|Date of Birth||September 30, 1870|
|Place of Birth||Cleristown, County Wexford|
|Next of Kin||Matthew Moran, father, Cleristown, County Wexford, Ireland|
|Trade / Calling||Locomotive Fireman|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||No 9 District, Bordeaux Group|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Branch||Canadian Forestry Corps|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||Kenora, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||March 4, 1916|
|Age at Enlistment||45|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||April 16, 1962|
|Age at Death||91|
|Buried At||Tilston Cemetery, Tilston, Manitoba|
Nicholas Moran was born on 30 September 1870 in Cleristown, County Wexford, Ireland where the family farmed, date confirmed by his baptism record. His parents Matthew Moran and Bridget Codd married on 27 June 1867 in the District of Wexford. Known children born to the couple were Mary (1868), Anty (1869-1873), Nicholas, Robert (1872), Matthew (1876), John Joseph (1877), and Anatasia (1880). At the time of the 1901 census household members were Matthew, Bridget, Nicholas, and Anastasia.
An age appropriate Nicholas Moran was found on the passenger list of the Lake Erie that arrived in Montreal on 11 August 1906. Listed as a labourer/farmer, he was on his way to Winnipeg, Manitoba. At some point Nicholas moved to Kenora in northwestern Ontario where he found work as a locomotive fireman with the Canadian Pacific Railway. According to a local history book for the RM of Albert, he may have also worked at the ‘Catholic Sisters Hospital’ in Kenora.
Living in Kenora at the time, Nicholas signed his attestation papers in Winnipeg on 4 March 1916. His occupation was given as fireman, his date of birth and place of birth as 12 September 1873 in County Wexford, and his father Matthew in Ireland as next of kin. As a Private with the 183rd Battalion (Manitoba Beavers), Nicholas embarked from Halifax on 3 October 1916, half of the unit on the Missanabie and half on the Saxonia.
Once in England Nicholas was transferred to the 108th Battalion and then on to the 14th Reserve Battalion in January 1917. In February he was transferred to the Canadian Forestry Corps, proceeding overseas to the No 26 Company (No. 9 District, Bordeaux Group) in France in March. 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 during the war. 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 to perform as infantry.
In early March 1918 Nicholas was awarded a Good Conduct Badge and granted a fourteen day leave later that month. In late January of 1919 he returned to England and embarked for Canada aboard the Regina on 22 March. Nicholas was discharged from service on 3 April 1919 in Winnipeg. It was noted in his service record that he was overage, had two hernias, and flat feet.
The 1921 census found Nicholas living in the Transcona area of Winnipeg where he was working as a labourer in the Canadian National Railway Shops. However after working for Coles in Gainsborough in Saskatchewan, he was to make Tilston in southwestern Manitoba near the Saskatchewan border his home, coming to the George Moir farm in the summer of 1931. Voters lists over the years gave his occupation as labourer (1935), gentleman (1945), and retired (1949).
Nicholas died on 16 April 1962 in Deer Lodge Hospital in Winnipeg. His Veteran Death Card gave his friend George Moir of Tilston, Manitoba as his next of kin. Nicholas is interred with the Moir family in the Tilston Cemetery just outside of Tilston.
By Judy Stockham
Nicholas’ grave marker photograph provided by Sharon Simms