Thursday, November 5, 2009

William Oswald Fraser

William Oswald was born on 27 June 1895 in Owen Sound, Ontario to William Flett Fraser and Elizabeth Margaret Agnew.[1] On 6 November 1918, Private William Oswald Fraser, 838604, paid the supreme
sacrifice.[2]


Before enlisting, William was employed as a butcher by Mr. L. M. Grant. William enlisted in Owen Sound on 15 January 1916 with the 147th Grey Owen Sound Battalion. He was 5 foot 4 ¾ inches tall, with fair complexion, blue eyes and medium hair.[3] William trained at Niagara and Camp Borden.


William went overseas with the 147th Battalion in November 1916. Early in 1917, William was transferred from the 8th Reserve to a machine gun section. In October 1917 while at Paschendaele, William was wounded but he was soon back in service. The following summer, he joined the 2nd Canadian Machine Gun Company where his brother Harry was serving. On 6 November 1918, Private William Oswald Fraser was killed in the fighting near Mons. Just a few days later the Canadians captured this location and Armistice was
signed on 11 November.[4] William is buried in Valenciennes (St. Roch) Communal Cemetery
in France (I. A. 10)


Who were left to mourn? What is known about his family and ancestors?


William’s Wife and Children

William married Pearl Laura King on 25 December 1914 in Howick Township, Huron County.[5]
Laurel Pearl [Pearl Laura], born on 9 August 1896, was the daughter of Ethelbert King and Elizabeth Gilkinson.[6] Ethelbert and Elizabeth married on 4 May 1887 in Fordwich, Howick Township, Huron County. Ethelbert was son of Stephen and Clarissa King. Mary Elizabeth Gilkinson was the daughter of William and Ann Gilkinson.[7]



William and Pearl had two daughters with the youngest being born after William left for military service.


William’s Parents


William’s father, William Flett Fraser, was born on 5 June 1868[8] in Orkney, Scotland.[9] He came to Canada in 1888. In Owen Sound, he worked as a porter at the Patterson House. For forty-six years, he worked as a labourer at William Kennedy and Sons Ltd.[10] William married Elizabeth Margaret Agnew on 21 March 1894 in Owen Sound[11]. William died 13 May 1951.[12]


William’s mother Elizabeth Margaret Agnew was born 22 June 1873[13] in Owen Sound. Elizabeth died 14 May 1932 in Owen Sound.[14]


Both William Flett Fraser and Elizabeth Margaret (Agnew) Fraser are buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Owen
Sound (G-SEC7-13 7 & 6).[15]


William’s Known Siblings
Harry Agnew Fraser was born on 26 July 1897 in Owen Sound.[16]  He served in the militia for a year with the 31st Regiment before enlisting on 1 June 1915 at Niagara on the Lake with the 37th Battalion.[17] He was a moulder. Harry was 5 foot 6 inches tall with a dark complexion, hazel eyes and brown hair.[18] Harry
became an electrician after the war. On 28 September 1922, Harry married Annie Violet Gibbs.[19] He died
on 1 July 1956 in Toronto. He is buried at Greenwood Cemetery.[20]


Unfortunately, two of William Oswald’s siblings died very young and one was stillborn on 7 September 1903.[21] Elizabeth Margaret “Lizzie” Fraser was born 24 July 1905 in Owen Sound.[22] She died at 15 months of age on 2 November 1906 from diarrhea and lung consumption. “Lizzie” is buried in Greenwood cemetery Sec 2- 12- 3 with the Agnews. John Allen Fraser was born 30 November 1908.[23] He died on 9 February 1909 from gastro-intestinal indigestion.[24] He is buried with his parents.

William's parents had already experienced the loss of children and it must have so very hard for them to lose another child when William Oswald died in battle.


Gladys Fraser was born 3 May 1907 in Owen Sound.[25] She married Jack McLean.[26]


William’s Grandparents

William Oswald Fraser’s paternal grandparents were William Fraser and Margaret Manson. His maternal grandparents were William Agnew and Margaret Bell. They all survived their grandson William.




[1] William Oswald Fraser Ontario birth registration #010463 (25 July 1895); digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 23 July 2006), citing microfilm, MS 929 Reel  126 Archives of Ontario, Toronto


[2] Veterans Affairs Canada. Canada  Remembers “The Canadian Virtual War Memorial” (http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/remembers/ : accessed 23 July 2006) entry for William Oswald Fraser


[3] “Soldiers of the First World War,” database, Library and Archives Canada, Canadian Genealogy Centre (http://www.collectionscanada.ca/genealogy : accessed 21 March 2008), digital image, Attestation papers for William Oswald Fraser, regimental no; citing Canadian Expeditionary Force personnel files, RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 3293 - 19


