|Date of Birth||September 21, 1884|
|Place of Birth||Nutbourne, Sussex|
|Next of Kin||Frank Suter, father, Bosham, Sussex, England|
|Trade / Calling||Farmer|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Brandon, Manitoba|
|Date of Enlistment||March 16, 2019|
|Age at Enlistment||30|
|Theatre of Service||Canada|
|Date of Death||April 15, 1915|
|Age at Death||98|
|Buried At||Rosewood Memorial Gardens, Brandon, Manitoba|
|Plot||DV 124 B 1 HD C|
Frank Herbert Suter was born on 21 September 1884 in the Bosham/Chidham/Nutbourne area in south central England, later censuses giving his place of birth as Nutbourne. His parents Frank Suter and Eliza Hackett were both from the same area, their marriage registered during the first quarter of 1884. Frank was a railway platelayer, a railway employee whose job was to inspect and maintain the permanent way of a railway installation. Inspection and maintenance of the track, including all its component parts such as rails, sleepers, fishplates, bolts, etc, were the chief responsibility of the platelayer. Over the years Eliza was listed as a railway gatekeeper. The 1891 England census placed the family in Chidham, the 1901 in Oving, and in 1911 in Bosham. Prior to their marriage, Eliza had given birth to son Christopher Hackett in 1880. Children born to Frank and Eliza were Frank, Edward James (1887), Frederick (1891), and Mabel Annie (1895) as well as a sibling that died in infancy or early childhood (as per 1911 census).
Frank immigrated to Canada in 1907, embarking from Liverpool on 11 May aboard the Carthaginian. The passenger list indicated that he was on his way to Winnipeg. For the 1911 Canada census Frank was listed as a farm labourer on the John Shook farm in the district of Souris in Manitoba, likely near Deloraine. Making a trip to England, Frank and his brother Frederick were found on the passenger list of the Royal Edward that arrived in Halifax on 20 March 1912, on their way to Deloraine, Manitoba to work as farm hands. In 1914, along with Frederick, the fellows applied for homesteads in the Peace River area in Alberta. However, it appears that homesteading in Alberta did not work out, with both Frank and Frederick returning to the Deloraine area.
Frank enlisted with the 45th Battalion on 16 March 1915 in Brandon, Manitoba. His occupation was given as farmer and his father back in England as next of kin. However in March of 1916 Frank was diagnosed with tenosynovitis, the inflammation of the fluid-filled sheath (synovium) that surrounds a tendon, typically leading to joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. The cause was deemed due to scarlet fever and vaccination and affected Frank’s left foot. After spending time in a convalescent home in Winnipeg, Frank was discharged from service as medically unfit on 18 August 1917 in Winnipeg. Following discharge, vocational training as a telegraph operator was provided for Frank to ensure a means of living.
With the onset of conscription in the latter part of the war, Frank’s brother Frederick was called up for service in July 1918, assigned to the 1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment. Serving in Canada, he was discharged from service in January 1919.
By 1919 Frank was working as a railway operator and living in Rennie, Manitoba, a small community about 100 kilometres west of Kenora in northwestern Ontario. On 10 April 1919, in Kenora, he married Norah Jenkinson. Born on 14 May 1898 in West Auckland, Durham, England, Norah was the daughter of Christopher Jenkinson and Mary Ann Barrett. According to her obituary, Norah had immigrated to Canada at age 16, going to Kenora to train as a nurse.
At the time of the 1921 census Frank and Norah were living in Kenora, with Frank working as a telegraph operator. The couple had given birth to two children, Gladys Mabel and Frederick. By 1924 daughter Margaret Norah had joined the family. In the spring of 1926 the family made a trip to England, arriving in Southampton on the Empress of Scotland on 2 June. With Frank listed as a telegraph operator in Rennie, Manitoba on the passenger lists, the family was on their way to Bosham although also as visiting with Norah’s family. They returned to Canada that August, arriving in Montreal on the 14th on the Montrose. Children later born to the family were Frank Herbert (Bert) and John.
The family lived at a number of points in the Kenora Division of the CPR before going to Shoal Lake, Manitoba and then on to Hargrave, Manitoba, Frank retiring in 1949 as station agent after 31 years of service. From there Frank and Norah moved to nearby Virden and then on to Brandon in 1968, celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary there the next year. Frank was active in the Anglican Church in Shoal Lake, Virden, and Brandon, and was a member of the St Andrews Anglican Church in Woodhaven, all in Manitoba, taking part in church choirs. He was a member of the Brandon Branch of the Canadian Legion.
Frank died on 14 April 1983 in the Maples Personal Care Home in Winnipeg. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Norah, sons and daughters Gladys (Harold) McLaren of Brandon, Fred (Isobel) and Bert (Lorraine) of Winnipeg, Margaret (Doug) Stewart of Virden, and John (Carrol) of Kelowna, BC. He was also survived by fourteen grandchildren, fifteen great grandchildren, and brothers Fred of Souris (d 1995) and Ted (d 1984) back in England. At age 105, Norah died on 15 May 2003 at the Maples Personal Care Home. Frank and Norah are interred in the Rosewood Memorial Gardens in Brandon, Manitoba.
By Judy Stockham
Grave marker photograph as found on the Canada GenWeb’s Cemetery Project website.