WILLIAM ANTHONY FISK*

*Spelled FISKE on the cenotaph

Service Personnel Information 1914–1918

Attestation Paper
Service/Regimental Number: 703029
Present Address: Heriot Bay, British Columbia
Birthplace: Liverpool, England
Date of Birth: 10 June 1880
Next of Kin: Winnifred (Gwen) Fisk (mother)
Marital Status: Not Married
Trade or Calling: Marine Gas Engineer
Previous Service in a Military Force: None
Date of Enlistment: 5 December 1915
City and Province of Enlistment: Campbell River, British Columbia


Description on Enlistment
Height: 5 ft 7 ins
Chest: 38 ins
Complexion: Med. Dark
Colour of Eyes: Grey
Colour of Hair: Dk Brown
Religion: Church of England
Considered Fit for Duty by: Howard Jamieson, Medical Officer

Military Service Record 1914–1918

Force: Army, Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force
Division (battalion or company): 102nd (Comox-Atlin) Battalion
Unit: Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario Regiment)
Rank: Private
Honours and Awards:
Photograph: Not currently available
Date of Death: 24 September 1917
Age (at death): 37
Country of Burial: France
Cemetery: Villers Station Cemetery
Grave Reference: XI A 22
Location: Villers-au-Bois is a village in the Department of the Pas-de-Calais, 11 kilometres north-west of Arras. The Villers Station Cemetery is about 2 kilometres north-west of the village.
Book of Remembrance: WILLIAM ANTHONY FISK’s name can be found on page 237 of the 1917 First World War Book of Remembrance.

His Story

William Anthony Fisk was born in Liverpool, England, on 10 June 1880. He was named for his father and his paternal grandfather. His parents were William Powell Fisk and Gwen Davies (m. 1877). In c1881 the family was living in Liverpool. William had an older sister, Jane (b. 1879); his father was an oil and paint merchant. By c1891, William Sr. had died (1888). William was living with his mother, a teacher (identified that year as Winifred), his sister, and a younger brother, Charles (b. 1883). In c1901 William was living in St. Pancras, London. His mother, Gwen, was a boarding house keeper; his sister was a clerk; he was an architecture student.

William likely came to Canada on the Allan Line ship, the Tunisian, from Liverpool to Montreal in 1903. There is no record of his life in Canada until he attested on 5 December 1915 in Campbell River. He was living at the time in Heriot Bay, and working as a marine gas engineer. [There are photographs of the men training in Comox, and boarding the Princess Charlotte.] He went overseas with three others of our Cenotaph men with the 102nd Battalion (Comox-Atlin) on the Empress of Britain in June 1916. In July they were shipped to France. He was wounded in November (a contusion to his back), and returned to duty in December.

According to the War Diary, William Anthony Fisk was Killed in Action on 24 September 1917. At that time, the battalion was in the area of the Lens-Arras Road. [The fighting was part of the Third Battle of Ypres which climaxed in Passchendaele.] The diary reads: “11 pm - Very fine day. Heavy barrage again on “D” Co’s front; 1 OR killed, 2 OR wounded. Corps Tramways [light railways - which were operated by petrol engines in the forward areas] were caught by Hun artillery and a direct hit on the engine killed Pte. Fiske (sic), one of original men from Comox.” He is buried in Villers Station Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.

Family Bits: His brother, Charles, emigrated to New York, married and had two daughters. He and his family were on both c1920 and c1930. He died in 1964. His mother, Gwen, visited in 1920; Jane in 1924. A Winnifred Fisk is mentioned on one page of his WWI documents. His mother was misidentified in c1891 as Winifred. Also that year, three Shaw nieces were living with the family. Their parents were James William Shaw and Emma Gunter Fisk. She would have been William’s sister. William Powell Fisk’s parents were Anthony Fisk and Sarah Anne Powell (m. 1848).

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