Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthJune 20, 1900
Place of BirthNorman, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs F Pritchard, mother, Norman, Ontario
Trade / CallingLabourer
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number6744
Service Record
BattalionLord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians)
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Cavalry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Date of EnlistmentMay 28, 1917
Age at Enlistment17
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathOctober 1996
Age at Death96

Pritchard, Reginald Edgar (Ray)

Reginald Edgar (Ray) Pritchard was born on 20 June 1900 in Norman, Ontario, a small community a couple of kilometres west of Kenora in northwestern Ontario. His father Frederick Pritchard was from Fort William, Ontario while his mother Jane Beatrice Linklater was born in Moose Factory, Ontario where her father worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company. Frederick and Jane married on 10 December 1887 in Fort William where Frederick was working as a mariner. Children born in Fort William were Clara Rubena (1888-1889), Daniel Frederick (1890), Anna Elizabeth (1892) and Pearl Christina (1895). After the birth of Pearl the family moved to Norman where Frederick first worked at a local saw mill. Children born in Norman were Elenora Jane (January 1897 – August 1897), Edna Laura (March1898 – September 1898), Ray, William James (1902), Clifford Harrington (1906), and Verna Louise (1909). Frederick, known as Captain Frederick Pritchard to his friends, worked as an engineer for the Rat Portage Company for a number of years and then was employed as a forest ranger and boat driver by the Ontario Department of Lands and Forests for thirty years.

At age 17 and giving his year of birth as 1899 likely to appear older, Ray enlisted in Winnipeg with Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) on 28 May 1917. His occupation was given as labourer and his mother back in Norman as next of kin. Ray was discharged from service on 20 July 1917 at Camp St Charles, Manitoba, ‘being a recruit within three months of enlistment who is considered unlikely to become an efficient soldier‘. His conduct and character were described as ‘good for time in service‘, and special qualifications for employment in civil life were given as ‘a fair horseman, sober and likeable‘.

At the time of the 1921 census Ray was living with his parents and some of his siblings on Kay Street in Norman, occupation given as labourer on the census. At some point he married Martha Gabrielle (née Calmes) Randall. Born on 20 February 1914 in Winnipeg, Martha was the daughter of John Calmes and Eugenie Thomas. Her father was the foreman gardener of the Winnipeg Municipal Hospitals before retiring to Kenora, well known for his skills as a horticulturalist. Martha had married Arthur Stuart Randall in 1933 in Winnipeg, the couple giving birth to children John, Sheila, and Patricia. However the marriage failed and by the time of a 1940’s Voter’s list Ray and Martha had married. The couple was living in Norman, with Ray working as a fireman. Ray and Martha gave birth to daughter Mary Jane and would later live in the Rabbit Lake area before moving to Gunne Crescent. Over the years Ray’s occupation was given as caretaker and then as self employed on Voters lists.

According to a family member, Ray died in October of 1996 at Victoria Hospital in Winnipeg. At the time of his death he was survived by his daughter Mary Jane (Larry) Stene and stepchildren and their families. He was predeceased by his infant sisters, his sister Vera (1927), brother Daniel (before 1936), mother Jane (1936), father Frederick (1951), sister Anna (Jesse) Presley (1968 in California), sister Pearl (Robert) Ramsey (1983 in Winnipeg), brother Clifford (1989 in Port Alberni, BC), and likely his brother William. His wife Martha had died on 29 July 1979 at St Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg. Ray’s parents are interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.

By Judy Stockham

Pritchard-Reginald-Edgar-2 Pritchard-Reginald-Edgar-3 Pritchard-Reginald-Edgar-4

« Back To Soldier Biographies