Frederick Gill

Date of birth: 4th October 1893
Place of birth: Southampton
Service No.: 144395
Rank: Private
Regiment: Canadian Infantry
Battalion: 21st
Died: 20th December 1918 aged 25 years
Death location: Ottawa, Canada

 

Before the War
Frederick was born on 4th October 1893.  This is the date on his Canadian attestation papers, but no correct birth records can be found.  His next of kin was given as his mother, Mary Gill, of 51 French Street, Southampton, but again no information can be found for her.

There is a record of a Frederick Gill travelling to Ottawa, Canada as part of a group of Barnardos children.  They sailed from Liverpool aboard S S Corsican on 6th October 1910 and arrived in Quebec on 15th October, but it cannot be proved that this is Frederick.

 

Military History
Frederick was working as a Labourer when he attested to the 77th Battalion of the  Canadian Expeditionary Force on 7th July 1915, in Ottawa, Ontario.

The Battalion sailed from Canada aboard S S California, arriving in England on 31st October 1915 and was stationed at Shorncliffe training camp in Kent.  The Battalion was absorbed into the 12th Reserve Battalion and remained at Shorncliffe  until March 1916.  Frederick was transferred to the 21st Battalion on 15th March 1916 and arrived in Le Havre, France on 16th March 1916.

Frederick suffered a gunshot wound to his left arm on 9th April 1917, during the Battle of Vimy Ridge which took place between 9th and 12th April 1917.  The Canadians suffered 10602 casualties, of which 3598 were killed.

On 10th April he was admitted to the 2nd Australian General Hospital at Wimereux, France, where it was suspected that his ulna was fractured.  This was a tented hospital and specialised in the treatment of fractures.

On 16th April 1917 Frederick was admitted to the County of Middlesex War Hospital, Napsbury, St Albans, England and two days later he underwent an operation.  He remained at the hospital until 19th May 1917, when he was transferred to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital at Woodcote Park, Epsom.  Frederick was discharged on 6th June 1917 and joined the 6th Reserve Battalion at Seaford, but was admitted to the No. 14th Canadian General Hospital, Eastbourne, on 20th June and remained here until his transfer to the Canadian Military Hospital at Kirkdale, Liverpool.

Frederick was one of 487 patients who were invalided to Canada from Liverpool, aboard the hospital ship ” Araguaya” on 17th October 1917, and disembarked in Halifax, Nova Scotia on 25th October.

On 5th November 1917 he was admitted as an outpatient at Queens Canadian Military Hospital and on 19th of that month was transferred to St Luke’s General Hospital, Ottawa.  Frederick underwent another operation on his arm as the fracture had not healed properly and was discharged on 14th February 1918.  His arm was not healing and, over the next few months, he was again admitted to hospital.

Frederick was discharged from military service on 31st July 1918 at Kingston, Ontario.  The reason given was that he was medically unfit for further service.

He was admitted to the Fleming Hospital, Ottawa, on 8th October 1918, suffering from Influenza and Broncho-pneumonia.  This later developed into Acute Miliary Tuberculosis of the lungs and he was transferred to the Lady Grey Hospital, where he died on 20th December 1918.

Following a court of enquiry on 23rd December 1918, it was decided that the disease was probably contracted on active service in France.

Frederick was awarded the Victory and the British War Medals and these were sent to his mother, together with the Plaque, scroll and memorial cross.

He is buried in the Ottawa Notre Dame Cemetery, grave reference 612.

 

Researcher: Jackie Chandler
Published: 1st October 2015
Updated: Insert dates here

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