Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthOctober 9, 1895
Place of BirthBode
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs. Marie Boquist, mother, Kenora On
Trade / CallingClerk
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number2380299
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedConscripted
Address at EnlistmentKenora On
Date of EnlistmentJune 10, 1917
Age at Enlistment21
Theatre of ServiceGreat Britain
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathMarch 25, 1996
Age at Death100
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Boquist, William Norman

William Norman Boquist was born on 09 October 1895 in Bodo, Nordland, Norway. His parents were Gustaf and Marie Boquist.  At the age of nine, William and his mother immigrated to Canada to join his father who was working as a contractor in Rat Portage (Kenora), Ontario. They left Liverpool aboard the Tunisian on 06 October 1904. When William was fourteen he began working at Woods Drug Store in Kenora. The 1911 Canadian Census shows William, his mother and an adopted sister, Amanda, living together, but there is no sign of Gustaf. William’s occupation is listed as millhand at the Rat Portage Lumber Company. By 1915 he became a clerk for Canadian Pacific Express.

William was called to serve in the Canadian Expeditionary Force by the military draft of 1917. He passed his medical exam in Kenora on 06 October 1917 and attested in Winnipeg on 04 February 1918. William traveled to England aboard the Tunisian (the same ship on which he and his mother had immigrated) arriving on 19 April 1918. He was placed in the 18th Reserve Battalion but came down with the mumps and was in Ravenscroft Military Hospital from 26 April to 16 May. On 08 July 1918 William was placed on command to Signal Base and attached to the 6th Reserve Battalion for rations, pay, discipline and duty. He served with the Royal Canadian Signal Corps until October 1918 when he was returned to the 18th Reserve Battalion. William spent another week in hospital in February of 1919 with influenza. He was struck off strength to the Manitoba Regimental Depot on 07 June 1919 and returned to Canada aboard the S.S. Belgic in August 1919. His official discharge due to demobilization came on 26 August 1919 in Port Arthur.

William returned to Kenora and his job with C.P Express. On 15 September 1923 he married Elsie Dixon Rivers. They had three children: Bill, Shirley(1928-2011) and Daphne (married John Kron). The family lived on Rupert Road in the Rideout area of Kenora for many years.

The Kenora Miner & News reported that William also served in WW2.

William was an avid sportsman who participated in rowing, curling, ski jumping and track and field. He enjoyed playing cribbage and bridge. He was a member of the Kenora Legion and also the Masonic order. William worked for CP Express for forty-five years, retiring in 1960.

William Norman Boquist passed away at the age of 100 on 25 March 1996.  He is buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora beside his wife, Elsie who died in 1975. He was the last WWI Veteran to be interred in the cemetery.

Boquist-William-Norman-1 Boquist-William-Norman-3 Boquist-William-Norman-4 Boquist-William-Norman-5

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