Fraser, John Rodger

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Captain John Rodger Fraser — ACTIVE SERVICE (World War I)

On September 12, 1917 John Roger Fraser completed the Officer’s Declaration Paper for the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force (CEF) in Montréal Québec. He was 28 years, 1 month and 19 days old when, as a single man, he enlisted for the duration of the War. John Rodger was born in Lakefield, Ontario and gave his birth-date as July 24, 1889. He indicated that he belonged to the Army Medical Centre (AMC) of the Active Militia was a member of the 4th Field Ambulance. John Rodger was listed as a Physician. He was 6′ 1½” tall, with a 41” chest (expanded) and he weighed 195 pounds; he had a fair complexion with brown eyes. John Rodger’s Medical Examination was completed September 21, 1917 in Camp Valcartier, Québec; he was deemed fit for Overseas duty with the CEF. His next-of-kin was listed as his father, John Rodger Fraser living at 660 Sherbroke St. West, Montréal. John Roger Fraser signed the Oath and Certificate of Attestation on September 12, 1917 in Montréal. He was taken-on-strength from the Director of Medical Services (DMS) with the Over-Seas AMC Training Depot No 4 as a Captain (Capt) Medical Officer part of the 13th Draft, Canadian Army Medical Corps (CAMC) in accordance with the War Supply Board (WSB) Class “A”.

On February 3, 1819 Capt Fraser was taken-on-strength from Canadian Army (Active Force) [C A (AF)] to the Canadian Army Medical Corps Depot (CAMC) Depot at Shorncliffe, England. February 5, 1918 he embarked Halifax, Nova Scotia aboard the SS Missanabie and was taken-on-strength from the DMS, on arrival from Canada and posted to the CAMC Depot. Capt Fraser disembarked England February 16, 1918.
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April 5, 1918 Capt Fraser was attached to the No 2 Canadian Command Depot (CCD) at Bramshott, England. May 12, 1918 Capt Fraser was admitted to the No 12 Canadian General Hospital (CGH) at Bramshott with Influenza. May 13, 1918 he ceased to be attached to No 2 CCD. May 21, 1918 Capt Fraser was discharged from No 12 CGH and ceased to be attached to No 2 CCD. May 22, 1918 he is struck-off-strength from the CAMC Depot to No 10 CGH at Brighton, England and taken-on-strength the same day.

On October 21, 1918 Capt Fraser was struck-off-strength from No 10 CGH to the Canadian Medical Centre, Canadian Army Medical Corps (CMC, CAMC) and was taken-on-strength the same day. October 26, 1918 he was struck-off-strength from CMC, RCAMC on proceeding Overseas for Service with No 3 Canadian Stationary Hospital (CSH), at Doullens France. October 28, 1918 Capt Fraser was taken-on-strength with No 3 CSH on arrival in France.

February 14, 1919 Capt Fraser was granted 14 days Leave in France. On March 3, 1919 he was posted to the Canadian Army Medical Corps (CAMC) General. On March 4, 1919 he was taken-on-strength to the CAMC General from No 3 CSH to proceed to England with his Unit for demobilization. March 7, 1919 Capt Fraser was struck-off-strength on posting to CAMC R & T was take-on-strength from No 3 CSH to the Granville Canadian Special Hospital (GCSH) at Buxton, England. May 30, 1919 he was On-Command to the Director General of Medical Services (DGMS), London, England.

July 24, 1919 Capt Fraser was taken-on-strength to No 5 CGH at Kirkdale, England from CAMC Casualty Company at Witley. August 6, 1919 he is struck-off-strength from the Overseas Military Forces of Canada (OMFC) on embarkation for Canada. August 8, 1919 Capt Fraser is taken-on-strength with the CEF in Canada at No 4 MD on general demobilization from Medical Headquarters (MHQ), Ottawa and embarked England for Canada aboard the RMS Corsican. August 20, 1919 he is struck-off-strength from MHQ on general demobilization at No 4 MD, Ottawa and discharged from the Canadian Army.

FraserJo 4 (2)There is no mention in Captain John Rodger Fraser’s File with regards to what Military Medals he was eligible to receive or was awarded. Based on his Military Service, he was awarded the:
British War Medal; and
Victory Medal.
He would have also received the CEF Class “A” War service Badge.

Based on his Military File, Captain John Rodger Fraser served a total of 2 years, 1 month and 8 days with the Canadian Expeditionary Force: 4 months, 25 days in Canada, 1 year, 1 month and 11 days in England, 4 months and 9 days in France plus 23 days of travel time.
John Rodger Fraser indicated that after being discharged he intended to join the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montréal Québec. John Rodger also would have received a War Service Gratuity.

An excerpt from an article in Maclean’s Magazine by Barbara Ameil, September 1996:

The Military is the single calling in the world with job specifications that include a commitment to die for your country. What could be more honourable?



John Rodger Fraser was born in Lakefield on July 24, 1890, the son of John Rodger Fraser and Ellen Evans. John Rodger went by the nickname “Rod”. He received his education in the Lakefield then went on to McGill University and became a graduate of medicine in 1920. After post graduate studies in England and Germany, he entered the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montréal, Québec as an intern working here until 1916.

John Rodger Fraser married Clara Madeline Law, daughter of James Law and Clara Paterson and they made their home in Montréal, Québec. His first teaching appointment came in 1912 when he became instructor at McGill University in pathology and bacteriology. John Rodger enlisted in WW I on September 12, 1917; he returned home August 20, 1919. In 1929, he was granted a full professorship. In 1930, he became chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and later became a full professor in that field. He was appointed Dean of the McGill Medical Faculty and in 1948 he was made a Life Governor of the University.

John Rodger “Rod” Fraser died in Montréal, Québec on October 7, 1959 and his wife Clara died in 1970; both are buried in Mount Royal Cemetery in Montréal, Québec.


The maternal grandparents of John Rodger Fraser were Stuart Evans and Agnes Thompson of Montréal, Québec.

The parents of John Rodger “Rod” Fraser were Dr. John Rodger Fraser and Ellen Evans of Lakefield, Ontario. Dr. Fraser was born in Hawkesbury Mills, Prescott County on December 21, 1855. He graduated from McGill University in 1878. Dr. John Fraser married Ellen Evans, daughter of Stuart Evans and Agnes Thompson. They had three children while living in Metcalfe near Ottawa: Lorna Campbell; John Gordon who both died in 1886 and Stuart Evans born in 1886. He practiced for 10 years at Metcalfe, near Ottawa before coming to Lakefield with his young family on February 29, 1888. Dr. Fraser and his wife Ellen made their home on Queen Street and they had four more children: James Ashley; John Rodger; Alexander Ashley Fraser and Ella, stillborn in1888. Ellen Fraser passed away on May 1, 1917 and after more than half a century of service to the village of Lakefield and surrounding district, Dr. John Rodger Fraser died on February 3, 1945; both are buried in Lakefield Cemetery.