Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthSeptember 30, 1876
Place of BirthMelrose, Roxburghshire
Marital StatusSingle
Trade / CallingShipper at Lake of the Woods Milling Company
Service Details
Regimental Number36231
BattalionRoyal Scots Fusiliers
ForceBritish Army
BranchBritish Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Date of EnlistmentJanuary 9, 1917
Age at Enlistment40
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJune 12, 1937
Age at Death60
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Currie, Benjamin William

Benjamin William Currie, the eldest child of William and Emily Currie was born on 30 September 1876 in Melrose, Scotland. His father worked in the wool business as a packer and a dyer.  Benjamin’s siblings included: Andrew (b. 1880), Eliza (b. 1882), Rowland (b. 1883), Charles (b. 1888) and George (b. 1889) and Evelyn (b. 1894). In 1904 Benjamin immigrated to Canada and settled in Keewatin, Ontario where he found work as a flour mill labourer at the Lake of the Woods Milling Company.

When WW1 broke out, Benjamin tried to enlist with the Canadian army in 1914, 1915 and again in 1916, but he was turned down because he did not pass the medical examination.  His age (approaching 40) was also a factor. He even tried to join the forestry and labour battalions with no success.  So, Benjamin arranged his own passage back to Scotland sailing from St. John’s New Brunswick aboard the S.S. Scotian.  He intended to join ‘one of the brave highland regiments’ in his home country.  However, on 09 January 1917 when he enlisted at Dundee, Scotland he was put in the 10th Works Battalion of the Royal Scottish Fusiliers.  In March of 1917 he was transferred to the 40th Labour Company and sent to France where he served for two years.

Upon his discharge on 01 April 1919, Benjamin resided in Darnick, Melrose, Scotland.  He got a letter from T.J Cherry of the Lake of the Woods Milling Company stating his ‘old position in the shipping department was still open and his services were required at the earliest possible moment’. Benjamin applied to have his passage back to Canada paid by the military and returned to Keewatin.

The 1921 Canadian Census shows Benjamin living on Ottawa Street, Keewatin working as a shipper at the flour mill.  He remained single. During the winter of 1936-37 Benjamin drowned in the Winnipeg River.  His body was recovered near the Norman dam on 12 June 1937.  On his death record a notation of ‘suicide’ was made by the coroner.  Benjamin is buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario.

Notice of Benjamin's death in Miner & News

Notice of Benjamin’s death in Miner & News

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