Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthApril 30, 1879
Place of BirthDerby, Derbyshire
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinMrs. Louisa Bush (wife), Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingWoodworker
Service Details
Regimental Number198818
Service Record Link to Service Record
BattalionNo. 38 Company Canadian Forestry Corps
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Forestry Corps
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentJanuary 18, 1916
Age at Enlistment36
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathFebruary 10, 1965
Age at Death85
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Bush, Edward Arthur

Lance Corporal Edward Arthur Bush was married and living in Kenora, Ontario when enlisted in January 1916 at age 36. He served overseas for almost three years, returning to Canada in February 1919.

Edward was the son of John Henry Bush and Annie Mason of Derby, Derbyshire, England. John Henry and Annie were married in 1872 and Edward was the third of their four children, all born in Derby: John Augustus (1874), William Jabez (1876), Edward Arthur (30 April 1879) and Ernest Edgar (1882). John Henry was a locksmith and ironmonger and he died in October 1885 when Edward was six years old. At the time of the 1891 census William was living with their widowed grandfather John Bush, an ironmonger and whitesmith. Also in the household was a domestic servant, Mary Ward. Edward and Ernest were living in a nearby parish, lodging with Mary Ward’s mother Mrs. Eliza Ward, a widow. Their mother had remarried in March 1891 and she was in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire with her husband William Butler, a coal miner. Her oldest son John Augustus was also in Nottingham, staying with an aunt and uncle Mary and George Brasher.

When the 1901 census was taken Edward was 21, working as a moulder’s labourer and boarding with a family in Derby. That fall, on 28 September, he married Louisa Yeomans in the nearby village of Ripley. Louisa had grown up in that area and she was one of at least ten children of Joseph and Rebecca Yeomans. Her father worked in a coal mine. Edward’s older brother William immigrated to Canada around 1902 and his younger brother Ernest followed in 1904. Ernest took up farming in Saskatchewan and William settled in Rat Portage (now called Kenora), in northwestern Ontario. Edward also left England for Canada, arriving with his wife in May 1909 on the Empress of Britain and joining his brother in Kenora. He was hired by the Rat Portage Lumber Company and he worked for them until he enlisted. Louisa’s sister Mildred Yeomans joined them in Kenora in May 1914 and she married William the following year.

The war started in August 1914 and all three brothers enlisted early in 1916. Ernest signed up with the 209th (Swift Current) Battalion and he was sent overseas in November. Edward joined the 94th Battalion in January 1916 in Kenora and William enlisted with the same unit in March. The two brothers were musicians and members of the Kenora town band and they both joined the battalion band. The 94th was based in Port Arthur and recruited in towns throughout northwestern Ontario and in May 1916 the Kenora volunteers were sent to Port Arthur to join the rest of the unit. They left for Quebec two weeks later and spent a short time at Valcartier before embarking for England on 28 June 1916 on the SS Olympic. In England the recruits were absorbed into reserve battalions to be used as reinforcements for other units. Edward trained with the 32nd Reserve Battalion from July until October, when he was transferred to the Canadian Arms Inspection and Repair Depot in Greenwich. He served there for five months. In May 1917 he was assigned to the newly-organized No. 38 Company, Canadian Forestry Corps and sent to France.

The Canadian Forestry units were employed in cutting timber, running sawmills, preparing railway ties and helping to clear terrain and build airfields and aerodromes. They were occasionally called on to serve as infantry units when needed. Other work listed in their war diaries included ‘clearing sites, ditching, draining, trimming and felling trees, hauling gravel, levelling, making culverts and drains, earthing, grading, ploughing, scraping, filling depressions, uprooting hedges, re-sodding, cutting pickets, stripping turf.‘ On 18 January 1918, after two years of service, Edward was awarded a good conduct badge. At the end of September he had two weeks leave in the UK and when he rejoined his unit he was promoted to Acting Lance Corporal. The Armistice ended hostilities on 11 November and a month later Edward returned to England. He spent six weeks at the Canadian Forestry Corps Base Dept before embarking for Canada in early February on the Princess Juliana, arriving in Halifax on 17 February and getting two weeks landing leave. He was officially discharged on 29 March in Winnipeg.

After the war Edward was taken on at the CPR Roundhouse in Kenora and he worked there for 25 years, from 1919 to 1944. He and his wife lived on Third Street North and they raised one child, their daughter Rebecca. After leaving the CPR Edward worked for the Town of Kenora as Weed Inspector until he retired in 1958. His wife died the following year and he moved to Winnipeg to live with his daughter. Edward passed away in Deer Lodge Hospital on 10 February 1965 and his funeral was held in Kenora three days later. He and his wife are both buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery. Their daughter Rebecca died in Winnipeg in 2004.

His brother William Jabez served with the 10th Battalion and he was killed in France in May 1917. Ernest Edgar survived the war and returned to Canada in June 1919 with a war bride. They lived in Winnipeg and he passed away there in 1959. Their oldest brother John Augustus died in Nottingham, England in 1952.

Edward is commemorated on the St. Alban’s Pro-Cathedral First World War Roll of Honour.

By Becky Johnson

Bush-Edward-Arthur-90 Bush-Edward-Arthur-91 94th-1916-06-10 Bush-Edward-Arthur-92 Bush-Edward-Arthur-93 Bush-Edward-Arthur-94

Edward’s grave marker was installed in Lake of the Woods Cemetery in 2018 by the Last Post Fund.

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