Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthApril 6, 1864
Place of BirthBrussels, Huron County, Ontario
Marital StatusMarried (widowed in 1917)
Next of KinIsabel Hinds (wife), 702 McMillan Avenue, Winnipeg
Trade / CallingBuilding contractor
Service Details
Regimental Number922263
Service Record Link to Service Record
BattalionNo. 136 Company
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Forestry Corps
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at Enlistment702 McMillan Avenue, Winnipeg
Date of EnlistmentApril 11, 1916
Age at Enlistment52
Theatre of ServiceGreat Britain
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathNovember 24, 1935
Age at Death71
Buried AtBrookside Cemetery, Winnipeg

Hinds, Frederick

Private Frederick Hinds enlisted in April 1916, at age 52, and served in Great Britain with the Canadian Forestry Corps. He returned to Canada in June 1919.

Frederick was born on 6 April 1864 in Brussels, Huron County, Ontario. His mother, Jane Kelly, was from Ireland and his father, Samuel Hinds (Hindes), was born in Ontario. Samuel worked as a labourer, farmer and mason. He and his wife had at least ten children: Francis, Mary Ann (died in 1867 at age one), Frederick, John, Thomas, Mary Ann, Sarah Sophia, Reuben (died in 1877 at age one), Reuben James (b. 1878) and Lillian.

Frederick became a stone mason like his father and during the 1880s he spent some time working in Ohio and Maine. He was married to Isabel Mathieson on 30 December 1891 in Cobden, Ontario. Isabel was born in Toronto, the daughter of Robert Mathieson and Martha Gillespie. She was living in Renfrew, Ontario at the time of their marriage. Frederick and his wife moved west and their first child, Frederick Ellsworth, was born in 1894 at Peninsula Harbour, on the north shore of Lake Superior. He was followed by two daughters, Jean (Jenny) and Violet. The youngest son, Robert, was born in Rat Portage, Ontario in 1900. When the 1901 census was taken the family was still living in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora), but within a few years they had moved to Winnipeg. Frederick’s brothers Thomas and Reuben and their mother Jane also moved there.

Thomas and Frederick both worked as builders and contractors and Frederick became a partner in the firm Hinds and Mitchell. He was a leading member of the Winnipeg Builders’ Exchange which was founded in 1904, just as the city was embarking on a decade-long construction boom. In 1911 Hinds and Mitchell were hired as the general contractors and stone masons for a major addition and renovation to Young Methodist Church (later Young United). Only the church tower remains today, due to a fire, and it’s a municipally-designated historic site.

The war started in August 1914 and Frederick’s oldest son, Ellsworth, enlisted in December 1915, at age 21. Frederick signed up the following spring, joining the 200th Battalion on 11 April 1916. He was 52 years old by then but he passed himself off as only 44. The recruits trained at Camp Hughes over the summer and spent the winter back in Winnipeg. The battalion headed overseas in April 1917 but Frederick wasn’t with them. Sadly, his wife Isabel had passed away on 16 February 1917, at age 50. Her funeral was held on 19 February and she’s buried at Brookside Cemetery. Frederick had named Isabel as his next of kin and after her death he changed it to his daughter Jean. Jean was also appointed as the guardian of her youngest brother, Robert.

In May 1917 Frederick spent two weeks in St. Boniface Hospital, due to a hernia, and on 22 June he was transferred to a new unit, the 251st ‘Good Fellows’ Battalion. After training over the summer he was transferred again, on 22 September, to No. 10 Forestry and Railway Construction Depot. In November he was classified as B2, fit for non-combative work overseas, and a month later he was on his way to England. He embarked from St. John and arrived in Glasgow on 31 December. Frederick was assigned to the Canadian Forestry Corps Base Depot at Sunningdale. In March 1918 he was posted to No. 53 District and he served there for the next 14 months.

No. 53 District was headquartered at Egham, southwest of the city of London. There were eight companies in the district and Frederick was in No. 136, which was employed at Farnham in the county of Surrey. The men cut timber in the nearby forest, hauled logs to the saw mill, operated the mill and transported lumber to the nearest railway. They had horses for doing work in the forest and mill and several motor lorries for transporting logs and lumber. In the company camp were sleeping huts, a dining room, a recreation hut, canteens, various officers’ quarters and messes, a workshop and garage, bath houses, stables and a hospital. Many camps also had a farm where grain and vegetables were grown for their own use.

By the spring of 1919 forestry operations in England were winding down and Frederick was transferred back to the base depot in May. He embarked from Liverpool on 2 June on the SS Lapland and he was discharged on demobilization on 13 June in Winnipeg. His son Frederick Ellsworth Hinds served in France with a field ambulance unit and returned to Canada in July 1919.

After the war Ellsworth and his brother Robert moved to Kenosha, Wisconsin and in the fall of 1920 Frederick went there to stay with them for awhile. He made his home in Winnipeg but he may also have spent some time in Victoria, British Columbia, where his oldest brother Francis lived. Frederick passed away at St. Roch Hospital in St. Boniface on 24 November 1935, at age 71. His funeral was held two days later and he’s buried in Brookside Cemetery along with his wife, his mother, his brother Thomas and other family members.

By Becky Johnson

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