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In honour of our soldiers: Bertram Kitcher

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 10:59 PDT, Fri May 10, 2024

In a series about Richmond’s poppy street signs, in memory of our fallen soldiers, we share the story of Kitcher Place. 

Bertram Kitcher was born on Jan. 6, 1887 in Southampton, England, son of Albelt Edward and Charlotte Toomer Kitcher of Sway, Hants, England. During his time in England, Bertram served in the Hampshire Regiment in England as part of the 4th Battalion. 

Later in life, he would leave England and immigrate to Canada, he worked as a carpenter in Steveston with his wife Clara, until his 29 birthday on Jan. 6, 1916. Bertram enlisted in New Westminster, joining the 121st Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He and his Battalion travelled to Liverpool on Aug. 4, 1916 aboard the Empress of Britain. He would then transfer to the 54th Battalion and make his way to France on Dec. 13, 1916. 

The following year was filled with hardships for Kitcher, as he found himself in a hospital bed multiple times due to widespread influenza and blood poisoning as a result of scratches from the barbed wire. 

On Oct. 12, 1918, Kitcher was killed in action in France, his widow Clara would return to Hampshire, England after his death. In recognition of his service and sacrifice, the Canadian government awarded Clara a war gratuity of $100 as well as a scroll and plaque. 

On Jan. 8, 1990, the City of Richmond honoured Kitcher by naming a road after him. Today, Kitcher Place can be found in a small neighbourhood near the Alderbridge Way and No. 4 Road intersection.

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