Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthMarch 25, 1892
Place of BirthPoplar Point, Manitoba
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinWilliam Henry Reid, father, 285 St Johns Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Trade / CallingCarpenter
Service Details
Regimental Number535624
Service RecordLink to Service Record
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Army Dental Corps
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentWinnipeg, Manitoba
Address at Enlistment285 St Johns Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Date of EnlistmentDecember 15, 1915
Age at Enlistment23
Theatre of ServiceEngland
Death Details
Date of DeathJuly 9, 1980
Age at Death88
Buried AtElmwood Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Reid, Elmer Henry

Elmer Henry Reid was born on 25 March 1892 in Poplar Point in the RM of Woodlands in south central Manitoba. His parents, both from southern Ontario, were William Henry Reid and Margaret Melissa Darling. The couple had married on 2 May 1888 in Smith Township in the Peterborough District. After giving birth to son Bertie Garfield in 1890, the family moved to the Poplar Point area to farm. By the time of the 1906 census, the family had relocated to Winnipeg where William found work as a building contractor. Known children born in Manitoba were Elmer, Stanley Richard (1895), Amy Alma May (1898), Stella Pearl (1900), Hazel Edna (1903), and Marjorie Unice (1912).

Stanley was the first to enlist during the war, signing his attestation papers on 9 December 1915 in Winnipeg. With occupation given as salesman, he was assigned to the Canadian Army Dental Corps and would serve in Canada until discharged on 26 April 1920. Elmer signed his attestation papers a few days later on December 15th, also in Winnipeg. Standing 5 feet six inches tall, he had blue eyes and dark hair. His occupation was given as carpenter, his date of birth as 25 March 1893, and his next of kin as his father William at the family home on St Johns Avenue in Winnipeg.

As a Private with the Canadian Army Dental Corps, Military District 10, Elmer arrived in England on 28 April 1916, taken on strength with the Canadian Army Dental Corps at Shorncliffe. By the next month he was on command to East Sandling in England, attached to the 92nd Battalion for pay. Elmer was to serve with the Canadian Army Dental Corps in a number of locations in England for the course of the war including Shorncliffe, Folkstone, East and West Sandling, Dilgate, London, Bexhill, Hastings and Seaford. For most of his postings Elmer was attached to general hospitals for dental services and he achieved rank of Acting Sergeant.

During the second quarter of 1917 in the registration district of Elham in Kent, Elmer married Emily Sarah Charles. Born on 17 July 1897 in Stratford in East London, Emily was the daughter of Ambrose Walter Charles and Emily Sarah Elizabeth Higgins. Her parents had married in 1896 in Tower Hamlets in London. Emily arrived in Halifax, Canada aboard the Justicia on 7 July 1917. The passenger list indicated that she was on her way to her mother-in-law’s in Winnipeg.

In August of 1918 Elmer was attached to the Canadian Training School in Bexhill for employment. He was to spend the rest of his time in England serving with the CADC at the No 13 General Hospital in Seaford. In June of 1919 it was decided he would be returned to Canada, discharged from service by reason of demobilization on 5 July 1919 in Winnipeg. At the time of discharge Elmer’s proposed residence was the family home in Winnipeg.

By the time of the 1921 census, Elmer and Emily were living in Minaki, a hamlet about 55 kilometres north of Kenora in northwestern Ontario. Making Minaki their home, children born to the couple were Mervyn Garfield (1922-2010), Lorne (1926-1994), and John Charles (1938-2022). Various censuses and Voters Lists over the years gave Elmer’s occupation as carpenter.

Elmer passed away on 9 July 1980 at the Birchwood Terrace Nursing Home in Kenora. At the time of his death he was survived by his three sons, eleven grandchildren, nine great grandchildren as well as his sister Marjorie Hardham of Penticton. He was predeceased by his wife Emily that April as well as his mother Margaret in 1926 in Winnipeg and father William in Minaki in 1938. He was also predeceased by siblings Bertie (1908, Winnipeg), Stanley (1942, Winnipeg), Hazel (Walter) Craig (1970, Glendale, California), Stella (John) Pearre (1971, San Francisco), and Alma (Jack) McIlroy (1978, Winnipeg).

Along with his wife Emily, his parents, and some of his siblings, Elmer is interred in Elmwood Cemetery in Winnipeg.

By Judy Thorburn