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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Private Thomas A. Fitzgerald #9442, 3rd Battalion

Photo by Bob Richardson 2011
Born on November 1, 1977 in Cork, Ireland. Parents are unknown. As shown on on enlistment in 1914: working as a clerk, single, 8 years in the Royal Munster Fusiliers, religion Roman Catholic, 5' 3 1/2" tall, fair complexion, blue eyes, brown hair. His next of kin was listed as sister Mrs.Ralph Dooley, 86 Dalton Ave., Fernie, BC. Tattoo "Sailor" on right arm, tattoo "Hands Across Sea" on left arm.

Fernie, BC War Memorial includes
 Private Thomas Fitzgerald
Joined the 3rd Battalion in Valcartier on September, 22, 1914. Written on the reverse of his attestation paper is "6 Batt" which seems to indicate that he may have originally been in a militia draft forming the 6th Battalion, formed in Manitoba and the West. There is evidence Private Fitzgerald may have been living in Fernie at the time of enlistment. He accompanied the 3rd Battalion on the S.S. Tunisian to England spending the winter 1914-15 training on Salisbury Plain. Travelling with the 3rd across to France on February 11, 1915, Private Fitzgerald was treated for "corpillus" in Rouen on April 27, 1915. He was hospitalized May 27, 1915 in #10 General Hospital for a GSW to right shoulder and arm returning to duty on June 25, 1915.Granted 9 days leave November 11. Attached to "Traffic Control Construction" From February 19, 1916 to March 7. Attached to Canadian YMCA April 24, 1917 through to April 7, 1918 which included 14 days leave. Assigned to Canadian Reinforcement Camp May 2, 1918 rejoining the 3rd Battalion August 12, 1918.

Killed in action August 31, 1918. Circumstances of Death sheet claims "Killed In Action, during an attack on Orix Trench, east of Cherisy, whilst attempting to run from one shell hole to another, he was shot through the head by an enemy's sniper bullet". Private Thomas Fitzgerald was probably one of the last, if not the last, original 3rd Battalion enlistees, to be killed in action. He is buried in Upton Wood British Cemetery grave F.9.

His attestation paper and service record can be found HERE
His page on the Veteran Affairs Canadian Virtual Memorial can be found HERE

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