Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthJune 2, 1895
Place of BirthBarrie, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMr T R Ferguson, father, 4 Ruskin Road, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Trade / CallingInsurance Agent
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number30391
Service RecordLink to Service Record
Battalion44th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentValcartier, Quebec
Date of EnlistmentSeptember 23, 1914
Age at Enlistment19
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Decorations and MedalsMilitary Cross
Death Details
Date of DeathMay 6, 1965
Age at Death70
Buried AtSaint John's Anglican Church Cemetery, Cookstown, Ontario

Ferguson, Julian Harcourt

Julian Harcourt Ferguson was born on 2 June 1895 in Barrie, Ontario. His father Thomas Roberts Ferguson, a barrister, was from the Cookstown area about thirty kilometres south of Barrie while his mother Etta May Hanmer was from nearby Bell Ewart. The couple married on 5 November 1890 in Toronto, giving birth to son Arthur Beresford in 1892 in Barrie. At some point after Julian’s birth the family relocated to Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in northwestern Ontario in time for the 1901 census. However they returned to Barrie for the birth of daughter Edith May in 1903. By the time of the 1906 western Canada census the family was living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. For the 1916 census Thomas was no longer with the family and Beresford, a postal clerk, and Julian, an insurance clerk, were listed as overseas.

Julian signed his attestation papers with the 1st Divisional Train, Canadian Army Service Corps in Valcartier, Quebec on 23 September 1914, rank of 2nd Corporal. His occupation was given as insurance agent and his father back in Winnipeg as next of kin. The First Contingent of the Canadian Expeditionary Force was raised in August 1914, shortly after the outbreak of World War I, concentrated at Valcartier Camp in Quebec, and set off for England in the largest trans-Atlantic convoy to date two months later. Training and reorganization commenced upon arrival in the United Kingdom in October 1914.

After training in England, Julian arrived in France in February of 1915 with his unit. That September he was appointed Sergeant and as Company Quartermaster Sergeant in July of 1916. Julian was transferred to England in May of 1917 with a view of obtaining a Temporary Commission and was posted to the Canadian Army Service Corps Depot at Shorncliffe. By September he was a Lieutenant with the 18th Reserve Battalion and was on his way overseas by early November to serve with the 44th Battalion. In March of 1918 Julian was granted a two week leave to the UK. Suffering gunshot wounds to his legs, he was admitted to the No 2 Red Cross Hospital in Rouen on 13 August and invalided to England a few days later. Once in England he was admitted to the 2nd West General Hospital in Manchester and then transferred to the Canadian Convalescent Officers Hospital in Matlock, Bath in early September. Later that month he was posted to the 13th Reserve Battalion. On 10 October 1918, Julian was awarded the Military Cross. On 11 November he was struck off strength of Overseas Military Forces of Canada on transfer to the Canadian Expeditionary Force in Canada and was discharged from service on 11 February 1919 in Canada.

Julian’s brother Beresford enlisted in Winnipeg with the Canadian Army Service Corps in April of 1916 and served overseas with the 5th Canadian Divisional Train. Returning to England, he too was commissioned as a Lieutenant and served with the 44th Battalion in March of 1919.

During the war Julian’s mother and sister had moved to Toronto. At the time of the 1921 census Julian was living with them on MacPherson Avenue along with this brother Beresford, occupation given as insurance agent. His father Thomas was living elsewhere in the city.

At some point Julian moved to Collingwood where he worked in the insurance business. He also worked as a contractor/manufacturer and founded the Clyde Aircraft Company Ltd, a major employer of Collingwood. Entering the field of politics, Julian was the Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament for Simcoe North from 1945 to 1957. He also served as a town councillor and deputy reeve in 1942 and as mayor of Collingwood for 1955-56.

On 10 October 1941, in Cookstown, Julian married school teacher Muriel Zenobia Bryson. Born on 26 December 1905 in Barrie, Muriel was the daughter of Albert Bryson, a baker, and Zenobia Georgina Evans. Her parents had married in 1905 in Barrie. Julian and Muriel gave birth to one known child, son Julian.

Julian died on 6 May 1965 in Collingwood General and Marine Hospital. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Muriel and son Julian, and sister Edith (George) Hackett in Vancouver. He was predeceased by his father Thomas in 1923, mother Etta in 1939, and brother Beresford in 1951, all in Toronto. Edith later died in 1985 and is interred in Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver. At the time of her brother Edward’s death in 1979 Muriel was still living but by her brother Stewart’s death in 1994 she had died. Further trace of Muriel was not found. Along with his father and brother Beresford and his wife Winnifred, Julian is interred in Saint John’s Anglican Church Cemetery in Cookstown.

By Judy Stockham

Grave marker photograph from

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