Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthDecember 11, 1897
Place of BirthChorley, Lancashire
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinSamuel Waites, father, Chorley, Lancashire, England
Trade / CallingWarehouseman in the leather trade
Service Details
Regimental Number27642
Battalion2nd Battalion
ForceBritish Expeditionary Force
BranchCameron Highlanders (Queen's Own)
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Date of EnlistmentJune 7, 1916
Age at Enlistment18
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathFebruary 5, 1971
Age at Death73

Waites, Fred

Fred Waites was born on 11 December 1897 in Chorley, Lancashire in England. His father Samuel Waites was from Chorley while his mother Martha Booth was from nearby Preston. The couple married during the second quarter of 1889 in the registration district of Chorley. Children born to the family were Jane Ellen (1889), Florence (1891), Samuel (1892), and Fred. Sadly, son Samuel died during the third quarter of 1893. At the time of the 1891 census the family was living in Chorley where Samuel was working as an insurance/assurance agent. By the 1901 census they were in Annfield Plain in Durham, with Samuel working as a coal miner hewer. Moving back to Chorley, the 1911 census indicated that Samuel was working as a traveller for a clothier, Jane and Florence as cotton weavers, and Fred as a fish dealer order boy.

Fred enlisted on 7 June 1916. His occupation was given as warehouseman in the leather trade and his father Samuel in Chorley as next of kin. According to his service record he served with the home reserves from enlistment until 10 August 1916 when he was transferred to the 10th Seaforth Highlanders until 24 January 1917. As a Private with the 2nd Cameron Highlanders Fred arrived in Salonica on 25 January 1917.

The Macedonian front, also known as the Salonica front (after Thessaloniki), was a military theatre of World War I formed as a result of an attempt by the Allied Powers to aid Serbia, in the fall of 1915, against the combined attack of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria. The expedition came too late and in insufficient force to prevent the fall of Serbia, and was complicated by the internal political crisis in Greece (the “National Schism”). Eventually, a stable front was established, running from the Albanian Adriatic coast to the Struma River, pitting a multinational Allied force against the Bulgarian Army, which was at various times bolstered with smaller units from the other Central Powers. The Macedonian front remained quite stable, despite local actions, until the great Allied offensive in September 1918, which resulted in the capitulation of Bulgaria and the liberation of Serbia. (Wikipedia)

Fred sustained gunshot wounds to his right foot and left arm on 12 September 1918. He was first admitted to the No 83 Field Ambulance, transferred to the 28th General Hospital two days later, and then evacuated to St Elmo Hospital in Malta in early October. By then he had also come down with influenza. On the 5th of October he was transferred to St Andrews Hospital in Malta and then back to St Elmo a few days later. At some point surgery was performed on Fred’s foot. With the end of the war Fred arrived back in England on 26 January 1919 and was transferred to Class Z Army Reserve on demobilization on 15 March 1919, rank of Private, home address as Chorley. His final discharge from service was on 31 March 1920.

During the latter part of the war Fred’s sister Florence married Canadian WW1 veteran Ernest Angood. Although born in England, Ernest had been living in Kenora, Ontario when he enlisted. With the end of the war the couple returned to Kenora. Fred’s sister Jane immigrated to Canada in 1920, arriving in Montreal aboard the Victorian on 5 May. A nurse, she was on her way to Kenora to aid her sister as she was expecting. Samuel, Martha, and Fred immigrated to Canada in 1921, arriving in Saint John, New Brunswick on the Melita on 19 April, they too traveling to Kenora. At the time of the 1921 census the family was living on 7th Avenue North, with Samuel working as a caretaker, Jane as a nurse, and Fred as a labourer.

In May of 1923 Fred’s fiancé Lucy Littlewood arrived in Canada aboard the Montclare, destination given as Kenora. However Fred and Lucy married on 22 May 1923 in La Tuque, Quebec. At the time of the marriage Fred was living in Kenora and working as a clerk while his parents were living in La Tuque, with Samuel working as a janitor. Witnesses for the marriage were Fred’s sister and brother-in-law Florence and Ernest Angood from Kenora as well as WW1 veteran John Barraclough and his wife Edith and daughter Clarice. John and Edith had married in 1903 in Chorley and later immigrated to Canada, living in Keewatin, a small town about five kilometres west of Kenora at the time of the 1921 census before moving to La Tuque.

Fred, Lucy, daughter Dorothy Freda (b 11 April 1925) as well as Fred’s parents Samuel and Martha returned to England in October of 1925, arriving in Liverpool aboard the Montroyal on the 17th. Settling in the Chorley/Leyland area of Lancashire, Fred and Lucy gave birth to another child, son Limond in 1927. The 1939 register for England had the family living in Leyland where Fred was working as a news agent.

Fred died on 5 February 1971 in Walton-le-Dale, Preston in Lancashire. At the time of his death he was survived by his children Dorothy (Eric) Domville and Limond (Doris Foden) as well as his sister Florence in Kenora. He was predeceased by his wife Lucy (1954), infant brother Samuel, his father Samuel (1941, Chorley) mother Martha (1944, Leyland) and sister Jane (1966, Kenora). Florence later died in 1973 and along with her husband and Jane is interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora, Dorothy died on 10 September 1987 in the registration district of Preston and South Ribble in Lancashire while Limond died on 29 January 1993 in Walton-le-Dale, Preston.

By Judy Stockham

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