Grimsby Newspapers
First war casualty returns to Grimsby
Grimsby Independent, 14 Oct 1943, p. 1,7

Media Type:
Item Type:
Date of Publication:
14 Oct 1943
Personal Name(s):
Craig, Francis
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 43.20011 Longitude: -79.56631
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
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Full Text

It was a happy reunion that took place in Grimsby on Thursday afternoon last, when, with only a few hours advance notice to his relatives, Pte. Francis Craig, arrived over the C.N.R. after nearly 3 years' service overseas. Pte. Craig enlisted in the R.C.A.S.C. in the fall of 1939, he trained at various camps throughout Canada and proceeded overseas in January of 1941. Shortly after arriving in Britain he was made a motorcycle dispatch rider. A year ago last August while on duty, he was proceeding on official business, and on a narrow highway turned out to pass another army vehicle. As he did so he crashed into another army motorcycle that was parked crossways on the road. He suffered a compound fracture of his left thigh and a compound fracture of his left knee. He was 8 hours before reaching a hospital and by that time passed out of the picture from loss of blood and it was necessary to give him three transfusions. He was confined to hospital and convalescent home for one year and 22 days. At present his knee has only about 30 percent action as half of the knee cap has been removed. Francis Craig, or "Handsome" as The Independent Sports' Editor dubbed him, was one of the best juvenile hockey players this town ever produced. Under special army permit he played with the Peach Buds during the season of 1939-40 when that crack team won the Juvenile O.H.A. championship after 5 strenuous games with Markham, three of them on Maple Leaf Gardens ice. It was in that series that Major Conny Smythe of the Maple Leafs watched him perform and immediately placed him of the Leafs negotiation list. Unfortunately he will never play hockey again. Pte. Craig comes from fighting stock. His grandfather, the late Walter Phipps, was an old Imperial army man and served overseas in the last war with the Canadian Railway Corps. His father was overseas the last do with the 98th Batt. A brother, Sergt. Gordon Craig is with the R.C.A.S.C. overseas. Pte. Craig claims that he would never have pulled through what he did had his physique not been built up in previous years by hockey playing and the fact that he did not smoke or drink.

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First war casualty returns to Grimsby