Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthJuly 12, 1897
Place of BirthRat Portage (Kenora), Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinJames Carson, father, Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingBrakeman
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number198756
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion28th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentJanuary 11, 1916
Age at Enlistment18
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathAugust 22, 1951
Age at Death54
Buried AtSacred Heart Cemetery, Sioux Lookout, Ontario

Carson, William Garfield

William Garfield Carson was born on 12 July 1897 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora), Ontario. He was the youngest son of James Wylie Carson and Hannah Henrietta Frost who, according to a family tree on, had married in 1870 in Portage du Fort in Quebec. Other known children born to the family were Samuel John, Mary Hannah May, Martha Jane, Margaret Elizabeth, Minnie Agnes, and an adopted daughter, Mary Telford. The family first farmed in the Pontiac district of Quebec before moving to Rat Portage in 1890 where James found work in the lumber industry. By the 1911 Canada census William and his parents were living with his brother John and family on 3rd Street South, along with a niece and nephew.

William had been living in Sioux Lookout, Ontario and working as a brakeman for the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway when he signed his attestation papers in Kenora on 11 January 1916. After training in Port Arthur with the 94th Battalion he embarked for overseas aboard the Olympic on 28 June 1916.

Upon arrival in England William was admitted to the Moore Barracks Hospital at Shorncliffe suffering from parotiditis, the mumps. While recovering, William was transferred to the 32nd Reserve Battalion, discharged from the hospital on the 28th of July. In September he was struck off  strength as reinforcement to the 28th Battalion, joining the unit in France later that month.

The 28th Battalion (Northwest), CEF was an infantry battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force  during war. The Battalion was authorized on 7 November 1914 and recruited in Regina, Moose Jaw and Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and Fort William and Port Arthur (now Thunder Bay), Ontario. Mobilized at Winnipeg, Manitoba, the 28th Battalion embarked for Britain on 29 May 1915. It disembarked in France on 18 September 1915, where it fought as part of the 6th Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Division  in France and Flanders until the end of the war. The battalion was disbanded on 30 August 1920.

On 9 May 1917 William was admitted to the No 5 Canadian Field Ambulance suffering from shrapnel wounds to his right leg. Ten days later William was able to rejoin the unit in the field. On the 7th of November near Passchendaele William suffered a gunshot wound to the chest from overhead enemy aircraft. He was admitted to the No 1 Canadian Field Ambulance and a telegram was sent to his parents that he had been killed in action. Receiving a letter from William from a hospital in England in December, his parents were overjoyed with the news that he was alive. First admitted to the No 3 Casualty Clearing Station, William had been transferred to the Fulham Military Hospital on St Dunstan’s Road in London on the 17th of November. In January of 1918 he was moved to the Canadian Convalescence Hospital at Bromley, discharged on the 29th. Following a series of transfers in the UK, William arrived in Halifax aboard the Carmania on 30 December 1918. He was discharged from service on 29 January 1919 in Winnipeg.

Although first stopping in Kenora, William returned to Sioux Lookout to work for the railroad. On 19 October 1927 William married Wilhelmina Corrier (Carriere). Born in Port Arthur in 1904, Wilhelmina was the daughter of Hermidas and Helene Corrier who by the 1921 Canada census were living in Sioux Lookout where Hermidas was working as a carpenter. William and Wilhelmina gave birth to six children, Alice Evelyn, Andrea Eloise, Theresa (Terry), William (Cubby), Jenine, and Garfield Frederick.

William died on 22 August 1951. His Veteran Death Card listed his wife Wilhelmina Carson of Sioux Lookout as his next of kin. William is interred in the Sacred Heart Cemetery in Sioux Lookout.

by Judy Stockham

photo of William: provided by Kimberly Korobanik
grave marker photo: Dawn Lapworth, Sioux Lookout

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