Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthDecember 15, 1877
Place of BirthMalton, Yorkshire
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinLucy Ann Marr (mother), Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingScaler
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number2487301
Service Record Link to Service Record
BattalionNo. 126 Company
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Forestry Corps
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentMay 4, 1917
Age at Enlistment39
Theatre of ServiceGreat Britain
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJune 3, 1931
Age at Death53
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Marr, Henry Scott

Acting Sergeant Henry Scott Marr served with the Canadian Forestry Corps in Great Britain for two years. He was discharged in July 1919 and he spent a year living in England before returning to Canada.

Henry was the only son of Henry Marr Sr. and Lucy Ann Scott of Kenora, Ontario. Henry’s father was born in Lincolnshire, England and his mother in Yorkshire. They were married in Yorkshire in 1875 and they had four children: Ethel (1876), Henry Scott (15 December 1877), Ada (1878) and Amy (1880, died as an infant). The children were all born in Malton, Yorkshire and Henry was baptized at the local parish church when he was five days old. Henry Sr. was a farmer at Acomb House in Old Malton. At the time of the 1881 census he was farming 200 acres and employing three men.

The oldest daughter Ethel became a nurse and stayed in England but the rest of the family immigrated to Canada. Henry arrived on 1 May 1904 on the SS Carthaginian, sailing from Liverpool to Halifax with his destination listed as Rat Portage, Ontario. By 1911 his parents and sister Ada had joined him in Rat Portage, which was renamed Kenora by then. At the time of the 1911 census the family was living on First Avenue South and Henry Sr. was employed as a gardener. He died the following year, at age 65, and he’s buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery.

When Henry enlisted in the spring of 1917 he was living in Kenora and working as a scaler. He signed up in Winnipeg on 4 May, joining the No. 4 Forestry Draft. He embarked from Halifax with his unit on 22 June on the SS Justicia, landing at Liverpool about two weeks later. He was transferred to the Canadian Forestry Corps Base Depot at Sunningdale. A medical exam in July found that he had defective vision and he was classified as fit for non-combatant duty. On 24 August he was appointed Acting Corporal and transferred to No. 126 Company in District 53, Canadian Forestry Corps. He served with that unit for the next 21 months.

No. 53 District was headquartered at Egham, southwest of the city of London. No. 126 Company was organized in August 1917 and the men worked at Ampthill, Bedfordshire. They cut timber in the nearby forest, laid railway track when needed, hauled the logs to the saw mill, operated the mill and transported lumber to the nearest railway. Company camps had sleeping huts, a dining room, a recreation hut, canteens, various officers’ quarters and messes, a workshop and garage, bath houses, stables and a hospital. Some camps had large farms where grain and vegetables were grown for their own use. In January 1918 Henry was promoted to Acting Sergeant and in September his unit moved to Downham Hall in Brandon, Suffolk.

By the spring of 1919 forestry operations were winding down in the UK. Henry was transferred to the Base Depot on 31 May and discharged on demobilization on 4 July. He chose to stay in England with his intended residence listed as Downham Hall in Brandon. About a year later he returned to Canada, arriving in Montreal on 4 August 1920 on the Empress of France. He said he had previously lived in Kenora and he was now going to Vancouver. His mother and sister Ada had moved to Vancouver around 1919 and he joined them there. When the 1921 census was taken Henry was working as a logger at Loughborough Inlet, north of Vancouver. By the following year he had moved back to Vancouver, where he found work as a clerk.

Henry passed away in Vancouver General Hospital on 3 June 1931, at age 53. His mother died in Vancouver in 1938 and his sister Ada in 1958. The cremains of all three of them are buried next to Henry Sr. at Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.

In October 2018 a veteran grave marker for Henry was provided by the Last Post Fund. He is commemorated in Kenora on the St. Alban’s Pro-Cathedral First World War Roll of Honour.

By Becky Johnson

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