England.
  • Posted to the HMS Formidable November 1914.
  • Lost at sea January 1, 1915-The HMS Formidable was torpedoed by a U-boat in the English Channel, the second ship sunk in World War 1.

Joe Dingsdale

  • Born October 28, 1896 in St. Helens, Merseyside, England.
  • Coalminer.
  • His mother and father Christopher and Anna Dingsdale lived in Cokato. His brother Christopher was killed in an accident at Coal Creek on July 4, 1910.
  • He was 5’10” tall with blue eyes and dark brown hair.
  • Killed in action October 2, 1916 at the Battle of Le Transloy, age 19.
  • Buried in Le Courcelette Cemetery, France.

John T. Dixon

  • Born August 21, 1881 in Haworth, Yorkshire, England.
  • Farmer, Coal Creek, his wife was named Elizabeth.
  • He was 5’6 ¼” 160 lbs with grey eyes and brown hair, and coal scars on his nose and inner eyebrow.
  • Enlisted May 13, 1916 as a private in the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles.
  • Killed by shrapnel while advancing across a swamp at Vapour Farm, Passchendaele. October 30, 1917, age 36.
  • Buried at Passchendaele

Thomas Dixon

  • No information

Angus Dunlap

  • Born March 3, 1887 in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, but grew up in Fernie.
  • Coalminer
  • He was 5’5 ½” tall, with blue eyes and dark brown hair.
  • Previously served in the 15th Light Horse, Calgary Alberta in 1912.
  • Enlisted Dec. 31, 1914 as a private in the 10th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Alberta Regiment. (Note: Angus put exclamation marks after all of his entries on the attestation form.)
  • Died of wounds May 1, 1917. He was 30.
  • Buried Quatre-Vents Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais.

George Evans

  • Born November 14, 1886 in Swansea, Wales.
  • Coalminer.
  • He married Elizabeth Evans on April 15, 1911 in Michel. He was 5’6” tall with grey eyes and brown hair.
  • Enlisted August 25, 1915 as private in the 54th Kootenay Battalion. He was later promoted to Lance Corporal.
  • Killed in action on April 21, 1917 in an attack on Farbus Wood. He was 31 years old.
  • Buried in the Bois Carre Cemetery, France.

Joseph Fearon

  • Born December 31, 1893 in Whitehaven, Cumberland, England.
  • Coalminer.
  • He lived at 94 Mason Avenue.
  • He was 5’3 ¾” tall, with blue eyes and dark brown hair.
  • Enlisted May 17, 1915. Private in the 54th Battalion.
  • Died of a shrapnel wound, November 3, 1916 at the 2nd Western General Hospital, Manchester.
  • Buried, Moresby Churchyard, Whitehaven, Cumberland

Thomas A Fitzgerald

  • Born November 1877 in Cork City, Ireland.
  • Clerk.
  • He lived at 88 Dalton Avenue with his mother, Mrs. Dooley and his sister, Miss Emily Dooley. He was 5’3 ¾” tall with blue eyes and brown hair, and a sailor’s tattoo on his right arm.
  • Enlisted September 22, 1914 as a private in the 3rd Battalion (Toronto Regiment), Queen’s Own Rifles.
  • Killed by a sniper near Olga Trench, Arras. August 31, 1918, age 40.
  • Buried at Upton Wood British Cemetery, SE of Arras, France.

William Fitzgerald

  • No information

William Inglis Forsythe

  • Born September 2, 1881, Cedar Hill, North Lanark Ontario.
  • Lumberman (timber cruiser).
  • 5’8 ½” tall, with blue eyes and sandy brown hair.
  • Enlisted May 14, 1915 as a private in the 54th Kootenay Battalion. Later transferred to the 7th Battalion (1st British Columbia Regiment).
  • Killed in action April 15, 1916 in the vicinity of Mount Sorrel, age 35.
  • Buried in the Railway Dugouts Cemetery, south of Ypres.

John Gaskell

  • No information

James Gorrie

  • Born July 14, 1880 in Dunfermline, Scotland.
  • Coalminer.
  • His father Thomas and mother Mary were ranchers near Elko.
  • He was 5’5” tall, with blond hair and blue eyes.
  • Enlisted August 23, 1915. Private in the 54th Kootenay Battalion.
  • Killed in action September 22, 1916, in the trenches near Courcelette. No record of burial.

