Daniel Leitch McPherson FLECK

Canadian Infantry, 44th Btn  

Rank & Number:     
Private, 839568  

Born:                       29 November 1883; Fairlie  

                       10 August 1918; France (killed in action)  

Buried at Fouquescourt British Cemetery, France
                                Brother of Robert Fleck

was born 29 Nov 1883 in Fairlie, to parents Rev. William Shedden Fleck, minister of Fairlie Free Church, and Mary McPherson.  He was christened in Fairlie Free Church on 23 Dec 1883.   

He died in action at the Somme, France on 10 Aug 1918, aged 34, killed instantaneously by a bullet through the heart.  According to Canadian records, he was “killed in action while acting as stretcher-bearer during operations near Warvillers, he was hit in the body and instantly killed by a bullet from an enemy sniper's rifle".  He is buried at Fouquescourt British Cemetery, Somme, France; the inscription reads "Born Fairlie, Scot., Beloved husband of Catherine Fraser, Virden, Manitoba”.  He is commemorated on the family headstone in Largs Cemetery and on Fairlie War Memorial.  

He married Catherine Anderson Fraser on 16 Dec 1913 in Wallace, Manitoba, Canada.  

On 28 Mar 1903, Daniel and brother Thomas emigrated to Canada, sailing Glasgow/Halifax, heading for Virden, Manitoba where they planned to become farmers.  They were joined the following year by brothers William (23) and Robert (18).  

In the 1891 Census, Daniel, aged 7, is living Free Church Manse, Fairlie with parents  Wm. S. Fleck (51, b West Kilbride, Minister, Fairlie Free Church) and Mary (46, b. Glasgow) and siblings Mary (12), William (10), John (9), Thomas (8) and Robert (5)  

In the 1901 Census, aged 17 and a clerk, he is living 24 West Cumberland Street, Kelvin, Glasgow with mother Mary (55) and brothers William R. (20) and Robert (15).  Father William S. (61, Minister Fairlie UF Church) is at the Manse, Fairlie with children Mary (22), and John (19)  

In the 1906 Canadian Census, Daniel, aged 22 and single, is in the household of brother William Robert Fleck (26) at 7B Brandon, Manitoba, Canada with brothers Thomas Sheddin (23) and Robert (20)    

Enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, 179th Btn. (Cameron Highlanders of Canada) at Winnipeg on 6 Jan 1916 (aged 32, farmer, nok wife Catherine).  The Largs & Millport Weekly News reported that he’d been wounded in May 1917 near Loos, and had visited Largs and Fairlie in August 1917 during convalescence.

Extracts from the Largs & Millport Weekly News:-  

24 August 1918                 

The Toll Of War; Killed In Action:  The Rev. J. McPherson Fleck, Haddington, has received word from a chaplain that his brother, Pte. D.L.M. Fleck, Canadians (son of the late Rev. W.S. Fleck, Fairlie), was killed instantaneously by a bullet through the heart during the advance on August 10th, and was buried the day following.  Deceased had been farming in Canada for about 15 years.  He was through the Vimy Ridge fighting, and was wounded in May 1917 near Loos.  During convalescence he visited Largs and Fairlie last August before returning to France.  His younger brother Robert is also with the Canadians in France.  

24 August 1918
Deaths, On Service: Fleck - Killed in action, 10  August, Pte. Daniel L.M. Fleck (Virden, Manitoba), Canadians, 4th son of the late Rev. W.B. Fleck, Fairlie    

Extracts from Canadian newspapers:-  

Brandon Daily Sun, 21 May 1917       
A message has been received here from Ottawa that Private D.L.M. Fleck has been wounded.  It transpires that the Private Fleck referred to was a resident of Virden.  He is a married man and has a farm in that district.  

Brandon Daily Sun, 19 June 1917
Canadian Casualties; Infantry; Wounded: D.L.M. Fleck, Scotland   Winnipeg Free Press, 30 August 1918 Western Canadian Casualties:  Ottawa, August 29:  There were 525 casualties in the lists issued today, 117 of whom were western men or officers, of whom 34 were killed in action, one missing, believed killed, 3 died of wounds, 7 presumed to have died, 12 wounded, two gassed, four seriously ill, four missing.   
INFANTRY, Killed in Action.    
D.L.M. Fleck, Brandon, Man.  

Brandon Daily Sun,  28 August 1918   PRIVATE FLECK, VIRDEN. KILLED IN ACTION:  Official notification has been received that Private Fleck 839568 was killed in action August 10th.  Private Fleck enlisted and went overseas with the 78th Highlanders from Virden where he resided with his wife prior to joining.  

Image © J. McGinlay

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