Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthFebruary 11, 1886
Place of BirthParadise, Nova Scotia
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs JC Phinney, mother, Paradise, Nova Scotia
Trade / CallingCivil Engineer
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental NumberNA
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion2nd Tramways Company
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Engineers
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentPort Arthur, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentJanuary 8, 1916
Age at Enlistment30
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathDecember 24, 1973
Age at Death88
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Ruggles, Timothy Dwight

Timothy Dwight Ruggles was born on 11 February 1886 in Paradise, Annapolis, Nova Scotia. He was the second  child  of Charles Frederick and Emily Cecelia (née Gibson) Ruggles who had married in Bridgetown in 1883. Timothy had an older sister Annie Lillian and three younger siblings Frances Elizabeth, Stephen Sneden, and Charles Frederick.

Timothy signed an Officers’ Declaration Paper at Port Arthur, Ontario on 8 January 1916, joining the 94th Overseas Battalion as a Lieutenant. He stated he was a civil engineer and that he belonged to the 98th Regiment, a unit of the active militia. He gave as next-of-kin his mother, Mrs J C Phinney, of Paradise, Nova Scotia (after the death of her first husband she had remarried to J Carey Phinney on 3 September 1902). The 94th Battalion embarked from Halifax on 28 June 1916 aboard the Olympic.

Upon arrival in England Timothy was admitted to the Military Hospital at Shorncliffe suffering from ‘para typhoid’. When discharged on the 22nd of July he was granted a month leave of absence.  As he had been living in Kenora, a local newspaper  report told of his illness.

First transferring to the 3rd Pioneer Battalion in early October of 1916, the following May Timothy was transferred to the 29th Battalion and then attached to the Canadian Corps Tramways the next day. Redesignated as the Canadian Light Railway Operating Company, Canadian Engineers in November of 1917, Timothy was attached to the No 2 Tramway Company. These companies built, maintained, and operated light railways in forward areas. Tramways carried ammunition to artillery batteries, engineering supplies, troops, rations, gas, and other comparatively light loads. They also  ran hospital trains to carry the wounded to field ambulance stations.

Redesignated as 2nd Tramways Company, Canadian Engineers in February of 1918, by March Timothy was appointed Temporary Lieutenant and then as Temporary Captain in September. On the 11th of November he was granted a fourteen day leave to the United Kingdom.

During the war Timothy married Magdalena Isabella Zissler on 28 November 1917 in Darlington, Durham in  England. Lena was the daughter of George and Elizabeth (née Calvert) Zissler of Darlington. George was a pork purveyor, a profession that enabled the family to employ a number of servants. Timothy and Lena gave birth to their first born child, a son Timothy Dwight, in June of 1919. The young family was found on the passenger list of the Scandinavian that arrived in Montreal on 16 September 1919, destination given as Paradise, Nova Scotia. Timothy was discharged from service on 17 September on demobilization, rank of Captain.

By the 1921 Canada census Timothy, Lena, and young Timothy  were living in Medicine Hat, Alberta where Timothy was working as a Divisional Engineer for the railway. They later moved to Kenora, Ontario where they raised their family of four children: Timothy Dwight, Douglas Bruce, C Paul, and Jacqueline. Timothy worked as a roadmaster for the Canadian Pacific Railway until his retirement in 1947.  He was a member of the Kenora Branch of the Canadian Legion, St Alban’s Pro Cathedral, and was a past member of the officers mess, Kenora Armouries.

Timothy died on 24 December 1973 in the Lake of the Woods District Hospital in Kenora. He was survived by his wife Lena, son T Dwight of Derby, England, C Paul of Halifax, and Mrs Jacqueline (RJ) Sherrington of Kenora, eleven grandchildren,  as well as brother Charles Frederick  Ruggles of Toronto. Lena died in 1985. Timothy and Lena are interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.

Following in his father’s footsteps, Timothy’s son Douglas Bruce Ruggles was a Sergeant (Pilot) in the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War, and was killed while on active service in Newfoundland in 1942.

by Judy Stockham

Ruggles-Timothy-Dwight-1 Ruggles-Timothy-Dwight-2 Ruggles-Timothy-Dwight-3 Ruggles-Timothy-Dwight-4 Ruggles-Timothy-Dwight-5 Ruggles-Timothy-Dwight-6 Ruggles-Timothy-Dwight-7 Ruggles-Timothy-Dwight-8 Ruggles-Timothy-Dwight-9

photographs of Timothy courtesy of his granddaughter Karen Sherrington

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