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19th Battalion CEF

Sergeant Frederick William (Bill) Doran (Later Captain)

From The Private Collection of My Maternal Great Grandfather
Captain Frederick William (Bill) Doran
Served in both The Great War 1914-1918 & World War Two 1939-1945
X Best B&W No 1 Company, 19th Battalion - 2nd Canadian Expeditionary Force Toronto
Grandpa Frederick William Doran.jpg

Captain Frederick William Doran

Maternal Great Grandfather

Regiment Number:



April 11th, 1914 -  19th Birthday



Queens Own Rifles - 2 months

19th Battalion CEF


Queens Own Rifles

Date of Birth:

April 11, 1895 Belfast, Ireland


Frederick William (Bill) Doran

Frederick William Doran, my great-grandfather lived a remarkable life that we only recently uncovered. Born on April 11th, 1895, in Belfast, Ireland, he and his family immigrated to Canada in 1908, seeking a better future. Little did we know that he would go on to play a significant role in one of the most tumultuous periods in history.


It was not until recently that we stumbled upon his history as a World War I soldier. The realization came as a revelation, and we were filled with a deep sense of pride and gratitude for the sacrifices he made in his life. Although both he and my grandfather have now passed on, it is our duty as the younger generations to champion and preserve the stories and history of our families.


Frederick William Doran's story serves as a reminder of the immense bravery and resilience exhibited by countless men during the war. His willingness to put his life on the line for the freedom we enjoy today is a testament to his character and sense of duty. As we reflect on his service, it becomes evident that we should never forget the sacrifices made by these exceptional individuals.


With his War service records, I feel a strong obligation to share my great-grandfather's story. By doing so, I hope to inspire others to delve into the histories of their own families and honor the legacies of those who came before us. The act of remembering and preserving their stories ensures that their sacrifices are not in vain.


So let us remember Frederick William Doran, a brave soldier who fought for our freedom. Through his story, let us acknowledge the countless others like him, whose names may have faded but whose contributions should forever be etched in our collective memory. By sharing these stories, we pay homage to these exceptional individuals and pledge to never forget the sacrifices they made for us all.

Great grandpa Bill Doran had a privileged and idyllic childhood in Northern Ireland. Born in 1895 in Belfast, he and his small family - his parents Charles and Margaret, moved to the picturesque coastal town of Bangor shortly after his birth. This was where his younger sisters and brother were born.  

In Bangor, they resided in a magnificent seafront red brick home called Red Hall, which was designed by Bill's father Charles. The house featured a lovely glass conservatory and stunning landscaped gardens, providing a breathtaking view of the sea. 

Not only did they have a beautiful home, but Bill's mother Margaret's sister and her family also lived nearby. This closeness allowed them to have a strong bond and built a tight-knit community within the town. Charles, Bill's father, played a significant role in the community as one of the key founders and the architect of the Bangor Golf and Country Club, established in 1903.

However, in 1908, everything changed for the Doran family. They decided to sell most of their belongings, including their beloved home, Red Hall, and embarked on a new journey to Canada. On March 7th, 1908, at the age of thirteen, Bill, along with his parents, two younger sisters, and one younger brother, left behind their familiar home and community in Bangor.


They boarded the SS Laurentian from Belfast, Ireland and arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada on March 18th, 1908. From there, they made their way to Toronto, Ontario, where they would start a new chapter in their lives.

Leaving behind their childhood memories and the place they called home, Great-grandpa Bill Doran's childhood in Northern Ireland was marked by the beauty of Bangor, the closeness of family, and the sense of community. Though they left all of that behind, their journey to Canada presented them with new opportunities and experiences as they embraced their future in a new country.

From The Private Collection of My Great-Grandfather
Captain Frederick William Doran  
19th Battalion Canadian CEF of The Great War 1914-1918

Not too long after arriving in their new country, Bill and his family faced unimaginable tragedy when his younger brother Percy passed away in 1911 at the tender age of 8, leaving him with two sisters to care for. Shortly after that, back in Bangor, Northern Ireland, his mother’s sister and husband both died in a tragic car accident, leaving his young cousins orphaned.


