FISHER, Lance Corporal, FRED, V C, 24066. 13th Bn. Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regt.). 24th April 1915. Age 22. Son of Mr. W. H. Fisher, of 100, Fort St., Montreal. Panel 24 - 26 - 28 - 30
An extract from "The London Gazette," No. 29202, dated 22nd June, 1915, records the following:-"On 23rd April, 1915, in the neighbourhood of St. Julien, he went forward with the machine gun, of which he was in charge, under heavy fire, and most gallantly assisted in covering the retreat of a battery, losing four men of his gun team. Later, after obtaining four more men, he went forward again to the firing line and was himself killed while bringing his machine gun into action under very heavy fire, in order to cover the advance of supports."
Fred Fisher was the son of William Henry Fisher (1861-1935) and Alice McGibbon (1867-1946). He was born in St Catharines, Ontario, 3 Aug 1894, and had two brothers, Alexander Fisher (1889-1959) and William Henry Fisher (1892-1937), and one sister, Alice Mary (1898-?).
Photographs of Fisher are rare. One appeared in a newspaper when the VC award was announced and is extremely poor. There are three photos of him in his high school year book, 1912, on graduation. The Canadian War Museum has a painting done of him (after death, and I believe the newspaper photo was used as reference), and can be viewed on its website. Westmount Academy (his high school in Montreal) has a painting.
Only one document in his personnel file in the NAC gives his name as Frederick; all the rest record it as Fred. Fisher's father registered his birth in November 1894 and gave his name as Fred. His CEF attestation form gives his date of birth as 3 Aug 1895, but that is incorrect as he would have been born after his father registered his birth.
Even his death is confused. His VC citation would lead you to believe he was killed in action on 23 Apr 1915, but close examination of the war diary of the 13th Battalion and his personnel records reveals he was killed in the early hours of 24 Apr 15.
Fisher's VC is in the Black Watch Museum in Monteal (the Black Watch is the perpetuating unit of the 13th Battalion). His War Medal and Victory Medal are in the hands of a private collector. Missing is his 1914-1915 Star.
Fisher had never married and had no known children.
His personnel record citation in the National Archives is RG 150 (1992-93/166) Box 3105-29, Fred Fisher.
The citation for the registration of his birth is Ontario Archives, MS 929, Reel 121, Registration 17901.