|Date of Birth||November 28, 1888|
|Place of Birth||Port Daniel, Quebec|
|Next of Kin||Mrs May Ahern, sister, Port Daniel, Quebec|
|Trade / Calling||Salesman|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Conscripted|
|Place of Enlistment||Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Address at Enlistment||481 Simcoe Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Date of Enlistment||November 14, 1917|
|Age at Enlistment||29|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||January 15, 1968|
|Age at Death||79|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
Joseph William McInnis was born on 28 November 1888 in Port Daniel, Quebec, baptized on the same day in the Notre Dame Du Mont Carmel Church. Port Daniel is located in eastern Quebec on the southern coast of the Gaspé Peninsula about half way between Percé and Campbellton, New Brunswick. Joseph’s parents William McInnis and Appoline Dea were both from Port Daniel, marrying on 10 January 1888. Along with other McInnis and Dea families in the area, William and Appoline farmed. Joseph was their first born, followed by Marie Anne (Mary Ann/May) in 1890 and Agnes Isabelle in 1892. Sadly Appoline died in June of 1895 and William in February of 1896. At the time of the 1901 census for Port Daniel East young Joseph, age 12, was listed as the head of the household with this sister May living with him. Neighbours in the area were all McInnises, siblings and likely cousins of William. Agnes was living with her uncle and aunt Edmund and Clemence Dea in Port Daniel West. May married William Ahern in 1910, living in Port Daniel to raise their family. For the 1911 census Agnes was still living with the Deas while it appears that Joseph had moved to Winnipeg, working as a millhand at a factory.
With the onset of conscription in the latter part of the war, Joseph had his medical examination on 14 November 1917 in Winnipeg. Living on Simcoe Street in Winnipeg and working as a salesman, he was called up for service on 5 January 1918. He gave his place of birth as Port Daniel Centre and his sister May Ahern in Port Daniel Centre as next of kin.
As a Private with the 2nd Draft of the 1st Depot Battalion Manitoba Regiment, Joseph arrived in England aboard the Grampian on 16 February 1918. Taken on strength with the 18th Reserve Battalion upon arrival, he was struck off strength to the 52nd Battalion in late June, landing in France on the 22nd. He arrived for duty on 24 July but was transferred to the 27th Battalion in August in time for the Hundred Days Offensive. The 27th Battalion was authorized on 7 November 1914, recruited in Brandon, Portage la Prairie and Winnipeg, Manitoba and Kenora and Rainy River, Ontario and was mobilized at Winnipeg. It embarked for Great Britain on 17 May 1915 and disembarked in France on 18 September 1915 where it fought as part of the 6th Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Division in France and Flanders until the end of the war.
The Hundred Days Offensive was the final period of the First World War during which the Allies launched a series of offensives against the Central Powers on the Western Front from 8 August to 11 November 1918, beginning with the Battle of Amiens. That December Joseph was attached to the Headquarters of the 6th Brigade (Permanent Guard), returning to the 27th Battalion in mid March of 1919 and on to England in early April. Returning to Canada, Joseph was discharged from service on 19 May 1919 in Montreal, intended residence given as Winnipeg.
According to his obituary, Joseph was a long time employee of Rogers Fruit Company, moving to Kenora, Ontario in 1926 and becoming manager. He married Ada Ellen (Helen) King on 4 August 1930. Born in Kenora on 17 June 1905, Ada was the daughter of William Charles King and Ada Duncan. William, a saddler and harness maker, was born in England while Ada was from New Brunswick, the couple marrying in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in 1895.
Joseph and Ada made Kenora their home, giving birth to three daughters and a son: Gail, Mary Patricia (Pat), Pauline, and Joseph Jr. Joseph was a member of the Notre Dame Roman Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus, and the Kenora Branch of the Canadian Legion.
Joseph died on 15 January 1968 in St Joseph Hospital in Kenora. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Ada, daughters Gail (John) Power in Ottawa, Pat in Winnipeg, and Pauline in Calgary, and son Joseph in Central America. He was predeceased by his parents and sister May Ahern (1935) in Port Daniel. Ada died on 12 July 1983 and is interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora with Joseph.
By Judy Stockham