|Date of Birth||July 4, 1888|
|Place of Birth||Frampton on Severn, Gloucester|
|Next of Kin||Kate Prout, mother, Park Farm, Eastington, Stonehouse, Gloucester, England|
|Trade / Calling||Miller|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Calgary, Alberta|
|Age at Enlistment||27|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||November 14, 1916|
|Age at Death||28|
|Buried At||Adanac Military Cemetery, Somme, France|
|Plot||I. H. 25.|
Although he gave his date of birth as 4 July 1887 in Eastington, Gloucester on his attestation papers, Gerald Prout was born on 4 July 1888, baptized in the nearby parish of Frampton on Severn that August. His parents were James and Kate (née Cave) Prout who had married during the second quarter of 1872 in the registration district of Dursley in Gloucester.
For the 1881 England census the family was living on the Peters Street Bridge Farm in the civil parish of Frocester, Gloucester, James’ occupation given as farmer of 101 acres employing 1 man and 1 boy. Household members were James, (35), Kate, (30) and children Mary Louisa, (8), Albert James, (7), Flora Ethel, (5), Mary Elizabeth, (4), Robert, (2) and Eva, (3 months). The family had two servants listed with the household, Charles Durdham, age 14, and Mary Niblet, age 16.
By the time of the 1891 England census the family was living in the parish of Frampton on Severn on Parks Farm. Household members were James, Kate, Louisa, Albert, Ethel, Elizabeth, and new family members Howard, (6), Leonard, (5), and Gerald, (2). Sadly, both Robert and Eva had died during the last quarter of 1889.
Howard was the first member of the Prout family to immigrate to Canada, found on the passenger list of the Tunisian that arrived in Montreal on 8 June 1906, destination given as Rat Portage, Ontario (later renamed as Kenora). Leonard was next to immigrate, arriving in Canada aboard the Virginian on 2 May 1908, destination given as Keewatin, a small town a few kilometres west of Kenora.
Gerald was found on a number of passenger lists to Canada. The first was the Empress of Britain that left Liverpool on 24 July 1908. His destination was given as Keewatin, Ontario and occupation was listed as farmer. Gerald was next found on a passenger list of the Empress of Ireland that arrived in Quebec on 1 September 1910, returning to Kenora, Ontario where he had been farming for the past 8 years according to the list.
For the 1911 Canada census Gerald and his brother Leonard were listed as lodgers in Kenora, with both men working as millers for the flour mill. At some point Gerald worked for the Lake of the Woods Milling Company in nearby Keewatin. Gerald made another couple of trips back to England, the next one in 1913, found on a returning passenger list of the Royal George that arrived in Quebec 11 October 1913. On this list it stated that he was returning to Moose Jaw where he was working as a miller and had previously been living in Canada for 6 years. He showed up again on a Border Crossing Record/List of Alien Passengers Applying for Admission of August 1914. His occupation was given again as miller, from Medicine Hat, presumably working in the Medicine Hat branch of the Lake of the Woods Milling Company. He gave his father’s place of residence as Kenora although it is very unlikely that James ever left England.
Gerald Prout enlisted on 3 November 1915 in Calgary, Alberta. Giving his occupation as miller, he had two years prior military service with the Gloucestershire Yeomanry. His attestation papers stated that he had been in Canada for 10 years. With blue eyes and brown hair, he was 27 years old. With the 82nd Battalion, he embarked from Halifax for overseas on the Empress of Britain on 20 May 1916.
At some point after arriving, Private Gerald Prout was transferred to the 54th and just months later, he died on 14 November 1916. From the CEF burial register for Private Gerald Prout: Killed in Action. Killed by an enemy shell while in the front line trenches North of Courcelette. From the War Diary of the 54th Battalion: The men were in billets in Albert (about 10 km from Courcelette) until 13 November when they moved into the front lines. For 14 November 1916: Casualties вЂ” 3 O.R. killed 10 O.R. wounded.
Originally buried behind Regina Trench, Gerald’s body was later exhumed and laid to rest in the Adanac Military Cemetery in Miraumont, Somme, France along with 18 other men from his battalion.
Private Gerald Prout is commemorated on page 151 of the First World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, on the Medicine Hat, Alberta Cenotaph, on the Lake of the Woods Milling Company Roll of Honour plaque, on the Frampton on Severn War Memorial, and on a plaque in the Frampton Village Hall.
by Judy Stockham
photograph of Gerald’s grave marker by Jofen on findagrave.com
photographs of the Medicine Hat Cenotaph courtesy of Uwe Krickham
photos of Gerald, the Frampton Village Hall memorial, and the names on the Frampton War Memorial courtesy of Frampton Remembers WW1
photograph of the Frampton War Memorial copyright David Nixon and licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence