Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthFebruary 5, 1893
Place of BirthGovan, Glasgow
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinAgnes Richardson (sister), Gananoque, Ontario; also his mother Mrs. Elizabeth Richardson
Trade / CallingLocomotive Fireman
Service Details
Regimental Number503743
Service RecordLink to Service Record
Battalion9th Battalion, Canadian Engineers
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Engineers
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentWinnipeg, Manitoba
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentFebruary 19, 1916
Age at Enlistment23
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathDecember 28, 1976
Age at Death83
Buried AtBrookside Cemetery, Winnipeg

Richardson, Samuel Frank

Sapper Samuel Frank Richardson came to Canada as a Home Child in April 1906, at age 13. He enlisted with the Canadian Engineers in 1916 and served for three years in Canada, the UK and France.

Frank was born on 5 February 1893 in the parish of Govan, Scotland. Govan is on the south side of the River Clyde and is now part of the city of Glasgow. Frank was the son of William and Elizabeth Richardson and he had six brothers and sisters including Agnes who was two years younger than him. When he was still very young his father was killed in a shipyard accident on the River Clyde. At the time of the 1901 census Frank and Agnes were living in Kilmacolm Orphanage in Bridge of Weir, Scotland. By 1910 they had both been sent to Canada as Home Children.

Frank was the first to go to Canada, embarking from Glasgow on the SS Sicilian on 7 April 1906 and arriving in Halifax eleven days later. He was in a group of boys coming from Quarrier’s Orphan Homes of Scotland and going to Brockville, Ontario. William Quarrier had founded the Orphan Homes in Bridge of Weir and he also opened his own receiving home in Brockville. After arriving there most of the boys were sent to work on nearby farms. Agnes arrived in Canada in April 1910, at age 15, also coming from Quarrier’s Orphan Homes and going to Brockville. She was taken in by Thomas and Elizabeth Anglin of Brewers Mills, Ontario.

By the time Frank enlisted he was living in Kenora, Ontario and working as a locomotive fireman for the Canadian Pacific Railway. He went to Winnipeg to enlist, signing up on 19 February 1916 with the Canadian Engineers Training Depot. He was 23 years old, 5’4′ tall with brown hair and brown eyes. He named his sister Agnes as next of kin, later changing it to his mother Elizabeth Richardson in Glasgow. Three months after enlisting Frank was on his way overseas, embarking on the SS Baltic and arriving in England on 29 May. On 6 June he was posted to the 10th Field Company, 4th Divisional Engineers and in early July he was transferred to the Canadian Engineers Reserve Company. After five months with them he was assigned to the Canadian Engineers Training Depot, where he trained until the following summer.

Frank was sent to France on 21 June 1917 where he became part of the Canadian Engineers Pool. He was transferred to the 9th Field Company, Canadian Engineers on 11 November. He joined his new unit in the field later that month and served with them until the end of the war. Work done by field companies included mining, wiring, tunnelling, railway and road work, constructing water systems, and building and repairing trenches and dugouts. Frank had two weeks leave in January 1918. In May the engineer units were re-organized and his company became part of the new 9th Battalion, Canadian Engineers. The Canadians were heavily involved in the last three months of the war, a period known now as the Hundred Days Offensive. The engineers played a crucial role in this mobile phase of the war, in particular in crossing the Canal du Nord in September 1918.

The Armistice ended hostilities on 11 November and a week later Frank was sentenced to ten days Field Punishment No. 1 for failing to salute the commanding officer of his division. In January 1919 he had two weeks leave in the UK and when it ended he was kept in England and transferred to the Canadian Engineers Reserve Battalion. He embarked for Canada a month later on the Empress of Britain, arriving in St. John, New Brunswick on 31 March. He was discharged on demobilization on 4 April in Winnipeg.

Frank settled in Winnipeg after the war and at some point he got married. He had a long career as an engineer with the Canadian Pacific Railway, retiring in 1958. He joined the Sir Sam Steele branch of the Canadian Legion and he belonged to Masonic Lodge Pequonga. Frank passed away in Winnipeg’s Grace Hospital on 28 December 1976, age 83. His wife Elizabeth died in 1990 and they are both buried in Brookside Cemetery. Frank’s sister Agnes never married and she lived with the Anglin family for most of her life. She died in October 1990, at age 96, and she’s buried in Cataraqui Cemetery in Kingston, Ontario, along with members of the Anglin family.

By Becky Johnson

Richardson-Frank-90 Richardson-Frank-91

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