[4] William Oswald Fraser obituaries. “Pte. Wm. O. Fraser killed in action” 26 November 1918 Owen Sound
Sun p. 1; “Pte. W. O. Fraser Killed in Action” Owen Sound The Advertiser 25 November 1918 p.1


[5] William Oswald Fraser – Pearl Laura King Ontario marriage registration #18788  (25 December 1914); digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 27 July 2007), citing microfilm MS 932 reel 310, Archives of Ontario, Toronto
[6] Laurel Pearl King Ontario birth registration #14786  (1 September 1896); digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 28 May 2007), citing microfilm MS 929 reel 132, Archives of Ontario, Toronto


[7] Ethelbert King – Mary Elizabeth Gilkinson Ontario marriage registration #005105 (4 May 1887); digital image, Ancestry.ca
(http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 28 May 2007), citing microfilm MS 932 reel  57, Archives of Ontario, Toronto



 [8] WilliamF. Fraser household 1901 Ontario Census Grey North (district 54), Owen Sound (sub-district
D), division 10, p. 23 digital image Library & Archives Canada (http://www.collectionscanada.ca
; accessed 28 May 2007) citing LAC microfilm T-6339


[9] William Flett Fraser – Elizabeth Margaret Agnew Ontario marriage registration #4135 (21 March 1894) digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 30 March 2008), citing microfilm MS 932 reel 81, Archives of Ontario, Toronto


[10] William Flett Fraser obituary Sun-Times 14 May 1951 p.6, microfilm


[11] WilliamFlett Fraser – Elizabeth Margaret Agnew Ontario marriage registration #4135 (1894)
[12] “Greenwood Cemetery Internments” database City of Owen Sound, Ontario Greenwood Cemetery (http://www.owensound.ca/cemetery/index.php : accessed 27 July 2008)


[13]Elizabeth Margaret Agnew Ontario birth registration #004685 (28 June 1873); digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed  27 July 2008), citing microfilm MS 929 reel 10, Archives of Ontario, Toronto 


[14] Elizabeth Margaret Fraser (nee Agnew) Ontario death registration #016227 (21 May 1932) digital image Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 15 August 2007), citing MS 935 reel 441, Archives of Ontario, Toronto


[15] “Greenwood Cemetery Internments” database City of Owen Sound, Ontario Greenwood Cemetery


[16] Harry Agnew Fraser Ontario delayed birth registration # 901481 (11 July 1917); digital image, Ancestry.ca
(http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 25 May 2007), citing microfilm MS 933 Reel 24 Archives of Ontario, Toronto



[17] “Soldiers of the First World War,” database, Library and Archives Canada, Canadian Genealogy Centre (http://www.collectionscanada.ca/genealogy : accessed 21 March 2008), digital image, Attestation papers for William Oswald Fraser , regimental no 452378; citing Canadian Expeditionary Force personnel files, RG 150, accession number 1992-93/166, box 748-54


[18] Harry Agnew Fraser Attestation Paper


[19] Harry Agnew Fraser – Annie Violet Gibbs Ontario marriage registration #011156 (28 September 1922); digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 18 August 2007), citing microfilm MS 932 reel 612, Archives of Ontario, Toronto


[20] “Greenwood Cemetery Internments” database City of Owen Sound, Ontario Greenwood CemeterySun Times 4 July 1956 p. 5 & Harry Agnew obituary. Owen Sound


[21] No Name Fraser Ontario death registration #0109090 (15 September 1903); digital image Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 31 March 2008), citing MS 929 reel 163, Archives of Ontario, Toronto
[22]Elizabeth Margaret Fraser Ontario birth registration #17652 (28 August 1905) line 45; digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 25 May 2007), citing microfilm MS 929 reel 172, Archives of Ontario, Toronto


[23] John Allen Fraser Ontario birth registration #019965 (10 December 1908); digital image, Ancestry.ca
(http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 30 March 2008), citing microfilm MS 929 reel 133, Archives of Ontario, Toronto 



[24] John Allan Fraser Ontario death registration #11727 (2 September 1909);  digital image Ancestry.ca  (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 15 August 2007), citing MS 935 reel 144, Archives of Ontario, Toronto


[25] Gladys May Fraser Ontario birth registration  #018113 (1 June 1907); digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 27 May 2007), citing microfilm MS 929 reel 185 , Archives of Ontario, Toronto


[26] Harry Agnew obituary. Owen Sound Sun Times 4 July 1956 p. 5


The above information is an excerpt from "In Grateful Remembrance" as yet unpublished research by Janet Iles.


Copyright Janet Iles

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

Anonymous said...

thank you for sharing with us, I believe this website really stands out : D.

Greg King said...

how neat - sort of stumbled on this site. Pearl was my grandfather's sister. G. King

Janet Iles said...

Greg - Thanks for stopping by and sharing your connection to William's wife.

William Fraser was one of the men I had the honour of researching.