Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthMarch 28, 1894
Place of BirthKeewatin, Ontario
Marital StatusMarried
Next of Kinwife - Louise Gagnon, 580 Sherburn St., Winnipeg, Manitoba
Trade / CallingLabourer
ReligionRoman Catholic
Service Details
Regimental Number288885
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion221st Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at Enlistment580 Sherburn St., Winnipeg, Manitoba
Date of EnlistmentOctober 28, 1916
Age at Enlistment22
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathApril 3, 1959
Age at Death65
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
PlotRC B -19 - 4

Gagnon, William Alfred

William Alfred Gagnon, the second of six sons of Joseph Gagnon and Victoria Madore, was born in Norman, Ontario on 28 March 1894. He was raised in Keewatin.

The 1911 census shows William living in Keewatin his parents and siblings. He was working as a teamster at the sawmill.

On 13 July 1914 William married Louise Marie Gauthier in Keewatin, Ontario. He listed “butcher” as his occupation on his marriage record. He and Louise moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

William enlisted with the 221st Battalion on 28 October 1916 in Winnipeg. He and Louise lived at 580 Sherburn St. at the time and William was working as a labourer. On 18 April 1917 William embarked from Halifax with the 221st Battalion aboard the S. S. Ausonia and arrived in England on 29 April. He was transferred to the 11th Reserve Battalion until being assigned to the 78th Battalion on 07 June 1917. That fall William received a gunshot wound to his left arm during the Battle of Passchendaele. He spent time in hospital in England and fully recovered by the time of his return to the 78th in April of 1918. William’s service in France and Belgium continued until June of 1919. He returned to Canada aboard the S.S. Belgic in August of 1919.  His brother, Charles Joseph Gagnon, died of influenza in hospital in England on 9 March 1919 after three years service in France. Their brother Adelard also served during the war.

When William arrived back in Keewatin after the war he met his 22 month old daughter, Margaret for the first time. She had been born a few months after his embarkation for England. William and Louise had three more daughters – Irene (Forsythe), Leona (Parmeter)  and Yvonne (Roach); and three sons – William, George and Lawrence.

William worked for the Department of Highways in Kenora, retiring as a road foreman.

William also served in the Second World War.  He was a Staff Sergeant in the Royal Canadian Air Force from 1940 to 1944.

William died at age 66 on 3 April 1959 in Kenora, Ontario and is buried there in the Roman Catholic section of the Lake of the Woods  Cemetery.

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Photographs provided by William’s grandson Cliff Forsythe.

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