LCpl. Fraser Robert Miller

  Biography

Fraser Robert Miller was born on May 22, 1891, and raised in Hanover, Grey, Ontario. He was the son of Henry Horton Miller - a loan agent, or conveyancer - and his wife, Mary Ellen Armstrong. Fraser was the youngest of three children: his older sister, Gertrude, being born in 1885; and his older brother, Moore, in 1888.


Having received his primary education locally, Fraser would eventually graduate from the Owen Sound Collegiate Institute in the late 1910s. With high hopes for the future, he was accepted into the Ontario College of Art in Toronto shortly afterward. It was here that he was studying when war broke out.


Fraser Miller enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force on July 14, 1915. At the time, he was living in Toronto as a student, and was described as having a “dark complexion, brown eyes, brown hair, and standing 5 feet, 9 inches.” His regiment of choice was the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (P.P.C.L.I.), a military force just under a year old at the time. It was a matter of months before Fraser arrived in England on September 14, 1915, fresh off a troop ship with hundreds of other young men, ready to serve their country. He would begin his training in Shorncliffe, in the south of England, before proceeding across the English Channel and into France on November 24, 1915.


While serving overseas, Fraser would be admitted into military hospital four times for a number of reasons, including tonsillitis and pharyngitis. In September 1916, during the Battle of the Somme, he was diagnosed with a severe case of shell shock - this was no doubt coupled with news of the death of his father, Henry, at the beginning of the same month.


On May 20, 1918, it was reported that Fraser Miller had been wounded accidentally while taking part in divisional maneuvers at Lozinghem, France. During the training exercise, a live round had inadvertently been placed with the blank ammunition issued to the opposing force, with which Fraser had been shot in the chest. He was rushed to the No. 4 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station, but tragically succumbed to his wounds just two days short of his twenty-seventh birthday. He was buried in the Pernes British Cemetery in Pernes, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France.


  Researched by Shelby Brewster


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