Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

Soldiers of the Great War; The Fredericton Soldier Biography History Initiative

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Fullarton, Fred White

Private 817868
140th Canadian Infantry Battalion
Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (Eastern Ontario Regiment)


Private Frederick (Fred) White Fullarton was born on January 27, 1899 in Williamsburg, New Brunswick to John Alexander Fullarton and Joanna Gilmore. Newspaper records indicate that he came from a very strong Scottish heritage known for its loyalty to King and country. Fred’s great-grandfather, Donald Fullarton, was a mate in the “Mary of King George III” and the family received lands in the days of Robert Bruce as rewards for service in an area that became known as Fullarton’s Glen. The family would later move to New Brunswick, settling in Williamsburg, near Stanley.

According to the 1911 New Brunswick Census, Fred had five siblings and a few half-siblings. His oldest brother, Charles Gilmore Fullarton, was born April 2, 1895 while the other older brother, William Ingles Fullarton, was born January 7, 1897. Fred’s younger siblings included Winifred Ines Fullarton, born June 4, 1901, who would pass away on August 2, 1910 at the age of 9, Ian Reginald Fullarton, born May 6, 1907, and Mary Abigail Fullarton, born November 22, 1911. According to death records, on July 12, 1912 Fred’s father, John Alexander Fullarton, passed away at the age of 55 when Fred was approximately 13 years old. Fred’s mother, Joanna Fullarton would eventually marry William Henry Sewell in 1915 and then Albert B. Neill in 1919, gentlemen who were both from South Devon, New Brunswick.

All three brothers, Charles, William and Fred would enlist. According to his attestation, Fred served one year in Fredericton with the 71st Canadian Infantry Battalion, also known as the Carleton York Regiment. At the time of his enlistment with 140th Canadian Infantry Battalion, Fred was working as a woodsman and claimed to be 18 years of age when he was in fact younger. Documents reveal that cables received clarifying his actual age had little impact on his service. At the time of his enlistment on January 22, 1916, in Saint John, New Brunswick, Fred was five feet nine and a half inches tall, weighed 175 pounds, had blue eyes, brown hair, and had a fair complexion. He and his brother William would never return home, while his oldest brother, Charles would return after five months of service.

Wartime Experience

After spending time at Camp Valcartier with his unit, and where he would be treated for measles for two weeks in July, Private Fullarton sailed on the S.S Corsican from Halifax with his unit for England on September 25, 1916. He would arrive a week-and-a-half later on October 6, 1916. Fred would continue to train with the Royal Canadian Regiment and Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry at Seaford until going overseas in December. Prior to leaving for the front, Fred wrote his formal will leaving everything to his half-sister, Margaret Fullarton, who had been living on St. John Street in Fredericton and who was the daughter of Fred’s father from his previous marriage. Given that Fred’s brother William also listed Margaret as his next-of-kin, it is likely that there may have been some fallout with their mother.

On December 17, 1916, according to his active service form, Fred left with his unit for France where he saw active duty for nearly a year in 1917 during an important year for the Canadian military. Newspapers suggest, and service records reveal, that he served twenty-two months of active service with only one leave-of-absence for 10 days in November of 1917. Fred was training back and forth between January and February of 1918 before re-joining his unit on March 18, 1918. During a crucial period of seven months in the war that saw the Canadian Army active in pushing the Germans out of northern France and Belgium, Fred was killed on November 8, 1918, just a few miles from Mons, Belgium. In three days the war would be over. According to his certificate of death, Fred was “at an advanced post near Boussu, Belgium and while taking his Lewis gun into a house, he was killed instantly by enemy machine gun fire.” Fred was only 19 years of age. His brother William was killed at the age of 20 during the Battle of Lens a year earlier in August, 1917. William would never be found and is honoured on the Vimy Memorial, although his name does not appear on the New Brunswick Provincial Cenotaph.

Lest We Forget

Private Fred White Fullarton is buried at Boussu Communal Cemetery, Belgium. According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Fred is the only Canadian buried here along with only 4 other Commonwealth burials of the First World War. The cemetery is six and a half miles west of Mons, Belgium.

*This biography was researched and written by Sophia Saunders, Alexis Cassie & Jessi Lui, Grade 8 students (2015-2016) at George Street Middle School located in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.