Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthJanuary 8, 1893
Place of BirthWest Selkirk, Manitoba
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinFrederick Henry Lenton (father), 364 Superior Avenue, West Selkirk, Manitoba
Trade / CallingLumber Scaler
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number187626
Service RecordLink to Service Record
BattalionCanadian Corps Troop Mechanical Transport Company
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Army Service Corps
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentWinnipeg, Manitoba
Address at EnlistmentWest Selkirk, Manitoba
Date of EnlistmentAugust 14, 1915
Age at Enlistment22
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathFebruary 1, 1965
Age at Death72
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
PlotLiberty View, 40E-35-1

Lenton, Francis Henry

Lance Corporal Francis Henry Lenton enlisted in August 1915 and served overseas for three years in England, France, Belgium and Germany. He returned to Canada in June 1919.

Francis (Frank) was the oldest son of Frederick Henry Lenton and Marion Eliza Smith of Selkirk, Manitoba. His parents were both born in England, Fred in Hampstead, London and Marion in Derbyshire. They were married in Selkirk in 1888 and they had at least twelve children: Ethel, Frank, Dorothy, Marion, Percy, Fred, Ray, Edith, Cecil, Alfred, Harold and Wilfred. Frank, their second child, was born in Selkirk on 8 January 1893. Three of his brothers died young (Percy, Ray and Harold).

Frank started working in the forest and lumber industry when he was about 18 and he spent some time at Lac du Bonnet and in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. By 1914 he was employed as a lumber scaler for J.D. McArthur Lumber Company in Winnipeg and he joined a local militia unit in Winnipeg. The war started in August 1914 and he enlisted a year later, on 14 August 1915, signing up with the 90th Battalion. The 90th was organized and recruited in Winnipeg and after training in the city over the winter the men embarked from Halifax on the SS Olympic on 31 May 1916. In England they were absorbed into the 11th Reserve Battalion to be used as reinforcements for other units. Frank had been promoted to Acting Corporal in the 90th Battalion and he retained his rank when he was assigned to the reserve unit. During a medical that summer he was found to have defective vision in one eye and in August 1916 he was transferred to the Canadian Army Service Corps Training Depot, reverting to Private at his own request. He spent a year in England with the Canadian Army Service Corps and in August 1917 he was sent to France in a reinforcing draft. He trained at the Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp until the following spring.

On 15 April 1918 Frank was transferred to a newly-organized unit, the Canadian Corps Troops Mechanical Transport Company, and that same day he was promoted to Lance Corporal. When he joined his unit in the field they were based at Villers au Bois, west of Vimy. Frank’s company averaged about 300 men and officers and they were responsible for getting supplies to the troops. Work included offloading pack trains, delivery of supplies and rations and maintenance of their fleet of motor vehicles. Over the next seven months they moved several times in the area south and west of Arras. The Armistice ended hostilities on 11 November and ten days later Frank’s unit moved to Mons, Belgium. They crossed into Germany in early December, along with the 1st and 2nd Canadian Divisions, and remained there with the occupying forces for seven weeks. The unit was back in Belgium at the end of January 1919 and the men returned to England on 18 May. Frank embarked for Canada on the Royal George on 7 June and he was discharged in Toronto on 22 June.

After the war Frank returned to his job with J.D. McArthur in Winnipeg. In 1921 he moved to northwestern Ontario where he was employed by the Keewatin Lumber Company. He spent the rest of his life in the Kenora and Keewatin area. He had a long career as a marine engineer with the pulp and paper mill, which began production in 1924. His work for the mill took him to Rowan and Whitefish Lakes and to the villages of McIntosh, Hudson and Camp Robinson. Frank became a member of the Kenora Branch of the Canadian Legion. His brother Cecil served in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War (Cecil Lenton).

Frank retired in August 1954 and passed away in Deer Lodge Hospital in Winnipeg on 1 February 1965, at age 72. His residence at the time was Wharf Street, Keewatin. He’s buried in the veterans section of Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora. He had married later in life and he was survived by his wife Helen, three sisters, Ethel, Dorothy and Edith, and two brothers, Cecil of Selkirk and Wilfred of Kenora. Helen died in 1991 and she’s also buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery

By Becky Johnson

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