Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthDecember 8, 1898
Place of BirthKeewatin, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs. Fred Gilbert (mother), Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingClerk
Service Details
Regimental Number460499
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion61st Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentSeptember 1, 1915
Age at Enlistment16
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of Death19671115
Age at Death68
Buried AtRestlawn Memorial Park, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, USA

Farris, Laughlin Alexander

Private Laughlin Alexander Farris was the youngest son of Edward John Farris and Isabella Sinclair. John and Isabella were both from the Maritimes and they were married in 1888 in Amherst, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia. Their first two sons, Angus Sinclair and John Edward, were born in Nova Scotia. When the 1891 census was taken the family was living in the village of Tidnish. Sometime after that they moved to northwestern Ontario and Laughlin was born in Keewatin on 8 December 1898. Laughlin’s father passed away in November 1900, when he was two years old, and he’s buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.

Isabella was married again in 1906 to Frederick Gilbert, a building contractor who lived in Kenora. At the time of the 1911 census Laughlin was living with his mother and stepfather. He was only 15 years old when the war started and he enlisted a year later. He signed up in Kenora on 1 September 1915, joining the 61st Battalion and passing himself off as 18. His occupation was clerk and next of kin was his mother Mrs. Fred Gilbert in Kenora. The 61st Battalion trained at Camp Hughes, near Brandon, Manitoba, and Laughlin was sent there with the other recruits. He served for about five weeks and he was discharged at Camp Hughes on 9 October due to being medically unfit. Two of his stepbrothers, David Gilbert and Joseph Gilbert, served in Europe. Both of them survived the war and returned home in 1919.

When the 1921 census was taken Laughlin was 22 years old, living in Cadillac, Saskatchewan and working as an accountant in a bank. A few years later he moved to the U.S. and settled in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. By 1930 he was married and working as an auditor with an insurance firm. His wife, Lily Beatrice Bevon, was born in Manitoba and they had married around 1926. They had two daughters, Donna and Susan, both born in Wisconsin. During the Second World War Laughlin served with the Wisconsin State Guard.

Laughlin passed away on 15 November 1967, three weeks before his 69th birthday, and Lily died in 1988. They are buried at Restlawn Memorial Park in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.

By Becky Johnson

  Farris-Laughlin-98 Farris-Laughlin-99
Photo of Laughlin courtesy of Braun family tree on

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