|Date of Birth||December 15, 1894|
|Place of Birth||Kenora, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Mrs. G. Faulkner (mother), Kenora, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Labourer|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Date of Enlistment||July 26, 1915|
|Age at Enlistment||20|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||July 16, 1952|
|Age at Death||57|
|Buried At||Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver, British Columbia|
|Plot||Field of Honour, ABRAY, Blk 20, Plot 21, Lot 14|
Private Reginald George Faulkner and his brother Vincent enlisted together in July 1915 and for both of them the war ended the following year. Reginald was severely wounded and no longer fit for service and his brother was killed in action in France.
Reginald was born 15 December 1894 in Rat Portage, Ontario, the son of George Faulkner and Mary Ann Bamforth. George was from England and Mary Ann was born in Huron County, Ontario. They had ten children between 1880 and 1900, six sons and four daughters. Two of the boys died as infants and the surviving children were Rosa, Charles, Violet, Eva, Vincent (b. March 1892), Reginald, Olive and Clarence. When the children were growing up George worked as a painter and they lived in several different towns in Ontario and Manitoba.
When the 1906 census was taken the Faulkners were living in the district of Selkirk in Manitoba. Reginald’s father was admitted to a hospital in Selkirk in August 1907 and he spent the last six years of his life there. He died in August 1913 and he’s buried in the cemetery at St. Clements Mapleton Church near Selkirk. While he was in the hospital Mary Ann and the children moved back to Rat Portage, renamed Kenora by then, and Mary Ann worked as a washerwoman to support the family. A year after George died she married Albert Wright, in September 1914 in Kenora. Albert was also a widow and he was originally from Northampton, England. Mary Ann and her family lived in the Rideout Estate in the north part of Kenora.
The war started in August 1914 and Reginald and his brother Vincent both enlisted on 26 July 1915. They signed up in the nearby town of Fort Frances, joining the 52nd (New Ontario) Battalion, and they were given consecutive regimental numbers, 439563 and 439564. They named their next-of-kin as Mrs. G. Faulkner although their mother was remarried by that time. The battalion trained in Port Arthur and four months after enlisting Vincent and Reginald left for England with their unit, embarking from St. John, New Brunswick in November on the SS California. The men trained at Witley and Bramshott Camps for 2-1/2 months before being sent to France on 20 February 1916. They spent the first night there in tents in a snowstorm and they were moved to Belgium by train the next day. Early in March the 52nd went into the trenches for orientation and they suffered their first combat fatality on the night of 11-12 March. On 20 March Reginald was sentenced to five days Field Punishment No. 1 for having a dirty rifle.
That same month the Canadian Corps took up positions in the south part of the Ypres Salient, between St. Eloi and Hooge. The 52nd was moved into the area on 1 April and two companies went into the front trenches while the other men formed working parties. Reginald was severely wounded on 2 April while he was with one of the working parties. From the War Diary of the 52nd Battalion, 2 April 1916: ‘Casualties: (wounded on working parties) Ptes. THOMSON and FAULKNER wounded by shrapnel in SANCTUARY WOODS at 9:30 a.m.‘
Reginald suffered serious wounds to both of his legs. He was evacuated to No. 17 Casualty Clearing Station where his left leg was amputated above the knee. On 7 April he was moved to No. 13 General Hospital in Boulogne and after a week there he was evacuated to England. He spent three months at the 4th London General Hospital. During that time he had another operation to remove bone protruding from his amputated leg. From 22 July to 20 December he was a patient at Granville Special Canadian Hospital in Ramsgate and King’s Canadian Red Cross Special Hospital in Bushey Park. On 21 December he was transferred to the Canadian Discharge Depot at the Empire Hotel in Buxton. He was discharged from the army on 12 January 1917, due to being medically unfit for further service.
Around the time of his discharge or shortly after Reginald married Flora May Williams in Wandsworth, London, England. They arrived in Canada together on 7 June 1917 on the SS Justicia, their destination listed as Kenora. In the early 1920s they moved to Vancouver where they lived for the next thirty years. Reginald died at his home in Vancouver on 16 July 1952, at age 57, and he’s buried in the Field of Honour at Mountain View Cemetery. He was survived by his wife, their sons William Frederick and Alfred Harold (both born in Kenora), and their daughters Dorothy and Sylvia. Flora passed away in 1973 in Coquitlam, BC.
Reginald’s brother Vincent Faulkner was killed in action in France in December 1916. Their mother Mary Ann died in Kenora in 1934 and her husband Albert Wright passed away in 1945. They are both buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.
By Becky Johnson