Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthJuly 11, 1882
Place of BirthBailieboro, Ontario
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinEmma Alberta Byers, wife, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
Trade / Callingschool principal/teacher
Service Details
Regimental NumberNA
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion229th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentMoose Jaw, Saskatchewan
Date of EnlistmentFebruary 1, 1916
Age at Enlistment33
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathOctober 1, 1978
Age at Death96
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Byers, Edgerton Wellington

According to his attestation papers and Officers’ Declaration Paper, Edgerton (Egerton) Wellington Byers was born on 11 July 1882 in Bailieboro, Ontario, a village in the Township of Cavan near Peterborough. His parents William and Sarah Ann (née Francey) Byers were both from Cavan where they had married in 1862. Farmers, the family was listed in Hamilton Township, Northumberland for the 1871 and 1881 Canada censuses, Peterborough West-Monaghan South in 1891, and Cavan in 1901. Children born to the family were Robert John (1863), David (1865), William George (1866), James (1868), Joseph Henry (1870), Sarah (1872), Mary (1874), Jane Florence (1876), Bertha Maud (1879), Charles Cameron (1880-1881), Edgerton, and Lena (1886).

On 20 August 1904 in Waterloo, Ontario, Edgerton married Emma Alberta Reichert. The daughter of William and Lydia (née Huff) Reichert, Emma was born in 1880 in Bridgeport which is now a part of Waterloo. Her father was a carpenter and Emma was listed as a seamstress in the 1901 Canada census. By the 1911 census Edgerton and Emma were living in Rouleau, Saskatchewan, a small community southwest of Regina. Edgerton was working as a teacher. Tragedy had struck the family in the form of deaths of their two children, James Claude at age ten months in 1908, and Guy Reginald at age two months in 1911. They gave birth to son William Caryl in 1912.

On 1 February 1916 Edgerton signed his attestation papers and Officers’ Declaration Paper in Moose Jaw where he was living and working as a teacher/principal. He gave two years of former military experience with the 60th Rifles in Moose Jaw, serving as the Corps Cadet Instructor. As Captain, he was posted to the 229th Battalion, a unit based in Moose Jaw. On 7 May 1917 he was discharged from service due to ‘being surplus to requirements’.

By the 1921 Canada census, Edgerton, Emma, Caryl, and niece Gertrude Byers were living in the hamlet of Moreland, a community about 80 kilometres south of Regina. Edgerton was listed as a merchant of a general store. Over the years Edgerton tried many trades such as storekeeping, grain elevator, farming, but always returned to teaching. He taught school for over 30 years and was principal at Bridgeport in Ontario, Rouleau and Moose Jaw in Saskatchewan, Brandon in Manitoba and lastly for 11 years at Cecilia Jaffray Indian Residential School in Kenora, Ontario. He was also listed as postmaster on the 1945 Voters List for Kenora.

Edgerton was president of the Rotary Club in Kenora and was District Governor, a member of the Children’s Aid Society, the Kenora Branch of the Canadian Legion, and the Kenora Agricultural Society. He served as councillor of Jaffray Melick for two years, clerk for four years, and reeve for eleven years. He was active in the First Presbyterian Church and Gideon Camp Kenora. In his early years he played hockey and was a member of the Kenora Lawn Bowling Club and Kenora Curling Club.

Predeceased by his mother Sarah Ann in 1896 and his father William in 1920, both interred in Cavan, and his wife Emma in 1963 in Kenora, Edgerton died on 1 October 1978 at Pinecrest Home for the Aged, Kenora. At the time of his death he was survived by son William Caryl of Vancouver, Caryl’s wife Jelga, three granddaughters and three great grandchildren. Along with Emma, Edgerton is interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora.

by Judy Stockham

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