William Forbes Ferrier, MM



Jun 26, 1895

Born at Ruth Edinburgh Scotland


Nov 6, 1914

Attested into the 21st Battalion at Kingston Ontario 

Ø      Number 59319 (temporary number 425)

Ø      Next of kin given as Margarett Fotes of 404 Easter Road, Leith Scotland

o       This was later changed to Mrs. Ernest Pearson (sister) of 299 Easter Road, Leith Scotland

Ø      Previous occupation given as Farmer

Ø      Previous military experience given as 7th Battalion, Royal Scottish Regiment

Ø      Religion given as Presbyterian

Ø      Assigned to “D” Company


May 6, 1915

Embarked the RMS Metagama at Montreal Quebec



May 15, 1915

Disembarked at Devonport England and proceeded to West Sandling Camp, near Hythe Kent


Sep 14, 1915

Embarked the St Seiriol at Folkestone



Sep 15, 1915

Disembarked at Boulogne France


Oct 10, 1915

Will made out leaving estate to his sister, Mrs. EL Pearson of 299 Easter Rd., Leith, Scotland

Noted as being in No 2 Company 


Jun 22, 1916

Appointed to rank of Lance Cpl to replace Herbert Henry who was promoted


Sep 15, 1916

Promoted to rank of Sgt to replace Willard W Chamberlain who was killed in action


Oct 24, 1916

Granted 10 days leave


Dec 9, 1916

Awarded the Military Medal per London Gazette #29854


The citation reads

For exceptional bravery and initiative in action.  When his seniors had become casualties he took charge of the platoon which he handled with great skill.  Upon gaining the objective he reorganized his Platoon and rendered valuable service in consolidating and holding the position.

AFW 3121.


Apr 12, 1917

Suffered from wet and cold in trenches and feet became swollen and tender


Apr 16, 1917

Admitted to No 14 General Hospital at Wimereux with moderately severe Trench Feet


Apr 17, 1917

Invalided to England aboard the Hospital Ship Jan Breydel


Posted to EORD (Eastern Ontario Regimental Depot) while in hospital


Apr 18, 1917

Admitted to 1/5th  Northern General Hospital at Leicester


May 22, 1917

Transferred to Canadian Military Hospital at Hastings


Jun 8, 1917

TOS (Taken On Strength) 6th Reserve Battalion at Seaford on being released from hospital


Nov 14, 1917

Transferred to 21st Battalion and arrived at #2 CIBD (Canadian Infantry Base Depot) at Havre France and TOS 21st Battalion


Nov 17, 1917

Arrived at CC Rein C (Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp)


Nov 24, 1917

Joined the 21st Battalion in the field 

The Battalion was in the front lines in the Acheville Section


Jan 11, 1918

Posted to the EORD with a view to obtaining a Commission


Jan 15, 1918

Arrived at Seaford and TOS EORD


Feb 2, 1918

On Command to Officer Training Corps at Bexhill


Apr 27, 1918

Commissioned as Lieut and posted to 6th Reserve Battalion


Aug 21, 1918

Posted to 21st Battalion


Aug 22, 1918

TOS 21st Battalion on arrival at CIBD (Canadian Infantry Base Depot) from England


Aug 26, 1918

Arrived at CC Rein C (Canadian Corps Reinforcement Centre)


Aug 28, 1918

Left to join unit


Aug 31, 1918

Joined the 21st Battalion in the field and was posted to “A” Company


Oct 11, 1918                 Killed in action at Avesnes-Le-Sec by German tank action. 

He was part of “C” Company for this attack

The following is from the Battalion's War Diary.

Niagara Cemetery
Iwuy France


Feb 18, 1921

Plaque and Scroll sent to his sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Pearson c/o Forbes Esq Newmills, Balblair, Invergordon, Scotland 

No Memorial Cross was issued as his mother had pre-deceased him and he had no wife 

He is noted as being eligible for the 1914-15 Star


May 17, 1921

British War Medal and Victory Medal sent to Mrs. Elizabeth Pearson c/o Forbes Esq Newmills, Balblair, Invergordon, Scotland


Jun 24, 1924

Military Medal and 1914-15 Star sent to his sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Pearson c/o Forbes Esq Newmills, Balblair, Invergordon, Scotland




For the 7 nights leading up to November 11, 2010, the names of all Canadian soldiers were projected onto the Belgian War Memorial in Ypres.  At the same time, the same names were being broadcast via the internet to schools across Belgium and Canada.  The image above shows the opening ceremonies at the Belgian War Memorial on November 4, 2010. 

Below on the left is the name of William Ferrier being projected on that wall.  Below right shows the name being broadcast to the schools.  Each name appeared for 25 seconds and each night 9,700 names were shown.

Return to Tribute list