Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthDecember 10, 1888
Place of BirthPortland,, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinRuth Byington, mother, Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingCarpenter
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number2383492
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion52nd Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedConscripted
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentJanuary 14, 1918
Age at Enlistment29
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJanuary 1, 1970
Buried AtEmmanuel Anglican Cemetery, Portland, Ontario

Byington, Napoleon

Napoleon Byington was born on 10  December 1888 in Portland, Leeds, Ontario. His parents were Napoleon and Ruth (Dunn) Byington who had married in 1871 in South Crosby, Leeds and who farmed in the Portland area. Napoleon and Ruth’s children were David (1872), George (1875-1942), Milton (1877), Charlotte (1880-1973), Johanna (1881-1960), Melbourn (1882-1962), and Napoleon. The couple also raised Charlotte’s son Charles Floyd as their own. At some point after the 1911 Canada census, Napoleon, along with his mother Ruth, and brothers Melbourn and Floyd, moved to Kenora where  Napoleon had found work as a carpenter.

Following his medical examination in Kenora in late November of 1917, Napoleon signed his recruitment papers on 14 January 1918 in Port Arthur, Ontario. His occupation was given as carpenter and his next of kin as his mother Ruth in Kenora. As a Private with the 4th Draft of the 1st Depot Battalion Manitoba Regiment, he embarked from Halifax aboard the  Tunisian on 8 April 1918.

Once in England Napoleon was transferred to the 18th Reserve Battalion and then on to the 52nd Battalion on August 14th, joining the unit in the field in France on the 19th. Just over a week later, on the 27th, Napoleon was admitted  to the No 8 Canadian Field Ambulance, having sustained a through and through gunshot wound to the arm. From there he was transferred to the 4th General Hospital in Camiers before being invalided to the 3rd West General Hospital in Cardiff.

After recuperating at the Woodcote Park Convalescent Hospital at Epsom, Napoleon was posted to the 18th Reserve Battalion before being struck off strength to the 52nd Battalion on 16th of November, arriving at the unit in the field back in France on the 24th of December. Returning to England in mid February of 1919, Napoleon was discharged in Port Arthur on the 28th of May.

Napoleon returned to Kenora after the war, found on the Kenora 1921 Canada census living with his mother and working as a carpenter. In October of 1925 he was listed on a border crossing record at Detroit as  living in Windsor and crossing to Detroit where he intended to reside. He eventually  made his way back to Portland, listed on the 1935 Voter’s List for Portland as a carpenter. Napoleon died in 1970 and is interred in the Emmanuel Anglican Cemetery in Portland along with his father Napoleon and sister Charlotte.

by Judy Stockham

grave marker photograph by Ronald Welch


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