Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthMay 21, 1894
Place of BirthBrownville Junction, Maine
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinSadie Mansfield (wife), Herbert, Saskatchewan
Trade / CallingClerk/telegrapher
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number1010287
Service RecordLink to Service Record
BattalionNo. 3 Tunnelling Company
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Engineers
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentMoose Jaw, Saskatchewan
Address at EnlistmentPort Arthur, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentMarch 29, 1917
Age at Enlistment22
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathMarch 24, 1982
Age at Death87
Buried AtNewport Cemetery, Newport, Minnesota, U.S.A.

Mansfield, Charles Smart

Charles Smart Mansfield was the son of Arthur Holmes Mansfield and Mabel Ida Smart. Mabel was born in Maine and Arthur in Vermont. They were married in 1893 and Charles was born in Brownville Junction, Maine on 21 May 1894. He was followed by a brother and two sisters: Paul Burrill (1895), Pauline (1898) and Maude Lillian (1901). Around 1904 the family moved to Canada and settled in the town of Kenora in northwestern Ontario. Arthur was a telegrapher and he found work with the Canadian Pacific Railway. They were still in Kenora for the 1911 census but within a few years the family had moved to Port Arthur.

By the time he enlisted in the spring of 1917 Charles was married and likely working in Saskatchewan. His wife, Sadie Goertzen, was born in the RM of Rhineland, Manitoba in 1894, the daughter of Jacob Goertzen and Sarah Sawatzky. Charles enlisted on 29 March 1917 in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, joining the 229th (South Saskatchewan) Battalion. His occupation was clerk and telegrapher and next of kin was his wife Sadie who was living in Herbert, a small village west of Moose Jaw. During his time overseas Sadie’s address changed to Regina, Saskatoon and Port Arthur. Just three weeks after enlisting Charles was on his way to the U.K. He sailed from Halifax with his battalion on 18 April on the SS Northland.

When Charles arrived in England at the end of April he was transferred to the 18th Reserve Battalion. He trained with his new unit until mid-August when he was transferred to the Canadian Engineers Training Depot. Three months later he was sent to France as a reinforcement and assigned to No. 3 Tunnelling Company, Canadian Engineers. The Battle of Passchendaele had just ended and over the winter the Canadians held a long stretch of the front line in the Vimy-Lens area in France. Charles became ill with laryngitis in December and he was also suffering from a heart condition. He was sent to No. 2 Australian General Hospital in Wimereux and evacuated from there to England. In January 1918 he was admitted to Graylingwell War Hospital in Sussex where he recovered for a month. In February he was moved to the Woodcote Park convalescent centre and in March to the King’s Canadian Red Cross convalescence hospital.

Charles returned to duty in April 1918 and served in the UK with several different units for the remainder of the war. He was appointed Acting Sergeant in January 1919 while specially employed on signalling duties. He sailed from Glasgow on the SS Cassandra on 2 May, arriving in Canada about ten days later. He was discharged due to demobilization on 13 May and he said he intended to reside in Port Arthur with his wife. His brother Paul Mansfield served overseas with the American Expeditionary Forces and returned from France in May 1919.

When the 1921 census was taken Charles and his wife were living in the township of Hayward, northeast of Port Arthur, and he was employed as a telegrapher for a railway company. Sometime after that he and Sadie separated and he moved to the U.S. Charles was married again on 27 May 1927 in Northwood, Iowa. He was living in St. Paul, Minnesota at the time. His wife, Gladys Peterson, was born in Wisconsin, the daughter of Herman and Emma Peterson. Charles and Gladys had two daughters, Joan Beverly (1928) and Gloria Janette (1931). Charles had a long career as a railway telegrapher. At the time of the 1930 census the family was living in Newport, Minnesota and by 1940 they had settled in St. Paul.

Charles’ parents moved from Port Arthur to Calgary then to Saskatoon in 1933. Arthur retired in 1936 and passed away in 1959. He was predeceased by his wife Mabel in 1954. They are both buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Saskatoon. Charles passed away on 24 March 1982, at age 87, and Gladys followed on 23 January 1987. They are interred at Newport Cemetery in Newport, Minnesota. Their eldest daughter Joan was the billionaire widow of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc. She died in 2003.

By Becky Johnson

Gravemarker photo courtesy of

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