Recently I was contacted by David Webber, the grandson of Private Frederick Vickery Webber who served with the 54th Battalion CEF during the First World War. David recognized his grandfather in a panoramic photo I included in an article on the 54th Battalion posted last June. Frederick, who also played trombone in the brass band, is seated in the front row. He’s the fourth soldier to be recognized after Sidney McDonald, James McDonald and Alexander Waddington who were identified in a follow-up article.
Frederick was born in Battersea on November 13, 1892 and emigrated to Canada in 1908. He was a miner living in New Denver, BC when he joined the 54th at Vernon Camp in June 1915. Frederick survived the war and on returning to New Denver the town presented him with a solid gold medal for gallant service, an heirloom which remains with the family to this day. When war broke out in 1939 Frederick joined up once again, first serving as a Sergeant and then Sergeant-Major with the Veterans Guards of Canada in British Guyana. He then attended officers training school in Wainwright, Alberta after which he served as a commissioned officer for the remainder of the war. Frederick continued to serve after the war as both an officer and bandmaster with both the RCA and RCE in Cranbrook and Kimberley until his retirement in 1963. Frederick died in 1982 at the age of 89. I’d like to thank David Webber for sharing details on his grandfather’s service and for two wonderful photographs.