The Sawmiller

Lieutenant Colonel Fred Lister, M.C.
102nd (Central Ontario) BattalionLister

We started out a British Columbia unit; we return an Ontario Battalion; but I defy anyone to note the point of cleavage. Welded together by many months of common danger, East and West have fused as one…

(Lister, “Final Order,” 25 May 1919)

Born on 10 February 1879 in Wigtoft, Lincolnshire, England, Frederick Lister was a sawmill superintendent in British Columbia. He had been a policeman with the Bechuanaland Protectorate since 1896 and fought in the Matabele Rebellion and the Boer War. He immigrated to Canada in 1903. In December 1915, he enlisted with the 102nd Battalion under the command of Lieutenant Colonel J .W. Warden.

He won the Military Cross at the battle of Passchendaele and soon earned a promotion to major. When Warden was assigned to a secret mission in the Near East, Lister assumed command of the 102nd in January 1918.

102ndListerFollowing serious injuries at the battle of Cambrai, Lister was replaced by Major E. J. Ryan. On 27 September 1918, a German shell had landed at the door of the battalion headquarters. Several soldiers had been killed and Lister was severely wounded. He did not resume command of the 102nd until one week after the armistice.

On returning home, Lister was appointed superintendent a soldier settlement, dubbed Camp Lister. In the 1920 British Columbia election, he narrowly won the riding of Kaslo as the Conservative candidate. He was twice re-elected to represent Creston but was defeated in 1933.

He died at Camp Lister on 22 December 1944.

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One thought on “The Sawmiller

  1. Fred Lister was awarded several honours during WWI for gallantry and dedicated service, as follows:
    Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (C.M.G.) as a Lieutenant-Colonel, refer London Gazette number 31370, supplement dated 30 May 1919, page 6793, no citation details published;
    Companion of the Distinguished Order (D.S.O.) As an Acting Major, refer London Gazette number 30287 supplement dated 17 September 1917, page 9559 for the citation details;
    Military Cross (M.C.) as a Lieutenant, refer London Gazette number 29898 supplement dated 17 January 1917 page 465 for the citation details.

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