|Date of Birth||February 5, 1897|
|Place of Birth||Portland, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Eliza Elliott, mother, Kenora, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Machinist|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Conscripted|
|Address at Enlistment||Kenora, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||January 14, 1918|
|Age at Enlistment||21|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||October 15, 1975|
|Age at Death||78|
|Buried At||Brookside Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba|
William Alton Elliott was born on 5 February 1897 in Portland, Leeds, Ontario. His parents Archibald ‘Archie’ Elliott and Eliza Jane Trotter were both from farms in the area, marrying on 15 November 1892 in nearby Athens. William had an older sister, Lenna, also born in Portland, and a younger sister Clella born in 1909 in Kenora, Ontario. At some point after the 1901 census the family had moved to Kenora where Archie found work as a stationary engineer with the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Having had his medical examination in Kenora in November of 1917, William signed his recruitment papers with the 1st Depot Battalion Manitoba Regiment on 14 January 1918. His occupation was given as machinist and his mother Eliza in Kenora as next of kin. He had been working as an apprentice for the Canadian Pacific Railway out of Kenora.
William arrived in Great Britain aboard the SS Missanabie on the 3rd of March and was taken on strength with the 11th Reserve Battalion. In early September he landed in France and was briefly attached to the 43rd Battalion until he was transferred to the 8th Battalion, arriving at the unit on the 11th. Just days later, on the 27th, William sustained a gunshot or shrapnel wound to the thigh on the opening day of the 8th Battalion’s involvement in the Bourlon Woods operation at Canal du Nord. During the 3 day operation, the battalion suffered losses of 64 killed in action or died of wounds, 282 wounded, and 32 missing. William was first admitted to the No 1 Australian General Hospital in Rouen and then in early October invalided to the 2nd West General Hospital in Manchester. In November he was transferred to the Military Convalescent Hospital Woodcote Park, discharged on the 15th. With the end of the war, William returned to Canada aboard the SS Baltic in early February 1919, with discharge from service due to demobilization on March 7th in Winnipeg. Due to his injuries during his service, William was named on the Canadian Pacific Railway Roll of Honour, List 41.
William returned to Kenora but was to eventually make Winnipeg his home, working as a machinist for the CPR. On 12 April 1930, in Winnipeg, William married Charlotte Anna Nash. Born in Winnipeg, Charlotte was the daughter of Charles and Charlotte (née Johnson) Nash. William and Charlotte had six children, sons William, Ronald, Lorne, and Glen, and daughters Kalfern and Faith. His father Archie was killed in a work related railway accident in 1923 and his mother Eliza died in 1936, both interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora. William was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion and Lodge 122 of the International Association of Machinists.
William died on 15 October 1975 at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg. He was predeceased by his sister Clella (Bert) Pope in 1951 in Kenora, his sister Lenna (Paul) Bochek in 1954 in Winnipeg, and his wife Charlotte in 1959 in Selkirk. At the time of his death he was survived by his children William, Ronald, and Lorne of Winnipeg, Glen of St Anne’s, Kalfern (Creelman) Darroch of Ottawa, and Faith Trelenberg of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. William is interred in Brookside Cemetery, Winnipeg.
by Judy Stockham
Grave marker photo courtesy of Bocephus, findagrave.com.