Harry Randolph Fraser signature

On this day in 1915, Harry Randolph Fraser enlisted in Barrie, Ontario. He was born in Brighton, Ontario on May 11th, 1897, the son of James Fraser and Ida (née Wannamaker). By 1901 the family were living in Deseronto, where James was a merchant.

On enlisting, Harry was described as five feet six inches tall, with a fair complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. He joined the 157th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force with the regimental number 642147. His service record shows that he arrived in England on the SS Cameronia on October 28th, 1916. He was transferred to the Canadian Forestry Corps in February 1917 and arrived in France with 28th Company in April. In October 1918 Fraser was transferred to England to take a commission in the Royal Air Force at Sunningdale. On January 8th, 1919 he was granted permission to marry. Harry married Edith Purser in Eton, England, on February 11th, 1919. He had been serving as a bugler from January 25th.

The couple returned to Canada on the SS Metagama on August 12th, 1919 and Harry was demobilized on August 14th in Quebec. The Frasers ran an ice-cream parlour at 349 Main Street (where the United Restaurant is today). Harry was also Deseronto’s postmaster for a time. Harry and Edith both died in 1978 and they were buried in the Deseronto cemetery.