Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthMarch 21, 1887
Place of BirthSalisbury, New Brunswick
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMother: Mrs. R. A. Duncan, Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingTeamster
Service Details
Regimental Number439560
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion52nd Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Date of EnlistmentJuly 28, 1915
Age at Enlistment28
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJuly 30, 1974
Age at Death87
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
PlotHI - 21 East, Lot 42, Grave 2

Duncan, Horatio Nelson

Horatio Nelson Duncan was listed as a teamster in the Kenora area when he enlisted signing his attestation papers in Fort Frances, Ontario on 28 July 1915. His previous employment was as a delivery/salesman for R. W. Ferrier’s grocery business. His parents Robert Ainsley Duncan and Elizabeth A. McFee moved west to the rural district of Jaffray and Melick near Rat Portage (now Kenora) by the census of 1891. Horatio was still a young child just 4 years old. Horatio was born in Salisbury, New Brunswick on 21 March 1887. His father was a dairy farmer and both parents were of Scottish heritage born in New Brunswick. Horatio was the third youngest of 9 children. His siblings were Ada, Blanche, William, Annie, Alma, Corey, Helen and Irma. By the time Horatio was a soldier his parents were living on Third Street North in the town of Kenora.

Horatio enlisted with the 52nd Battalion and trained with this unit in Thunder Bay.  On 04 November 1915, the Battalion entrained to St John, New Brunswick, arriving 08 November 1915. Aboard the SS California, the 52nd Battalion sailed for Plymouth, England on 23 November 1915. Arriving 03 December 1915, the Battalion moved to Witley Camp for 6 weeks of training under British instructors. In the new year, the Battalion moved to Bramshott for 2 more weeks of training and on 20 Feb 1916, sailed for France. On 28 March 1916 Horatio was absent without leave from parade and found drunk. He received 14 days of Field Punishment #1.      Horatio was admitted to #8 Stationary Hospital in Wimereux on 2 August 1916 with a self inflicted gunshot wound to his right foot. He was sent to three months PPN.   On 24 November 1916 he suffered a gunshot wound to his arm and was hospitalized in France and England until being transferred to the Manitoba Regimental Depot in March of 1917. Horatio remained in England until 26 April 1918 when he rejoined the 52nd Battalion in France.  He was hospitalized for treatment of venereal disease on the 20 June 1918 until being discharged to base depot on 19 August 1918. He forfeited 14 days pay later in August for drunkeness. In December 1918 Horatio became jaundiced and was hospitalized in France until being invalided to England in January of 1919.  He forfeited another 16 days pay in January for being absent without leave for four days. He was discharged from hospital on 24 February 1919 and struck off strength to the 18th Reserve Battalion until his return to Canada on 25 March 1919. Horatio received his official discharge due to demobilization on 5 April 1919 in St. John, New Brunswick.

After the war Horatio returned to Kenora, but the 1921 Canadian Census showed him living in Selkirk, Manitoba.

At the age of 34 Horatio married Lucy Markham, daughter of Phillip George Markham and Jane Dowse Markham from England. Their marriage took place in Kenora on Christmas day December 25, 1922.

Horatio and Lucy lived and farmed in the rural area in Jaffray and Melick north of the town of Kenora. In 1957 Horatio was working as a watchman. They had a total of at least 6 children. By the voter’s list of 1963 it listed Horatio as retired, Lucy a housewife, and their children Robert, a millwright, Mary Jane and Bessie (Lucy B.) were both employed as ward aids. Their other children were Helen (Mrs. O. Muggaberg), Ida (Mrs. W. Taylor) and a son George who died in 1930.

Horatio was an adherent of the Baptist Church and a member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #12 in Kenora.

Horatio Nelson Duncan lived the rest of his life in Kenora area and passed away at the age of 87 on 30 July 1974. He was laid to rest beside Lucy who predeceased him on 28 February 1972. They are buried in the Hush Incline Block of the Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario. Horatio was survived by all his children except George who died in 1930. Also surviving were 2 sisters Annie (Mrs. Starratt of California) and Irma (Mrs. Doag of Winnipeg). His wife’s brother Private Frederick Markham had died during the Battle of Mount Sorrel on 3 June 1916.

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