Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthOctober 19, 1899
Place of BirthRat Portage (Kenora), Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinFred C Lovatt, father, 9336-105th Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta
Trade / CallingStudent
Service Details
Regimental Number904152
Service Record Link to Service Record
BattalionNo 40 Company (No 5 District, Jura Group)
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Forestry Corps
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at Enlistment9336-105th Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta
Date of EnlistmentFebruary 12, 1916
Age at Enlistment16
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathMay 25, 1974
Age at Death74
Buried AtEvergreen Memorial Gardens, Edmonton, Alberta
PlotMA 166a

Lovatt, Arthur Russell

Arthur Russell (Happy) Lovatt was born on 18 October 1899 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora), Ontario, date confirmed by his delayed Ontario birth registration. His father Frederick Charles Lovatt, a carpenter, was from England and had immigrated to Canada with his family as a young child, settling in the Meaford, Ontario area. His mother Mary Elizabeth Bingham grew up in the Whitchurch, York, Ontario area. The couple married on 8 March 1894 in Toronto, and gave birth to son Harold in 1896 in Collingwood. By the time of the 1901 census the family had relocated to Rat Portage. According to the census, son Clarence was born in 1898 and Arthur in 1899. By the birth of son Harry Bruce in 1903 the family was living in Victoria, British Columbia, with daughter Nora born in Rat Portage before the move. Other children born in British Columbia were Wilbur and Albert. Sadly Clarence died in Victoria in 1905.

In October of 1908 while living in Edmonton, Frederick applied for a homestead grant in the area, with the grant cancelled in February of 1911. The 1911 census found the family living on Clark Street in Edmonton with Frederick working as a carpenter. By the time of the 1916 census they had moved to 105th Avenue in downtown Edmonton, with both Harold and Arthur listed as being at Sarcee Camp.

With occupation given as student, his year of birth as 1897, and his father Fred as next of kin, Arthur signed his attestation papers in Edmonton on 12 February 1916. As a Private with the 194th Battalion, Arthur embarked from Halifax aboard the Olympic on 14 November 1916. He had just turned 17.

Once in England the 194th Battalion was absorbed by the 9th Reserve Battalion. In May of 1917 Arthur was transferred to the Canadian Forestry Corps, arriving in France on the 25th to serve with the No. 40 Company, Canadian Forestry Corps (No. 5 District, Jura Group). The Canadian Forestry Corps provided lumber for the Allied war effort by cutting and preparing timber in the United Kingdom and on the continent of Europe. Forestry units also cleared terrain for the construction of installations such as airfields and runway, prepared railway ties, as well as lumber for the creation of barracks, road surfaces, ammunition crates, trench construction, etc. These units were sometimes called on in the First World War to perform as infantry. Arthur was granted two fourteen day leaves in 1918, the first in early February and the second in late November. With the end of the war he arrived in Halifax aboard the Aquitania on 25 January 1919 and was discharged from service on 24 February in Calgary.

Arthur’s brother Harold¬†enlisted in February of 1916, just days after Arthur, and went overseas with the 218th Battalion. He served in Europe with the 8th Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops, returning to Canada in May of 1919.

It appears that Arthur returned to Edmonton after the war. At some point he married Barbara Smith Elrick. Born in 1903 in the Partick area of Glasgow, Barbara was the daughter of William and Margaret (Smith) Elrick. Barbara had arrived in Canada with her mother and siblings aboard the Cassandra on 28 May 1912, on their way to Strathcona on the outskirts of Edmonton to join her father. Arthur and Barbara gave birth to a daughter, Lois. Sadly Barbara died in the Vancouver General Hospital on 15 June 1936, interred in the Edmonton Cemetery.

Arthur later married Susan Margaret Jean Miners. Born on 1 January 1911 in London, Ontario, Jean was the daughter of Frederick and Jessie May (Dunn) Miners and grew up in Saskatoon. In various Edmonton Voters lists Arthur’s occupation was listed as truck driver (1935), salesman (1949), estimator (1962, 1968), and as retired (1972). Arthur and Jean gave birth to four sons, Gary, James (Jim), Dale, and Wayne.

Arthur (Happy) Lovatt died on 25 May 1974. He was predeceased by his mother Mary Elizabeth in 1942, his father Frederick in 1949, both interred in the Edmonton Cemetery, brothers Clarence and Albert, and his son Gary in a plane crash in May of 1969. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Jean, sons James, Dale, and Wayne, daughter Lois (George) Magee, five grandchildren, all of Edmonton, brothers Harold in Vancouver, Bruce in Florida, and Wib of Detroit, and sister Nora Linden in California. Arthur’s wife Jean died on 14 September 2007. Arthur and Jean are interred in the Evergreen Memorial Gardens in Edmonton.

By Judy Stockham

gravemarker photograph and obituary courtesy of Alison Glass

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