Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthApril 28, 1892
Place of BirthSilverbrook, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinDr. Beatty, father, Keewatin, Ontario
Trade / CallingStudent
Service Details
Regimental Number541057
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion75th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentKeewatin, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentDecember 8, 1915
Age at Enlistment23
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathMarch 5, 1977
Age at Death85
Buried AtRoyal Oak Burial Park, Victoria, BC

Beatty, Frank William

Frank William Beatty was born 28 April 1892 in Silverbrook, Ontario.  His parents were William John Beatty and Annie Grieves. Siblings included Elizabeth Beatrice and Mary (1891-1909).

Frank’s father was a teacher, but in 1892 he went to medical school and by 1896 became a doctor.  Dr. Beatty first practised in Collingwood and then in 1897 headed west on a harvester train.   He spent the fall of that year selling books and medical instruments throughout Manitoba and Saskatchewan.  Near the end of 1897 he came to Keewatin and opened a medical office which became a hospital.

In 1900 Dr. Beatty’s family joined him in Keewatin.  In his book ‘Three Score and Ten: An Autobiography’ Frank tells of the experiences he had helping his father in his hospital. ‘I learned to help around the hospital while still very young.  I recall giving the anaesthetic, going along on house calls to help boil water when a baby was arriving.’ Frank attended school in Keewatin and Kenora and then in 1907 was sent to Woodstock Baptist College in Woodstock, Ontario. In his autobiography Frank says he was ‘kicked out’ of the College in the spring of 1909 and then he ‘traveled around’.   He was a door to door salesman in Fort William, tamped ties for $1.00 a day in Sioux Lookout, and worked at Eatons and Hingston Smith Arms Co. in Winnipeg. In 1913 he returned to Woodstock Baptist College.

From there he enlisted with the 4th Division Cycle Corps on 08 December 1915.  His training in London, Ontario and Toronto prepared him ‘to be used as a dispatch rider in France’.  In the spring of 1916 Frank left Halifax aboard the S.S. Olympic and landed in Southampton, England. He went to training centres in Swinden and Bramshott and then was transferred to the 75th Battalion, transport section.  He was given two mules (John and Jenn) to train as pack mules. In August 1916 Frank went to France, landing at Boulogne. He was in Albert on the Somme.  In April 1917 he was at the base of Vimy Ridge in Gouey Servens. From Frank’s autobiography:

‘We packed water in gallon cans, food, medical supplies, mills bombs, etc., all using twenty mules in a line and dodging crater holes.  Most of the trips were under the cover of darkness. On arrival at the ration dump we were told to unload as quickly as possible and get going. It was a long walk up, leading a mule and then riding a pack saddle back. When the sun came up the morning after the five day battle, on April 14th, the countryside was covered with the dead Germans and Canadians.Oh, what a God-awful sight…’

Frank was also at Arras and the Thelus Front along the Bapaume road; at the second battle of Ypres; and Passchendaele in October 1917.  After a rest in the reserve lines he returned to Vimy.  In April of 1918 Frank was admitted to hospital for treatment of impetigo.  He was returned to England. In June of 1918 he contracted influenza and spent four months in hospital in Edinburgh and Epsom. He lost 32 pounds due to his illness.  When he was discharged from hospital he was deemed fit for duty but ‘armistice intervened’ and he stayed in England until he sailed back to Canada on 18 January 1919 aboard the S.S. Olympic. Frank received his official discharge due to demobilization on 15 February 1919 in Winnipeg.

After the war Frank returned to Keewatin and met Carrie Cleora Hansen who worked at the Keewatin Post Office. They were married on 27 September 1922.  Frank and ‘Cleo’ moved to Winnipeg where they resided until 1935.  Frank worked for Winnipeg Paint and Glass during this time. They had two sons – John Nelson (‘Jack’) and William (‘Billy’).

In 1935 the family returned to Keewatin and Frank became an insurance agent. Sadly, Cleo died the following spring of a heart condition.  In 1939 Frank sold his insurance business to Jim Sutcliffe and became the sales rep for Canada Bud Brewery. In September 1941 he married his second wife Edith Evenden.  She had two children Glen (age 10) and Sybil (age 5) from a previous marriage.  Frank’s son, Jack, enlisted with the airforce in 1943.   That same year, Frank changed jobs again – this time he became an investigator for the War Time Prices and Trade Board.  In 1947 he opened Beatty’s Tourist Camp which he ran until 1952.  In 1948   Frank became the manager of the Kenora Legion and oversaw the purchase and renovation of the former YMCA building for its use.

Frank retired to Victoria at the end of April 1956.  However, he came back to Kenora in 1958 and took over Gork’s 2nd hand business renaming it ‘Beatty’s Economy Store’ and adding the sale of grave marker memorials to the operation.  In 1963 this business was bought by Ken Firlotte.  Frank retired a second time and moved to Victoria in 1966.

At age 84, Frank passed away in Victoria, B.C. on 05 March 1977. Following cremation his ashes were scattered at the Royal Oak Burial Park, Victoria.

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