THE FAMILY OF CAPTAIN GEORGE FRASER KERR VC, MC & BAR, MM, HAVE DONATED HIS VC MEDAL GROUP TO THE CANADIAN WAR MUSEUM IN OTTAWA.
The Review, Niagara Falls, Ontario - 13th October 2000


( select to enlarge )
Medal entitlement of Captain George Kerr,
3rd Bn (Toronto Regiment ), CEF

  • Victoria Cross
  • Military Cross ( MC ) & Bar
  • Military Medal ( MM )
  • 1914-15 Star
  • British War Medal ( 1914-20 )
  • Victory Medal ( 1914-19 )
The Victoria Cross awarded to Captain George Fraser Kerr, 3rd Bn ( Toronto Regiment ), for great gallantry during WWI, has been donated to the Canadian War Museum by his family. The medal group includes not only the Victoria Cross, but also Kerr's Military Cross & Bar, and Military Medal, making him one of the most highly decorated Canadian soldiers of World War One.

Kerr's son-in-law said the family made the presentation to "ensure awareness of the medals' significance for years to come". The Canadian War Museum's director said the medal group "is most valuable to us as a tangible testament to the extraordinary courage of a man who, despite serious wounds suffered in unrelenting weeks of intense combat, rose from his hospital bed to perform still greater feats of valour".


George Fraser Kerr joined the army in 1914 as a private in the 3rd Bn ( Toronto Regiment ) and was awarded the Military Medal in June 1916. After being gazetted lieutenant in 1917, he won the Military Cross in August 1918 and was later awarded a Bar to the MC. On 27th September 1918, 22 year-old Kerr, a native of Deseronto, Ontario, was recuperating from a bullet wound in an arm when his regiment was called to an attack. He led his company into battle and encountered a German machine-gun nest blocking the advance.


[ London Gazette, 6 January 1919 ], Bourlon Wood, France, 27 September 1918, Lieutenant George Fraser Kerr, MC, MM, 3rd Bn, 1st Central Ontario Regiment, Canadian Expeditionary Force.

"For most conspicuous bravery and leadership during the Bourlon Wood operations on 27th September 1918 when in command of the left support company in attack. He handled his company with great skill, and gave timely support by outflanking an enemy machine-gun which was impeding advance. Later, near the Arras-Cambrai road the advance was again held up by a strong point. Lieutenant Kerr, far in advance of his company, rushed this strong point single-handed and captured four machine-guns and thirty one prisoners. His valour throughout this engagement was an inspiring example to all."
George Kerr was invested with his Victoria Cross by King George V at Buckingham Palace on the 22nd May 1919.

[ London Gazette, 2 December 1918 ], for the award of the Military Cross, Lieutenant George Fraser Kerr, MM, 3rd Bn, Canadian Infantry, 1st Central Ontario Regiment.

"For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. When leading his platoon to the jumping-off line he found a gap, which he filled, putting an enemy machine-gun nest out of action, killing about thirty and capturing a battery of 77 mm guns. At the jumping-off line he found one company had not arrived, so he led his platoon into its place, with the advancing waves. He was then wounded, but continued to the final objective, clearing out another machine-gun nest of two guns on the way. The next two days he continued in the line doing splendid work, and refusing to leave owing to shortage of officers."


[ London Gazette, 1 February 1919 ], for the award of a Bar to the Military Cross, Lieutenant George Fraser Kerr VC, MC, MM, 3rd Bn, Canadian Infantry, 1st Central Ontario Regiment.

"For conspicuous gallantry, initiative and skill during the Drocourt-Queant attack on the 2nd and 3rd September 1918, when he led his company forward with great dash. Later he led two platoons to the assistance of one of the attacking companies, which was held up by heavy machine-gun fire, surprising the hostile machine-gun crews, and personally accounting for several of the enemy. His splendid courage afforded a most inspiring example at a critical time."


George Kerr survived the war and went into business in Toronto. He died in a freak accident in 1929 when he was overcome by carbon monoxide fumes while starting his car in his garage. He's buried in Toronto's Mount Pleaseant Cemetery.

News

Go to VC UK flag Home Page

Iain Stewart, 14 November 2000