Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthJanuary 1, 1892
Place of BirthGreenwich
CountryEngland
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs Mary Reynolds (Mother) 24 Taunten Road, Lee Kent, England
Trade / CallingLocomotive Fireman
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number2125025
Service Record Link to Service Record
BattalionNo 1 Skilled Railway Employees
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Railway Troops
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentWinnipeg, Manitoba
Address at EnlistmentY.M.C.A. Kenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentJanuary 30, 1917
Age at Enlistment25
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathMarch 29, 1982
Age at Death90
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
Plot21E-41-3

Reynolds, Arthur

Arthur Reynolds was born on January 1, 1892 in Greenwich England. Upon enlistment, he named his next of kin as his mother Mary, still living in Lee, Kent England as of 1917. He appears to have immigrated to Canada to take advantage of work with the Railway companies, which were hiring many young men in his part of England. A large number of young men, known as the Peterborough boys, came to Canada and Kenora Ontario around 1910, and stayed together in the YMCA. It is said they shared English accents, culture and background, as well as lots of fun in their new environment. A detailed description of their adventures can be found in ‘The Peterborough Boys in Kenora 1910-1918’ by Stan Clarke, Common Ground: Stories of Lake of the Woods ISBN 978-0-9686408-1-4.

When Reynolds enlisted in Winnipeg in 1917, he was assigned to the No. 1 Section Skilled Railway Employees. He sailed from Halifax on the S.S. Ausonia and arrived in England on March 15, 1917.  In April he became part of the 58th Broad Gauge O.C. and by April 19th, he landed in France.

The Canadian Railway troops played a major role in the construction and maintenance of railways of all gauges for the 5 British army areas in France and Belgium. The 58th Broad Gauge Railway Operating Company (BGOC), operated on the lines in the immediate rear of active operations. They hauled troops, supplies, materials, ambulance trains, refugees and so on for the battles of Messine Ridge, June 1917 and the Lys, April 1918.

Reynolds was granted one leave of 14 days to the U.K. in August 1918, and again to Paris in March 1919.

Arthur Reynolds appears to have served without illness or injury, and following the armistice, his troop was returned to England in April of 1919. He was SOS to Canada arriving in Montreal on May 18th. His demobilization was on May 27th, 1919.

Arthur married Olive Edith Philpotts of Eagle River on October 27th, 1920. He listed his occupation as Fireman, which means he continued to work for the CPR railroad. He retired in 1955 from the CPR, after working 50 years, ending as an engineer. His wife Olive stated that she was born in Chalford, England in 1896. They had sons – Art of Port Alberni, B.C., and Doug of Schreiber, Ontario. There were four grandchildren and six grandchildren mentioned in the obituary notice.  Arthur died on March 29, 1982, while Olive lived until 1986. Their gravestone can be found in the Kenora, Lake of the Woods cemetery.

by Penny Beal


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