Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Place of BirthDeseronto, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of Kinfather, George Alexander Primrose of Swan River, Manitoba
Trade / Callingtrapper & trader
Service Details
Regimental Number2184350
Service Record Link to Service Record
BattalionRailway Construction and Forestry Depot, CFC
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Forestry Corps
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentJuly 12, 1917
Age at Enlistment31
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathDecember 28, 1959
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Primrose, Hiram

According to his attestation papers Hiram Primrose was born on 15 September 1885 in Deseronto, Ontario*. His father George Henry Alexander Primrose was from London, England while his mother Emily Jane Haynes was from Kaladar, Ontario. The couple married in 1876 in the township of Barrie where George had been farming. Children born to the family in various places in southern Ontario were Henry (abt 1877-78), Walter (abt 1880), Rosena Captoria (1881), Hiram, Corna Sylva (Flora)(1886), Elizabeth Mehallia (1889), Frederick Ausborne (1891), and Malberry Whittington (1894). By the 1901 census most of the family had moved to Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) where George and the older boys found work in the sawmill/lumbering industries. For the 1911 census Hiram was boarding with the Marius Leydier family in the nearby township of Melick with his occupation listed as labourer, survey. His parents and some of his siblings had moved to the Birch River and Swan River Interlake areas of Manitoba to farm.

Hiram enlisted in Winnipeg on 12 July 1917, giving his occupation as trapper and trader and place of residence as Kenora. With the No 10 Winnipeg Forestry and Railway Construction Draft to Base Depot Hiram arrived in England aboard the  Megantic on 15 September 1917. By October he was posted to the No 80 Company Canadian Forestry Corps in France and was appointed as Acting Corporal in May of 1918, rank confirmed in December when he was also granted a 10 day leave to the UK. With the end of the war Hiram embarked for Canada on 29 March 1919 aboard the Caronia.

On 25 July 1925 Hiram married Mary Adella Lavergne in Kenora. Della was born in Michigan and at some point had moved to Kenora with her parents Benjamin and Marie Louise  (née Lariviere) Lavergne. Both Hiram and Della had been residing in the township of Pellatt at the time of their marriage. The couple settled in nearby Minaki where Hiram worked as a trapper, guide, and labourer. They gave birth to at least two children, both sons.

Predeceased by his mother Emily in 1917 in Birch River, his father George in 1931 in the RM of Swan River, his wife Della in 1946 in Kenora, Hiram died on 28 December 1959 in the Kenora General Hospital. His Veteran Death card listed his son George of Minaki as next of kin. Hiram is interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora. At the time he was survived by his son George; the other son had previously gone missing while out with his team of dogs and sled.

Hiram’s brother Malberry Whittington Primrose enlisted in Dauphin, Manitoba in December of 1915 and went overseas with the 226th Battalion. Transferred to the 78th Battalion he was severely wounded in Cambrai by machine gun bullets to the elbow and hip during the latter part of the war.  Invalided  to Canada in August of 1919 he was hospitalized in the Manitoba Military Hospital in  Winnipeg, discharged the following March.

by Judy Stockham

Primrose-Hiram-2 Primrose-Hiram-3 Primrose-Hiram-4

*Hiram’s obituary gives a birth date of 11 September 1877, the 1901 census as 19 August 1882,  and his gravemarker suggests the year was 1887. Although a birth record could not be found, based on the births/ages of his siblings, it is likely that he was born between 1883-1885. His name is spelled as Herman on his service records.


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