William Grant

  • Born July 28th, 1889 in Cardenden, Fife, Scotland.
  • Coalminer.]5’6” tall with grey eyes and blond hair.
  • Enlisted June 25, 1915. Private in the 54th Kootenay Battalion-later transferred to the 2nd Canadian Tunnelling Company.
  • Wounded in both legs and taken prisoner June 2, 1916 at Zillebeke. Interned in Germany and Holland. Repatriated August 31, 1918.
  • Admitted to London General Hospital, September 7, 1918. Died of diabetes at Bush Park Hospital, October 29, 1918.

Peter Green

  • Born July 22, 1882 in Standish, Lancashire, England.
  • Coalminer.
  • His mother was Mrs. Elizabeth Green.
  • He was 5’ ¾”, 134 lbs tall with hazel eyes and dark brown hair. He had two large scars on his right forearm.
  • Enlisted August 28, 1916.
  • Killed in action, September 2, 1918 at the Somme.

James Harrison

  • Born June 26, 1882 in Parton, Whitehaven, England.
  • Coalminer.
  • His wife was Mrs. Martha Harrison.
  • He was 5’6” tall with grey eyes and brown hair. He had coal tattoos on his right hand.
  • Enlisted August 27, 1915. Private in the 54th Kootenay Battalion.
  • Reported wounded on November 18, 1916. Later reported killed in action.

Walter Harold George Harrison

  • Born June 13, 1896, Hednesford, Staffordshire, England.
  • Teamster/mill hand.
  • 5’6” tall, with blue eyes and black hair.
  • He rented a room at 62 Chipman Ave. His father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel J Harrison, lived in St. Augustine, Florida.
  • Enlisted May 15th, 1915 as a private in the 54th Kootenay Battalion, later transferred to 7th Battalion (1st BC Regiment). He previously served 8 months in the East Kootenay Rifles.
  • Killed in action, June 12, 1916, the day before his 20th birthday. He was instantly killed when a shell struck his machine gun placement near Hill 60, Zillebeke, Ypres.
  • Buried in the Railway Dugouts Cemetery, south of Ypres, Belgium.

Reginald Frank Herring

  • Born January 21, 1894 in Dover, England.
  • Clerk at the Home Bank.
  • He was 5’5” tall with dark blue eyes and dark brown hair.
  • Enlisted September 25th, 1914 as a private in the 13th Battalion, Royal Highlanders.
  • Killed in action in the trenches near St. Julien, April 24, 1915, Second Battle of Ypres. Age 21.

James Joseph Hixon

  • Born October 28th, 1880 in Leeds, Yorkshire, England.
  • Plumber.
  • He lived at 97 Pellatt Avenue.
  • He was 5’11 ¼” tall with blue eyes and blond hair.
  • Enlisted September 23, 1914, as a private in the 14th Battalion, Royal Montreal Regiment
  • Died of wounds May 18, 1915 at the No.1 Casualty Clearing Station. He died of a gunshot wound to the chest.
  • Buried, Chocques Military Cemetery, France.

Cecil Charles Kelham Holmes

  • Born November 20, 1884
  • Grocer. His father was Charles Holmes, and his mother was named Elizabeth Perriott.
  • He was 5’8 ½” inches tall, 150 lbs, with blue eyes and brown hair.
  • Enlisted September 22, 1914, a Corporal in the 1st Battalion, Canadian Mounted Rifles.
  • Reported missing, presumed dead on June 15, 1915, age 30.

Arthur Hopwood

  • Born October 15, 1885 in Essex, England.
  • He was 5’9 ½” tall, 167 lbs, with blue eyes and blonde hair. He lived at the Waldorf Hotel with his wife Ruth. He worked as a store clerk at the Trites Woods Department Store.
  • Enlisted March 1, 1916 as a private in the 47th Battalion, Royal Westminster Regiment.
  • Died of shrapnel wounds, October 21, 1917, No.2 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station.
  • Buried Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery Belgium.

