Canada makes preparations to commemorate War of 1812

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As Canada prepares to mark the bicentennial of the War of 1812, a historian is urging long-overdue recognition for a "virtually unknown" hero whose stunning exploits during the "pivotal" Battle of Stoney Creek, he says, should rank Sgt. Alexander Fraser alongside Isaac Brock and Laura Secord as a saviour of the nation.

James Elliott, an author and journalist from Hamilton, recently published the most comprehensive account so far of the June 1813 battle on the Niagara Peninsula that unexpectedly thwarted the American army's advance through Upper Canada.

And the crucial moment in Canada's successful defence, he argues, was a daring charge through the darkness on June 6 -- 197 years ago this Sunday -- by the bayonet-wielding Fraser.

The Scottish-born sergeant, just 23 at the time, would be credited with spearing seven enemy soldiers, seizing control of a key American artillery position and -- most remarkably -- capturing two U.S. generals, all in a matter of minutes....

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