Staff, England 1917
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Can you identify this man?
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- Item Type:
- Black and white photograph depicting an unidentified man holding his hands behind his back standing outdoors with trees and the sky in the background. The man is wearing a First World War Officer’s service dress worn with a Sam Browne belt, with a pair of glasses hanging from it. The uniform has collar badges, which may be Royal Army Medical Corps badges.
This photograph belongs to the 2017EG002 collection that is associated with Dr. Courtland Casimer Fissette who volunteered with the RAMC from April 1916 to July 1917. It is suggested that Fissette worked or was familiar with this man while serving in England, as 2017EG002.002, 2017EG002.003 and 2017EG002.007 have the same subject material and time period.
Photograph is captioned “Staff 1917”.
- Courtland Casimir Fissette was born on 4 June 1875 to Thomas and Mary J. [Oversholt] Fissette in Nanticoke, Haldimand County. The French Canadian family lived in Walpole, Haldimand when Courtland was a child, and moved to Brantford during his teenage years. He married Anna Margaret Wisner (born 6 November 1876) on 4 November 1904 in Brant County, and the couple lived at 110 Darling Street in Brantford. Courtland was a physician and surgeon, and ran a general practice out of his home. The house is now the parking lot for the Charlotte Villa Retirement Residence.
He served at a base hospital in London, England with the Royal Army Medical Corps from 26 April 1916 to July 1917. While serving overseas, he wrote a letter to the editor of the Brantford Expositor titled “Come on Boys! An Appeal.” Dated 23 June 1916, the letter described the ‘diminishing memory’ of Decoration Day and the need to remember and preserve the sacrifices made by Canadians during the country’s formative years, which led to the current  prosperity and privilege. In order to preserve “These fair streets, this well-ordered civilization, this splendid commerce, this abundance of work with liberal pay, the security which surrounds our home, the school that educates our child, the right to come and go at will…” he urged men to join the war effort. Fissette also supported the implementation of a selective conscription instead of a general one, and encouraged filling shop positions with women. He remarks, “What is the use of taking men from the shops and putting them in uniform without munitions?”
On 15 August 1917, he volunteered and served as a Captain in the Canadian Army Medical Corps of the Canadian Expeditionary Force working in Canada. He was “struck off the strength” on 6 November 1918 to return to the active militia.
While acting as the local coroner, Dr. Fissette testified at a case that a murder committed near Mohawk Lake must have been performed by a butcher due to the bone analysis.
Later, the Fissette’s moved in with their only child, Courtland Sheldon (born June 1907) at 28 Brant Avenue, next to the armouries in Brantford. Courtland Sheldon married Mary Kathleen Welsh, widow of RCAF F/O John “Jack” Chapple Tate, who died in a flying accident near Chandler, Quebec in October 1942.
Courtland Casimer suddenly died on 19 April 1931 as a result of a heart attack at the age of 55. The family was Methodist and attended the Zion Presbyterian Church in Brantford.
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- Date Of Event:
- Local identifier:
- Language of Item:
- Geographic Coverage:
England, United Kingdom
- M. Eleanor (Tate) Gloster
- Creative Commons licence:
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- Recommended Citation:
- Staff, England 1917. M. Eleanor Gloster, 2017EG002.004.
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