Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthSeptember 14, 1883
Place of BirthBattersea, Wandsworth, London
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinEmma Jane Gloyn (mother), 67 St. Anne's Hill, Wandsworth, London, England
Trade / CallingMail collector
Service Details
Regimental Number922650
Service RecordLink to Service Record
Battalion107th Pioneer Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Engineers
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at Enlistment276 Lipton Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Date of EnlistmentJuly 24, 1916
Age at Enlistment32
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of Death19770906
Age at Death93
Buried AtBrookside Cemetery, Winnipeg

Gloyn, Bertram

Sapper Bertram Arthur Gloyn enlisted in July 1916 and served in France with the 107th Pioneer Battalion. He returned to Canada in December 1918.

Bertram was the youngest of five sons of Robert Elson Gloyn and Emma Jane Nancollis of Wandsworth, London, England. Robert and Emma were both born in Stoke Damerel, Devonport, which is now part of the city of Plymouth in Devonshire. They were married in Stoke Damerel in 1875. Their first three sons – Percival, Harold and Reginald – were born in the county of Cornwall. Their fourth son Alfred was born in Stoke Damerel in 1882 and Bertram was born in Battersea, Wandsworth, London on 14 September 1883. Robert was employed by a granite works company, starting as a clerk and eventually becoming a manager. He was also a shareholder in the Great Western Railway, which linked London to Devon and Cornwall as well as other parts of the UK.

At the time of the 1901 census Bertram was living at home in Wandsworth and working in the office of an engineering firm. Two years later he immigrated to Canada, arriving in Halifax on 10 April 1903 on the SS Sicilian. His occupation was clerk and his destination Winnipeg, Manitoba. In 1905 he went home to England for a four-month visit, from March to July. The war started in August 1914 and he enlisted two years later, signing up at Camp Hughes in Manitoba on 24 July 1916. He was working as a mail collector at the time and living in Winnipeg. He joined the 200th Overseas Battalion, which was organized and recruited in the Winnipeg area. After training in Manitoba for about eight months Bertram headed overseas with his unit in the spring, embarking from Halifax on the SS Megantic on 4 May 1917.

In England Bertram was transferred to the 11th Reserve Battalion and he trained with them for four months. On 7 September he was drafted to a new unit, the 107th Pioneer Battalion, Canadian Engineers, and sent to France. After some time at the Base Depot and the Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp he joined the battalion in the field near the end of November, just after the Battle of Passchendaele. Pioneer units worked closely with the engineers and spent a large part of their time at or near the front lines. Their work included mining, wiring, burying cables, tunnelling, railway and road work, constructing water systems, and building and repairing trenches and dugouts. They also served as infantry when needed.

Over the winter of 1917-18 the Canadian Corps held a section of the front line between Lens and Arras. The 107th Battalion spent most of April and early May repairing and reinforcing the trench systems. Bertram became ill and he was admitted to a casualty clearing station on 5 May 1918 then transferred to No. 26 General Hospital in Etaples. He was diagnosed with acute nephritis and evacuated to England a few days later. He spent about three weeks in Chester War Hospital followed by two months at Woodcote Park Convalescent Centre in Epsom. He was released on 14 August and attached to the 3rd Canadian Corps Depot for physical training, then transferred to the 2nd Canadian Engineer Reserve Battalion in October.

The Armistice ended hostilities on 11 November and a month later Bertram was on his way back to Canada. He embarked from Liverpool on the SS Grampian on 15 December, arriving at St. John, New Brunswick the day before Christmas. He was given two weeks landing leave and discharged on demobilization on 23 January 1919 in Winnipeg. A few months later he made an extended trip back to England to visit his family, staying there from May to October 1919.

When the 1921 census was taken Bertram was rooming on Dagmar Street in Winnipeg and working at a bakery. By 1934 he had moved to Kenora, Ontario and he lived there for at least fifteen years. During that time he worked as a labourer, a porter at the Dalmore Hotel and a clerk at the Commercial Hotel. He became a member of the Kenora branch of the Canadian Legion. In the early 1950s he returned to Winnipeg and stayed for awhile at the veterans’ home on Academy Road, which was an annex of Deer Lodge Veterans Hospital.

Bertram passed away in Deer Lodge Hospital on 6 September 1977, just before his 94th birthday. He was survived by a niece, Mrs. Neil (Kathleen) Barbour, of Winnipeg. His funeral was held on 10 September and he’s buried in the Field of Honour at Brookside Cemetery.

By Becky Johnson

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