Francis Arthur Robertson
1877 - 1929
Francis Arthur Robertson was born in Cold Springs, Ontario, to Mary and Frank Robertson on December 24, 1875 and moved to Meadow Lea, about thirty miles west of Winnipeg, in 1880. Francis graduated from Manitoba College with a Bachelor of Arts in 1902 and attained a Masters degree in 1912 from the University of Manitoba. For some years he was in business in Edmonton, and after studying law moved to Victoria on appointment as Vice-President of the Western Finance Company.
Prior to the Great War he held a commission in the 5th Regiment in Victoria, and at the outbreak was given command of the fortification at Esquimalt. When the 47th Battalion (New Westminster) was formed he applied for a transfer, and proceeded overseas as a Major with that battalion.
The loss of an eye in 1916, led to a period in hospital, after which he transferred to the artillery, and returned to France as Officer-in-charge of the 12th Siege Battery. At the Battle of Amiens in 1918, while with his battery he was again wounded, this time losing a leg. He was awarded the D.S.O. in December of that year.
On his return to British Columbia, at the formation of Returned Soldiers' Commission, he was made Chairman, and from that time was fully occupied with the problems of re-establishment and the care of the disabled. In January 1926, he was made Secretary of the Canteen Fund in British Columbia, which position he held at the time of his death.
Robertson joined the Alpine Club of Canada in 1910 and attended several camps prior to 1914. In 1912 he joined the ACC party led by Edward Wheeler to Strathcona Provincial Park on Vancouver Island and made the first ascent of Elkhorn Mountain, the island's second highest peak. Included in the party was Francis's older brother James Robertson who was living in Nanaimo at the time.
Lieutenant Colonel Francis Robertson died in Shaughnessy Military Hospital, Vancouver, on November 1, 1929, at the age of fifty-one.
Francis Lake south of Mount Grey near Nitinat is named after Robertson who owned timber in the vicinity at one time.
Wheeler, A.O. "The Alpine Club of Canada in Strathcona Park." Canadian Alpine Journal. Vol. 5. The Alpine Club of Canada. Banff, Alberta. 1913. p. 82-95.
Wheeler, E.O. "Mount Elkhorn, Strathcona Park." Canadian Alpine Journal. Vol. 5. The Alpine Club of Canada. Banff, Alberta. 1913. p. 44-48.
"The Wonders of Strathcona Park." Alberni Advocate. [Alberni, B.C.] (September 6, 1912) p. 1.