|Date of Birth||December 23, 1863|
|Place of Birth||Campbell's Bay, Quebec|
|Next of Kin||Mrs H Proudlock, North Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Trade / Calling||Powderman, Railway Construction|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Date of Enlistment||October 16, 1915|
|Age at Enlistment||51|
|Theatre of Service||Canada|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||July 29, 1930|
|Age at Death||66|
|Buried At||Coleman Union Cemetery, Coleman, Alberta|
Harral Hamilton (Harry) Proudlock was born on 23 December 1863 in the Township of Litchfield, Pontiac, Quebec, now known as Campbell’s Bay. His father farmer Thomas Proudlock, born about 1837, had first been married to Mary Moorhead. The couple gave birth to three children, Harry, Annie, and Margaret Jane before Mary passed away. According to a family tree, Thomas married Nancy Ann Nesbitt Stevenson in 1873 in Litchfield. Thomas and Nancy gave birth to children Marion (1874), Thomas (1876), Margaret Ann (1877), Elizabeth (Betsy) (1879), Mary (1881), Richard (1882), John (1884), Andrew (1885), Jane (1888), Agnes (1890), and Duncan (1892).
A family tree suggests Harry married Sarah (Sadie) Bigelow on 18 January 1887 in Buckingham, Quebec. Born on 14 March 1866 in the Buckingham area, Sarah was the daughter of farmers Adam Chester Bigelow and Julia Ann Londsdale. The 1891 census found Harry and Sarah living in Buckingham where Harry was working as a miner. They had given birth to two children, Cora Edna (1888) and Mae (1891). Another son, Thomas Hamilton, was born in 1897. By the time of the 1901 census the family had moved to Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in northwestern Ontario where Harry found work in the gold mines. Children born in Rat Portage were William David (1898), Marvel George Chester (1902), and Marshall James Reginald (1908). Also living with the family in 1901 was Harry’s half brother William. By the time of the 1911 census Harry was working on the construction of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway north of Kenora. Sadly, David died in 1898 followed by Cora in 1899, both interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.
Harry signed his attestation papers with the 63rd Battalion on 16 October 1915 in Edmonton, Alberta. Likely to appear younger, his year of birth was given 1872. His occupation was given as railway construction powder man and his next of kin as Mrs H Proudlock in Winnipeg. Found medically unfit, Harral was discharged from service on 4 April 1916 in Edmonton, character and conduct described as fair. His intended residence after discharge was given as General Delivery, Edmonton.
Harral’s son Thomas enlisted enlisted in Winnipeg in March of 1915 and served overseas with the 28th Battalion and other units. He was discharged from service in 1917 in Winnipeg as medically unfit. Thomas attested again in 1919, discharged a few months later as medically unfit. His son Marvel, age 14, enlisted on 2 August 1917 in Winnipeg with the Canadian Army Service Corps. He was discharged as a minor on 10 October 1917. His half brother Duncan Proudlock, living in Kenora at the time, enlisted in Winnipeg in April of 1916, discharged as medically unfit on 22 June 1916 in Ottawa.
The 1916 census listed Sarah and the two younger boys living in Winnipeg, Sarah as a widow from the United States. At the time of the 1921 census Harry was working as a labourer in a Grading Camp in the Lethbridge district of Alberta.
Harry died on 29 July 1930 in the Miners Hospital in Coleman, Alberta. According to a Lethbridge newspaper account reporting his death, he had previously been injured in 1928 when teaming logs for the McLaren Lumber Company from one of the mountain camps, necessitating the amputation of one leg. In mid July he had been admitted to the hospital suffering from blood poisoning in the remaining foot, declining consent to a second amputation. Friends in the Orange Lodge and the town council took charge of the funeral arrangements. It was noted that Harry was a former hockey and lacrosse player.
Harry was predeceased by his mother, his father Thomas in 1902 in Campbell’s Bay, and half siblings Richard in 1902 in Campbell’s Bay, and Jane in 1905 in Quebec. Half siblings Margaret Ann (Robert) Manwell died in 1945 in Sudbury, Betsy (Alexander) Stevenson in 1945 in Arnprior, Marion (William) Stevenson in 1948 in Renfrew, Thomas in 1953 in Kenora, Andrew in 1958 in Detroit, John in 1964 in Campbell’s Bay, Duncan in 1965 in Kindersley, Agnes in 1970 in Saskatoon and Mary (Thomas) Jones in 1974 in Los Angeles. His wife Sarah died in 1952, and children Mae (Charles) Matheson in 1943, Thomas in 1951, Reginald in 1975, and Marvel in 1977, all in Vancouver.
Harry is interred in an unmarked grave in the Coleman Union Cemetery.
By Judy Stockham
Coleman Union Cemetery photo: Alison Glass