Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthOctober 20, 1893
Place of BirthKenora, Ontario
CountryCanada
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinAlexander Stephen (father), Box 29, Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingFarmer
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number105248
Service Record Link to Service Record
BattalionPrincess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentRegina, Saskatchewan
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentNovember 12, 1915
Age at Enlistment22
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathOctober 27, 1974
Age at Death81
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
Plot13E-32-3

Stephen, George Robert

George Robert Stephen was born on 20 October 1893 in Rat Portage (Kenora), Ontario. His parents were Alexander Stephen and Sarah Henrietta Fogg. Siblings included Henrietta ‘Etta’ (b. 1896), Joseph ‘Alex’ (b. 1899) and Emma Jean (b. 1900). George’s mother, Sarah, died in 1910. About this time George was sent to Saskatchewan to work on the farms of relatives because he suffered from a lung condition and there was concern for his health. The 1911 Canadian Census shows he was working as a domestic in the James Morris residence at Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan.

With the outbreak of WW1, George enlisted with the 68th Battalion in Regina, Saskatchewan on 12 November 1915. By the following March, he was approved as a Provisional Lance Corporal. His unit sailed for England aboard the S.S. Olympic on 28 April 1916. In June George was transferred to the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry and sent to France.  During one of the battles of the Somme he was wounded on 07 October 1916, sustaining a shrapnel wound to the face. He was sent to hospital in Etaples, France and then invalided back to England where he spent almost a year in various hospitals. His injury caused blindness in his left eye and damage to his jaw muscles so that he had difficulty eating.  A medical board determined that his disability was 50% and permanent. George was returned to Canada in October 1917 and admitted to the Manitoba Convalescent Hospital in Winnipeg (Tuxedo).  He was released as an out patient in January 1918 and received his official discharge from the army on 06 February 1918 due to being medically unfit for service.

George’s father had taken a second wife, Elsie Inkster. When she passed away in May of 1918, George returned to Kenora for her funeral.  At this time he was receiving vocational training in Winnipeg.

George gained employment with the Canadian National Railroad in Redditt, Ontario (a small community north of Kenora). His daughter recalls: ‘When my father first began working on the CN he was sent down the line to a place which consisted of a small building which served as both a station and his living quarters.  It was heated by one little stove. One day the building caught fire and burned to the ground.  In it had been a trunk which held all my Dad’s wartime mementos. He lost everything.’    He worked as a telegrapher and station agent. On 02 August 1932 George married Evelyn May Holland.  Daughter, Lyn, was born in 1938. George and Evelyn moved into Kenora when he retired in 1958 and resided at 520 1st. St. S. George was a member of Knox Church and active in Masons and Shriners clubs.

George died on 27 October 1974 and is buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora, Ontario. Evelyn died in 2003 and is buried beside him.

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