Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthFebruary 8, 1876
Place of BirthGlasglow
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinWife: Martha Brown, Kenora
Trade / Callingwarehouseman
Service Details
Regimental Number198918
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion85th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentFebruary 8, 1916
Age at Enlistment40
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathMay 17, 1947
Age at Death71
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Brown, Alexander McEachran

Alexander McEachran Brown was known as ‘Sandy’ to a host of friends in Kenora.  He was  born on February 8 in either  1867 (as in his obituary and on his  tombstone) or 1876 (as recorded on his attestation papers).  Many men, younger or older didn’t give their true age for ‘fear’ of being rejected to fight the war.  Born in  Glasgow, Scotland  Alexander married Martha Cooper at Grahamstone, Falkirk, Scotland on 30 September 1897.  He was employed as a young man by James Bolden and Son of Glasgow.   Leaving Glasgow in 1908 Alexander immigrated to Canada with his wife Martha and 3 young children; 10 year old Margaret (b. Nov. 1898), 5 year old Annie (b. Sept. 1903) and 2 year old son Alexander (b. Oct. 1906).  The family first resided in Stratford, Ontario before moving to the town of Kenora in 1912.  Sandy went to work as a warehouseman before the war was called.  The family made their home at 801 River Street in Kenora, Ontario.

The following is a news article about  the 94th Battalion from the Kenora Miner & News, 2 February, 1916:

Patriotic Rallies are to be held at the Opera House, Kenora on Thursday, February 3rd, at 815 PM, and the I.O.O.F. Hall, Keewatin on Friday February 4th at 815PM. An evenings entertainment including Patriotic Songs, Speeches and Motion Pictures. Speakers will be Lieut. Col Machin, Major Schnarr and Capt. Conway. This will be the greatest event of it’s kind ever held in the District and is for the discussion of a subject vital to all. COME AND BRING YOUR FRIEND.

On the day of his 49th birthday, 8 February 1916, (Sandy) Alexander McEachran Brown signed his attestation papers with the 94th Battalion in Kenora. He claimed to be 40 years old to meet the age requirements for enlisting.  He sailed for England with the 94th Battalion on 28 June 1916 and was transferred to reserve battalions upon his arrival.  On 17 March 1917 Sandy was sent to France with the 85th Battalion. He spent several months with the 4th Canadian Division Salvage Company until being hospitalized with boils in July of 1917.  In October of that year he received a ‘B3’ classification and was transferred to a labour pool.  He was taken on strength by the #7 General Hospital and served as an orderly with the Canadian Army Medical Corps.  On 19 May 1918 the hospital was bombed.  While trying to extinguish a fire, Alexander was struck by bomb fragments and he received a compound fracture of his left ulna and lesion of his ulnar nerve.  He was treated in hospital in France and then England before being invalided back to Canada on 20 September 1918.  Sandy spent another year in the Manitoba Military Hospital at Tuxedo Park, Winnipeg.  His arm was amputated and Sandy was officially discharged on 16 October 1919 as being medically unfit for further service.

When he was in better health and discharged from duty Sandy returned to his home and family in Kenora and went to work for the Town of Kenora Utilities department.   This job consisted of first being a meter man for a number of years and then as a storeman also for the town.   He retired in 1935.   Sandy was involved as a sports fan of soccer, baseball and hockey.   He took on the job as a secretary for the Great War Veterans Association, on the executive of the Kenora Pipe Band, a member of the Canadian Order of foresters plus being an active figure in the annual Robbie Burns celebrations.   His involvement enabled him to be very well known to the citizens of the area.   Sandy was a member of the Knox United Church and a generous assistant to all worthy causes.   He was also known for his unfailing courtesy, his humour and cheerfulness.

(Sandy) Alexander McEachran Brown passed away on Saturday 17 May 1947 in the Kenora General Hospital.   His obituary stated that he was in his 81st year.   The couple would have celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary this same year in September.   He was survived by his wife Martha, his daughters, Mrs. H. L. Pope and Mrs. W.   L. Falconer and his son A. M. ‘Sandy’ Jr.   He also left behind a brother, Thomas of Hamilton and a sister, Janet Black of Australia.   Burial took place in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora.   Ten years later Martha passed away on 24 May 1957 and is buried beside her husband Sandy.

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