|Date of Birth||July 1, 1871|
|Place of Birth||London|
|Next of Kin||Emily Lodge (wife), Kenora, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Labourer|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||17th Reserve Battalion|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Kenora, Ontario|
|Address at Enlistment||404 Seventh Avenue South, Kenora, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||March 24, 1916|
|Age at Enlistment||44|
|Theatre of Service||Great Britain|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||January 26, 1951|
|Age at Death||79|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
|Plot||21E-22-4, Hilly Haven|
When Private William Edward Lodge enlisted he was 44 years old, married and the father of nine children. He served for 2-1/2 years in England and returned home to Kenora, Ontario in January 1919.
William was born in July 1871 in St. Luke’s, London, England, the son of William and Hester/Esther Lodge. He was the second of their ten children, five boys and five girls, including one set of twins. At the time of the 1891 census William was 19 years old, living at home and working as a sawyer. On 6 August 1894 he married Emily Eliza Hawes in Bethnal Green, London. William and Emily lived in the borough of Hackney in northeast London and five of their children were born there: William Stephen (1895), Emily (1898), Harry (1900), Rosie (1902) and John (1904). In 1906 they immigrated to Canada, arriving in Montreal on 8 July on the SS Dominion, and they homesteaded in Minaki, a small town in northwestern Ontario. Not long after that they moved Kenora where they lived on Seventh Avenue South in Lakeside. The four youngest children were born in Ontario: Constance (1907), Nellie (1909), Winnifred (1911) and Frederick (1913). According to William’s obituary he was hired by the Canadian Pacific Railway in Kenora in 1908 and he worked for them for almost thirty years.
The war started in August 1914 and William enlisted in Kenora in March 1916, joining the 94th Battalion. His oldest son had signed up in January 1915, at age 19, and he was already serving overseas with a machine gun company. William’s unit, the 94th, was mobilized in Port Arthur and recruited throughout northwestern Ontario. The Kenora volunteers left town on 25 May 1916, headed to Port Arthur to join the rest of the unit. William left for Quebec with his battalion on 9 June and they spent a short time at Valcartier, a military camp northwest of Quebec City. The men embarked for England on 28 June 1916 and a week after arriving William was transferred to the 17th Reserve Battalion. Due to his age he wasn’t sent to France and he served for 2-1/2 years with various units in East Sandling, Shoreham, Bramshott, Hastings, Witley and Ashford. He returned to Canada two months after the Armistice, embarking from Liverpool on 3 January 1919 on the SS Scotian, and he was discharged in Winnipeg on 12 February.
While William was in England his youngest daughter Winnifred died in Kenora on 4 August 1917, at age six, from complications following scarlet fever. Three months later, on 11 November 1917, his oldest son William Stephen died in Belgium during the Battle of Passchendaele. Shortly after William returned home from England his wife became ill and she passed away in May 1920, at age 50.
William lived in Kenora for the rest of his life and he died in January 1951 at the age of 79. He’s buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora along with his wife Emily (1870-1920) and their children Emily (Mrs. R.P. Murphy) (1898-1978), Harry (1900-1977), John (1904-1984), Constance (Mrs. Doug Sharpe) (1907-1992), Nellie (1909-1999), Winnifred (1911-1917) and Frederick (1913-1976). Both John and Frederick served overseas during the Second World War. John was with the Lake Superior Regiment and Frederick, who was with the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada, spent more than two years as a German prisoner of war.
William is commemorated on the St. Alban’s Pro-Cathedral First World War Roll of Honour.
By Becky Johnson
Photo of the Lodge family in Minaki (ca 1906) is courtesy of Ron Neufeld.