|Date of Birth||August 12, 1886|
|Place of Birth||Glasgow, Lanarkshire|
|Next of Kin||Mrs A McInnes, mother, 308 Barassay St., Glasgow, Scotland|
|Trade / Calling||Accountant/Stenographer|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Kenora, Ontario|
|Age at Enlistment||28|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||December 30, 1917|
|Age at Death||31|
|Buried At||Bois Guillaume Communal Cemetery Extension, France|
|Plot||. B . 1 B .|
Peter McInnes was born on 12 August 1886 in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland. Both from Glasgow, his parents James and Ann (née Morrison) McInnes had married on 27 February 1874. For a while after their marriage the couple had lived in nearby Kirkintilloch, Dunbartonshire as their son John was born there in 1877. Back in Glasgow by 1879, their next child James was born. For the 1891 Scotland census the family was found living on Bardowie Street in Glasgow: James age 45, Ann age 43, John age 13, James age 11, Angus age 9, Peter age 4, and Isabella, age 2 months. James’ occupation was given as iron moulder work. By the 1901 Scotland census the family was living at 16 Balmore Street in Glasgow, household members including parents James and Ann, and children John, James, Peter, and Isabella. Angus was not listed with the family. James’ continued to work as an iron moulder, John was working as a grocer salesman, James Jr as a cartwright, and Peter as ‘clerk cooperatue store’.
Peter was next found on a Canadian passenger list for the Athenia, arriving in St John, New Brunswick on 14 March 1911, destination as Winnipeg. Brother James had already arrived in 1910. Peter’s occupation given for the country from which he came was clerk and his intended occupation once in Canada was stenographer. Peter’s brother John arrived in Winnipeg in 1912 as did James’ fiancé, Margaret McHowat. The couple married on 21 June 1912 in Winnipeg.
By the time he enlisted on 22 October 1914 Peter was in the Kenora/Keewatin, Ontario area working as an accountant stenographer. Blue-eyed and fair haired, he was 28 years of age. With the 27th Battalion, Peter left Kenora for training in Winnipeg on 1 November 1914.
The 27th (City of Winnipeg) Battalion was the first independent battalion to be raised in Manitoba in the First World War, raised as part of a response to the demand for reinforcements early in 1915 as Canada struggled overseas. Another article in the paper dated 15 May 1915 told of the battalion passing through Kenora from Winnipeg on 12 May, heading east on the first leg of the journey overseas. On 17 May the 27th Battalion left Quebec aboard the Carpathian.
Once in England, Peter was confirmed as Corporal at Otterpool and then was appointed as Orderly Room Sergeant on 9 September 1915, embarking for France on the 17th. In late May he had been granted a seven day leave, and then a six day leave to England in mid June. In early October Peter was admitted to the No 8 General Hospital in Rouen for a synovitis knee, discharged on the 16th.
The first major offensive of the 27th Battalion was the battle of St Eloi, 5 kilometres from Ypres. Begun on 27 March 1916 by the British, the Canadians joined in on 4 Apr with the 27th Battalion taking over the front line, fully exposed to artillery fire. Casualties were high. One of the most notable battles of Somme the 27th Battalion participated in was the Battle of Courcelette, begun on the morning of 15 September 1916. This battle marked the first time in history that tanks were used in warfare although all 6 tanks were knocked out that day. Lasting until 22nd of September, the Canadian Corps lost about 7,200 soldiers.
Peter was granted a 14 day leave to England on 19 November 1917. On 16 December 1917 he was admitted to the No 8 General Hospital in Rouen as seriously ill, suffering from a bout of pneumonia. His condition was upgraded to dangerously ill on the 26th. Sergeant Peter McInnes died on 30 December 1917 of Lobar Pneumonia at No. 8 General Hospital, Rouen. He is interred in the Bois Guillaume Communal Cemetery Extension, Seine-et-Marne, France, Boisguillaume being a district about 5 kilometres north-east of Rouen on the main road to Neufchatel.
Peter’s brother James also served during the war, enlisting in Winnipeg on 12 May 1915 and returning to Canada on 28 June 1919. Occupation given as carpenter, he too had light hair and blue eyes. On the 1916 Canada census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, his wife Margaret and children Jane and Ann were living on Ross Street in Winnipeg, along with Peter’s sister Isabel who and immigrated in 1913. Over the years Isabel made a couple of trips back to Glasgow, each time returning to Winnipeg. Peter’s brother John remained in Winnipeg, working for Western Canada Flour Mills Company. As both of his parents were deceased, Peter’s medals and decorations, plaque and scroll were sent to him after the war. John too returned to Glasgow for a visit. He died on 29 September 1937 in Winnipeg.
Peter is commemorated on Page 283 of the First World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, on the Next of Kin Monument in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on the Keewatin Cenotaph located in Beatty Park in Keewatin, Ontario, on the Lake of the Woods Milling Company Roll of Honour plaque, the Municipality of Keewatin For King and Country plaque, on the Town of Keewatin Roll of Honour plaque, and on the memorial plaque at the Keewatin Lodge No. 417 AFAM.
by Judy Stockham
27th Battalion Base Company photograph: Second Contingent, No 10 Military District, published by Gordon Gibbons, Winnipeg 1915, digital image courtesy Jim Busby, Winnipeg
Grave marker photograph as found on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial