Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthDecember 25, 1874
Place of BirthCampbeltown, Argyllshire,
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinSister: Katherine MacGowan,Clydebank, (Dunbartonshire,) Scotland.
Trade / CallingButcher
Service Details
Regimental Number1013419
Service Record Link to Service Record
BattalionNo. 28 Company
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Forestry Corps
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentPort Arthur, Ontario
Address at Enlistment25 Second Street, Kenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentJanuary 22, 1917
Age at Enlistment42
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarNo
Death Details
Date of DeathJanuary 27, 1918
Age at Death43
Buried AtChampagnole Communal Cemetery, France
PlotA. 16.

MacGowan, Archibald

Born December 25, 1874; the son of William and Catherine (Kate) MacGowan, of Campbeltown, Scotland; husband of Elizabeth Neilson MacGowan of 323 Crown Street, South Side, Glasgow, Scotland. After the war, in 1922, Elizabeth was living at 256 Cumberland Street, South Side.

Archibald was the second of at least six children. His siblings were Daniel, William, Robert, Mary and Catherine. His father was a baker.

In 1891 he was living with his family in Govan, Lanarkshire, age 16, working as a grocer. In 1901 he was a lodger with the Brown family at 276 Cumberland Street, Glasgow, employed as a grocer’s salesman. In a 1904-1905 Scottish directory he was listed at 276 Cumberland Street, his trade grocer. He married Elizabeth Neilson in March 1905 in  Glasgow. Archibald and Elizabeth had one son, William, born in Scotland in February  1906.

Archibald immigrated to  Canada through New York arriving in April 1906, his destination Montreal. He had come over on the  ship SS Majestic from Liverpool, England, his trade grocer. On the outgoing UK passenger list Archibald is shown as a commercial traveller. It is possible that Archibald travelled from Scotland via England a few times before establishing his residence. He was living in Kenora, Ontario when he signed up in 1917, working as a butcher. Although he was married he listed himself as single on his attestation paper.

Archibald enlisted with the 230th Forestry Battalion in Port Arthur, Ontario on January 22, 1917. Less than two months later he embarked for England with his unit, arriving on March 15 on the Ausonia. Forestry Battalions raised in Canada (224th, 230th, 238th, 242nd) were absorbed by the Canadian Forestry Corps depot upon their arrival in the UK.

On April 21 he was transferred to No. 28 Company of the Canadian Forestry Corps then sent to France. The company had just been organized that month at Sunnydale, England from personnel of the 230th Battalion. They disembarked at Le Havre on April 24, 1917. In July No. 28 Company entrained at La Joux, Jura going to Gerardmer. They proceeded from there to the town of Martimprey to construct a camp and a sawmill. Martimprey was located six miles from the German border, in the very eastern part of France. On July 24 construction of Mill 40 began and at the time Archibald was injured in November his company was operating Mill 40.

On November 21, 1917 Archibald was admitted to La Joux Hospital with a severely fractured ankle bone. The following day he was transferred to Jura Hospital in Champagnole, France. Both were Canadian Forestry Corps hospitals. Two months later, on January 23, he was listed as seriously ill. He died of a  cerebral hemorrhage on January 27, 1918 at Jura Hospital.

Archibald is buried in Champagnole Communal Cemetery in the town of Champagnole, district of Jura, France. There are only 20 First World War burials in the cemetery.

He is commemorated on page 458 of the First World War Book of Remembrance which is displayed in the Peace Tower of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa.

By Linda Pelletier

MacGowan-Archibald-1 MacGowan-Archibald-99

Images: page 458 of First World War Book of Remembrance; Commonwealth War Graves Register for Archibald.

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