|Date of Birth||May 23, 1889|
|Place of Birth||Balaclava, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Olive McReynolds, wife, Balaclava, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Electrician|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||Base Hospital, MD No 2|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Branch||Canadian Army Medical Corps|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Toronto, Ontario|
|Address at Enlistment||Balaclava, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||March 18, 1916|
|Age at Enlistment||26|
|Theatre of Service||Canada|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||March 14, 1963|
|Age at Death||74|
|Buried At||Greenwood Cemetery, Owen Sound, Ontario|
Courtland Campbell McReynolds was born on 23 May 1889 in Balaclava, Grey County in Ontario. His parents William Decker McReynolds, a fisherman on the Great Lakes, and Eliza Catherine Campbell were both from the area, marrying on 10 July 1888 in Balaclava. Children born to the couple were Courtland, Louis Guy (1892), Georgina Elba (Joy) (1893), and William Cross (1896).
By the time of the 1911 Canada census Courtland was living in Keewatin, Ontario, a small town about five kilometres west of Kenora in northwestern Ontario. He was boarding with Peter and Grace McKellar and family and working as an electrician at the local flour mill. On 12 March 1913, in Kenora, Courtland married Olive Julia(nna) Wolfe. At the time of the marriage he was working as a real estate agent. Born in October of 1896 in Iceland, Olive was the daughter of Ulfar Gunnlaugsson and Johanna Johannesdottir. The family immigrated to Canada in August of 1900, arriving in Montreal on the Montfort, destination listed as Winnipeg on the passenger list. When the 1901 census was taken they were living in Gimli, Manitoba and Ulfar was working as a fisherman. By the 1906 census the family was living in the town of Selkirk in Manitoba. Although originally going by the surname of Ulfarsson/Ulfarsdottir at times, the children were listed with the surname Gunnlaugsson as they had been on the passenger list. Ulfar died in Selkirk later that year, with Johanna and the children staying in Selkirk. When the next census was taken in 1911 they were using the surname Wolfe, the English equivalent of Ulfar. Johanna was working as a laundress and Olive, age 14, was a waitress in a hotel. At some point after the census they moved to Keewatin.
Courtland and Olive gave birth to daughter Julianna Eliza (Jewel) in August of 1914 in Keewatin. When Courtland enlisted with the Canadian Army Medical Corps in March of 1916 in Toronto, the family was living in Balaclava. Upon attestation his occupation was given as electrician and his wife Olive in Balaclava as next of kin. First training with the B Section No 2 Field Ambulance Depot, Courtland was transferred briefly to the 256th Battalion in early January of 1917 before being reassigned to the Military District No 2 Base Hospital that March where he was appointed Lance Corporal. From 10 February to 6 March 1918 and then again from 10 April to 10 May he was hospitalized with tonsillitis. That June Courtland was diagnosed with dementia praecox, a preexisting condition from as far back as childhood. He was discharged from service “on account of disability preexisting enlistment, not due to nor aggravated by service” on 17 June 1918 in Toronto, rank of Lance Corporal.
Courtland’s brother Guy enlisted with the 147th Battalion in December of 1915. After going through a series of transfers and hospitalizations in England, he was transferred to 1st Canadian Labour Battalion overseas in September of 1917. Once in France he was hospitalized with curvature of the spine and it was decided that he be returned to Canada. He was discharged from service due to physical unfitness on 9 August 1918 in Toronto, rank of Private. Courtland’s brother William (Willie) also enlisted with the 147th Battalion in December of 1915. First training with the 8th Reserve Battalion in England, in June of 1917 he was transferred to the 58th Battalion for duty overseas, arriving at the unit in July. A short time later, on 30 August 1917, Willie died of his wounds received in action in an attack north of Lens. He is interred in the Aix-Noulette Communal Cemetery Extension in Aix-Noulette, Departement du Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France.
Shortly after discharge Courtland, Olive and Jewel moved to Calgary, Alberta where they gave birth to son William Courtland Lewis (Bill) in 1920 followed by daughter Anne Florence in 1927. Sadly, Olive died on 13 May 1932 in Calgary and is interred in the Burnsland Cemetery. Following her death Courtland and the children moved to Owen Sound to live with Courtland’s parents. According to an online family tree, daughter Anne was raised by her Aunt Joy. A 1940’s Voters list gave Courtland’s occupation as agent while his father’s as fisherman. In later life Courtland married widow Maud Wilkinson. Born in 1886 in Grey County, Maud was the daughter of John Seabrook and Maggie Young. She had married farmer John McQuarrie Wilkinson in 1905 in nearby Sydenham and together the couple had at least four children. John had passed away in 1949.
Courtland died on 14 March 1963 in the General and Marine Hospital in Collingwood, Ontario. At the time of his death he was survived by his children Jewel (Bryant) Mothersell and family, William (Fern Viola Elliott) and family, and Anne (Ernest) Harefeld and family. He was predeceased by his mother Eliza (1938, Calgary) and father William (1940, Owen Sound), his wives Olive and Maud (1962), and siblings William during the war, Guy in a shipwreck/drowning on Lake Huron in 1936, and sister Georgina in 1962 in Calgary. Daughter Jewel later died in 1984 in Lethbridge, Alberta, son William in 2004 in St Catharines, Ontario and daughter Ann in 2020 in Manti, Utah. Along with his parents and brothers, Courtland is interred in the Greenwood Cemetery in Owen Sound.
By Judy Stockham
Photographs as found on family trees on ancestry.ca and familysearch.org.