Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthJuly 1, 1892
Place of BirthWinnipeg, Manitoba
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinDr Edwin S Popham, father, 555 River Ave., Winnipeg, Manitoba
Trade / CallingLaw Student
Service Details
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion3rd Divisional Mechanical Transport Company
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Army Service Corps
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentNiagara, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentOctober 5, 1915
Age at Enlistment23
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathApril 10, 1959
Age at Death67
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Popham, Earle Cameron

Earle Cameron Popham was born on 1 July 1892 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Their first born child, he was the son of Dr Edwin and Ella (née Tourje) Popham. Edwin was from the Ottawa area while Ella was from Cobourg, Ontario. It is likely that the couple met while Edwin was attending Victoria College in Cobourg, studying for his BA and eventually a MA. Although Edwin had obtained a post as headmaster at the high school in Brandon, Manitoba he returned to Cobourg where the couple married in 1884. A short time later Edwin and Ella moved to Winnipeg where Edwin entered the field of medicine. Other children born to the family were Clarke Hall (1894) and Harold Edwin (1896). Earle received his education at Wesley College and graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1913 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Earle signed his attestation papers on 5 October 1915 in Niagara, occupation at the time given as law student and previous military service listed as 5 months with the Canadian Army Service Corps. A Canadian Corps Troops Supply Column was organized at Niagara-on-the-Lake that September and embarked from Montreal on the 15th of October on the Metagama. On board was Lieutenant Earle Popham.

By mid January of 1916 Earle was in France. That June he was granted a seven day leave to England, his return delayed by a few days as he was in a motorcycle accident. In late December of 1916 he was granted a second leave, rejoining the unit in early January of 1917. By the end of January Earle had been reposted to Headquarters of the Canadian Corps Supply Column, taken on strength on the 25th. He was granted a third leave to England in late July. In April of 1918 Earle was transferred to the No 3 Canadian Divisional Mechanical Transport Company and promoted to Temporary Captain. The No 3 CDMTC had just been formed by the amalgamation of the No 3 Canadian Divisional Supply Column and the No 3 Canadian Divisional Ammunition Sub-Park. Following a couple of more leaves to the UK, Captain Earle Popham embarked from Liverpool aboard the  Scotian in May of 1919, his work as Captain in Motor Transport complete.

After the war Earle returned to Winnipeg to resume his law studies, called to the Manitoba Bar in 1920, and receiving his LL in 1921. On 24 August 1920, in Winnipeg, he married Eleanor May Groff. Born in Kitchener, Ontario, Eleanor was the daughter of Samuel and Martha (née Robertson) Groff. She had moved to Winnipeg with her parents in 1904, had graduated from the Ontario Agricultural College (Home Economics) in 1914, and had been teaching at Brandon College up until the time of their marriage. The couple eventually gave birth to five children, twins Clarke and Hugh, Joan, Shirley, and Ross.

Called to the Ontario Bar in 1924, the Pophams moved to Kenora, Ontario where Earle joined Colonel H Machin in practice before forming his own. He was appointed King’s Counsellor in 1934, Crown Attorney in 1936, and County Court Judge in 1938. Earle was very active in community affairs and a member of many clubs and organizations: the Kenora Board of Trade, Lake of the Woods Lodge AF and AM, the Kinsman Club, the Rotary Club, chairman of the WW2 Kenora Victory Loan campaign, the Kenora Branch of the Canadian Legion, as well as both provincial and federal Liberal associations. He was the first president of the Northwestern Ontario Associated Chambers of Commerce, a former president of the Kenora Athletic Association, an honorary president of the Kenora Ski Club, and was active in the Kenora Golf and Country Club.

Predeceased by his parents Edwin and Ella, his brother Clarke, and his son Ross in a drowning accident in 1935, Earle died on 10 April 1959 in the Kenora General Hospital following a lengthy illness. He is interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora. His wife Eleanor died in Winnipeg in 1976 and she is interred beside him.

Both of Earle’s brothers served during the war. Clarke signed his officer’s papers on 1 June 1915 in Winnipeg and went overseas as a Lieutenant with the 61st Battalion that embarked from Halifax aboard the Olympic in April of 1916. Transferring to the 8th Battalion Clarke was killed in action just months later on 26 September 1916 at the Somme during an attack west of Courcelette. He was later interred in the Regina Trench Cemetery. Earle’s brother Harold, a medical student at the time, signed his attestation papers in May of 1916 in Winnipeg, service number indicating the Depot Field Ambulance (Queen’s). Having served with the Canadian Army Medical Corps, he arrived back in Canada in early October of 1918 aboard the City of Poona.

by Judy Stockham

Popham-Earle-Cameron-2 Popham-Earle-Cameron-3 Popham-Earle-Cameron-4 Popham-Earle-Cameron-5 Popham-Earle-Cameron-6 Popham-Earle-Cameron-7

photograph of Earle: University of Manitoba 1914-1918 Roll of Service

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