The outbreak of World War I would soon put Great-Grandpa Doran's courage and resilience to the ultimate test. Joining countless others in the fight for freedom, he marched alongside his comrades, ready to face the unknown horrors that awaited them on the battlefield.

Captain Frederick William Doran .jpg

Lieutenant Frederick William (Bill) Doran 

First World War, 1914-1918

19th Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Forces (CEF)

Bill Doran in his well-tailored uniform with two wound stripes visible on his left arm.

Private Frederick William Doran

Age 19 Years

April 11th, 1914, on his nineteenth birthday, Great-Grandpa Doran enlisted with the Queen’s Own Rifles, later to be transferred to the 19th Battalion CEF in Toronto, Ontario on 11 November 1914. This would shape his character and provide him with the necessary skills to navigate the perils of war. His unwavering sense of duty and loyalty were evident from the moment he stepped foot into the training grounds.

His enlistment papers included details as follows. Private Frederick William Doran, Regiment #55124, Born on April 11, 1895, he was the son of F.C. Doran of 62 Edgewood Ave., Toronto, Ontario. His next of kin was his father, and there was also a note to notify Mrs. F.C. Doran (Margaret Doran nee Seeton), who resided at 59 Yonge St., Toronto.


Before enlisting, Frederick worked as a clerk, displaying his dedication and attention to detail. Later, he became a draftsman, showcasing his talent for precision and technical skills. Prior to his service in World War One, Frederick had served for two months in the Queen's Own Rifles Regiment, gaining some military experience.


Frederick was assigned to "A" Company.

Allan Liner S.S. Scandinavian

On May 12, 1915, he embarked on the SS Scandinavian from Quebec City, Quebec. His journey brought him to Plymouth, England, where he then proceeded to the West Sandling Camp near Hythe, Kent. Continuing his training, Frederick confirmed his rank as a Lance Corporal on July 1, 1915.

During the early stages of the First World War, Canada gallantly responded to England's call for assistance, demonstrating unwavering support. By February 1915, a significant number of Canadian troops, approximately 40,000 soldiers, were stationed in various training camps across Kent, England. Situated in Shorncliffe, Hythe, Dibgate, East and West Sandling, Westernhanger, and Otterpool, these camps bustled with activity as our brave soldiers prepared themselves for the battles that awaited them.


One notable aspect of their training was the proximity to the front lines, allowing them to swiftly transition from training exercises to the actual trenches within a matter of hours. Combining rigorous training sessions with the reality of war, these soldiers could be found diligently honing their skills one day and then find themselves on the front lines by the next.


Among the camps, the soldiers stationed at East and West Sandling Camps in Saltwood, Kent, specifically engaged in crucial training activities. A significant element of their preparation involved engaging in "Entrenchment" on Tolsford Hill. Here, they diligently dug practice trenches, gaining valuable experience in constructing defensive positions before heading to the front lines. This exercise also served as a means to familiarize themselves with the techniques required to successfully navigate the treacherous scenario of going "over the top" and into battle.


The dedication and commitment exhibited by these Canadian soldiers during their training in England were unparalleled. They recognized the urgency and importance of their role as they prepared themselves to face the numerous challenges and sacrifices that awaited them in the trenches. With their unwavering resolve and unwavering loyalty to their country, these soldiers displayed a level of determination that would prove instrumental in the battles that lay ahead.


Canada's contribution to the war effort during this period epitomized the spirit of camaraderie and international cooperation. Their presence in England exemplified their commitment to partnering with their British allies and supporting them in their time of need. The training camps in Kent stood as a testament to the Canadian soldiers' preparedness, discipline, and resilience, as they eagerly readied themselves to confront the horrors of war on the front lines.


S.S. Queen in Folkestone

On September 14, 1915, Bill's battalion marched to Folkestone and boarded the SS Queen, and the following day, at 2.45 am, they disembarked in Boulogne, France. From there, they proceeded to the Ostrohove Camp, where they continued their duty.