The History of Fleetwood

As one of the more recently developed areas of Surrey, there is little recorded information about Fleetwood’s earliest days.  It was a remote area until the Yale Wagon Road (now known as Fraser Highway) opened up and brought more people from New Westminster and Vancouver to the south side of the river.  With an abundance of timber and arable farmland, logging and farming as well as fishing provided work for early settlers.

Meet the Founder

During 1907, newcomers Edith and James Francis settled on land in the vicinity of what is now Fraser Highway and 160th Street.  A few years later, other members of Edith’s immediate family, the Fleetwoods, joined them from England. On August 18th 1915, Edith’s brother, Arthur Thomas (Tom) Fleetwood, enlisted with the 47th Canadian Infantry Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces and was shipped overseas to France.

Thomas Fleetwood

On September 8, 1917, just two days after his 39th birthday, Lance Corporal Arthur Thomas Fleetwood died of wounds received in battle.  He is buried in Barlin Communal Cemetery in Pas de Calais, France and is commemorated on page 237 of the First World War Book of Remembrance located in the Peace Tower Memorial Chamber on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.  He is also listed on the Cenotaph at the Surrey Museum and Archives.

Edith was a founding member of the Fleetwood Community Association in 1923 and she applied to the provincial government in Victoria for a charter to name her community in honour of her brother ensuring that he would always be a part of the community in which he had lived.