Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthFebruary 22, 1899
Place of BirthKenora, Ontario
CountryCanada
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs Eliza Fullerton (mother), Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingPrinter
ReligionPresbyterian
Service Details
Regimental Number198762
Service Record Link to Service Record
BattalionNo. 50 Training Depot Station
ForceAir Force
BranchRoyal Air Force
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of Enlistment15/01/1916
Age at Enlistment16
Theatre of ServiceGreat Britain
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of Death02/04/1986
Age at Death87
Buried AtEdmonton Cemetery, Edmonton, Alberta
PlotOM-0049-0014

Fullerton, Stewart John

Flight Second Lieutenant Stewart John Fullerton enlisted underage when he was 16 years old. He served for 2-1/2 years in Canada and England with the 94th Battalion and the Canadian Engineers. In June 1918 he was transferred to the Royal Air Force and he trained as a pilot for the next year, returning home in July 1919.

Stewart was the seventh of eight sons born to George William Fullerton and Eliza Carstairs Munro. George and Eliza both grew up in Nova Scotia and they were married in Pictou County in 1883. George was a carpenter and turner and he operated a sash and door factory. Their first six sons were born in Pictou: William (1884), Aubrey (1885), Albert (1887, died in 1915), George (1888), Louis Elmer (1889, died as an infant) and Elmer Garfield (1891). In the late 1890s the family moved to Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora), in northwestern Ontario. Stewart was born there on 22 February 1899 and he was followed by the youngest son, Ralph, in 1901. George was self-employed as a contractor in Rat Portage and he built and owned the Fullerton Block, located at the corner of Matheson Street and Fort (now First Street South). Before the war started he moved to Edmonton to establish a business, the Fullerton Grant Lumber Company, but his wife and sons stayed in Kenora.

By the fall of 1915 the war was in its second year and Stewart enlisted on 15 January 1916. He was not quite 17 years old but he passed himself off as two years older. He was 5’7″ and 135 lb and working as a printer at the time. He signed up with the 94th Battalion, which was based in Port Arthur. In May the Kenora recruits were sent there to train with the rest of the unit. A huge crowd gathered at the Kenora train station to see the lads off and wish them well. The battalion headed to Quebec on 9 June and spent a short time at Valcartier Camp before embarking for the UK at the end of the month. Instead of going overseas with his unit Stewart was sent to Ottawa where he was transferred to the Signal Training Depot, Canadian Engineers. His brother Elmer travelled to Ottawa and enlisted in the same unit on 10 June.

Stewart spent the next eleven months at the Signal Training Depot. In March 1917 he contracted the measles and he was a patient at St. Luke’s General Hospital in Ottawa for two weeks. On 24 April he embarked for England on the SS Olympic and when he arrived he was assigned to the Canadian Engineers Training Depot. He served there until May 1918 when the Training Depot was re-organized and he was transferred to the 1st Canadian Engineers Reserve Battalion. In June Stewart was discharged from the Canadian Forces and transferred to the Royal Air Force to begin training as a pilot. He attended the RAF School of Armament from 23 August to 12 October. A month later the Armistice ended hostilities but Stewart remained with the RAF until the following summer. He spent five months at No. 50 Training Depot Station in Eastbourne, Sussex then he was back at the School of Armament in April 1919. In early June he was promoted to Flight Second Lieutenant and at the end of the month he left for Canada, embarking from Liverpool on the SS Megantic and landing at Halifax on 8 July. His brother Elmer Garfield had also become a Royal Air Force pilot and he returned to Canada on the SS Megantic with Stewart. Elmer went on to have a long career in the Canadian Air Force but Stewart returned to civilian life.

Eliza had joined her husband in Edmonton in 1917 and when the 1921 census was taken Stewart was living with them and working as a telegraph operator. In 1924 his address was High River, Alberta and by 1928 he was employed as a linotype operator in Vancouver. Sometime in the late 1930s he married Emma Thelma Barefoot, a stenographer who was living in Edmonton. Thelma was born in 1906 in Toronto and moved to Alberta with her family as a young girl. Stewart and his wife made their home in Edmonton and he went on to have a long career as an accountant in the civil service. He was a member of Patricia Lodge No. 91 AF and AM. He passed away on 2 April 1986, at age 87, and he’s buried in Edmonton Cemetery. Thelma died later the same year.

By Becky Johnson

Fullerton-Stewart-90 94th-1916-05-27a 94th-1916-06-10 Fullerton-Stewart-91 Fullerton-Stewart-92
Grave marker photo courtesy of Alison on findagrave.com.


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