Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthApril 1, 1898
Place of BirthDundee, Forfarshire
Marital StatusSingle
Service Details
BattalionGordon Highlanders
ForceBritish Expeditionary Force
BranchBritish Infantry
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathSeptember 14, 1932
Age at Death34
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Waugh, George

George Waugh was born on 1 April 1898 in the district of St Peter in the city of Dundee in Forfarshire, Scotland. Forfarshire was renamed as Angus in 1928. Dundee, a maritime city in the east of Scotland, is located on the River Tay as it flows into the North Sea.

George’s father was William Waugh, son of Patrick (weaver) and Agnes (Barr) Waugh, and was also born in Dundee. William was employed in the weaving industry, with occupation of calenderer as he operated a machine (a calender) with rollers that smoothed and flattened the fabric. William had married Alice Hendry in 1876 in Dundee. The 1891 Scotland census for William, living on Hunter Street in Dundee, listed family members of William, wife Mary, and children Ann and William. His marriage to Alice had ended (Alice later died in 1913 in Dundee) and he had entered a relationship with Mary (née Barron) Peterson. Mary had been married to Peter Peterson, merchant seaman but had separated around 1886. By the 1901 census William had moved to 8 Park Wynd in Dundee. Listed in the census with William was Mary, housekeeper and lodger, age 36 and five children. William and Mary had given birth to Ann (1888), William (1889), Mary Jane (Jeannie) (1891), Helen ( 1896) and George. Daughter Isabella was later born in 1905. Hard times befell the family as George’s father William died in January of 1906, followed by his mother Mary that May.

By the 1911 Scotland census George was living in Laurencekirk, Kincardineshire. Along with Isabella, age 5, and another unrelated child named Robert, George was listed as Parish Council boarder living with Margaret Stewart, widow age 54, and her son Charles. Born in 1898 in nearby Marykirk in Kincardineshire, Charles Robert, a WW1 veteran, later immigrated to Canada in 1921 and settling in Winnipeg, Manitoba. In 1924 he married Mary Jane Ritchie Mackie, his bride from the same area of Scotland as Charles. Charles died in 1980 in Deer Lodge in Winnipeg.

Although a service record was not found, according to his obituary George served with the Gordon Highlanders during WW1. However it is likely that he was Private S/25489 and served with the 4/5 (Angus and Dundee) Royal Highlanders (Black Watch) out of Dundee, awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal for his service. George’s brother William had enlisted with the 4th Royal Highlanders (Black Watch) in 1914 and served overseas until 1916. He then enlisted with the Royal Air Force in May of 1918.

At the time of the 1921 Scotland census, George was boarding with Samuel Aikenhead and his family on their farm in Marykirk, Kincardineshire and working as their ploughman. At some point after the census he immigrated to Canada. Later newspaper accounts suggested that by around 1922 George had ended up in Kenora, Ontario, working for WE Long on his farm on Round Lake in nearby Jaffray but it was likely he didn’t arrive until 1924-25. When the farm was sold to the Department of Indian Affairs for construction of the Cecilia Jeffrey Residential School, George stayed on as a farm instructor. In 1927 George won first place in the Kenora Agricultural Society plowing competition. For the 1931 Canada census he was listed at the residential school, with year of immigration given as 1925 and age as 29.

On 13 September 1932, in Kenora, George married Margaret Kathleen Jamieson, a teacher at the school. Born on 5 December 1907 in Ebensburg in Pennsylvania, Margaret was the daughter of Peter and Bessie (Ross) Jamieson.

On the next morning, 14 September 1932, George had wakened some of the boys at the school to go and milk the cows and he was last seen as he headed to the barn. When it was found that George was missing an extensive search was conducted, and with a rowboat found floating loose, his body was later recovered in Round Lake. A funeral service was conducted in the Presbyterian Church in Kenora, with the Kenora Branch of the Canadian Legion according full honours. C Stewart, a “cousin” living in Winnipeg, was listed informant on George’s death record; Charles Stewart was one of the pallbearers at his funeral. A coroner’s inquest was held into the death, with an open verdict of drowning (see newspaper report below for details).

Having given birth to George’s daughter Ruth in 1933, and living in Waldo in British Columbia at the time, Margaret married Alton Muir on 22 June 1936 in Kalispell, Montana. Alton and Margaret gave birth to three children, two daughters and a son. Margaret died on 22 September 1992 in Fernie, British Columbia and is interred with Alton in the Westlawn Cemetery in nearby Cranbrook.

George is interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora. His original grave marker gave his name as C Waugh and year of death as 1930, and was corrected and replaced in 2015 by Last Post Fund, Veterans Affairs Canada.

by Judy Stockham

Photograph of George provided by his great granddaughter.

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