Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthJuly 1, 1898
Place of BirthDrummond Township, Lanark County, Ontario
CountryCanada
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinGeorge Richmond (father), R.M.D. No. 2, Perth, Ontario
Trade / CallingStudent
ReligionPresbyterian
Service Details
Regimental Number787091
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion55th Battery
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Field Artillery
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentPerth, Ontario
Age at Enlistment17
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJune 1, 1988
Age at Death89
Buried AtMount Pleasant Cemetery, London, Ontario
PlotSection B-UG, Row 16

Richmond, Arthur Gordon

 

Gunner Arthur Gordon Richmond was a student when he enlisted in January 1916, at age 17. He served in Great Britain, France and Belgium with the Canadian Field Artillery and returned home in July 1919.

Arthur was born on 1 July 1898 in Drummond Township, Lanark County, Ontario. His parents, George James Richmond and Janet Christina Rice, were also born in Drummond. They were married there in 1887 and Arthur was one of at least six children: Beatrice Christina (born 1888, died at age one), Frederick Myron, John Armour, Roy George, Arthur Gordon and Jessie Christina (born 1902). Sadly, Arthur’s mother passed away in April 1905, when he was six years old. His father George was a farmer and when the 1911 census was taken George and the four boys were still living in Drummond Township. The household included a farm servant, a housekeeper and one lodger. Jessie Christina was living nearby with her maternal grandparents, Frederick and Elizabeth Rice.

Arthur enlisted in Perth, Ontario on 10 January 1916. He was 17 years old at the time but he passed himself off as 18. He joined the 130th (Lanark and Renfrew) Overseas Battalion. He was a student, next of kin was his father and he said he had served for a year with the 42nd Regiment Cadet Corps. In March his brother Roy George enlisted with the 56th Battery, Canadian Field Artillery and in May Arthur transferred to that unit. They both embarked from Halifax on the SS Metagama on 11 September and arrived in Liverpool about eleven days later. Arthur trained in England for almost a year. In December 1916 he was ill with influenza and he spent about three weeks in the Canadian Military Hospital at Bramshott.

On 22 January 1917 Arthur was transferred to a new unit, the 55th Battery in the 13th Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery. In June he was ill with appendicitis and he spent six weeks in the hospital followed by a week at the convalescent center in Epsom. In August 1917 he was sent to France with his unit and they became part of the 2nd Canadian Divisional Artillery. The Canadian Corps took part in the Battle of Passchendaele that fall and they spent the winter holding a long stretch of the front line in the Lens-Arras area. The final period of the war, known now as the Hundred Days Offensive, started with the Battle of Amiens in August 1918 and the Canadians were heavily involved in operations in those last three months. Arthur had two weeks leave in the UK in October and in November the Armistice ended hostilities on the Western Front.

The Canadians continued to serve for several more months in France, Belgium and Germany. At the end of March 1919 Arthur had two weeks leave in the UK again. When his leave expired he was kept there in order to attend Khaki University. He embarked for Canada at the end of June on the SS Olympic, arriving in Halifax on 8 July. That same day he was admitted to Camp Hill Hospital in Halifax for treatment of impetigo and gingivitis. He was released to duty on 19 July and discharged on demobilization five days later in Ottawa. His brother Roy George earned the Military Medal and arrived back in Canada in May 1919. Sadly, their father had passed away in February 1917 while they were both overseas.

After the war Arthur attended the Ontario Agricultural College in Guelph and did post-graduate work at Cornell University in New York State. He spent some time working for the Canadian Pacific Railway before getting into education. He taught for several years at a collegiate in Picton, Ontario then he was a teacher and principal at a high school in Beamsville, Ontario. Sometime in the 1920s he married his first wife, Madeline Grace Bell. Madeline was born in Elgin County, Ontario on 4 April 1904, the daughter of Thomas Bell and Charlotte Wallace. She passed away in Beamsville in 1944, at age 40. In January 1949 Arthur became the principal at the high school in Kenora, Ontario and he was there for at least ten years. By 1962 he was married again and living in West Lorne, Elgin County, Ontario. His wife, Nola Lillian Angell, was a nurse who was born in 1902 in Wellington County, Ontario. Her parents were Thomas Angell and Mae Smith.

By the late 1960s Arthur and Nola were retired and living in London, Ontario. Arthur passed away in St. Mary’s Hospital in London on 1 June 1988, at age 89. His funeral was held five days later and he was survived by his wife and several nieces and nephews. Nola died in London on 1 March 1991, at age 88. Arthur and Nola are buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in London.

By Becky Johnson

Obituaries courtesy of Middlesex Branch, OGS


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