|Date of Birth||December 31, 1865|
|Place of Birth||Liverpool|
|Next of Kin||Mrs. Esther Ann Simister (wife), 5th Ave. S. Side, Swift Current, Saskatchewan|
|Trade / Calling||Hospital Assistant|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Swift Current, Saskatchewan|
|Address at Enlistment||General Delivery, Swift Current, Saskatchewan|
|Date of Enlistment||May 31, 1916|
|Age at Enlistment||50|
|Theatre of Service||Canada|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||August 31, 1942|
|Age at Death||76|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
|Plot||Elmwood Circle, 36E-14-4|
Birth date and location: According to Richard’s Attestation Paper, he was born December 31, 1972 in Liverpool, England. His actual birth date, however, was December 31, 1865. His parents were John Simister and Sarah Edge.
Richard was baptized at St. Peter’s Church, Liverpool on February 11, 1866. His father, John, was a Rope Maker and the family resided at Old Swan, Liverpool. John and Sarah had married in Liverpool in 1845 and Richard had several older siblings.
Early life: On October 25, 1890, in St. Andrew’s Church, Oldham, Richard, a 24 year old labourer, married Esther Ann Neild, age 26, daughter of Henry Neild. In 1891 they were living in the Parish of St. Paul, Hollingsworth, Lancashire. Richard was working as a stoker in a coal mine. Ten years later, for the 1901 census, they were living in St. Margaret’s parish, Oldham. Two sons were also listed: Edward, born September 1893 and Arthur, born about 1895.
At some point, they decided to move to Canada and, on April 30, 1903, the small family of four left Liverpool for Quebec, sailing on the Ionian of the Allan Line. At the time of the 1906 census they were living in Medicine Hat, Alberta but there seems to be no record of them in the 1911 or 1916 Canadian census returns. It is from Richard’s enlistment that we learn he and Esther were living in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. Interestingly, their son, Edward, who also enlisted, said Richard was living in Canuck, Saskatchewan.
War experience: Richard, who had been working as a hospital attendant, enlisted with the 209th Battalion in Regina, Saskatchewan on May 30, 1916 giving his age as 44; however, on December 1, 1916, Private Richard Simister was discharged, with good conduct, as being medically unfit due to inflammation of the lungs resulting in general debilitation. Earlier in the same year, on January 27, his eldest son, Edward Simister (Regimental Number 261101), enlisted, but was discharged March 15, 1916, also medically unfit.
Life after the war: By the time of Richard’s discharge, Esther had moved to 392 Morley Avenue, Fort Rouge, Winnipeg, Manitoba. The next record for Richard is the 1921 census when he was living with his son Edward in Regina, Saskatchewan. He was employed as a janitor and listed as married but Esther was not in the household.
Edward remarried as a widower in Kenora, Ontario on September 1, 1926. His second wife, Ida Florence Sutcliffe (née White) was a widow born in Lancashire, England. She was 48 years old and a sales lady. Richard is next found in the Canada Voters lists for 1935 and 1940, living in Norman, Ontario. He worked as a Caretaker at West Ward School for 9 years, retiring in 1940. Following Richard’s death, Ida remained in Norman and is in the 1949 voters list.
Richard was a member of the Kenora Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion; a member of the Sons of England with an association to the Daughters of England; and, a member of St. Albans Pro-Cathedral Church.
Date of death and burial location: Richard died August 31, 1942 and was buried September 1, 1942 in Elmwood Circle Block, Plot 36 East in Lake of the Woods Cemetery. He was survived by his wife, sons Edward and Arthur and a daughter. The names of his wife and daughter are not given in his obituary. Ida died in Winnipeg in 1955, age 78, and she’s buried in Brookside Cemetery. She had been a member of the Daughters of England. Richard’s son, Edward, died March 13, 1958 and is buried in Regina Cemetery in Saskatchewan.
Presented by Susan [Hillman] Brazeau in support of the Kenora Great War Project – honouring all who served, remembering those who died.
1881 England Census
1891 England Census
1901 England Census
Manchester Marriages and Banns 1754-1930
U.K. Outward Passenger Lists: 1903
Library and Archives Canada: Attestation Paper
Kenora Daily Miner and News
Canada Voters lists: 1935, 1940
Lake of the Woods Cemetery
Northern Ontario Gravemarkers Gallery
Winnipeg Free Press
Saskatchewan Cemetery Project
1906 and 1921 Canada census
Unsuccessful: 1911 and 1916 Canada census