Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthOctober 1, 1897
Place of BirthKeewatin, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of Kinfather, Samuel C. Sweet of Keewatin, Ontario
Trade / CallingDrug Clerk
Service Details
Regimental Number1250350
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion76th Battery
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Field Artillery
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Date of EnlistmentMay 8, 1917
Age at Enlistment19
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathOctober 31, 1956
Age at Death59
Buried AtKelowna Memorial Park Cemetery, Kelowna, British Columbia

Sweet, Samuel Rayburn

Samuel Rayburn Sweet was born on 01 October 1897 in Keewatin, Ontario.  His parents were Samuel Charles Sweet and Margaret Anne Christie. His siblings included Margaret (1890-1890), Sarah Jane (1901-1901), Francis Lloyd,  Alexander Charles, Mary Beatrice, Helen, Marjorie Elizabeth, Robert, Fred, Thomas Edwin and James Christie.

‘Ray’ grew up in Keewatin and in 1917 was working as a drug clerk.

He enlisted on 08 May 1917 in Winnipeg and was assigned to the 76th Battery of the Canadian Field Artillery.  On the 30 May 1917 his unit passed through Kenora on the train heading for Camp Petawawa for artillery instruction before going overseas. He embarked from Canada on the S.S. Scandinavian on 22 October 1917 and arrived in England 10 days later.  Ray went to France with the Canadian Field Artillery on 27 December 1917. Shortly after his arrival he contracted influenza and was hospitalized in Etaples until being sent to the Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp on 22 January 1918. In June of 1918 he was posted to the Canadian Divisional Ammunition Column and served with them until a two week leave to the UK in January of 1919. He rejoined his unit in France on 5 February. Ray returned to England in May and was struck off strength to Canada in June 1919. He received his official discharge due to demobilization on 23 June 1919 in Toronto, Ontario.

After the war ‘Ray’ returned to Keewatin and was honoured, along with other veterans,  by the town in a ceremony in August 1919.  His service is commemorated on the Town of Keewatin Plaque which hangs in the Keewatin Legion.

The 1921 Canadian Census shows Ray residing as a lodger in the Donald Murdoch residence in Winnipeg. Donald was another Keewatin lad who had served with the Canadian Field Artillery in WW1. Ray’s sister, Beatrice, was also a lodger in the Murdoch residence. She later married Donald who was in the laundry business. In 1921 Ray worked as a shipper in the laundry.

On 08 November 1927 Ray married a nurse, Anne McBain Smart in Fort William, Ontario. His occupation at this time was ‘laundryman’. The young couple took up residence in Winnipeg and had two daughters – Shirley (who married Alexander Rennie) and Rhoda (who married Stuart Spear).

Ray went into business with his brother-in-law, Donald Murdoch, and together they owned and operated New Method Cleaners and Launderers. Ray retired in 1949 and he and Ann moved first to Vancouver and then to Kelowna where daughter Shirley lived.

Ray died in Shaughnessy Hospital, Vancouver, BC on 31 October 1956.   His Veteran Death Card lists his wife Anne  Sweet of Vancouver as his next of kin.  He is buried in Kelowna Memorial Park Cemetery, Kelowna, B.C. next to Anne who passed away in 1988.

Ray’s brother, Francis Lloyd Sweet,  #2000195 also served in WW1.

Keewatin-1919-01 Keewatin-1919-02 Sweet-Samuel-Rayburn-10 Sweet-Samuel-Rayburn-11 Sweet-Samuel-Rayburn-12 Sweet-Samuel-Rayburn-13 Keewatin-plaque-b

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