William Fraser McCaskill was born on 9th June 1894 in Tynehead, British Columbia, Canada.
The 1901 census for Canada on Ancestry.co.uk, shows that the McCaskill family was living in Delta, New Westminster, Part of Surrey Municipality, British Columbia, Canada. Head of the household was Rory McCaskill aged 46 who was born on the 13th November 1854. He was of Scottish descent and was a farmer. His wife, Kate was 36. She was born on the 13th November 1865 and she too was of Scottish descent. . They had three children. Christina, was 8 and had been born on the 18th July 1891. William Fraser was 6 and was born 9th June 1894. Mary Ellen aged 2 had been born on the 1st January 1899. All their chidren were born in British Columbia.
Unfortunately the 1911 Census is illegible but from the small amount of information that I managed to decipher it appears that the McCaskill family was still in the same area, New Westminster.
William’s army records tell us that he was drafted into the Canadian Army and enlisted on November 1st 1917 in New Westminster, British Columbia. He was a Logger by trade and his religion was Prebyterian. He had his medical examination on 29th July 1918 in Vancouver and this form shows that he was 5ft 9 inches tall with blue eyes and light brown hair. William’s next of kin was recorded as Roderick McCaskill, No. 3. Cloverdale, British Columbia, Canada.
After basic training in Canada, William embarked for England aboard the S.S.Durham Castle and arrived on 25th September 1918 when he was posted to Seaford Army Camp. As hostilities were coming to an end, William was transferred to Kinmel Camp for discharge and repatriation to Canada.
Tragically,William contracted Bronchial Pneumonia, and was admitted to the Canadian General Hospital where he died on 24th October 1918.
William left his Last Effects to his Mother, Katherine.
(From The Library of Canadian Archives).
Kinmel Park Camp was a segregation camp used to house Canadian Soldiers awaiting repatriation to Canada after the end of WW1. Unfortunately the conditions at that time were extremely harsh with a lack of every kind of commodity, the camp was overcrowded and the services were poor, there were shortages of clothing, food and blankets. As a result of this situation, a vast number of servicemen and women became ill and many succumbed to the Influenza Epidemic or complications associated with this infection.
William is buried in St Margaret’s Cemetery, Bodelwyddan.
William Fraser McCaskill is commemorated on the Canadian Virtual Memorial.