Sir Frederick Oscar Warren Loomis DSO KCB CMG was born in Sherbrooke, Quebec and was educated at University of Bishop’s College, Lennoxville, Quebec.
In 1886 he joined the 53rd Battalion, Canadian Infantry Battalion, and in 1898 was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and was transferred to the 5th Regiment, Royal Highlanders of Canada.
At the outbreak of war in 1914, he enlisted for service at the Front and was given command of the 13th Battalion, Royal Highlanders of Canada with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
He proceeded overseas in 1914, landing in France in February 1915. By the summer of 1915, the war on the Western Front had stalemated into one of attrition. After the second Battle of Ypres there followed sporadic frontal attacks on both sides without any result other than the slaughter of tens of thousands of men. Conditions were appalling. The troops lived in the squalor and dankness of the trenches, sometimes knee deep in water and mud.
From July 1, 1916, to December 30, 1916, Canadians along with the French and other Allies were involved in the "Slaughter of the Somme", also called the Battle of the Somme. For a pitiable gain of only six miles, 836,000 soldiers were killed, including Germans and 24,029 Canadians.
Loomis likely fought at the Battle of Ypres and the Somme during 1916. By the beginning of 1917, the Canadian Corps (four divisions), had moved north from the Somme, to the Artois Plain entrenching itself on a line running from Ecurie to Souchez. A brief respite ensued while plans were laid for an Allied seizure of the formidable German fortification of Vimy Ridge.
At 5:00 in the morning on April 9, 1917, Canadian forces, in driving snow and sleet and under a barrage of artillery fire, began their assault on Vimy Ridge. An hour later they had taken the first line of enemy trenches and by mid afternoon had captured the crest of Vimy Ridge except for two positions which fell three days later. More than 4,000 prisoners were taken, some of them found chained to their machine guns.
On October 30, 1917 in the mud and driving rain, Canadians carried out their assault on the Passchendaele Ridge and captured it by November 10th. The cost had been horrific: Approximately 16,000 casualties, all for a paltry ground gain of four and one half miles.
The outcome of the war was still in doubt when at 5:00 a.m. on March 21st, 1918, through a blanket of heavy white fog, 64 German divisions attacked the Allied line on a 54 mile front between St. Quentin and Arras.
As part of a three pronged drive, it aimed at splitting the British and French armies and gaining a quick victory before the American presence on the Western Front could be felt. It succeeded in advancing to within 10 miles of Amiens and reaching the Marne River 40 miles from Paris, but by the beginning of June the drive had petered out and the Allies were counterattacking all along the line.
Loomis was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for great gallantry and brilliant leadership during operations southeast of Amiens, August 8th - 9th, 1918, and east of Arras, September 2nd, 1918. He made reconnaissances under heavy fire, personally superintending the disposition of troops and encouraging all troops.