Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthDecember 30, 1892
Place of BirthBlenheim, Ontario
CountryCanada
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinH.E. Beckworth, father, Chatham Ontario
Trade / CallingLaborer
ReligionBaptist
Service Details
Regimental Number635
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion8th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentValcartier, Quebec
Address at EnlistmentKeewatin, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentSeptember 22, 1914
Age at Enlistment21
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathOctober 6, 1971
Age at Death79
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
Plot33E-9-4

Beckworth, Arthur Myron

Arthur Myron Beckworth, the son of Herman E. Beckworth and Alice   Dark, was born in Blenheim, Ontario.  The Ontario birth registration states Arthur was born December 30, 1892; earlier than his original attestation papers indicated.  Herman, his father had emigrated from the United States in 1884  and married his mother, Alice Dark in Ontario.  In 1901 both the Beckworth and the Dark families  lived in the Elgin district, Oxford, Ontario.  Arthur’s father worked as a cooper by trade. Arthur had 2 older sisters, Mary and Martha, 2 younger sisters, Clara and Olive and a younger brother Abraham.

Sometime before 1914  Arthur had moved west to the Town of Keewatin.

When war was declared in August of 1914 Arthur joined the 98th Militia for overseas service.  He was one of the 40  young volunteers from Keewatin and Kenora who left by train August 23 for the training camp at Valcartier, Quebec.  His attestation papers were signed in Valcartier, Quebec on  September 22, 1914 at which time he was drafted to the 8th Battalion.

Excerpt from the Canadian War Museum:

    On 10 August 1914, the government established the strength of the First Canadian Contingent for overseas service at 25,000, the figure requested by London. Hughes, eager to lead and coordinate personally a speedy call-up, chose to forgo the established mobilization plan and issued a more direct call to arms. Men from all classes and ages rushed to enlist at armories and militia bases across the country. They all traveled to a single, hastily prepared camp at Valcartier for equipment, training, and preparation for war. Eventually, the camp held over 35,000 troops.

By the middle of February 1915, Arthur was in France with the 8th Battalion, Winnipeg Rifles, who were  nicknamed the ‘Little Black Devils’.

On April 10, 1915 word was received back  home from France as to the welfare of the Keewatin boys who went over with the First Contingent.    Written by Arthur from the trenches  in France, ‘Keewatin boys are all together and none are hurt’.   Unknown to Arthur, their ‘trials and sorrows’  were soon  to come.

On 26 April 1915 Arthur was wounded at Ypres during the gas attacks at Langemarch. His unit was going up as reinforcements to the 8th Durhams when he was hit by pieces of shrapnel shell on the left side of his face and his left wrist.  He was taken to a dressing station, then to Rouen and on May 2 to England. His first operation took place on June 6th at South Devon Hospital.  It was followed by a second operation on 19 July at the same hospital.  After another month in hospital Arthur was transferred to the 11th Reserve Battalion.  He was discharged to Canada on 05 November 1915.

Arthur was one of the returning wounded, along with A. C. Bevin from Kenora, on November 20, 1915.      Our boys who left with the First Contingent overseas  just a short 15 months earlier were the  2nd ones  to return home.    Alex Scotland from Kenora  was  invalided back to  Canada 2 weeks earlier.   A warm welcome  awaited the heroes by their anxious loved ones at the train station.

Arthur was discharged from active service on December 31, 1915 due to being medically unfit.

On September 5, 1916 Arthur married Elfreda (Ella)  Green at the St. James Anglican Church in Keewatin.    Ella had come over from England to Keewatin with her mother, Emily and an older sister Doris in 1913.

Living in Keewatin Arthur  returned to work for the Lake of the Woods Flour Mill working his way to become a ‘miller’.   They  made their home  in this town where their 5 children were born;  2 daughters, Elfreda (Mrs. E. R. Smith) and Joyce (Mrs. Yaremko) and 3 sons, Arthur B., Jack and William A.    On the voter’s list for 1945 his son Arthur B.  is listed as a Private  on active service for WW2.

Arthur Myron Beckworth died suddenly on October 6, 1971 enroute back home aboard an aircraft after visiting his son William in Vancouver. Arthur is buried in the Elmwood Block of the  Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora, Ontario. His wife Ella died 3 years later in 1974 and is buried close to Arthur.   Their daughter Elfreda is also buried in this section.

Arthur is commemorated on the Rolls of Honour for the Municipality of Keewatin framed scroll, the Town of Keewatin-Roll of Honor and  Lake of the Woods Milling Company Limited-Roll of Honour for Officers & Employees.

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