Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthJune 12, 1893
Place of BirthWinnipeg, Manitoba
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinHenry Richard Woodley (father), 145 Ontario Street, Victoria, British Columbia
Trade / CallingPhotographer
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number2601989
Service RecordLink to Service Record
BattalionNo. 6 Company, Royal Canadian Garrison Artillery
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Artillery
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentVictoria, British Columbia
Address at EnlistmentHillsdale Hotel, San Francisco, California
Date of EnlistmentApril 2, 1918
Age at Enlistment24
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathAugust 31, 1954
Age at Death61

Woodley, Charles James

Gunner Charles James Woodley was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and living in California when the war started. He returned to Canada in 1918 and served for 14 months with the Royal Canadian Garrison Artillery.

Charles was the oldest son of Henry Richard and Matilda Woodley of Victoria, British Columbia. He was born in Winnipeg on 12 June 1893. His parents were both from Ontario and they were married in Winnipeg in 1892. Shortly after Charles was born they moved to northwestern Ontario and settled in Rat Portage (now called Kenora). Three children were born there: Lorne Arnold (1895), Grace Emily (1896) and Henry Fred (1901). Around 1904 Henry and Matilda moved west to British Columbia. Their last child, Walter Clifton, was born in Vancouver in 1904 and by 1906 the family had settled in Victoria. Henry worked as a plumber and later as a stationary engineer.

Charles moved to California around 1914 and found work there as a photographer. When the war started his brother Lorne Arnold enlisted immediately and went overseas with the 1st Canadian Contingent. The Americans entered the war in April 1917 and Charles was drafted for service in the U.S. army. He returned to Canada instead and enlisted on 2 April 1918 in Victoria, British Columbia. His occupation was photographer, his address was San Francisco, and next of kin was his father Henry in Victoria. He signed up with No. 5 Company, Royal Canadian Garrison Artillery. On 17 June he was transferred to No. 6 Company, which was based in Halifax, and he served with them for a year. He was discharged in Halifax on 26 June 1919.

After his service Charles returned to the U.S., crossing at Detroit, Michigan in July 1919 with his destination listed as Hollywood, California. That same month he married to Agnes Josephine Schurman in Los Angeles. Agnes was about six years younger than him and was born in Illinois, the daughter of Frank and Polly Schurman. Charles and his wife had one son, Henry Richard, born in September 1926. When the 1930 census was taken they were living on West Boulevard in Los Angeles and Charles was a commercial photographer. Sadly, Agnes passed away on 8 October 1931 in a Hollywood hospital. She was 30 or 31 at the time.

When Charles completed his WW2 draft card in April 1942 he was living on Mullen Avenue and working for Warner Bros. Studios. He died in Los Angeles on 31 August 1954, at age 61. His brother Fred had also moved to Los Angeles where he worked as an aircraft mechanic. He passed away in 1991, at age 90.

By Becky Johnson

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