Kamloops WWI soldier Frederick Lee to be honoured at French war memorial - InfoNews

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Kamloops WWI soldier Frederick Lee to be honoured at French war memorial

FILE PHOTO- Frederick Lee was born in Kamloops and volunteered to fight in WWI.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Norman Lee via Marjorie Wong
May 10, 2019 - 3:08 PM

KAMLOOPS — The name of a young Kamloops soldier who fought and died in the First World War is to be commemorated at a war memorial in France this fall.

A walkway at the Hill 70 First World War memorial in Loos, France, is to be named after Frederick Lee who died in battle at age 21. Historians have been pushing to name part of the memorial after him, calling his role in the Battle of Hill 70 "remarkable," and saying Lee is a symbol of the "work and toil" of early Chinese Canadians. 

Michael Young, President of the Rocky Mountain Rangers Association, will be at City Hall on Tuesday, May 14, discussing Kamloops's place at the war memorial. In addition to a walkway and bench honouring Lee, the Rocky Mountain Rangers will have a section of a plaza named after them, commemorating the fallen 172nd Battalion.

"There's a direct connection between (the Hill 70) war memorial, 'Freddy' Lee, and the City of Kamloops," Young says. 

Lee had enlisted with the Rocky Mountain Rangers in 1916 and was killed about a year later in August, 1917 at the Battle of Hill 70. 

The Hill 70 war memorial will have walkways named after some of the soldiers who died there, three of whom won the Victoria Cross. 

"Frederick Lee didn't win the Victoria Cross but they wanted to honour him as a Chinese-Canadian soldier," Young says. "They wanted to recognize a Chinese soldier, who wasn't considered a Canadian citizen... he still felt it was his duty to enlist."

Though Lee was born and raised in Kamloops, the Canadian government did not recognize him as a citizen due to his Chinese heritage.

Even so Lee volunteered to fight in the war. 

The Rocky Mountain Rangers Association is fundraising to put up a bench along the Frederick Lee walkway. You can contact treasurer Sharon Jones by email at ggjones5354@gmail.com if you would like to donate.

READ MORE: Kamloops' lost son: The mystery of WWI soldier Frederick Lee

READ MORE: The search for a Kamloops WWI soldier will be expanding to China


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