|Date of Birth||November 29, 1885|
|Place of Birth||Rat Portage (Kenora), Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Isaac Wait, father, 1589 11th Avenue West, Vancouver, British Columbia|
|Trade / Calling||Dispatcher in messenger office|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||68th Depot Battery|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Branch||Canadian Field Artillery|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Vancouver, British Columbia|
|Address at Enlistment||1589 11th Avenue West, Vancouver, British Columbia|
|Date of Enlistment||April 27, 1916|
|Age at Enlistment||30|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||September 28, 1926|
|Age at Death||40|
|Buried At||Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver, British Columbia|
Francis (Frank) Wait was born on 29 November 1885 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in northwestern Ontario. His parents Isaac Wait, a bricklayer, and Jane McGuigan were both from the Ottawa area, marrying on 9 August 1875 in Ottawa. Children born to the couple in Ottawa were Arthur John (1876), Mary Agnes Maud (1877), and Isaac James (1879). By the time of the 1881 census the family had relocated to Manitoba, found farming in East Morris, Provencher at the time of the census. Children born in Manitoba were Robert George (1882) and Caroline Rose (1883). Moving to Rat Portage, Frank was born followed by Elizabeth Beatrice in 1887. Over the years the spelling of the surname was usually Wait although Arthur consistently used Waite. By the 1901 census most of the family was living in Vancouver, British Columbia, with Frank listed as working as a clerk.
Frank signed his attestation papers on 27 April 1916 in Vancouver with the 68th Depot Battery, Canadian Field Artillery. His occupation was given as dispatcher in a messenger office and his father Isaac in Vancouver as next of kin. Elsewhere in his service record his occupation was given as cigar maker. After training at Petawawa, Ontario, as Driver with the 4th Divisional Ammunition Column he embarked from Halifax for Liverpool aboard the Northland on 12 September 1916, arriving on the 22nd.
In mid May of 1917 Frank was struck off strength on proceeding overseas with the 54th Battery, Canadian Field Artillery as reinforcement. He was posted to the 1st Canadian Divisional Ammunition Column on the 21st. That August he was admitted to the 3rd Canadian Field Ambulance for close to a week with shell gas poisoning. In January of 1918 Frank was granted a two week leave. First admitted to the No 3 Canadian Field Ambulance in early February (vdg), by the end of the month Frank was admitted to the 51st General Hospital in Etaples on the 22nd. Diagnosed with prostatitis (swelling and inflammation of the prostate gland), Frank was transferred to the 1st Birmingham War Hospital on 8 July. Seriously ill with a perineal abscess, vesical rectal fistula, and appendicitis, he had a number of surgeries and procedures done. In mid October he was transferred to the Princess Patricia Canadian Red Cross Hospital in Bexhill and then on to the No 13 Canadian General Hospital in Hastings in early November. In March of 1919 he was granted ten days sick furlough. In April of 1919 Fred was moved to the No 5 Canadian General Hospital in Kirkdale and then invalided to Canada aboard the hospital ship Essequibo on 5 May. He was posted to the Shaughnessy Hospital in Vancouver on the 24th. Frank was discharged from service as medically unfit on 9 October 1919 in Vancouver. He had been awarded one Good Conduct Badge on 27 April 1918.
Frank’s brother Arthur enlisted in Victoria, British Columbia in September of 1917. He served in England with the 1st Reserve Battalion before being invalided to Canada due to illness in late 1918.
By the 1921 census Frank was living in Powell River north of Vancouver, working as a logger for a paper mill. However, he never did regain good health. He died on 29 September 1926 in Grey Point, Vancouver. His Veteran Death card listed his next of kin as his mother Mrs J Wait, c/o RC Nicholson, Box 1220, Nelson, British Columbia. Frank was predeceased by his sister Mary Agnes Maud (1892, Rat Portage), his father Isaac (1919, Vancouver), and brother Arthur (January 1926, Grey Point). His brother Robert George later died in 1928 (Powell River, BC), mother Jane in 1929 (Nelson, BC), brother Isaac James in 1958 (Los Angeles), sister Caroline Rose (Michael) O’Regan in 1962 (Los Angeles) and sister Elizabeth Beatrice (Herman) Nicholson in 1974 (Nelson, BC).
Frank is interred in the Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver. Other family members interred in the cemetery are his parents Isaac and Jane, and brother Arthur.
By Judy Stockham
Grave marker photograph by Herbert Rickards, findagrave.com.