Adam Howieson

  • Born February 4, 1885 in Hawick, Scotland.
  • Miner.
  • He lived at 79 Macpherson Avenue with his wife, Maggie.
  • He was 5’8 ½” tall, 167 lbs., with blue eyes and dark hair.
  • Enlisted March 19, 1915 as a private in the 30th Reserve Battalion.
  • Killed in action November 8, 1915 in the trenches near Ploegsteert, Belgium.
  • Buried in the Rosenberg Chateau Military Cemetery, Belgium.

Charles Haddon Hunnable

  • Born February 13, 1894 in Braintree, Essex.
  • He worked for the Canadian National Telegraph Company as a clerk and lived in a rented room at the Fernie Hotel. He had three sisters, Bessie, Leslie and Constance. His father Walter was a housebuilder.
  • He was 5’5” tall, with blue eyes and light brown hair.
  • Enlisted May 14, 1915 as a private in the 54th Kootenay Battalion.
  • Died of Wounds September 14, 1916 at No.4 Casualty Clearing Station. He was 22.
  • Buried Puchevillers British Cemetery, Somme

Thomas Andrew Ingram

  • Born August 27, 1897, Wentworth Ontario.
  • Farmer.
  • Son of William A Ingram (builder of the Ingram Block) and Jessie Ingram.
  • He was 5’9” tall and had green eyes and dark brown hair.
  • Enlisted June 2, 1915 as a private in the 54th Kootenay Battalion.
  • Killed in action September 17, 1916, during a raid on enemy trenches at St. Eloi. He was hit by an enemy shell and killed instantly. He was 19.

Harry James

  • No information

Peter Joseph Joinson

  • Born December 9, 1888 at Cambuslang, Lanarkshire, Scotland.
  • Coalminer.
  • He was 5 feet tall, 127 pounds, with hazel eyes and brown hair. He had a scar on his forehead.
  • Enlisted January 14, 1916 as a private in the 143rd Battalion, the Canadian Scottish Regiment.
  • Killed in action in an attack southwest of Passchendaele, October 28, 1917. He was 29.
    His body never found.

Jock (John) Kellock

  • Born March 5, 1886 in Kirkaldy, Fifeshire, Scotland.
  • Bridgebuilder.
  • He was 5’6” tall with dark brown eyes and black hair.
  • Enlisted May 8, 1915 as a private in the 54th Kootenay Battalion. He was later transferred to the 30th Battalion.
  • Killed in action August 9, 1918. During an attack on Rosieres, he was hit by fragments of an enemy shell and instantly killed.
  • Buried in Rosieres Cemetery Extension near Roye, France.

Joseph Leyland

  • Born May 8, 1888 Wigan, Lancashire, England.
    Coalminer. He married Alice Taylor Leyland on Christmas Day, 1910. They lived in West Fernie and had two daughters: Clara, born 1912, and Gladys, born 1914.
  • He was 5’6” tall with grey eyes and light brown hair. He had coal scars on his nose and back.
  • Enlisted May 15, 1916 as a Private in the 2nd Battalion Canadian Mounted Rifles.
  • Killed in action in the trenches east of Vimy, June 2 1917. He was 29.
  • After his death, Alice became postmistress at Coal Creek to supplement her widow’s pension.

Peter Norman Kennedy

  • Born May 31, 1880 in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia.
  • Mechanical engineer.
  • He was 5’3 ½” tall with brown eyes and black hair. He had a scar over his eyebrows.
  • Enlisted May 12, 1915 as a private in the 54th Kootenay Battalion.
  • Died of wounds October 12, 1916 at the No. 9 Casualty Clearing Station.
  • Buried in Contay Cemetery, France.

David Logan

  • Born February 20, 1885 in Perth, Scotland.
  • Policeman in the Fernie constabulary. His father, also David Logan, lived in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan.
  • He was 5’11 ½” tall with blue eyes and dark brown hair. He had a tattoo of an anchor on his right forearm, and a tattoo of a heart on the left.
  • Enlisted November 30, 1914 as a private in the Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry.
  • Killed in action February 28th, 1915 in the trenches near St. Eloi, age 30.
  • Buried in the Voormezeele Enclosures, Belgium.

