Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthFebruary 12, 1895
Place of BirthBuckingham, Quebec
CountryCanada
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs Nellie Lough, mother, Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingTeamster
ReligionPresbyterian
Service Details
Regimental Number198314
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion85th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentNovember 25, 1915
Age at Enlistment20
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathSeptember 16, 1981
Age at Death86
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
Plot59E-15-3

Lough, Russell Emerson

According to his attestation papers, Russell Emerson Lough was born on 12 February 1895 in Buckingham, Quebec. His parents John Robert and Helen (Nellie) (née Storey) Lough had married on 27 November 1889 in Buckingham although neither were of French Canadian descent. It appears that their first child, George Garfield, born in 1891, died less than two months later. Other children born to the family were Pearlena Myrtle (1892), Lyla May (1896), Charles Leslie (1899), and two infants that died within days after birth, Oswald Manley (1900), and Nellie Margaret (1906). By the 1901 Canada census the family had relocated to Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in northwestern Ontario. For a number of years John worked at the local mines in the area before finding employment at the Keewatin Lumber Company.

With occupation given as teamster and his mother Nellie as next of kin, Russell signed his attestation papers in Kenora on 25 November 1915. With headquarters in Port Arthur, Ontario, recruiting for the 94th Battalion had begun earlier that month although the battalion was not officially authorized until late in December. After training locally for a number of months, in May of 1916 men from C and D Companies from Kenora and Fort Frances were moved to Port Arthur; a large crowd gathered at the Kenora station to say goodbye and wish the men well. In early June the battalion left for Valcartier Camp in Quebec and embarked from Halifax aboard the Olympic on the 28th. On board was Private Russell Lough.

Once in England Russell was transferred to the 17th Reserve Battalion and then on to the 85th Battalion, arriving at the unit on 5 April 1917. As reported in the Brandon, Manitoba and Kenora newspapers, that June Russell was admitted to the No 35 General Hospital in Calais suffering from gunshot wounds to the leg, foot, and back on the 23rd. Invalided to England a few days later, he was admitted to the Horton City of London War Hospital in Epsom, Surrey and then on to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital Woodcote Park in early September, discharged on the 24th. It was mid April of 1918 before he returned to France, rejoining the 85th Battalion in mid August. In March of 1919 Russell was promoted to Corporal, returning to England in late April. He embarked from Liverpool for Canada aboard the Adriatic on 31 May and was discharged from service on 15 June in Halifax. Russell arrived back in Kenora following discharge.

After the war Russell farmed for a short time in the Machin area of northwestern Ontario where he likely met his bride to be, Edith Fanny Bennett who was living in nearby Minnitaki. The daughter of Albert and Florence (Baker) Bennett, Edith was born 1904 in Bristol, England. Along with her mother and siblings, Edith was found on the passenger list of the Empress of Britain that arrived in Quebec in May of 1909. At the time the family was headed to Winnipeg to join Albert where he was working as a railroad labourer. Russell and Edith married on 17 May 1922 in Kenora. The couple settled in Kenora and gave birth to at least three children, John Henry (Jack), James Russell (Jim), and a daughter, Florence. During the 1950’s Russell married Alice Burchall, widow of Douglas Burchall who also went overseas with the 94th Battalion. Later transferred to the 28th Battalion, Douglas died of his wounds on 12 May 1918. Over the years Russell worked as a bartender in Kenora and as a steward/manager in Red Lake, Ontario.

Predeceased by his father John in 1922, his sister Lyla Bennett in 1934, his brother Charles in 1957, his mother Nellie in 1960, and his wife Alice in 1970, Russell died on 16 September 1981 in the Pinecrest Home for the Aged in Kenora. At the time he was survived by his sons Jack of Kenora, Jim of Port Alberni in British Columbia, and daughter Florence Duncan of Brandon, Manitoba as well as his sister Myrtle Patterson of St Catharines, Ontario and ten grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren. Russell is interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora.

Russell’s brother Charles served during the war in Canada, signing his recruitment papers in Regina, Saskatchewan with the 1st Depot Battalion Saskatchewan Regiment on 23 August 1918. With the end of the war in sight, he did not go overseas. Russell’s son Jack joined the army in 1940, serving with the Winnipeg Grenadiers, the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, and the Royal Winnipeg Rifles infantry divisions. He served overseas in France, Holland, and Germany, and remained with the army of occupation as Court Reporter for the Canadian Maple Leaf at the Nurenburg Trials.  He returned home in 1946. Russell’s son  Jim, much decorated, served during the Korean War.

by Judy Stockham

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