Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthOctober 7, 1898
Place of BirthRat Portage, Ontario
CountryCanada
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMother, Mrs. T. Baxendale of Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingWiper for CPR
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number198965
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion94th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentFebruary 15, 1916
Age at Enlistment17
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathMarch 12, 1964
Age at Death65
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
Plot24E - 9 - 4

Baxendale, William James

William James Baxendale was born 07 October 1898 in Rat Portage (Kenora), Ontario.  His parents were James Thomas and Amelia Maria Baxendale. He had two older sisters – Violet and Myrtle.  His father worked as a car inspector/repairer for the CPR. William received his education in Kenora. In November of 1915 he commenced working for the CPR as a wiper.

A few months later, on 15 February 1916, William enlisted with the 94th battalion in Kenora. His unit left for Port Arthur in May 1916, and for England in June 1916. William was transferred to the 15th Reserve Battalion upon his arrival in England but spent his first three weeks in the hospital with the mumps. He also had a bout of influenza in December of 1916 that led to another hospital stay. On 10 May 1917 William joined the 5th Battalion and was sent to France.  On 18 August 1917 he sustained a shrapnel wound to his left hip and was hospitalized until 27 November 1917.   William returned to his unit but was wounded a second time on 29 September 1918.  This time he sustained a gun shot wound in his left thigh and was once again hospitalized until 16 December 1918.  While in hospital he was transferred back to the 15th Reserve Battalion and then to the 10th Depot Battalion on 13 January 1919. He was transported back to Canada on the Empress of Britain and arrived in Halifax on 22 January 1919. He made his way to Kenora and the local newspaper reported his return on 29 January 1919.

William returned to the CPR for employment and became a fireman.   In 1943 he was promoted to Engineer, a position he held until his retirement in 1962.  He and his wife, Laura, had a daughter, Bonnie in 1933.  They divorced and William had another long-term relationship but did not marry again.

William died on 12 March 1964 in Kenora and is buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery.  He was in an unmarked grave but a grave marker was installed by the Last Post Fund in 2018. His daughter, Bonnie, died in 2008 in Sudbury, Ontario.

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William’s grave marker was installed in Lake of the Woods Cemetery in 2018 by the Last Post Fund.


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