Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthSeptember 18, 1890
Place of BirthMonikie, Forfarshire
CountryScotland
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinMrs Ruth Fearn (wife), Box 53, Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingBaker
ReligionPresbyterian
Service Details
Regimental Number511560
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion4th Divisional Train
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Army Service Corps
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentWinnipeg, Manitoba
Address at EnlistmentBox 53, Kenora, Ontario
Date of Enlistment28/12/1915
Age at Enlistment25
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of Death18/09/1953
Age at Death63
Buried AtSt. James Cemetery, Winnipeg

Fearn, Alexander Sturrock

Driver Alexander Sturrock Fearn joined the Canadian Army Service Corps in December 1915, at age 25. He served overseas for three years and returned to Canada in May 1919.

Alexander was born on 18 September 1890 in the parish of Monikie in Forfarshire, Scotland. His mother, Annie Wilson Fearn, was 21 years old at the time and working as a domestic servant. When the 1891 census was taken Annie was living at home in Dundee with Alexander, her parents, her grandmother and five younger sisters. In 1898 when Alexander was eight years old his mother married James Ramsay, a widower. James had a son John who was four years younger than Alexander. At the time of the 1901 census James, Annie and the two boys were living in Tannadice, Forfarshire, where James worked as a ploughman.

Alexander immigrated to Canada in the spring of 1911, when he was 20 years old. He sailed from Glasgow on 27 May on the SS Grampian and arrived in Quebec on 5 June. He was a baker by trade and he said he was on his way to Winnipeg. Within a few years he was living in the town of Kenora in northwestern Ontario where he worked at a bakery. He was married in Kenora on 18 November 1915 to Ruth Helena Parker. They were married by the Baptist minister, Reverend William Tindal Lorymer. Ruth was the daughter of George James Parker and Mary Ruth Hulford of Kenora. She was born in 1895 in London, England and immigrated to Canada with her family in 1907.

About a month after getting married Alexander went to Winnipeg to enlist. Ruth’s brother George James Henry Parker had enlisted earlier that year and her father George James Parker signed up the next spring. Alexander joined the Canadian Army Service Corps on 28 December 1915 and he was assigned to the 3rd Divisional Train, No. 2 Company. He was sent overseas in the spring, embarking from St. John on 2 March 1916 on the SS Scandinavian and arriving at Plymouth, England about eleven days later. In May he was transferred to the Canadian Army Service Corps Training Depot then, on 7 July, to the 4th Divisional Train. He arrived in France in August 1916 and served with the 4th Divisional Train for the next two and a half years.

Alexander’s unit was part of the Canadian Army Service Corps, which was responsible for the supply and transport of food, ammunition, equipment, clothing and other supplies for the Canadian troops. In the fall of 1916 the Canadians fought at the Somme Offensive and in 1917 major battles for them were Vimy Ridge, Hill 70 and Passchendaele. Alexander had two weeks leave in the UK in November 1917. The Canadians were heavily involved in the final months of the war, from August to November 1918. Alexander had a leave of absence in March 1919 and he returned to England with his unit in early May, He sailed for Canada at the end of the month and he was discharged in Winnipeg on 17 June 1919.

Ruth had moved to Winnipeg while Alexander was overseas and they made their home there after the war. They had three children: Douglas (1921), Doris Ruth (1924) and Jean Margaret (1929). Ruth’s parents also lived in Winnipeg and her father started a bakery with Alexander. It was located on Portage Avenue in St. James and called Fearn & Parker Bakers, later known as Fearn’s Bakery. Alexander was a member of the Sons of Scotland Lodge, Prince Rupert Masonic Lodge and the Oddfellows. He retired in 1952 and passed away in Grace Hospital on 18 September 1953, his 63rd birthday. Ruth died in Winnipeg in 1984, a few days before her 89th birthday. They are both buried in St. James Anglican Cemetery, along with Ruth’s parents and other family members.

By Becky Johnson

Fearn-Alexander-90 Fearn-Alexander-91

Photo at the top: St. James Cemetery, Winnipeg


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