Fred Fisher, VC



Of the three Canadians who won the Victoria Cross in the Second Battle of Ypres, two were from McGill. The second was Lance-Corporal Fred Fisher (Applied Science, 1912-'14), 13th Battalion, C.E.F., Royal Highlanders of Canada. For valour on April 22 and on the following day, when he was killed in action while serving a machine-gun in close fighting, the Victoria Cross was posthumously awarded to him on June 23, 1915. After referring to his devotion at the time of his death, the history of the 13th Battalion continues: "No account of the 13th Battalion in the Second Battle of Ypres is complete without reference to the work of this plucky N.C.O. on the previous night. Coming forward from St. Julien, Fisher discovered that some of the guns of Major W. B. King's field battery were being fought with the Germany infantry close on top of them. Capture of these guns seemed imminent, but Fisher set up his machine-gun in advance of the battery and, with the assistance of a few men from the supports, held off the enemy till the guns got away. During this encounter, Fisher's small section was under concentrated fire and four of his six men were killed. Returning to St. Julien, he got four men of the 14th Battalion and endeavoured once more to push up to the front line. In coming forward, he lost these men and eventually reached the front line alone. Here he continued to render valuable service up to the moment of his death."

extract from McGill University at War, p. 31