|Date of Birth||October 13, 1896|
|Place of Birth||Kenora, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||David Ans (father), Whitemouth, Manitoba|
|Trade / Calling||Farmer|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Address at Enlistment||Whitemouth, Manitoba|
|Date of Enlistment||April 10, 1916|
|Age at Enlistment||19|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||September 19, 1960|
|Age at Death||63|
|Buried At||Whitemouth Municipal Cemetery, Whitemouth, Manitoba|
Private Edward Arthur Ans (Anns) enlisted in April 1916 and served in France with the 27th Battalion. He was wounded at the Battle of Vimy Ridge and he returned to Canada in November 1918.
Edward was the son of David Ans and Harriett Brownrigg of Whitemouth, Manitoba. Harriett was born in Yorkshire, England and came to Canada with her family in the early 1880s. They lived in Rat Portage, Ontario at first where her father worked for the railroad. David Ans was born in Russia and was of German ancestry. When the 1891 census was taken he was also living in Rat Portage and working as a section foreman for the Canadian Pacific Railway. David and Harriett were married in Rat Portage in 1892. Their son, David Robert, was born in Winnipeg in 1893, the first of at least 13 children. He was followed by a daughter, Katherine (Kate), born in 1895 in the RM of Springfield, Manitoba.
Edward was born in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) on 13 October 1896. His birth was registered with the surname Anns although most records for the family used the spelling Ans. When Edward was still a baby his parents settled near Whitemouth, Manitoba and took up farming. They had at least ten more children: Clifford George (born 1898, died at age 2), Elizabeth May (1900), Clifford Gordon (1902), Thomas Wilbert (1904), Richard Percival (1905, died at age 4), Hattie Louisa (1908, died as an infant), Mabel Tess (1910), Charles Henry (1912, died as an infant), Frederick Albert (1914) and James Stanley (1917). In 1914 the oldest daughter Kate married Andrew Kastet and she moved to North Dakota with her husband.
Edward enlisted in Winnipeg on 10 April 1916, using the surname Anns and signing up with the 203rd Battalion. His brother David Robert Ans joined the same unit two days later. They were both farmers, their address was Whitemouth and next of kin was their father. Their battalion trained at Camp Hughes during the summer and headed overseas that fall. Edward and David embarked from Halifax on the SS Grampian on 26 October and arrived in Liverpool about ten days later. On 22 December Edward was transferred to the 27th (City of Winnipeg) Battalion and sent to France. Before he could join his new unit in the field he contracted the measles. He recovered at No. 2 General Hospital then at a convalescent depot in Le Havre.
When Edward joined the 27th Battalion in the field in late February 1917 the Canadian Corps was in the Lens-Arras sector, across from Vimy. Plans were underway for the attack on Vimy Ridge, set to start in April, and all four Canadian divisions were undergoing intensive training. The operation began on the morning of 9 April. Edward’s unit took part in the second wave of the assault, advancing near the village of Thelus. They faced a heavy enemy artillery barrage and Edward was one of the casualties that day, suffering a severe shell or gunshot wound to his right foot. He was admitted to the St. John Ambulance Brigade Hospital in Etaples the following day then evacuated to England.
Edward recovered at Clandon Park Hospital in Guildford from 14 April to 31 May. He was readmitted on 2 July and spent another two months there followed by several months at a convalescent depot. He was discharged to duty on 28 December 1917 and assigned to the Manitoba Regiment Depot. In mid-February 1918 he was admitted to No. 11 Canadian General Hospital in Shorncliffe due to furunculosis (boils). He was released from the hospital on 1 April and transferred to the 11th Reserve Battalion. Edward served in Great Britain for another eight months. He embarked for Canada on 22 November on the SS Aquitania, arriving about a week later and getting discharged on 9 January 1919 in Winnipeg. His brother David served in France with the 46th Battalion and returned to Canada in March 1919.
When the 1921 census was taken Edward living in Whitemouth and working as a farm labourer. He was married in Winnipeg on 10 October 1922 to Gladys Pearl Little (née Cousins), a widow. Gladys was born in Whitemouth in 1899, one of at least ten children of William Henry Cousins and Josephine Sayers. Her parents were both born in Ontario and moved to Manitoba in the 1880s. Gladys married her first husband, Thomas Little, in November 1917. He was called up for service two months later and he died in France in September 1918. Thomas is buried in Bucquoy Road Cemetery near Arras and commemorated on the Whitemouth Cenotaph. Three of Gladys’ brothers also served in the war: Arthur Carberry, James Leslie and Frederick David.
Edward and Gladys homesteaded in the Whitemouth area for about twelve years before moving into the town of Whitemouth around 1935. About six years later they moved to Rennie, Manitoba where they owned and operated a garage. Edward also served as the postmaster for the community. They had three children: Norma Elaine, Glenn Edward and Brian Winsten. Their son Glenn served in the Royal Canadian Air Force in the 1950s and 60s.
Edward’s father died in 1932 and his mother in 1955. They are buried at South St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery in the village of Oldenburg near Whitemouth. Three of their children are also buried there: Richard, Hattie and Charles. Edward passed away on 19 September 1960 in Winnipeg and his wife died in 1982. They are buried in Whitemouth Municipal Cemetery along with Edward’s brother David, his sister Mabel (Mrs. Felix Oscar Carlson) and other family members.
By Becky Johnson
Grave marker photo courtesy of VJT on Findagrave.com