Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthOctober 11, 1884
Place of BirthSt John's, Newfoundland
CountryCanada
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinEli Tuck, father, St John's, Newfoundland
Trade / CallingClerk
ReligionMethodist
Service Details
Regimental Number198663
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion43rd Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentKeewatin, Ontario
Address at EnlistmentKeewatin, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentDecember 31, 1915
Age at Enlistment31
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathOctober 13, 1941
Age at Death57
Buried AtBrookside Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba
PlotMLTY-1720-0

Tuck, Harry LeDrew

The son of Eli and Mary Anne Tuck, Harry LeDrew Tuck was born on 11 October 1884 in St John’s, Newfoundland. His father Eli’s formal title was Excise Officer in His Majesty’s Custom but was also called a tide-waiter (a customs officer who boards incoming ships at a harbour). Known children born to the family that survived into adulthood were Ida Isabella, Nellie (b 1882), Harry, and Alma (b 1891). The family suffered a lot of tragedy in the form of deaths of young children: Benjamin (1872-1879), Sarah Gertrude (d 1879), female baby (1880-1880), Mollie (1880-1886), and Sarah (1886-1886).

According to the 1911 Canada census Harry moved to northwestern Ontario in 1906. He found work as a bookkeeper in the Lake of the Woods Milling Company office in Keewatin and lodged with Annie Beaton and her family on Ottawa Street. With occupation given as clerk, he signed his attestation papers in Keewatin on 31 December 1915, giving his father back in St John’s as next of kin. He listed one year military service with the 98th Regiment. With recruitment taking place throughout northwestern Ontario, the 94th Battalion had its headquarters in Port Arthur. In mid May of 1916 Private Harry Tuck, along with a number of other local fellows, left Kenora by train for the Lakehead, wished well by a large crowd that gathered to see the boys off. In early June the battalion moved to Valcartier, Quebec for further training before embarking for England from Halifax aboard the Olympic on the 28th.

Once in England Harry was transferred to the 17th Reserve Battalion and then on to the 43rd Battalion, arriving in France on 3 November 1916 and joining the battalion on the 22nd. On 28 April 1917 Harry was first admitted to the No 14 General Hospital at Wimereux and then on to the Mile End Military Hospital on Bancroft Road in London. His diagnosis was trench fever.  Trench fever is a disease transmitted by body lice, very common due to the trench conditions during the war. The onset of symptoms is usually sudden, with high fever, severe headache, pain on moving the eyeballs, soreness of the muscles of the legs and back, and frequently   hyperaesthesia of the shins. The initial fever is usually followed in a few days by a single, short rise but there may be many relapses between periods without fever.The most constant symptom is pain in the legs and recovery takes a month or more. Lethal cases are rare, but in a few cases the persistent fever might lead to heart failure, Aftereffects may include neurasthenia, cardiac disturbances and myalgia.  (en.wikipedia.org)

Upon discharge from the Mile End Hospital at the end of May Harry spent another week at the Canadian Convalescent Hospital at Bromley in Kent. He then went through a series of transfers in England and was out of service from late November until mid December 1917, then from the end of January until mid March of 1918 (vdg). Following another series of transfers in England, Harry embarked for Canada on 7 December 1918 with final discharge in Winnipeg on 18 January 1919. It was noted in his record he suffered from myalgia and defective vision.

After the war Harry returned to Keewatin, found lodging with the McCrimmon family on Wharf street and working as a bookkeeper at the flour mill for the 1921 Canada census. Around 1934 he moved to Winnipeg, found on the 1940 Voters List as a pensioner living at 440 Balmoral Street, Apt 3. Harry’s sister Alma lived in Keewatin for a while after the war, leaving in 1926 to work as a governess for a family in New York. Over the years she travelled with the job to Canada, France and Cuba. Harry’s sister Nellie was a nurse and she too travelled with her job, usually accompanying patients. Neither Nellie or Alma married, and it appears nor did Harry. Their older sister Ida married a Currie and had at least one child.

Predeceased by his mother Mary Ann, date unknown, and father Eli in 1922 in Newfoundland, Harry died on 13 October 1941 at his home on Edmonton Street in Winnipeg. His Veteran Death Card listed his sister, Miss Alma Tuck, of Long Island, New York as his next of kin. Harry is interred in the Military Field of Honour section of Brookside Cemetery in Winnipeg.

In August of 1919 the town of Keewatin held a demonstration to honour those of the town who had served, presenting each with a badge and medal. On the list of recipients noted in the Kenora Miner and News was Harry Tuck. Harry is commemorated for his service during the war on the Lake of the Woods Milling Company Roll of Honour, the Town of Keewatin Roll of Honour, and on the Municipality of Keewatin for King and Country plaque.

by Judy Stockham