Frederic Breckon

Private Frederic Ernest Breckon was born in Whitewood, SK on April 10 1891. He died in Fort William ON, December 26, 1944. Fred grew up in Fort Frances, ON, where he met Ada Wilkes. She was born in Minnesota (Virginia City) on July 29, 1896. Theirs was a love story and Ada promised to wait for Fred after he signed up for the Great War in Winnipeg in 1914.

Ada waited for four years in Fort Frances, working three jobs, at a theatre, pharmacy and as a telephone operator. Fred was captured early in the war at Ypres, France, where he was gassed and bayonetted in the leg, and nearly finished off in the battle field by a German soldier. A German officer, who was educated and spoke English, saved his life and offered him a cigarette and spoke with him.

He was a prisoner of war from 1914-1918 as described in his book “In the Hands of the Hun” published after the war in 1919 by the Fort Frances Press. He returned to Fort Frances, and Ada, to a parade welcome, and they were married in 1919.

Also available here are Fred’s Attestation Papers through Library and Archives Canada and the full text of his book, In the Hands of the Hun (1919).


See a collection of photos, postcards, and documents from Fred Breckon that have been provided courtesy of Marilyn Bellin, granddaughter of Fred Breckon, on behalf of the Breckon family.