Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthAugust 16, 1894
Place of BirthNorman, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinThomas McCulloch, father, c/o T Belyea, General Delivery, Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingClerk
Service Details
Regimental Number216214
Service RecordLink to Service Record
Battalion3rd Battalion, CE
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Engineers
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentWinnipeg, Manitoba
Address at EnlistmentLac du Bonnet, Manitoba
Date of EnlistmentJanuary 18, 1916
Age at Enlistment21
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Decorations and MedalsMilitary Medal
Death Details
Date of DeathDecember 12, 1947
Age at Death53
Buried AtPine Falls Community Cemetery, Pine Falls, Manitoba

McCulloch, Donald

Donald McCulloch was born on 16 August 1894 in the village of Norman, now amalgamated with Kenora, in northwestern Ontario. His father Thomas McCulloch was from Glen Donald, Glengarry, Ontario while his mother Mary Ann Salter was from the Red River Settlement. By the time they gave birth to their first child, son John Alexander (Jack) in 1882, the couple was living in Carmen, Manitoba. Other children born in Carmen were Ella Ethel (1883) and Meada Mary (1885). At some point following Meada’s birth the family moved to Norman where Thomas found work in one of the local sawmills. Although records were not found, according to a family tree on two daughters were born in Norman that died in early childhood, Grace (1887-1891) and Gertrude (1889-1891). Other children born in Norman or Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) were Alma Maude (1892), Donald, Reginald (1899-1906), Thomas (1902-1902) and according to the same tree, Thomas (1903-1903). By the time of the 1901 census Thomas was working as a foreman in a lumber camp in the area. According to Thomas’ obituary, he was employed in the early days after arrival in northwestern Ontario by Cameron and Kennedy and in later years by the Keewatin Lumber Company, working railway construction work and lumbering.

Donald was living in Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba when he signed his attestation papers on 18 January 1916 in Winnipeg. His occupation was given as clerk and his father Thomas, ℅ T Belyea, General Delivery, Kenora as next of kin. His sister Ella had married Tilly Belyea in 1906 in Kenora. As a Private with the 100th Battalion, Donald embarked from Halifax aboard the Olympic on 18 September 1916.

Once in England Donald was transferred to the 11th Reserve Battalion on 20 January 1917. In early February he was struck off strength to the 107th Battalion, proceeding overseas on the 25th and appointed Lance Corporal in the 27th. At the time the battalion was absorbed by the 107th Pioneer Battalion. Further promotions followed in 1917: Corporal in August, Lance Sergeant in October, and Sergeant in December. Pioneer battalions worked in conjunction with the Engineers and continually in the forward area, the work in the back area being left to Labour units and Entrenching battalions. The work was varied but consisted of consolidating positions captured by the infantry, tunnelling, mining, wiring, railroad work, deep dugout work and laying out, building and keeping trenches in repair.

In July of 1917 Donald was granted a ten day leave to Paris. That August he attended a School of Mines. In late May of 1918 the unit was absorbed into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Canadian Engineer Battalions, Donald taken on strength with the 3rd Battalion CE on the 30th. In late August Donald was cited for a Military Medal, details of his actions unknown. In early September he was granted a two week to Paris. In late February of 1919 Donald was first admitted to the No 7 General Hospital in Wimereux and then transferred to the No 3 Canadian General Hospital in Boulogne a few days later. By late April Donald was back in England where he was admitted to the No 14 Canadian General Hospital in Eastbourne with inguinal adenitis, with discharge from the hospital on 24 May. He embarked for Canada aboard the Belgic on 23 June, disembarking in Halifax on 1 July. Donald was discharged from service on demobilization on 3 July 1919 in Ottawa.

Donald returned to Lac du Bonnet for a while after the war. On 7 October 1925, in Winnipeg, he married Esther Euphemia Simonson. Born on 9 December 1895 in Winnipeg, Esther was the daughter of Swedish immigrants Olof Simonson and Sigrid Hammarberg. Shortly after the marriage Donald and Esther moved to Pine Falls, Manitoba where he was the manager of the Mercantile Store and later the postmaster. The couple gave birth to three children, sons Carl and Thomas and daughter Marion. Donald was well known in the province as a sportsman and at one time was the president of the Pine Falls Curling Club. He was active in the local branch of the Canadian Legion and a member of the Pine Falls Masonic Order.

Donald died on 12 December 1947 in Pine Falls. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Esther, his three children, brother Jack of Winnipeg and sisters Meada (William) Whitton of Victoria, British Columbia and Alma (Kenneth) Fergusson of Great Falls, Manitoba. He was predeceased by his young siblings, his father in 1937 and mother in 1942 (both in Great Falls), and sister Ella Belyea in 1938 in Winnipeg, all interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora. Jack later died in 1958 in Winnipeg, Meada in 1971 in Saskatoon, and Alma in 1982 in Selkirk, Manitoba. Donald’s wife Esther died on 12 February 1966 in Winnipeg. Donald and Esther are interred in the Pine Falls Community Cemetery.

By Judy Stockham

Photographs of Donald provided by great grandson Paul McCulloch.

« Back To Soldier Biographies