|Date of Birth||November 7, 1891|
|Place of Birth||Keiferville, Ohio|
|Country||United States of America|
|Next of Kin||James J House, father, Keewatin, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Painter|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Branch||Canadian Field Artillery|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||Keewatin, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||June 7, 1916|
|Age at Enlistment||24|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||December 6, 1946|
|Age at Death||55|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
Charles Wallace House was born on 7 November 1891 in Keiferville, Ohio, baptism registered in Palmer, Putam, Ohio. His father was James Joseph House who was from Beamsville, Ontario while his mother, Amelia Julia Kitchen, was from Kieferville were the couple had married earlier that year. By the time of the birth of their next child, daughter Gladys, the family was living in Inwood, Lambton, Ontario along with Charles’ paternal grandparents. The family, along with the grandparents and some of James’ siblings, moved to northwestern Ontario, settling in Keewatin, where James found work as a stave cutter, involved in making barrels for the local flour mill. A son James was born in 1903 but sadly only lived for three months. Daughter Velma was born in 1904, followed by another daughter, Ethel Mildred, in 1906. The 1911 Canada census found the family living on Ottawa Street in Keewatin where both Charles and his father were working as stave cutters.
With occupation given as painter, Charles signed his attestation papers in Winnipeg on 7 June 1916. He gave his father back in Keewatin as next of kin. The 76th Overseas Depot Battery was organized in July of 1916 and served as an artillery reinforcement depot for Military District No 10 (Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario). As needed, drafts of men were sent overseas.
Charles embarked from Canada aboard the Grampian on 15 August 1916. In January of 1917 he arrived in France as reinforcement for the 3rd Divisional Ammunition Column. In April he was taken on strength at the Canadian Base Depot and in August posted to the 10th Brigade.
In December of 1917 Charles was granted a 14 day leave, returning in early January of 1918. In February he was sent on a wiring course and by August had been appointed signaller. During WW1 being a signaller usually meant that you were close to the frontline troops, providing signals communications back to the company and battalion headquarters. Signallers were also used in forward positions to assist artillery and provide information on their enemy targets. In these positions the signallers became very vulnerable to enemy shelling and attack.
Charles was granted a second leave in mid December of 1918, rejoining the unit in early January of 1919. By the end of February he was back in England and embarked for Canada on the 14th of May.
Charles returned to Keewatin and by the mid 1920’s he was working as an electrician for the Lake of the Woods Milling Company, Keewatin. On 18 August 1928, in Winnipeg, Charles married Evangeline (O’Neil) Bole. Eva, the daughter of George and Helena (Horsley) O’Neil was born in 1891 in West Hartlepool, England. She had married Ralph Bole in November of 1918, marriage registered in Clitheroc, Lancaster. However, the marriage did not last and Eva was found on the passenger list of the Metagama that arrived in Canada in January of 1920, her destination given as Keewatin. For the 1921 Canada census she was employed as a domestic for the Brown family in Keewatin.
Charles was a prominent member of the community, serving on Keewatin council for seven years, was a past district deputy of Keewatin Masonic Lodge, and a past grand of Minnetonka Oddfellows Lodge No 212. He was also a member of the Keewatin Curling Club and the Keewatin United Church.
Predeceased by his sister Ethel in 1918, his mother Julia in 1932, his father James Joseph in 1936, Charles died suddenly at his home on 6 December 1946. He was survived by his wife Eva, and sisters Velma Boyd (died 1983, Medicine Hat) and Gladys Symonds (died 1973, Kenora).
Eva returned to England aboard the Aquitania in March of 1949, destination Whitehaven where her parents had been living before she came to Canada. Eva died on 22 December 1979, death registered in Whitehaven.
In August of 1919 the town of Keewatin held a demonstration where all who had served during the war were honoured and presented with badges and medals. Charles was one of the men honoured. His name is found on the Lake of the Woods Milling Company Roll of Honour plaque as well as the Municipality of Keewatin For King and Country plaque.
By Judy Stockham