Andrew Emerson Lee - Lest We Forget

Andrew Emerson Lee was born March 20, 1872 at Frontenac, Quebec.  However, on the 1911 census form he claims 1867 as his year of birth. He worked as a lumberman and was living with his wife Sarah Lee on Fifth Street East. She was born in 1863 in England and came to Canada in 1890. In 1914, Sarah Lee was living on Powell Street in Vancouver. She was a visitor to Revelstoke during the war years. A daughter, Lottie, Mrs. W.J. Phillips, resided in Revelstoke.

Andrew Lee signed his enlistment papers on August 13, 1915 at Vernon. He was either 43 or 48 years old. His regimental number was 442570. He left on the H.M.T. Saxonia out of Halifax on November 22, 1915, arriving at Plymouth on December 1, 1915. Andrew Lee was married, 5’ 9” tall with dark hair and blue eyes. His religious affiliation was Anglican. He was one of around 100 Revelstoke men who enlisted with the 54th Battalion the spring and summer of 1915. His step-son, George Allen, also joined up for duty at the front. In June of 1916, Andrew qualified as a sniper.

In September of 1916 Mrs. Lee received word of the wounding of her son, Sergeant G. Allen, No. 2 Tunnelling Co. of the 54th Battalion. Mrs. Lee was also advised of the wounding of two nephews, Privates A. and F. Green, in the third battle of Ypres.

Andrew Lee died October 23, 1916 at the Somme. He was 44 or 49 years old, making him the oldest casualty from the Revelstoke area. At the time of his death he was a Private in the 54th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario) Regiment.  He is buried at the Contay British Cemetery, France. His name is not inscribed on either the Courthouse or Cenotaph plaques. He is included in this memorial because he had worked in this area for some time prior to his enlistment, and his daughter, Lottie Lee Phillips, was still living in Revelstoke at that time.

In June of 1917 the local newspaper carried this account of an anti-conscription rally in Vancouver.  “Revelstoke Lady Assaulted at an Anti-Conscription Rally in Vancouver. At an anti-conscription rally three women were assaulted while they were singing the national anthem. One was quite elderly, Mrs. A. Lee, whose husband has been missing for some months from the battle front in France and whose son has just returned invalided home. The meeting had passed peacefully and when it had been declared adjourned the women stood and with about a quarter of the men in the audience began to sing the national anthem while the crowd filed out. Mrs. A. Lee was a resident of Revelstoke for many years. Her husband “Andy” Lee left with the 54th Battalion.”

Another tragedy hit the family on July 3, 1918, when William Joseph Phillips, locomotive fireman, died when the boiler of Engine 5759 exploded at the CPR yards at Revelstoke. Phillips was the husband of Lottie Lee Phillips, daughter of Andrew Lee. They had a young son at the time of Phillips' death.