|Date of Birth||November 30, 1888|
|Place of Birth||Rat Portage (Kenora), Ontario|
|Next of Kin||William L Emerson, brother, c/o Plaxton's, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan|
|Trade / Calling||Trainman|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Date of Enlistment||April 29, 1915|
|Age at Enlistment||26|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||Yes|
|Date of Death||February 26, 1959|
|Age at Death||70|
|Buried At||Veteran's Cemetery, Esquimalt, British Columbia|
|Plot||Section C - Row 02 - Plot 0043|
George Gordon Emerson was born on 29 November 1888 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora), Ontario. His parents Robert Wellington Emerson and Catherine (Kate) Wilson Martin married on 3 March 1882 in the RM of St Andrews, Manitoba. Kate’s family had been farming just outside of Rat Portage and the newlyweds were to make Rat Portage their home where Robert found work as a locomotive engineer with the Canadian Pacific Railway. Children born in Rat Portage were Thomas James (1883), William Lee (1884), Robert Stewart (1886), George, Lillian Gertrude (1890), and John Wesley (1892). By the time of the birth of their next child Clarence in 1894 the family had moved to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Sadly Robert Sr was killed in a head-on train collision near Indian Head in September of 1905.
With occupation given as trainman and his brother William in Moose Jaw as next of kin, George signed his attestation papers with the 46th Battalion in Moose Jaw on 29 April 1915. By late May the battalion was training at Camp Sewell in Manitoba and embarked from Halifax aboard the Lapland on the 23rd of October. In June of 1916 he proceeded overseas for service with the 16th Battalion, taken on strength in the field on the 17th. He was hospitalized at the end of August with a shrapnel wound to the leg, rejoining the battalion on October 2nd.
Just days later during the second attempt to take Regina Trench, on October 8/9th George sustained a severe gunshot through and through wound to the chest and was taken as prisoner of war. Over the next 25 months he was interned in a number of camps as given in his service record: Feld Laz 14 Hermies, Alexandrinen Strasse Berlin, KAR Sammelstelle Hermies, Kottbus Lager, Limburg, Siclow, and Munster. With the end of the war he was repatriated to England, arriving at Ripon on November 27th. Poorly nourished, he was underweight, had loss strength, experienced pain over heart in exertion, and had shortness of breath. His suggested course of recovery, ‘needs feeding up and hardening gradually’.
On 16 December 1918, George was granted permission to marry, marriage registered during the last quarter of 1918 in Blean, Kent. His bride was Ada Florence Wilson. The daughter of Alfred and Ada (née Lumley) Wilson, Ada was born in 1892 in the London area. Ada arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the Scotian on 1 March 1919, and George on March 4th aboard the Grampian.
George and Ada were to make Moose Jaw their home where George worked as a freight conductor for the Canadian Pacific Railway, retiring in 1950. George and Ada had two children, John and Joan. Over the years Ada made a couple of extended trips back to England. Around 1953 George and Ada moved to British Columbia, residing in Saanich/Victoria.
Predeceased by his parents, all of his siblings, and his son John in 1944, George died on 28 February 1959 in the Veterans Hospital, Saanich. He is interred in the Veterans Cemetery, Esquimalt. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Ada and daughter Mrs Joan (David) Armstrong. Ada died in 1978 in the George Road Hospital in Victoria, survived by daughter Joan Weston.
George’s brothers Robert and Clarence also served during the war.
by Judy Stockham
gravemarker photo: courtesy of Betty and Dan on findagrave.com
obituary: courtesy of Mike Melen