Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthJuly 30, 1895
Place of BirthRat Portage (Kenora), Ontario
CountryCanada
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinChrissie Anderson, mother, 507 6th Street South, Kenora. Ontario
Trade / CallingGasoline Mechanic
ReligionWesleyan
Service Details
Regimental Number75907
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion1st Canadian Infantry Works Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentVancouver, British Columbia
Age at Enlistment19
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJanuary 6, 1974
Age at Death78
Buried AtGarden Chapel, Ocean View, Burnaby, BC

Anderson, Eugene Carl

Eugene Carl Anderson was born on 30 July 1895 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora), in northwestern Ontario. His parents, Swedish immigrants Charles Anderson and Christina Johnson, had married in Rat Portage in November of 1892. Other children born to the family were Nancy (abt 1893), Frederick (1894), Lily Johanna (1901), Edwin (1903), Nora (1906), Eugenia (abt 1911), Atel (abt 1913), John (abt 1916), and Olga (abt 1918). Charles first worked as a lumberman and then in later years as a boilermaker.

By 1913 Eugene had moved to British Columbia where he found work as a gasoline mechanic. He signed his attestation papers in Vancouver on 16 November 1914. He gave his mother Chrissie back in Kenora as next of kin and perhaps to appear older, his birth year as 1893. As a Private with the 29th Battalion (Tobin’s Tigers), Eugene embarked from Montreal on 20 May 1915 aboard the SS Missanabie.

With the 29th Battalion Eugene arrived in France in mid September of 1915. He was granted an eight day leave in late May of 1916. In October he was transferred to the 6th Brigade Machine Gun Company. In July of 1917 Eugene suffered a gunshot or shrapnel wound to the arm and spent time in the No 26 and No 51 General Hospitals in Etaples before being transferred to the No 15 Casualty Clearing Station. Back in Canada he was listed as wounded in the 5 September 1917 edition of the Brandon, Manitoba Sun newspaper.

Upon discharge Eugene was posted to the Machine Gun Corps Base Depot but then was out of service until mid March of 1918 when he joined the 2nd Battalion, Canadian Machine Gun Corps. In April he was sent back to the base depot, having difficulty with the interconnective tissue of one foot. He was medically reclassified as B2 and posted to the Labour Pool by the end of April. In May Eugene was transferred to the 1st Canadian Infantry Works Battalion (formerly 1st Labour Battalion), joining the unit in the field on the 14th.

Eugene suffered shell gas poisoning and severe shell gas burns to his buttocks and genitals in early July of 1918. The battalion’s war diaries indicate that they were located at Noulette Woods (Bois de Noulette) north of Arras at the time. Both the Kenora Miner and News and the Brandon Sun reported his wounding.

Eugene was invalided to England and admitted to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Netley on the 11th and then transferred to Woodcote Park Convalescent Hospital in early September, discharged on the 16th of October. After a series of transfers in the UK Eugene embarked for Canada aboard the SS Cassandra, arriving in St John, New Brunswick on 6 March 1919. After spending time convalescing at the Tuxedo Military Hospital in Winnipeg he was discharged from service on the 26th of April as medically unfit. He returned to Kenora, with the Miner and News reporting his arrival in the 17th of May edition.

Not a lot is known about Eugene’s life after the war. At some point he married Abina Mary Patricia O’Brien and by 1959 was living in Surrey, British Columbia. The couple gave birth to at least one child, daughter Susan. Eugene died on 6 January 1974 in the Shaughnessy Hospital in Vancouver, his wife listed as the informant. Cremated, his cremains are in the Garden Chapel, Ocean View Burial Park, in Burnaby.

by Judy Stockham

obituary: provided by Mike Melen