|Date of Birth||March 30, 1899|
|Place of Birth||Kenora, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Mrs. Ethel Wildman (mother), 272 Murray Street, Ottawa, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Typist|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Branch||Canadian Field Artillery|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Ottawa, Ontario|
|Address at Enlistment||272 Murray Street, Ottawa, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||April 22, 1918|
|Age at Enlistment||19|
|Theatre of Service||Canada|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||March 28, 1959|
|Age at Death||59|
|Buried At||Pinecrest Cemetery, Ottawa, Ontario|
Gunner Ernest Randall Wildman was born in Rat Portage, Ontario on 30 March 1899. His father, Ernest Edward Wildman, was from Toronto. Ernest Edward had been living in Rat Portage since at least 1891, working in the lumber industry. Ernest’s mother, Ethel Mabel Donaldson, was from Buckingham Township in Quebec, northeast of Ottawa. Ernest Edward and Ethel were married in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in 1897. They had one other child, their daughter Patricia Florence, who was born in Rat Portage in 1903. By 1911 the family was living in Toronto and sometime after that they moved to Ottawa. Ernest’s father had been a sawmill foreman and he went on to have a long career as a building contractor.
Ernest was only 15 years old when the war started and he enlisted on 22 April 1918, at age 19. He signed up in Ottawa and joined the 74th Battery, Canadian Field Artillery. His occupation was typist and next of kin was his mother Ethel in Ottawa. He was sent to Petawawa where the training camp for the Canadian Field Artillery was located. On 16 September he was transferred to the Ammunition Column of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (Siberia). Plans were in place to assemble an international force at Vladivostok in Siberia, mainly to protect stockpiles of Russian weapons and supplies, and to keep them from falling into the hands of the Bolsheviks. The Canadian Expeditionary Force (Siberia) was made up of two infantry battalions as well as artillery, cavalry, machine gun and support units, for a total of just over 4,000 men. The troops embarked from British Columbia in December but Ernest was not with them. For unstated reasons he was kept in Canada and discharged on demobilization on 20 March 1919 in Kingston.
Ernest was married in Ottawa on 6 September 1919. His wife, Mary Elizabeth Jackson, a stenographer, was born in 1897 in Lanark, Ontario, the daughter of John F. Jackson and Catherine (Kate) Baird. Her father was a cabinet maker and she was one of at least eight children. Ernest and Mary made their home in Ottawa. When the 1921 census was taken they were living with Ernest’s parents and his sister Florence. They had a son, Ernest Jackson, who was seven months old and Ernest was a shipping clerk for the Canadian Pacific Railway at the time. They went on to have three more children: Ethel Catherine (1922), George Edward (1928) and Claire Virginia (1931). Their son Jackson served with the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War and he was married in Ottawa in 1945. His wife, Elizabeth Guilford Graham, was the daughter of Major Charles Robert Graham, M.D.
By 1949 it is likely that Ernest and Mary were separated. Mary was living in Ottawa, employed as a civil servant, and Ernest was in Toronto. In 1952 their daughter Claire married Albert Dalton ‘Bud’ Dunning in Ottawa and in 1958 their son George married Eleanor Romani, also in Ottawa. Ernest passed away on 28 March 1959, two days before his sixtieth birthday. He was still living in Toronto at the time but he died at his mother’s home in Ottawa. His funeral was held three days later and he’s buried in Pinecrest Cemetery in Ottawa along with his sons George (d. 1969) and Jackson (d. 1977) as well as his father (d. 1936). Mary passed away in 1971 and she’s buried next to her sister Muriel Jackson in Capital Memorial Gardens in Ottawa.
By Becky Johnson