Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthMay 16, 1888
Place of BirthOttawa, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle (married in January 1916)
Next of KinMrs. Aymer, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
Trade / CallingLocomotive fireman
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number115592
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion12th Battalion, Canadian Engineers
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Engineers
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentCamp Sewell, Manitoba
Address at EnlistmentBroadview, Saskatchewan
Date of EnlistmentJuly 20, 1915
Age at Enlistment27
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathApril 8, 1968
Age at Death79
Buried AtChapel Lawn Memorial Gardens, Winnipeg, Manitoba
PlotResurrection 157A2

Aymer, George

Driver George Aymer enlisted in July 1915 and served overseas for three years with the Canadian Engineers. He returned to Canada in June 1919.

George was the oldest son of Edward Albert Aymer and Caroline Watson of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Edward, a carpenter and joiner, was born in Smiths Falls, Ontario and Caroline in Russell County. They were married in 1887 in the village of Rochesterville, on the outskirts of Ottawa. George was born in Ottawa on 16 May 1888 and he was followed by three daughters: Ethel, Emily and Eva. When son Robert Leslie was born in 1897 the family was living in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora), in northwestern Ontario. By 1901 they had moved to Whitewood, Saskatchewan, which was part of the Northwest Territories at that time. They lived in several towns in Saskatchewan before settling in Moose Jaw. The three youngest children were born in Saskatchewan: Nellie (1900 in Meadow Lake), Thomas Frederick (1904 in Moosomin) and Mary (1906 in Broadview).

George enlisted on 20 July 1915 at Camp Sewell (Camp Hughes) in Manitoba. His occupation was locomotive fireman and next of kin was his mother in Moose Jaw. He signed up with the 10th Regiment, Canadian Mounted Rifles. His training may have taken him to southwestern Ontario as he was married in Brantford, Ontario on 21 January 1916. His wife, Esther Boyde, was born in 1889 on the Isle of Man, the daughter of John James Boyde and Eleanor Kelly. She immigrated to Canada with her younger sister Catherine in June 1911 and they settled in Brantford.

On 24 April 1916 George’s unit was re-designated as the 4th Divisional Cavalry Squadron. A week later they embarked from Halifax on the SS Olympic, arriving in England on 7 May. Esther and her sister moved to Moose Jaw, where they lived while George was overseas. His parents and younger brother and sisters were living in Moose Jaw too.

On 20 June George was transferred to the 4th Divisional Engineers and in August he was sent to France with the 12th Field Company, Canadian Engineers. Work done by field companies included mining, wiring, tunnelling, railway and road work, constructing water systems, and building and repairing trenches and dugouts. In the fall of 1916 the Canadians were at the Somme Offensive and battles in 1917 included Vimy Ridge, Hill 70 and Passchendaele. In May 1918 George’s unit was absorbed by the 12th Battalion, Canadian Engineers.

In the summer of 1918 the Canadians were given several weeks of intensive training in open warfare. George became ill with acute appendicitis in July and he spent six weeks in a field ambulance. He was discharged on 20 August in order to go to the UK on special leave, as a donor of blood for transfusion. His brother Robert Aymer had been wounded at Amiens on 8 August and he was recovering in England so it’s possible the transfusion was for him. George rejoined his unit in mid-September then had two weeks leave in the UK in October. He was back with the 12th Battalion for the final days of the war.

After the Armistice George spent another six months in Belgium and France, returning to England in May 1919. He was on his way home a few weeks later, sailing on the SS Olympic and arriving in Halifax on 13 June. He was discharged on demobilization on 17 June in Toronto. He returned to Moose Jaw but later that same year he and his wife moved to Brandon, Manitoba.

George went on to have a long career with the Canadian Pacific Railway, working for them for 43 years. He and Esther had two daughters, Beatrice and Shelagh, and they moved to Winnipeg in 1930. Esther died at the St. Boniface Hospital in May 1961, at age 72. George passed away in the Winnipeg General Hospital on 8 April 1968, at age 79. He was survived by his daughters, Mrs. Robert (Shelagh) Hibbert and Mrs. George (Beatrice) Stevens, as well as his second wife Ruby. Ruby passed away in 1979 and George, Esther and Ruby are all buried at Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens in Winnipeg.

By Becky Johnson


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