A First War Military Medal to an Indian Canadian Engineer
A First War Military Medal to an Indian Canadian Engineer - (2005776 SPR: F. SOMERS. CAN: E.). Naming is officially impressed. Light contact, cleaned, better than very fine. Accompanied by copies of his Index Cards, Attestation Paper, Service Records, Medical Records, Will, Pay Records and Discharge Certificates, along with a copy of the London Gazette 31430 (confirming his award of the Military Medal) and a CD containing eighteen pages of records. Footnote: Frank Somers was born in 1881 in Hoshiarpar, India. He was a resident of Prince Rupert, British Columbia when he signed his Attestation Paper as a Gunner (2005776) with the 6th Field Company, Canadian Engineers, on March 20, 1917 in Prince Rupert, at the age of 36, naming his next-of-kin as a friend, John N. Morrison of Prince Rupert, stating that he had no previous military service, that he was not married and that his trade was that of Lineman. He left Vancouver, British Columbia for the East Coast on April 12th, sailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia aboard the S.S. Justicia on May 3, 1917, arriving in England on May 14th and and posted to the Canadian Engineer Training Depot at Crowborough. He was granted permission to marry on July 6, 1917, marrying in the United Kingdom, with his wife returning to Canada. He was dispatched to the French theatre, where he was posted to the Canadian Corps Signal Pool in France on November 25th, serving with the Canadian Corps Signal Company. Early in the new year, Somers was admitted to No. 4 Canadian Field Ambulance and diagnosed as "P.U.O." (Pyrexia of Unknown Origin = fever) on February 24, 1918. He was transferred four days to No. 6 Casualty Clearing Station on the 28th, maintaining the same condition. He was transferred to No. 18 (U.S.A.) General Hospital at Camiers on March 1st, where the official diagnosis of "Trench Fever" was established. He was hospitalized at three facilities during the month of March, including No. 6 Convalescent Depot at Boulogne as of March 8th and No. 13 Convalescent Depot at Trouville as of March 13th, before being discharged to reinforcements at Etaples on the 25th. Near the end of 1918, he was transferred to the 2nd Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery on December 18th. One year after his first admission to hospital, he was admitted to No. 14 Canadian Field Ambulance, diagnosed as "N.Y.D. (not yet determined) on February 17, 1919, then transferred to No. 7 General Hospital at Wimereux four days later on the 21st. After two weeks recuperation and the subsiding of the fever, he was discharged on March 4th, then posted to the Canadian Engineer Reinforcement Depot on April 6, 1919. Somers was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field, as mentioned in the Third Supplement to the London Gazette 31430 of Tuesday, July 1, 1919, on Thursday, July 3, 1919, page 8352. He was posted to "H" Wing at Witley on July 17, 1919 and attached five days later to the Canadian Engineers at London, for the next seven weeks, from July 22 to September 9, 1919. He disembarked Liverpool for return to Canada, aboard the H.M.T. Baltic, on September 19, 1919, arriving in Halifax, Nova Scotia on the 26th. Somers was discharged upon demobilization at Halifax Depot, Clearing Services Command on October 6, 1919, entitled to wear the War Service Badge, Class "A", number 399392. In his Will, dated April 23, 1917, he stated that he was to leave all his real estate and personal estate to his friend, John N. Morrison of Prince Rupert, but the Will was never executed, as he survived the war. For his First World War service, he was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, the whereabouts of which are unknown.