John Joseph Martin

  • Born April 10, 1882 in Stellarton, Nova Scotia.
  • Barrister at Herchmer and Martin. His wife was named Catherine.
  • He was 6’1” tall and he wore glasses.
  • Enlisted March 1, 1916. He was the Captain of A Company, 107th East Kootenay Regiment.
  • Reported missing, believed killed October 30, 1917, Passchendaele, age 34.

Thomas Martin

  • No information

Thomas Geoffrey Martin

  • Born March 6, 1894, Guredsbone, Pennsylvania USA.
    Machinist at Coal Creek. He immigrated from the USA in 1899. He had eight siblings: David, Howard, Ellen, Margaret, Robert, Ruth, Harry and William.
  • He was 5’5” with blue eyes and brown hair.
  • Enlisted August 27, 1915 as a private in the 2nd Battalion, BC Dragoons.
  • Reported missing, presumed dead September 21, 1916 in the trenches at Courcelette, the Somme. He was 22.

William McArthur

  • Born October 7, 1893 in Bellshill, Lanarkshire Scotland.
  • Miner.
  • His brother John McArthur was a miner who boarded in Fernie BC.
  • He was 5’9” tall with blond hair and blue eyes.
  • Enlisted November 9, 1914.
  • Died of wounds July 30, 1916 at the General Hospital, Boulogne.
  • Buried in Boulogne Cemetery.

Norman Jennings McBean

  • Born February 1, 1896 in Lethbridge, Alberta.
  • Clerk.
  • His father, Albert Arthur McBean was an accountant with the Fernie Livery and Transportation Company. He lived with his family at 86 Howland Avenue.
  • He was 5’8 ¼” tall with brown eyes and dark brown hair.
  • Enlisted June 7, 1915.
  • Killed in action on April 8 or 10, 1917, during an attack southwest of Thelus, Vimy Ridge, age 21.
  • Buried in the Arras Road Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.

William McGuire

  • Born June 13, 1896.
  • Miner at Coal Creek, BC. His sister was Mrs. Mary Mitchell, who lived at 107 Riverside Avenue in West Fernie. He was 5’4 ¾” tall with grey eyes and dark brown hair.
  • Enlisted April 19, 1916 as a private with the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles.
  • Killed by enemy shell fire, in the trenches east of St. Julien, October 26, 1917.

James Sidney McHugh

  • Born March 18, 1890 in Windsor, Ontario.
  • Butcher.
  • He was 5’8” tall, 160 lbs with grey eyes and dark brown hair.
  • Enlisted February 18, 1917 as a private in the Canadian Forestry Corps.
  • Died of a brain abcess, May 17, 1918.
  • Buried Grand Cemetery, Orleans

Murdock McKay

  • Born November 8, 1885 in Inverness, Scotland.
  • Labourer. His mother was Mrs. Margaret McKay, a widow.
  • He was 5’2” tall, 129 pounds, with blue eyes and brown hair.
  • Enlisted August 17, 1915 as a private in the 54th Battalion (Fernie Detachment).
  • Died of a shrapnel wound to the abdomen, October 10, 1916 at No.1 Canadian General Hospital, Etaples. He was 31.
  • Buried in Etaples Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.

Hector (Hugh) Murray

  • Born December 8th, 1873 in Thornhill, Dumfriesshire, Scotland.
  • Baker and Cook.
  • He was 5’6″ tall, with brown eyes and grey hair.
  • Enlisted August 21, 1915 as a Private in the 54th Kootenay Battalion. He was later transferred to the 3rd Canadian Field Bakery unit.
  • Killed in a railway accident at Calais, May 23, 1918.
  • Buried at Les Baraques Military Cemetery, Calais.

Thomas Patrick Shields

  • Born January 28, 1888 in Lanarkshire, Scotland.
  • Coalminer.
  • He married Helen Marie Hammill at the Holy Family Catholic church in Fernie on April 2, 1913. He played football with the Fernie teams.
  • He was 5’5” tall with brown eyes and brown hair.
  • Enlisted August 23, 1915 as a private in the 54th Kootenay Battalion.
  • Killed in Action in an attack north of Fresnoy, May 3, 1917. He was 29.

