Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthSeptember 19, 1884
Place of BirthCamborne, Cornwall
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinMrs Lillie Heather (wife), Menadarva near Camborne, England
Trade / CallingMiner
Service Details
Regimental Number2355417
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion1st Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Garrison Regiment
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentTerry, Lawrence County, South Dakota, U.S.A.
Date of EnlistmentSeptember 21, 1917
Age at Enlistment33
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathFebruary 9, 1969
Age at Death84
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Heather, William James

Private William James Heather enlisted in the fall of 1917 and served for almost two years in Canada, most of that time with a garrison regiment.

James was 33 years old and living in South Dakota when he decided to enlist with the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He applied at a recruiting office in Denver, Colorado on 19 September 1917 then travelled to London, Ontario where he attested two days later. He said he was born on 19 September 1884 in Camborne, Cornwall, England, his occupation was miner and he had served for eight years in the British reserves (the Territorial Forces). He was married and his wife Lillie Heather (née Williams) was living in the village of Menadarva near Camborne in Cornwall. They were married in Cornwall in 1903 and they had at least three children: Dorothy, Samuel and James.

James enlisted with the reinforcing draft of the 7th Regiment, Fusiliers. Eight months later, in May 1918, he was transferred to the 1st Battalion of the Canadian Garrison Regiment. The 1st Battalion had just been organized the previous month and the unit provided garrison duty in District No. 1, which was Western Ontario. James served until the summer of 1919. He was discharged due to demobilization on 31 July in London, Ontario, and his intended residence was Hurley, Wisconsin.

The following month James entered the U.S. at Detroit, Michigan but little is known of his life over the next thirty years or so. His wife Lillie died in Cornwall, England in 1942, at age 57. By 1943 James was living in the small village of Sioux Narrows, Ontario where he worked as a caretaker. He joined the Canadian Legion in the nearby town of Kenora. In 1959 he moved to Kenora and he lived in Pinecrest Home for the Aged for the next ten years. He passed away in Pinecrest on 9 February 1969. His funeral was held three days later and he’s buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.

By Becky Johnson

Heather-William-99 Heather-William-98
James’ grave marker was installed in Lake of the Woods Cemetery in 2018 by the Last Post Fund.


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