Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthMay 7, 1896
Place of BirthKeewatin, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinSister: Mrs. M. Hickey - Keewatin, Ontario, Canada
Trade / CallingStenographer
Service Details
Regimental Number1250387
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion76th Battery
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Field Artillery
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentKeewatin, Ontario, Canada
Date of EnlistmentMay 21, 1917
Age at Enlistment21
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathAugust 15, 1966
Age at Death70
Buried AtChapel Lawn Memorial Gardens, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Murdoch, Donald Herbert

Born in Keewatin on May 7, 1896, Donald was the son of John Murdoch and Kate Lithgow.   The Murdochs were of Scottish heritage.    His mother, Kate, died of heart disease in December 1899 when he was still 2 years old.   Donald’s father was a tinsmith in Keewatin.   In the 1901 census, town of Keewatin, Donald was the youngest child, 4 years old, with an older sister Annie and brothers, Norman, Howard and Miller.    He received his education in Keewatin.   Donald worked as a stenographer after taking further education at the Success Business College in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Donald enlisted for WW1 in Winnipeg on the 21st May, 1917 when he was 21 years old.   He was placed with the 76th Battery of the Artillery Draft at Camp Petawawa. In October 1917 Donald left Canada aboard the S.S.Scandinavian and arrived in England on 01 November. He was taken on strength by the 1st Brigade of the Royal Artillery in Witley.  In December Donald was transferred to the Canadian Field Artillery pool.  He joined his unit, the 14th Brigade of the Canadian Field Artillery on 01 February 1918, in France. On 29 May 1918 Donald was on command to the 5th C D Train as a loader, a position he held until returning to his unit in November 1918.  Donald had a two week leave to the U.K. in January 1919 and then went back to the 14th Brigade CFA until proceeding to England on 11 May 1919.  The next month he was struck off strength to Canada.  His official discharge due to demobilization was on 23 June 1919 in Montreal.

The 1921 Canadian census shows Donald living in Winnipeg, Manitoba working as an accountant.  His future bride, Beatrice Sweet and her brother, Samuel Sweet were lodgers in his home.  Samuel also served in the Canadian Field Artillery in WW1.

In 1926 he married at the St. Andrews United Church in his hometown of Keewatin.   His bride was also a Keewatin girl, Mary Beatrice Sweet.   They had a daughter, Donalda, and a son Frank.   They made their family home in Winnipeg.

After working his way up as an employee he later became President and General Manager of Peerless Laundry in Winnipeg. Donald formed the Manitoba Laundry Owners Association and served as President until his retirement from the laundry business in 1952.   Donald joined  the  Kiwanis Club in Winnipeg working his way up (from Club President, Lieutenant Governor, International Trustee and International Vice President)  to become the 34th President of the Kiwanis International in 1950 & 1951.   During his Presidency he addressed a congressional dinner and was presented with a replica of the Liberty Bell by the United States Government for patriotic service.   The Sarasota Club in Florida made him an (honorary) International citizen.   He was also honoured by the Florida Southern College with a (honorary) Humanitarian degree.   Donald was a member of the Khartum Temple, the Board for Manitoba Medical Services,  the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and a member of the board of stewards for the St. Andrews  River Heights United Church.

Donald is listed by the Manitoba Historical Society as a Memorable Manitoban – fraternalist leader, businessman and a  veteran.

He passed away at the age of 70 in the Winnipeg General Hospital on  August 15,  1966.   The funeral service was  held at the  St. Andrews River Heights United Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

A memorial service (to pay tribute to an outstanding churchman and civic leader) was  also  held  in  Longboat Key,  Florida the next winter, February 1967.   Since 1954  Donald and his wife, Mary, had made a 2nd home in Florida for the winter months.   The service was held at Longboat Chapel, an interfaith community church,  which Donald was instrumental  in establishing. As a  perpetual memorial to his memory, friends and members of the Chapel would erect an illuminated cross-peaked spear above the sanctuary which would house the Chapel carillon. Mrs. Murdoch, daughter Donalda and son Frank attended the memorial service.   The memorial address was given by Rev. E. Larmar Kincaid.

Donald Herbert Murdoch is interred in the Chapel Lawn Memorial Garden, Winnipeg, Manitoba.   Donald’s wife, Mary Beatrice (Sweet), passed away 10 years later in 1976 and is buried with Donald.

Donald’s older brother, Miller (William Miller Murdoch #198545), had signed up for the war in December of 1915 and survived.

By Linda Pelletier

Murdoch-Donald-Herbert-2 Murdoch-Donald-Herbert-1 Murdoch-Donald-Herbert-3 Murdoch-Donald-Herbert-4

Obituaries are from the Kenora Miner and News (17 August 1966) and the Winnipeg Free Press (16 August 1966).

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