Hugh Melarkey

  • Born March 10, 1893, in Glasgow, Scotland.
  • Miner at Coal Creek.
  • His father, also Hugh Melarkey, was a miner at Coal Creek, and his mother was named Rose Ann.
  • He was 5’4” tall with grey eyes and blond hair.
  • Enlisted September 25, 1914 as a private in the 14th Battalion, Royal Montreal Regiment.
  • Killed in action on April 21-27, 1915 in the area of Langemarck, Belgium, age 22. No burial was recorded.

Garfield Raymond Mitchell

  • Born February 25, 1893 in Neepawa, Manitoba.
  • He was a clerk at the Home Bank and lived in a room at the Waldorf Hotel.
  • He was 5’9” tall with grey eyes and blond hair.
  • Enlisted June 1, 1915 as a private in the 54th Kootenay Battalion.
  • Killed in action September 9, 1916 at the Somme, age 23.

Joseph Martin Murphy

  • Born August 11, 1897 at Kaslo BC.
  • Enlisted May 2, 1916 as a private in the 54th Kootenay Battalion.
  • Reported missing, presumed dead on September 30. 1918, age 21. During an attack northwest of Tilloy, he was killed before reaching objective.
  • Buried in the Canadian Cemetery Tilloy Auberchicourt.

John Henry Myers

  • Born May 6, 1891 in Nordegg, Alberta.
  • Miner at Coal Creek.
  • He was 5’6” tall with blue eyes and brown hair.
  • Enlisted August 23, 1915. Private in the 54th Kootenay Battalion.
  • Killed in action, November 18, 1916 in an attack north of Courcelette, age 24.

William Peet

  • Born February 29, 1877, Lancashire England.
  • Coalminer.
  • His sister, Alice, lived in Wigan, Lancashire.
  • 5’6 ¼” tall, 140 lbs, with grey eyes and blonde hair. He had coal scars on his nose, left eyebrow, and back.
  • Enlisted March 21st, 1916. Private in the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles.Killed in action June 2, 1916, in the trenches south of Avion, France.
  • Buried in the Bois Carre British Cemetery, north of Arras, France.

Paszuale Perri

  • Born June 20, 1893, San Giovanni in Fiore, Italy. His father was Michael Perri, mother was Costanza Oliviero.
  • Coalminer.
  • He was 5’3” tall, 150 lbs, with brown eyes and black hair.
  • Enlisted June 18, 1915 at Barriefield, Ontario. He was a private in the 19th Battalion, Central Ontario Regiment.
  • Between July and September 1916 he was hospitalized for trench fever.
  • Died of wounds May 24, 1917. He was 23.
    “Whilst working with a fatigue party near the front line on the 23rd of May, 1917, he was severely wounded in the body by shrapnel. He was removed to the Dressing Station and evacuated to No. 6 Casualty Clearing Station where he died the next day from concussion and wounds.”
  • Buried at Barlin Communal Cemetery Extension, France

Thomas Aston Phillips

  • Born July 11, 1875, at Pembroke, England.
  • Rancher.
  • He was 5’5 ½” tall, with grey eyes and blond hair.
  • Enlisted April 4, 1916 as a Private, 54th Kootenay Battalion.
  • Killed by machine gun fire in an attack west of Tilloy, September 26, 1918
  • Buried Centimpre Canadian Cemetery.
  • Thomas Phillips left all of his money and property to his friend, Miss Elsie M. Davies, Fernie BC.
  • During his service all of his remittance pay was sent to the Mount Fernie Lodge, Order of Odd Fellows #47.

William Lewis Phillips

  • Born September 18, 1879, Narbeth, Pembrokeshire, England
  • Surveyor.
  • He was 5’5” tall, 132 lbs with light brown hair and blue eyes.
  • Enlisted April 6, 1916.
  • Killed in action September 29, 1918.

William Price

  • Born October 31, 1890 in Stratford England.
  • Labourer.
  • He was 5’5 ½” tall with grey eyes and blond hair.
  • Enlisted October 18, 1915. Private in the 54th Kootenay Battalion.
  • Killed in action, March 1, 1917 in an attack southeast of Souchez.
  • Buried in La Chaudiere British Cemetery, Vimy, France.

