|Date of Birth||December 8, 1898|
|Place of Birth||Kenora, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Father: Edward D. McLeod, 537 First St. S., Kenora, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Scholar|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||39th Battery Canadian Field Artillery|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Branch||Canadian Field Artillery|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||Kenora|
|Date of Enlistment||April 18, 1917|
|Age at Enlistment||18|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||July 27, 1976|
|Age at Death||77|
Cecil McLeod joined the war effort as soon as he was old enough, enlisting with the 76th Canadian Field Artillery Depot Battery in Winnipeg in March 1917, just three months after turning 18.
McLeod had been born in Rat Portage Dec. 8, 1898, the son of Edward Donald McLeod, a CPR engineer, and Elizabeth Eakins. Edward had been born in Ontario and was working in Winnipeg when he married Elizabeth, who’d come to Canada from Ireland in 1884. The couple moved to Rat Portage, now Kenora, the same year they were married. A second son, Carroll, was born in Rat Portage in 1900. In the 1906 census the family had returned to Manitoba, but by 1911 were back in Kenora.
Along with Cecil McLeod, four other young Kenora men enlisted with the 76th Depot Battery at the same time. In a letter home from their training base in Petawawa, Ontario in June of 1917 that was published in the local paper, the men – McLeod, George Winter, Albin Johnson, George Ritchie and G Witts – thanked the town for a ‘splendid send off’ and for the girls who’d sent ‘enough candies and delicacies to feed the whole battery’.
The 76th Battery was one of several artillery batteries in Canada that recruited and trained men for overseas service with the Canadian artillery units in the field. McLeod and his friends were part of the 6th draft of trainees for the 76th Battery. In December they sailed for England, landing in Glasgow on Dec. 31, 1917. After three more months of training, McLeod was posted to the artillery pool in the field in France and on April 5, 1918 posted to the 10th Brigade Artillery and assigned to the 39th Field Artillery Battery. McLeod had been promoted to Acting Corporal during training, but was never confirmed in the rank once in the field
He suffered a gunshot wound to the wrist in July 1918 and after a month in hospital was deemed fit for service, however rather being returned to his unit in the field he was sent for additional training at the Canadian Artillery School and didn’t rejoin the army in the field until the end of December, a month after the war ended. He returned to Canada in March 1919 and was discharged in Winnipeg on April 1, 1919.
Following his war service, Cecil McLeod attended the University of Toronto school of dentistry, graduating in 1923 and settling in Manitoba to practice. He returned to Kenora for his marriage to Ila Marian Gooding on Aug. 14, 1924. Marian had been born in Rat Portage July 12, 1900. She died Aug. 26, 1928 in Winnipeg.
Cecil McLeod’s second marriage was to Kathleen Isabel Milligan in Winnipeg on June 28, 1930. The couple were together 46 years before Cecil’s death July 27, 1976. They had one daughter Beverley.
Cecil McLeod’s obituary in the Winnipeg Free Press on July 28, 1976, noted his war service with the 39th Battery and his community and church involvement. He was a past president of both the Winnipeg Dental Society and the Manitoba Dental Association. He was active in local sports and was a member of the Winnipeg Winter Club and the Pine Ridge Golf Club.
by Bob Stewart
Graduation photograph of Cecil is from the University of Toronto 1923 Yearbook.