On this day in 1915, Fred Hugh Lavery signed up in Craik, Saskatchewan. He was born in Deseronto on September 26th, 1898, the son of James Lavery and Marie (née Stone). By 1901 the family had moved to Flos in Simcoe County, Ontario and in 1911 they were in Aylesbury, Saskatchewan.
Lavery joined the 68th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force with the regimental number 105491. He was described as five feet seven inches tall, with a medium complexion, grey-brown eyes and light brown hair. His service record shows that he arrived in England on May 7th, 1916 and joined the 8th Battalion in France on June 21st.
Fred was hit by a bullet at Vimy Ridge on April 28th, 1917, which shattered his left elbow. His lower arm was amputated at a casualty clearing station, and then re-amputated in hospital in Manchester, England on May 2nd. He was invalided home to Canada in March 1918 and had a further operation on his amputated arm in Vancouver in late 1918. Notes on his service file give more detail on his injury:
Condition on Admission and Progress of Case
Complaints Loss of left arm
History Wounded by bullet at Vimy Ridge April 1917 in the elbow which was practically shattered. Sent to CCS where arm amputated same night. One month later in Hospital in England a reamputation was done – he returned to Canada April 1918.
Condition on admission No furlough has been granted. Was measured first in April for Carnes arm which was cancelled and again on 2nd July at Davisville. He has had no fitting – left arm is amputated at the level of the upper and middle thirds. Stump is healthy though the wounds are badly puckered, and consequently though healed, are dirty. Movements at shoulder joint are normal. Power of stump is limited particularly forward extension- scar on this stump should be excised. This patient was originally a left handed man, other systems normal.
Lavery was finally discharged from the army as medically unfit on March 19th, 1919. He married Sarah Islay Mattock on February 24th, 1928 in Vancouver. The couple moved to the United States in the same year and Lavery died in San Diego, California on May 7th, 1952.