Sam Poxon

  • Born May 28, 1884 in Rothenham, England.
  • Coalminer, Coal Creek.
  • He was 5’8” tall with brown eyes and brown hair. His wife was named Ellen Ann. They had three children: Alex, Vera, and Samuel. Samuel was born May 3, 1916.
  • Enlisted May 13, 1916.
  • Medic with the 13th Field Ambulance, Canadian Army Medical Corps.
  • Killed in action October 26, 1917, Passchendaele.
  • Buried Brandhoeck Military Cemetery, Belgium.

James Raven

  • Born May 3, 1884 at Durham, England.
  • Logger, Morrissey.
  • James Raven married his wife Mary on September 15, 1915.
  • Enlisted March 24, 1916 as a private in the 7th Battalion, 1st British Columbia Regiment.
  • Died of wounds November 13th, 1918

Leonard Richardson

  • Born May 1, 1897 in Whitehaven, Cumberland.
  • Miner.
  • He lived with his Father William, mother Mary and brother William Edward at 80 Morrissey Avenue.
  • He was 5’7” tall with grey eyes and dark brown hair.
  • Enlisted June 3, 1915. Private, 54th Kootenay Battalion.
  • Wounded in the head by a shell fragment, October 29, 1916. Died of meningitis November 10, 1916 at the General Hospital, Boulogne, age 19.
  • Buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery.

William Edward Richardson

  • Born December 25, 1894 at Whitehaven, Cumberland, England.
  • Coalminer.
  • He was 5’9” tall with blue eyes and blond hair.
  • Enlisted September 27, 1914. Became a gunner in the 1st Canadian Field Artillery Brigade.
  • Killed in action August 16, 1917.
    “Towards dusk on August 16, 1917, his battery was subjected to a heavy bombardment and while responding to an SOS call from the infantry, an enemy shell burst in the gun pit in which he was on duty, killing him instantly.” He was 22.
  • Buried Bully Grenay Cemetery, France.

James Scott

  • Born July 1, 1888 in Charlottetown, PEI.
  • Teamster.
  • He was 5’4 ½” tall and 146 lbs, with blue eyes and blond hair.
  • Enlisted September 23, 1914 as a private in the 13th Battalion, Royal Highlanders.
  • He was reported missing April 24, 1915. Later reported as having been taken prisoner; he died and was buried on or around April 28th 1915 in a POW camp in Germany.

Arthur Slade

  • Worked as a stableman in Coal Creek.

Alfred G. Smith

  • Born May 20th 1886, at Pembroke Dock, Wales.
  • Coalminer.
  • He was 6’ ¼” tall, 184 lbs, with hazel eyes and dark brown hair. He had a mole on the right side of his nose and a scar on his lower left lip.
  • Enlisted May 10, 1916, as a private in the 54th Kootenay Battalion- later became a sapper in the 11th Battalion- Canadian Railway Troops.
  • Died of influenza February 2nd/4th, 1918 at the General Hospital, Kinmel Park, Wales. (see Kinmel Park Mutiny)

Thomas J Smith

  • Born January 1, 1892 in Turriff, Scotland.
  • Teamster with the Fernie Livery and Transfer Co.
  • He was 5’6” tall with blue eyes and blond hair. He had a tattoo on his right arm.
  • Enlisted September 26, 1914, as a private with the 107th Kootenay Battalion- transferred to the 16th Battalion.
  • He married Mary Sim on January 18, 1916.
  • Promoted to Sergeant January 13, 1918.
  • Killed in action September 1, 1918, age 26.

Frederick William Stephens

  • Born April 23, 1886, Plymouth, Devon.
  • Painter and paperhanger. He lived in Flagstone BC with his wife, Annie.
  • He was 5’2 ½” tall, with brown eyes and light brown hair.
  • Enlisted February 1, 1916, as a private in the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles.
  • Killed in action October 30, 1917, age 31.

