Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthMay 30, 1895
Place of BirthKenora, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinSarah Ann Ferrier (mother), Box 207, Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingGas Engineer
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number2006818
Service Record Link to Service Record
BattalionClearing Services Command
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentBox 207, Kenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentNovember 8, 1917
Age at Enlistment22
Theatre of ServiceGreat Britain
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathFebruary 18, 1953
Age at Death57
Buried AtBurnsland Cemetery, Calgary
PlotSection T, Block 5, Lot 30 (Field of Honour)

Ferrier, Lionel Gray

Staff Sergeant Lionel Gray Ferrier was called up in November 1917, at age 22. He served in Canada and Great Britain for two years, most of that time with Clearing Services Command.

Lionel was the only son of Robert Wallace Ferrier and Sarah Ann ‘Sadie’ Gray of Kenora, Ontario. Robert and Sarah were both born in Ontario and they were married in 1890 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Robert had been living in Rat Portage since about 1886 and he and his wife made their home there. Their daughter Gertrude May was born in 1891 and Lionel followed four years later, on 30 May 1895. Robert was a retail grocer and he operated a grocery store in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) for more than twenty years.

Lionel was still at home for the 1911 census, at age 16, but the following year he moved to Winnipeg. By the time the war started he was working as a travelling salesman for a grocery firm, Mason and Hickey. Conscription began in Canada in 1917 and single men aged 20 to 34 were required to register that fall. Lionel was living in Regina by then, still working for Mason and Hickey, and he registered there on 28 October. His medical exam found him fit for overseas service and he travelled to Toronto, where he joined the Canadian Engineers on 8 November. He was posted to the Canadian Engineers Training Depot and he became a member of the headquarters staff.

From Toronto Lionel was sent to St. John, New Brunswick and in May 1918 he was promoted to Staff Corporal. Three months later he was transferred to Clearing Services Command in Quebec and he served with them as a Staff Sergeant until October 1919. Clearing Services co-ordinated the movement of troops from France to the UK and from there back to Canada. As an orderly room sergeant with the permanent conducting staff Lionel made several trans-Atlantic trips on troop ships between March and October 1919. His last one was from Southampton, England on 29 September on the SS Saxonia. He arrived in Halifax on 10 October and he was discharged on demobilization on 23 October in Quebec.

Earlier that same year Lionel’s father had sold his grocery business in Kenora and moved to Vancouver. Lionel joined his family in Vancouver and found work as a salesman in the automotive industry. He was married just across the border in Whatcom County, Washington on 8 October 1935. His wife Anna Jane McDonald was born in 1894 in Nelson, British Columbia, the daughter of Duncan Archibald McDonald, a farmer, and Margaret Ann McLeod. Anna lived in Vancouver and worked as a clerk in a dry goods store.

Lionel and his wife moved to Calgary around 1951 and he worked as a bookkeeper for an oil company. He passed away at Holy Cross Hospital on 18 February 1953, at age 57. His funeral was held three days later and he’s buried in the Field of Honour at Burnsland Cemetery. Anna moved back to Vancouver and died there in 1964, at age 70.

By Becky Johnson

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