Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthNovember 5, 1892
Place of BirthFort Coulonge, Quebec
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinThomas Bamford, brother, Fort Coulonge, Quebec
Trade / CallingOperator
Service Details
Regimental Number507427
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion1st Reserve Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Engineers
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentFort Coulonge, Quebec
Date of EnlistmentFebruary 14, 1916
Age at Enlistment23
Theatre of ServiceGreat Britain
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJuly 29, 1960
Age at Death67
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Bamford, Norris

According to his attestation papers, Norris Bamford was born on 5 November 1892 in Fort Coulonge, Quebec. Located on the north side of the Ottawa River in Quebec, Fort Coulonge is about 120 kilometres northwest of Ottawa/Hull. Norris’ father was Edward Bamford who had immigrated to Canada from England as a child according to census documents. His mother, Eliza (Lizzie) (possible maiden name of McCombes) was from the United States, likely New York. The 1881-1901 Canada censuses found Edward and Lizzie farming in the subdistrict of Mansfield-Pontefract, Pontiac, an area surrounding Fort Coulonge. Known children born to the family were George (abt 1873), Robert (abt 1874), Thomas (abt 1878), Charlotte (abt 1880), Frederick (abt 1888), and Norris. By the 1911 Canada census father Edward had died and Norris and his mother were living with his brother Thomas and family who were farming in the area.

With occupation given as operator, and his brother Thomas of Fort Coulonge as next of kin, Norris signed his attestation papers in Ottawa on 14 November 1916. With blue eyes and dark hair, he stood 6 feet tall. His unit was the Military District 3 Signal Training Depot. The following April Norris was admitted to St Luke’s General Hospital in Ottawa where he underwent surgery for varicocele.

After spending some time recovering from the surgery, Norris embarked from Canada on 19 December 1917 aboard the  Grampian and was posted to the Canadian Engineer Training Depot upon arrival in England. On 6 March 1918 Norris was admitted to the No 14 Canadian General Hospital at Eastbourne suffering from influenza. By the end of April he had been transferred to the Princess Patricia Canadian Red Cross Hospital at Bexhill, with discharge in early June. While in the hospital Norris was taken on strength with the 1st Canadian Engineers Reserve Battalion on the 21st of May.

On 1 November 1918 Sapper Norris Bamford was transferred to the 2nd Canadian Engineers Reserve Battalion and on the 14th was granted permission to wear one Good Conduct Badge. He returned to the 1st CER in January of 1919. Norris embarked for Canada aboard the Aquitania on 18 May 1919, intended residence given as Fort Coulonge.

The 1921 Canada census found Norris working as a labourer on the Archibald Balfour farm near the community of Abernethy in the District of Saltcoats in Saskatchewan. A N Bamford, farmer, was listed on the 1945 Voters List for Selkirk, Manitoba and also on the 1953 Voters List for Sioux Lookout in northwestern Ontario as a prospector. At some point Norris ended up in Kenora, Ontario as he died there on 29 July 1960, interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery, gravemarker replaced in 2015. An obituary in the local paper could not be found. Norris’ brother George and family had settled in Birtle, Manitoba and a Birtle newspaper report of early August 1960 spoke of Cam and Percy Bamford returning from Kenora where they had attended their uncle’s funeral.

by Judy Stockham


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