Holden Delgatie Stewart

  • Born June 29, 1892 at Carleton Place, Ontario. His father was named William, his mother Emma, and his sister was named Mabel.
  • Machinist.
  • He was 5’10”, with grey eyes and brown hair.
  • Enlisted June 7, 1916 as a private in the 21st Battalion, Eastern Ontario Regiment.
  • Killed in action August 15, 1917 (Battle for Hill 70). He was 25.
  • Buried at St. Pierre, near Lens.

Richard Strain

  • Born 1880, Ballynahinch, Belfast, Ireland.
  • Plumber
  • Married to Elizabeth Donaldson.
  • Enlisted June 16, 1914 as a private in the 2nd Royal Inniskilling Fuseliers.
  • Killed in action, November 17, 1914 at the Le Bizet trenches, Battle of Armentieres.
  • No known grave. On the Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium.

L. Tebo

  • No information

Thomas Waklem

  • Born January 1st, 1860 in Virginia City, Nevada.
  • Electrician/ coal miner.
  • He was 5’3 ½” tall, with brown eyes and grey hair (balding on top).
  • His first wife was Sara Murray. He married his second wife, Eliza King (47) on July 15, 1912 at the Manse in Fernie. His son, Thomas Waklem Junior, was a mine electrician at Coleman, Alberta.
  • Enlisted August 23, 1915 as a private in the 54th Kootenay Battalion.
  • Died of pneumonia, December 22, 1915 at the Millbank Hospital, London, age 55.
  • Buried in All Souls Cemetery, Kensal Green, London.

Francis Milthorp Whitlow

  • Born April 23, 1879 at Skeena River, Kitselas, BC.
  • Rancher.
  • He married Elizabeth Matilda Durham on October 25, 1909. They had two daughters, Dorothy and Violet.
  • He was 5’8” tall and 165 lbs.
  • Served 5 years in the Boer War with the Royal Canadian Dragoons.
  • Enlisted March 29, 1916. He was a Captain, 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles. He was mentioned in despatches by Field Marshal Haig.
  • Killed in action, August 10, 1918.
  • Buried at the Bouchoir British Cemetery, France.

Ernest Arthur Wilson

  • Born August 11, 1895 in Sheffield, England.
    Coalminer.
  • He had two sisters, Lily and Gladys, and a brother named Herbert. Father George Wilson worked as a guard at the internment camp, Morrissey BC. The family lived on Lindsay Avenue in the Fernie Annex.
  • He was 5’7” tall with blue eyes and blond hair.
  • Enlisted August 23, 1915 as a private in the 54th Kootenay Battalion.
  • Died of a gunshot wound to the back October 4, 1917 at the No. 11 General Hospital Caniers. He was 22 years old.
  • Buried in the Etaples Military Cemetery, France.

William Ernest Wilson

  • Born January 1st, 1874, in Ottawa Ontario.
  • He was 5’4” tall with dark brown eyes and dark brown hair.
  • Enlisted August 19, 1915 as a Private in the 54th Kootenay Battalion.
  • Died of shrapnel wounds to arms, legs and face on November 21, 1916 at No. 9 Canadian
  • Casualty Clearing Station, age 42.
  • Buried Contay British Cemetery, France

Thomas Woods

  • Born July 7, 1889 in Wigan, Lancashire.
  • Coalminer.
  • Married Edith Birtwhistle, December 23, 1913. He was 5’6” tall, 135 lbs, with grey eyes and light brown hair, and scar on bridge of nose, scar on left side of forehead.
  • Enlisted May 15, 1916- a Lance Corporal in the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles.
  • Killed in action, August 10, 1918.
  • Buried in the Bouchoir British Cemetery, 5 miles Northwest of Roye.

Charles Young

  • Born February 17th, 1888 in Belfast, Ireland.
  • Cook/clerk?.
  • He was 5’ 3 ½” tall with blue eyes and brown hair, and a scar on his left temple.
  • Enlisted January 14, 1916. Sergeant, 103rd Battalion, the Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary’s)
  • Died of erysipelas (skin infection) August 6, 1917, at Canadian Hospital, Etchinghill, England.

Harry Zuince

  • No information
© 2016 Fernie & District Historical Society
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