|Date of Birth||July 14, 1897|
|Place of Birth||Clayton, New York|
|Country||United States of America|
|Next of Kin||Estelle Crierie, mother, of Athalmer, British Columbia|
|Trade / Calling||Student|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Wilmer, British Columbia|
|Address at Enlistment||Athalmer, British Columbia|
|Date of Enlistment||April 15, 1916|
|Age at Enlistment||18|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||June 29, 1955|
|Age at Death||58|
|Buried At||Ocean View Burial Park, Burnaby, British Columbiabia|
According to his attestation papers, Ross Fraser Crierie was born on 14 July 1896 in Clayton, New York, USA. Although a birth record was not found, it is likely that he was born in 1897 (BC death record). His father was Benjamin Gillespie Fraser Crierie, born around 1854 in Liverpool, England. In 1875 Benjamin had married Emma Trenton and the couple gave birth to three children, Emma May, Percy Trenton, and Vernon. The family immigrated to Canada around 1890, settling in Quebec. The marriage disintegrated and Benjamin moved to the United States with Agnes Estelle Laviolette. Born in 1874 in Montreal, Estelle was the daughter of Hector Napoleon Laviolette and Margaret Liddle Samuel. After the birth of Ross, Benjamin, Estelle, and Ross moved back to Canada, at times using the surname of Fraser-Crierie. By 1899 the family was living in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) where they gave birth to Athol (Arthur) Fraser (1899), Phyllis Estella (1902), and Laura Armande (1904). The 1901 census gave Benjamin’s occupation as steam boat steward although over the years he worked as a travelling salesman and was to later manage hotels.
Ross signed his attestation papers on 15 April 1916 in Wilmer, British Columbia. He listed his mother Estelle in nearby Athalmer as next of kin and his occupation as student. As a Private with the 172nd Battalion (Rocky Mountain Rangers), he embarked for overseas aboard the Mauretania on October 25th.
Once in England, Ross was transferred to the 24th Reserve Battalion on 1 January 1917 and then on to the 47th Battalion in France the next month. The 47th Battalion was authorized on 7 November 1914 and embarked for Britain on 13 November 1915. It disembarked in France on 11 August 1916, where it fought as part of the 10th Infantry Brigade, 4th Canadian Division in France and Flanders until the end of the war.
In late March of 1917 the 47th Battalion was in the area of Carency when they relieved the 44th Battalion in the front line trenches. On 31st of March Ross sustained a gunshot wound to the left shoulder and was admitted to the No 11 General Hospital, Dannes Camiers on April 2nd, and then invalided to St Luke’s War Hospital in Halifax, Yorkshire on the 10th. In early May Ross was sent to the Summerdown Convalescent Hospital in Eastbourne and then on to the Eastbourne Canadian Military Hospital on the 1st of June, with discharge a few days later.
By July of 1917 Ross was back in the field with the 47th Battalion. But trench conditions were taking their toll on Ross and he was admitted to the No 22 Casualty Clearing Station on December 20th, dangerously ill with pneumonia. He was also suffering with trench foot, a medical condition caused by prolonged exposure of the feet to damp, unsanitary, and cold conditions. In early January of 1918 Ross was admitted to the 2nd West General Hospital in Manchester in England and then on to the Military Convalescent Hospital in Epsom in mid April. Ross was discharged in mid July.
On 14 July 1918, in Plumstead in London, Ross married Rhoda Thirza Victoria Carter. The daughter of musician and band master Alfred Carter and Rhoda Mary Brooks, Victoria had been born in December of 1897 in the Woolich area of London. Ross was to spend the rest of the war in England, returning to Canada aboard the Celtic that arrived in Halifax on 18 March 1919.
Ross’s family had moved to Golden, British Columbia where his father Benjamin was managing the Columbia Hotel. Victoria immigrated to Canada in January of 1920, arriving in St John, New Brunswick aboard the Scandinavian on the 30th, on her way to join Ross in Golden. Ross’s parents and siblings moved to Vancouver where Benjamin was managing a hotel on Granville Street for the 1921 census. At some point Ross and Victoria also moved to Vancouver and gave birth to at least two children, both daughters.
Predeceased by his father Benjamin in 1925 and his mother Estelle in 1950, both in Vancouver, Ross died on 29 June 1955 in St Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. At the time he had been managing the Metropole Hotel. Along with his parents, Ross is interred in the Ocean View Burial Park in Burnaby. Victoria died on 29 May 1988 in the Vancouver General Hospital.
Ross’s brother Athol (Arthur) signed his attestation papers in February of 1916 with the 172nd Battalion but was found medically unfit due to valvular heart disease during training. He enlisted again in early 1919 with the CAMC, Shaughnessy Military Hospital in Vancouver but was admitted as a patient in February and discharged as medically unfit later that month.
by Judy Stockham
Ross’ grave marker photograph provided by Vic Gibson, findagrave.com.