Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthDecember 3, 1898
Place of BirthKenora, Ontario
CountryCanada
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinAndrew Stevenson, father, Rideout Street, Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingLocomotive Firemant
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number4079098
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedConscripted
Place of EnlistmentPort Arthur, Ontario
Address at EnlistmentRideout Street, Kenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentJune 24, 1918
Age at Enlistment19
Theatre of ServiceGreat Britain
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathMarch 9, 1973
Age at Death74

Stevenson, Alfred Frederick

Alfred Frederick Stevenson was born on 3 December 1898 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in northwestern Ontario. His father Andrew Stevenson was born in Namdalen, Norway and had immigrated to Canada by the mid 1890’s. Settling in Rat Portage with two of his brothers, they initially worked as miners. The family surname was Sivertsen, changed to Stevenson upon immigration. Alfred’s mother Hannah McClelland, born in Liverpool St Silas in Lancashire, had immigrated to Canada with her parents and brother around 1889. Andrew and Hannah married on 4 May 1897 in Rat Portage and gave birth to the following children: Alfred, Henry Raymond (1901), Hilda (1903), William Cecil (1905), Edith Evaline (1910), and Allen Russell (1912). Andrew mined for a number of years, worked as a car repairer for the railroad, and was involved in the lumbering industry.

Drafted under the Military Service Act of 1917, Alfred, a defaulter, attested and had his medical examination in Port Arthur, Ontario on 24 June 1918. His occupation was given as locomotive fireman and his father Andrew back in Kenora as next of kin.

With the 134th Draft of the 1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment, Alfred arrived in England aboard the Saturnia on 16 September 1918. Upon arrival he was taken on strength with the 11th Reserve Battalion. Later that month while in training he was diagnosed with DAH, disorderly action of the heart. Sometimes called effort syndrome or soldier’s heart, it was often the result of stress and/or fatigue. As a result he was first medically categorized as D1 with it later changed to A3. In January of 1919 Alfred was transferred to the 18th Reserve Battalion from the Manitoba Regimental Depot.

During the second quarter of 1919 in the Registration district of Eastbourne in Sussex, Alfred married Gertrude Maude Tate. Born on 22 December 1896 in Norwich in Norfolk, Gertrude was the daughter of Miles William Tate and Leah Miriam Lovick. During the latter part of the war she had served as a Voluntary Aid Detachment in France and England.

With the end of the war, Alfred and Gertrude arrived in Canada aboard the Baltic on 21 August 1919. Alfred was discharged from service on demobilization on 27 August in Halifax, intended residence given as Kenora.

Alfred’s brother Henry enlisted with the Royal Air Force in late July of 1918 and served in Canada until discharged as surplus to requirements on 16 January 1919.

At the time of the 1921 census Alfred and Gertrude were living in Kenora where Alfred was working as a locomotive fireman. They had given birth to daughter Monica in April of 1920. In 1922, in Toronto, the couple gave birth to daughter Doreen Elvera, followed by Yvonne in 1924 and Joan in 1927, both in Kenora, and Lois in 1929 in Winnipeg.

In August of 1930 the family immigrated to the United States, settling in San Francisco. However at some point the marriage failed, with Alfred marrying Ina Opal Kephart on 27 November 1936 in Santa Rosa, California. Born on 8 April 1902 in a Smoky Hollow coal mining camp in Monroe County in Iowa, Ina was the daughter of Henry Kephart and Cora May Hodges. Gertrude married Edwin Robert Matsen, a Danish immigrant, the next year in San Francisco.

At the time of his Petition for Naturalization in April of 1939, Alfred and Ina were living in San Francisco where Alfred was working as a delivery salesman. When he signed his WW2 Draft registration card in 1942 he was working for the Mountain Springs Water Company. By the early 1950’s Alfred and Ina were living in Redwood City where Alfred was an engineer for the Southern Pacific Railway. After retiring, Alfred and Ina moved to Oregon where some of Ina’s family were living. Around 1972 they moved back to California.

Alfred died on 9 March 1973 in Concord, Contra Costa, California. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Ina, five daughters, all living in California, siblings Henry in St Boniface, Manitoba, and Hilda (Benjamin) Sinclair, William, Edith, and Allan, all of Kenora. He was predeceased by his mother Hannah in 1945 in Kenora and father Andrew in 1950 in Port Arthur, Ontario. Alfred’s first wife Gertrude later died on 5 February 1987 in Modesto and his second wife Ina died on 31 December 1987 in Conrad.

By Judy Stockham


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