Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthApril 18, 1884
Place of BirthNew Glasgow, Nova Scotia
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinMarion Anne Christison (wife), Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingLocomotive foreman
Service Details
Regimental Number4648
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion3rd Divisional Mechanical Transport Company
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Army Service Corps
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentWinnipeg, Manitoba
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentFebruary 21, 1916
Age at Enlistment31
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathAugust 31, 1959
Age at Death75
Buried AtCremated; location of cremains unknown.

Christison, Milne

Corporal Milne Christison joined the Canadian Army Service Corps in 1916 and served overseas for three years. He returned to Canada in May 1919.

Milne was the youngest son of Thomas John Christison and Mary Jane Milne of Pictou County, Nova Scotia. Thomas was a farmer who had emigrated from Scotland and Mary was born in Nova Scotia. They were married in the village of Pine Tree in Pictou County in July 1875 and they had five children: Eliza, George Stanley, Jeanette, David and Milne. Milne was born on 18 April 1884 in Woodburn, a small village near New Glasgow. When the 1891 census was taken the family was living in New Glasgow and all five children were at home. In 1901 they were still in New Glasgow but Mary was a widow by then and Milne, age 17, was working as a clerk.

Around 1907 Milne moved west and settled the town of Kenora in northwestern Ontario, where he found work with the Canadian Pacific Railway. He was married in Kenora on 18 August 1909 to 31-year-old Marion Ann Inch. Marion was the daughter of James Inch and Curledia Burtt of Marysville, New Brunswick. She was born in New Brunswick in 1878 and grew up in Marysville. She moved to Kenora in 1908 to work as a nurse at the Royal Jubilee Hospital.

Milne and his wife made their home in Kenora and he became a foreman in the CPR mechanical shops. By late 1915 the war was in its second year and he enlisted a few months later, signing up in Winnipeg on 21 February 1916. He joined the No. 1 Canadian Army Service Corps Training Depot. Two months later he headed overseas with the 4th draft, arriving in England on 29 April on the SS Scandinavian. He was transferred to the CASC Training Depot at Shorncliffe and in June he was sent to France. He spent three weeks with the CASC Pool before being attached to the 3rd Canadian Divisional Supply Column. He joined them in mid-July, along with 20 other reinforcements, and he served with the unit for almost two years.

Supply columns moved the supplies for their division from railheads to supply dumps using motor lorries and other vehicles. Their war diaries also mention hauling coal, wood, oats and other forage, loads of ammunition and troops. When Milne joined his unit in July 1916 they were working north of Hazebrouck, near the Belgian border. They moved several times over the next 21 months and in the spring of 1918 they were based southwest of Arras. On 14 April 1918 the supply columns were reorganized and Milne’s unit was combined with the 3rd Canadian Divisional Ammunition Sub Park to form the 3rd Canadian Divisional Mechanical Transport Company. Milne was transferred to the new company on 14 April and promoted to Corporal on 1 July.

The Canadians were heavily involved in the last months of the war and the fighting shifted into a more mobile phase. The 3rd Mechanical Transport Company followed the troops as they moved from Amiens to Arras then on to Cambrai. When the Armistice ended hostilities in November Milne’s unit was north of Valenciennes. Later that month they moved into Belgium where they stayed for the next three months. Some of their time was spent transporting personnel and troops, including repatriated prisoners of war. Milne returned to England with his unit in March 1919. He embarked for Canada on 3 May on the SS Mauretania and arrived in Halifax six days later. He was discharged in Halifax on 14 May.

Marion had moved back to Marysville, New Brunswick while Milne was overseas. They may have stayed there for awhile after the war but when the 1921 census was taken they were back in Kenora where Milne was a CPR shop foreman again. In the 1930s and early 1940s they lived in the village of Field, west of Banff, and around 1943 they moved to Edmonton, Alberta. Marion passed away on 19 November 1945, at age 67, and she’s buried in the United Church cemetery in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Milne retired from the CPR around 1948. He died in Edmonton on 31 August 1959, at age 75. He was survived by his two sisters, Mrs. Eliza Stewart and Jeanette Christison, his brother Stanley and two nephews, John and Scott Christison.

By Becky Johnson

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