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Horace Christian Faraker

Rank: Private

Lifetime: 1884-1916

Reference: 75144


Private Horace Christian Faraker (75144) of A Coy of the 29th (Vancouver) Battalion of the Canadian infantry died aged 32 on 6 April 1916. He is buried at Ridge Wood Cemetery. He is not listed on the Hampton Wick War Memorial but his Commonwealth War Graves Commission entry refers to him as the son of Mr and Mrs W E Faraker of 34 Cedars Road, Hampton Wick, and a native of Broxbourne, Hertfordshire.

His Canadian Attestation Paper survives and reveals that he enlisted on 5 March 1915. According to his Attestation Paper, he had been born in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, on 6 April 1884 and so at the time he enlisted he was 30 years and eleven months of age. He was unmarried and so named his mother, Mrs W A Faraker of Claumont, Albany Park, Kingston-upon-Thames, as his next of kin. He was a marble worker by occupation. He was 5’6” tall with a chest measurement of 40 inches. His complexion is described as fair and he had grey eyes. He gave his religious denomination as Church of England. He had already served in the local militia or reserves.

Private Faraker had emigrated to Canada from Kingston. The Faraker family had originally lived in Hertfordshire. In 1891 the family comprised William E Faraker (38) who is described as a manufacturer, his wife Emma (39) and their four children: Thomas W (8); Horace (6); Grace B (5) and Guy (1). The three eldest children had been born in Broxbourne whilst the youngest in Haddisdon. The family was clearly quite prosperous and could afford to employ two sisters, Eliza and Alice Player, as a nurse and a cook respectively. By 1901 the family had moved to Kingston following the death of Horace’s father. Horace was living, now aged 16, at 12 Albany Park, Kingston with his widowed mother (now 45). Horace was still at school. The family continued to be relatively prosperous with his mother still employing Eliza Player as a domestic servant.

By the time of the next Census in 1911, however, Horace and his older brother, Thomas, had left the family home. His mother was living at Claremont in Albany Park Road, Kingston, with her daughter Grace (25), who was working as a short hand typist, and her youngest son Guy Addison (21), an auctioneer’s clerk. The fact that his mother could still afford to employ Eliza Player suggests that the family’s fortunes had not completely sunk. However, the occupations of her youngest children (and more especially the fact that her daughter was clearly employed outside the home albeit in the increasingly respectable profession of a shorthand typist) hint at slightly reduced circumstances.

Horace Faraker had not just left the family home though. He had, in fact, emigrated to another country: Canada. Fortunately it is possible to track his movements using the records of the shipping lines he used to travel to and from Canada and also the wealth of information contained in the Canadian Census returns. From the Canadian Passenger Lists we can see that he left Liverpool on the Ionian arriving at Quebec aged 18 on 11 June 1902 with his older brother, Thomas, aged 20 who was a clerk. The two young men were travelling to Winnipeg. They were presumably seeking to change their occupations to take advantage of the massive expansion of agriculture and other industries in Canada as the UK Passenger Lists for the voyage give their occupations as merely labourers. In fact, the 1906 Census for Manitoba, Saskatchewan & Alberta reveals that the two Faraker siblings settled at Portage la Prairie in the Province of Manitoba where they were both working for a farmer, H W Tuckwell, and his wife Kate.

In 1902 the greatest influx of immigrants in Canada’s history was just beginning. This immigration reached a peak in 1912 and 1913 just before the outbreak of the Great War. From 1902 until the outbreak of the Great War 2.85 million immigrants arrived in Canada. Of these immigrants almost half (1.18 million) were of British origin. The Canadian Government were actively encouraging immigrants from Britain to come to Canada to exploit the opportunities which had opened up following the late 1890s Gold rush and the construction of the first Continental railway in 1885. In 1903 the Canadian Government even established an emigration office in Trafalgar House, Trafalgar Square, in the heart of London’s West End to encourage emigration to Canada.

The Canadian Parliament didn’t vote to enter the war in August 1914. The country’s foreign policy was controlled by Britain. When the British ultimatum to Germany to withdraw from Belgium expired on 4 August 1914 Canada was automatically drawn into the conflict. The outbreak of War was greeted with patriotic fervour by most Canadians, particularly those of British descent. 33,000 recruits immediately volunteered for the Canadian Expeditionary Force and the first contingent of recruits sailed to Europe on 3 October 1914. By the time Private Faraker volunteered in late spring 1915 the Canadian Expeditionary Force was expanding to become an army 150,000 strong. The Canadian government pledged on 1 January 1916 to increase this to half a million (at a time when the population of Canada was only 8 million). Canadian troops were supplied with defective Canadian made Ross rifles which jammed and were poorly led by men perceived to be cronies of those in the Canadian Government.

As news of casualties reached home, recruiting levels dropped off in spite of an aggressive campaign of persuasion by the Government. The Canadian Government was forced to introduce conscription in January 1918, a move extremely unpopular with French Canadians who were increasingly unsupportive of what they saw as a British imperial war. By the end of the war Canada had lost 66,000 men and suffered 172,000 wounded. Canada had won itself nation status with a seat at the Peace Treaty and membership in its own right at the League of Nations.

The Circumstances of Casualty Form of the Canadian CEF record that Private Faraker was killed in action at St Eloi on 6 April 1916. At the Battle of St Eloi the Second Division of the CEF received its baptism of fire in the first major engagement for the Canadian troops. In a battlefield of water filled mine craters Private Faraker was one of the 1,373 casualties suffered by the Canadians in 13 days of confused attacks and counterattacks on 6 bomb craters.

Although Private Faraker died in April 1916, it would appear that his affairs were not finally sorted out until 1923 with Probate of his estate (with effects worth some £835 4s 2d) being granted to his younger brother, Guy Addision Faraker, an estate agent, on 18 October 1923. Private Faraker’s mother, Emma, had died on 6 June 1923. She had at some point after 1915 moved to 34 Cedars Road, Hampton Wick. She left a considerable estate worth £2777 11s 9d and perhaps in the administration of her estate some assets belonging to her son, Horace, emerged.

Guy Addision Faraker, Horace’s brother, enlisted into the 9th Battalion of the London Regiment on 22 September 1914 at 56 Davies Street, London. His Medal Roll at the National Archive states that he was discharged on 2 July 1915 (possibly on medical grounds). He remained a local resident for many years and is listed in the telephone book for the Molesey Exchange as living in Anlaby Road, Teddington, in 1930.

Although not listed on the Hampton Wick Memorial, Private Horace Faraker is commemorated on the Gladstone War Memorial, Westbourne, Manitoba, Canada.

The first phase of this Project is to gather information about the men commemorated on the Hampton Wick War Memorial who fought in the Great War, also known as World War I, WWI or the First World War.

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