Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthMarch 24, 1896
Place of BirthSundridge, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinRichard Boyes, father, Axford PO, Saskatchewan
Trade / CallingTeacher
Service Details
Regimental Number258923
Service RecordLink to Service Record
Battalion10th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedConscripted
Place of EnlistmentRegina, Saskatchewan
Address at EnlistmentAxford, Saskatchewan
Date of EnlistmentMarch 26, 1918
Age at Enlistment22
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJanuary 8, 1975
Age at Death79
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Boyes, Henry George William

Henry George William (Harry) Boyes was born on 24 March 1896 in Sundridge, Ontario. His father Richard Edward Boyes’ family first farmed in the Tossorontio area of South Simcoe in Ontario before moving to the Joly and Strong and Chapman subdistricts in the Muskoka area, also to farm. His mother Orinda Parney Benton Lowden was from Barney River, Pictou in Nova Scotia, later moving to Toronto, Ontario where she worked as a dressmaker. Richard and Orinda married on 4 December 1894 in Toronto. At the time of the marriage Richard was living in Sundridge, his occupation given as railway employee on the marriage record. Settling in the Sundridge/Huntsville area of the Muskokas, the couple gave birth to children Henry, James Robert (1898), Richard Charles Russell (1900), Sarah Orinda (1903), and John Wallace (1907). At some point after the 1911 census the family moved to south central Saskatchewan, farming in the Brokenshell/Axford area. By the time of the 1916 census, Henry was working as a school teacher.

With the onset of conscription in the latter part of the war, Henry was drafted under the Military Service Act of 1917. He had his medical examination on 6 October 1917 in Weyburn, Saskatchewan and was called up for service on 25 March 1918 at Regina. His occupation was given as teacher and his father Richard at the Axford PO in Saskatchewan as next of kin.

With the 5th Draft of the 1st Depot Battalion, Saskatchewan Regiment, Henry arrived in England aboard the Melita on 28 April 1918, rank of Private. First training with the 15th Reserve Battalion, he was transferred to the 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles, proceeding overseas in late August. A short time later Henry was transferred to the 10th Battalion, joining the unit on 6 September. Having arrived in France on 7 February 1915, the 10th Battalion served in the 1st Canadian Division, 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade. The battalion participated in every major Canadian battle of the First World War and was known to its contemporaries simply as The Fighting Tenth.
Honours after Henry joined the battalion:
Canal du Nord — The last major operation of the 10th Battalion, part of the Battle of Cambrai. The Fighting 10th mounted a crossing of this obstacle on 27–28 September 1918, suffering heavy losses.
Pursuit to Mons — The fight at Mons in August 1914 had been one of the opening acts of the war on the Western Front, and the city had great sentimental significance to the British, who had lost it to the Germans. The 10th Battalion entered the newly captured city during the war’s last days, when it was a prime objective for the British Army seeking revenge, and were there when the Armistice was declared.
The battalion crossed the Rhine as part of the Canadian occupation force in 1918.

Suffering from influenza, on 23 December 1918, Henry was admitted to the No 1 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station from the No 1 Canadian Field Ambulance. In mid January of 1919 he was transferred to the No 14 General Hospital in Wimereux and then on to the No 16 General Hospital in Orpington in England later that month. Discharged from the hospital on 7 February, Henry embarked for Canada on 23 March aboard the Empress of Britain. He was discharged from service on demobilization on 4 April 1919 at Regina.

By the time of the 1921 census, Henry and his family had moved to Saskatoon, the census indicating that Henry was attending university. In 1926, in Saskatoon, Henry married Evelyn Bracken. Born on 6 December 1898, Evelyn was the daughter of William Bracken, a carpenter, and Minnie Parker. Her parents had married in 1888 in Stamford Township, Welland, Ontario, likely where Evelyn was born. Also a teacher, she had graduated from Queen’s University Faculty of Education in 1917. Over the years both taught in a number of schools in Saskatchewan and Ontario, moving to Kenora, Ontario in 1957 when Henry took a position at the local high school. The couple gave birth to three children, Lois who sadly died in infancy in 1928, Stanley, and Melvyn. Both Henry and Evelyn were members of the United Empire Loyalist Society.

Henry died on 8 January 1975 in the Lake of the Woods District Hospital in Kenora. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Evelyn, sons Stanley of Flushing, New York and Melvyn of Ottawa, Ontario, and their families including seven grandchildren. He was also survived by siblings Sarah Radke of Saskatoon, James of Nipawin, both in Saskatchewan, Russell of Calgary, Alberta, and Wallace, a doctor in Africa. He was predeceased by his father Richard in 1946 in Saskatoon and mother Orinda in 1957 in Calgary, both interred in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Saskatoon. Henry’s wife Evelyn later died on 14 April 1983 in Ottawa. Henry and Evelyn are interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.

By Judy Stockham

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