Frederick Arthur Irwin

May 13, 1898

Born in Surrey, England to William James and Amelia Irwin


Apr 5, 1912

Embarked the SS Corsican in Liverpool as a Home Child under the care of Mrs. Birt


Apr 14, 1912

Disembarked in St John, New Brunswick and proceeded to the Louisa Birt Home for destitute children in Knowlton Quebec before being sent to a family home to be employed as a servant/farmhand


Oct 7, 1916

Attested into the 156th Battalion CEF in Kemptville, Ontario 

Ø      Number 640234

Ø      Next of kin given as Bandsman Peter Alexander Irwin, brother, #5170, 5th Dragoon Guards, BEF (British Expeditionary Force)

Ø      Previous occupation given as Farmer

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Church of England

Ø      Assigned to “D” Company 

The battalion trained in the Kingston area of Ontario


Oct 18, 1916

Embarked the SS Northland in Halifax, Nova Scotia


Oct 28, 1916

Disembarked in Liverpool, England and proceeded to the Witley Camp


Nov 1, 1916

Transferred to the 109th Battalion in Witley and assigned to “A” Company


Dec 8, 1916

Transferred to the 124th Battalion in Witley


Jan 5, 1917

Transferred back to the 156th Battalion


May 23, 1917

Transferred to the 21st Battalion


May 24, 1917

Arrived at the No. 2 CIBD (Canadian Infantry Base Depot) in Etaples, France and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion


Jun 11, 1917

After leaving the base depot, Private Irwin joined the 21st Battalion in billets in Coupigny, France


Aug 15, 1917

The 21st Battalion was part of the advance on, and capture of Hill 70, near Lens, France.  The battalion suffered a large number of casualties while taking their objective.  When the fighting had subsided after the capture, Private Irwin was part of a stretcher party sent out to bring in wounded men for treatment.  While doing so, he was killed instantly by a German sniper and buried in a nearby field.  When the war ended, the Graves Registration Commission made an attempt to locate his grave for reburial in a military cemetery, but his remains could not be located.  Not having a known grave, he is commemorated on the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, Vimy Ridge, France




Following the war the British War Medal and Victory Medals were sent to Miss Mary E. Sanderson, a friend, Oxford Station, Ontario


The Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny) and Scroll were sent to his sister, Mrs. Iva Clark, Yorkton, Saskatchewan


There was no Memorial Cross issued


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