|Date of Birth||August 13, 1899|
|Place of Birth||London (probably Islington)|
|Trade / Calling||Market gardener|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Battalion||East Yorkshire Regiment|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Age at Enlistment||18|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||30/09/1982|
|Age at Death||83|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
|Plot||63E-15-1 (Memory Meadow Block)|
Private Sydney Enoch Ford served in the British army with the East Yorkshire Regiment during the First World War. He immigrated to Canada in 1927 and enlisted again in the Second World War, serving in the UK with the Canadian Forestry Corps.
Syd was born on 13 August 1899 in London, England. In August 1907, just before his eighth birthday, he was sent to Mayford Industrial School for Boys near the town of Woking in Surrey. When the 1911 census was taken there were about 180 boys living at the school, most of them born in London and aged from 7 to 14. Syd left the school in March 1914 and the war started just a few months later.
Syd enlisted with the East Yorkshire Regiment in November 1917, at age 18, and he trained at a military camp in Ireland. Regulations required soldiers to be 19 years old before they served at the Front but this was lowered to 18-1/2 late in the war. Syd was in France by the fall of 1918 and he was wounded in the left arm in September, during the Hundred Days Offensive. He recovered and returned to England, getting his discharge at the Crystal Palace in London. The Palace had been used as a recruiting and training centre during the war and after the Armistice it was a mass demobilization centre.
Syd immigrated to Canada in the summer of 1927, arriving in Quebec on 3 September on the SS Empress of Scotland. He was listed as a farmer, age 28, previously living at 10 Church Street in Torquay, Devonshire and going to Winnipeg. He spent about three years in Manitoba, working as a farm labourer and market gardener. In 1930 he moved to northwestern Ontario and settled in the town of Keewatin. He was married there at St. James Anglican Church on 1 September 1934. His wife, Agnes Julia Barnard, was born in Keewatin in 1912, the daughter of Edwin Thomas Barnard and Catherine Parfitt. Edwin and Catherine were married in London, England and they came to Canada in 1911 with the Parfitt family. All four of Catherine’s brothers served in the First World War: Frederick, William, Arthur and David. David enlisted early in the war and died in September 1916 at the Battle of the Somme.
Syd and Agnes made their home in Keewatin where they raised their four children: Edwin, Barry, Brian and Catherine. Around 1937 Syd started working for the Maple Leaf Milling Company, a flour mill located in Keewatin. He enlisted again in the Second World War, signing up in Kenora in November 1941 at age 42. He served in the UK with the Canadian Forestry Corps and attained the rank of Corporal. He returned to Canada in October 1943, getting his discharge in January 1944. He had a long career with the Maple Leaf Milling Company and he was a life member of the Royal Canadian Legion, Keewatin branch.
Syd passed away in Lake of the Woods District Hospital on 30 September 1982, at age 83. Agnes followed a year later, in December 1983. They are both buried in Memory Meadow Block at Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.
By Becky Johnson
Family photos courtesy of C. Giroux