|Date of Birth||May 9, 1896|
|Place of Birth||Kenora, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||James Bunting (father), Falcon Island, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Farmer|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||10th Battalion, Canadian Garrison Regiment|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Conscripted|
|Place of Enlistment||Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Address at Enlistment||Falcon Island, District of Kenora, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||November 11, 1917|
|Age at Enlistment||21|
|Theatre of Service||Canada|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||July 3, 1962|
|Age at Death||66|
|Buried At||Brookside Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba|
Private Robert Edmund Bunting was the youngest son of Robert James Bunting and Alice Agar Fitzgerald. James was born in New Brunswick and Alice in Ontario. They both moved to northwestern Ontario with their families around 1880. They were married in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in 1882 and they had a daughter Violetta in 1887 and two sons, Stanley in 1889 and Robert, usually known as Bert. Bert was born on 9 May 1896 with his birth registered in Rat Portage. His father James was a farmer and market gardener and he had a farm on Falcon Island at French Portage, Lake of the Woods. He also operated a sawmill there with his older brother William.
Conscription started in Canada in the summer of 1917 and single men age 20 to 34 were required to register by 10 November. Bert and his brother Stanley Bunting failed to register on time and they were both called up as defaulters on 11 November. Bert had his medical exam in Winnipeg on 15 February 1918. He had impaired vision in one eye and he was classed as B2, fit for non-combatant service such as garrison duty. He served with the 6th and 10th Battalions in the Canadian Garrison Regiment from February 1918 until February 1919, spending five months in Winnipeg and seven months in Amherst, Nova Scotia. He was in the Manitoba Military Hospital in Tuxedo Park, Winnipeg from 3 February to 17 February 1919, due to illness (mumps), and he was discharged from the army on 28 February in Winnipeg. His brother Stanley served in Canada and England.
After the war Bert returned to the family farm at Falcon Island on Lake of the Woods. He married Mrs. Eva McDougall, a widow, in the early 1930s. Eva had moved to French Portage to stay with her daughter, who was teaching at the school there. After Eva’s tragic death in a snow storm in 1935 Bert left Falcon Island and settled in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His father James died in 1940 and his mother Alice in 1951. Bert had returned to Kenora by then and he was seriously injured on 28 March 1951, when he was struck by a car as he was crossing the street. His mother died the following day, 29 March. She is buried along with her husband in Lake of the Woods Cemetery.
Bert passed away in Winnipeg on 3 July 1962, at age 66. His funeral was held four days later and he’s buried in Brookside Cemetery. He was in an unmarked grave but a veteran’s marker was installed in 2019. His sister Violetta (Mrs. Julius Giroux) moved to Winnipeg around 1952. She passed away there in June 1964, survived by five sons and four daughters. She’s interred at Green Acres Memorial Gardens. Their brother Stanley died in Kenora in 1968 and he’s buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery.
By Becky Johnson