Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthMarch 1, 1891
Place of BirthBarrie, Simcoe County, Ontario
CountryCanada
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinCarrie Wreggit (sister), Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingBoat builder
ReligionMethodist
Service Details
Regimental Number439079
Battalion52nd Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentJanuary 15, 1915
Age at Enlistment23
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathFebruary 5, 1952
Age at Death60
Buried AtEldon Cemetery, RM of Gilbert Plains, Manitoba

Wreggit, Truman Albert

Private Truman Albert Wreggit was born in Barrie, Simcoe County, Ontario on 1 March 1891. His mother, Susannah Calvert, was unmarried and his birth was registered as Truman Albert Calvert. Susannah was married in Barrie in October 1895 to George Wreggit, a widowed farmer. George and Susannah had five children: Ethel May (1896), Carrie Elizabeth (1897), William Ernest (1899), Pearl Hazel (1901) and Wilfred (1903). Sadly, Susannah died of tuberculosis in April 1903, when Wilfred was a week old, and Wilfred died later that same month, at age four weeks. George remarried and he passed away in 1907 after being ill with cancer for a year and a half.

When the 1911 census was taken Truman was living in Vaughan Township, York Centre, Ontario, working as a labourer. The other children were living with relatives in Oro Township, Simcoe North and Innisfil, Simcoe South. Around the time the war started Truman moved to the town of Kenora in northwestern Ontario where he was employed by the Stone Boat Company. He enlisted in Kenora on 15 January 1915, when recruits were being raised for a third overseas contingent. His occupation was boat builder and next of kin was his sister Carrie Wreggit in Kenora. The local recruits were briefly attached to the 44th Battalion but they were transferred to the 52nd (New Ontario) Battalion when it was organized in mid-March. Truman trained with his unit in Kenora but he was discharged as medically unfit for further service on 4 May 1915.

Truman was married in Kenora on 22 April 1916, at age 25. His wife, Jessie May Ritchie, was born in Kenora (called Rat Portage at the time) on 18 May 1897. Her parents, John Ritchie and Jessie Miller, were both born in Scotland and they had one other child, Herbert Henry, who was about ten years older than Jessie. John was a dairy farmer. One of the witnesses for Truman’s marriage was his sister Carrie Wreggit, who was still living in Kenora. She later moved to New York.

Truman and Jessie stayed in Kenora for another three years and he worked as a brakeman for the Canadian Pacific Railway. They had one son, Albert John, who was born in Kenora on 7 August 1918. In the spring of 1919 they moved to the RM of Gilbert Plains in Manitoba and took up farming in the Clearview District, just north of the town of Gilbert Plains. Truman also continued working for the CPR and their son eventually took over the family farm. In the 1940s Truman and Jessie spent about three years in Winnipeg before returning to Gilbert Plains in 1946.

Truman passed away after a long illness on 5 February 1952, at age 60. Jessie continued living in Gilbert Plains and moved into the Gilbert Plains Health Care Centre in 1989. She passed away on 29 April 1995, at age 97. Their son Albert John died in 1998. He was survived by his wife Ida, three children and six grandchildren. Truman, Jessie and Albert John are all buried in Eldon Cemetery in the RM of Gilbert Plains.

By Becky Johnson


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