|Date of Birth||April 17, 1895|
|Place of Birth||Buffalo, New York|
|Next of Kin||Mrs. Annie Gork (mother), Purple Ridge P.O., Manitoba|
|Trade / Calling||Farmer|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Conscripted|
|Address at Enlistment||Riding Mountain P.O., Manitoba|
|Date of Enlistment||June 5, 1918|
|Age at Enlistment||23|
|Theatre of Service||Canada|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||November 3, 1957|
|Age at Death||62|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
Private Frank Gork was born on 17 April 1895 in Buffalo, New York, the son of German immigrants John Gork and Annie Levandoski. He had two older brothers, Charlie (1890) and Joseph (1893). The family moved to Canada around 1898, John first followed later by his wife and children. They farmed in the RM of Rosedale and the neighbouring RM of Lansdowne, north of the town of Neepawa in Manitoba. Another son, Edward, was born in 1901 and he was followed by three daughters: Martha (ca1903), Clara May (1907) and Elsie Annie (1909). Frank and Joseph attended Hillhead School in the RM of Rosedale. Charlie was granted his own homestead in Rosedale and at the time of the 1916 census Frank and Joseph were living with Charlie and working as farm labourers.
Conscription started in Canada in 1917 and Frank was called up in Winnipeg the following spring, on 5 June 1918. He was 23 years old, his address was Riding Mountain, Manitoba and next of kin his mother Annie. He was attached to the 1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment and he served with them for six months. During that time he was married in Winnipeg on 1 July 1918. His wife, Beatrice Catherine Andrew, was born in 1897 in Hyde, Cheshire, England and immigrated to Canada with her family at age five. They settled in the RM of Lansdowne where her father took up farming. The Armistice ended hostilities on 11 November 1918 and Frank was on harvest leave for four weeks starting on 1 December. His official discharge due to demobilization came through on 27 December. His brother Joseph Gork was also called up in the spring of 1918 and he served in Canada for seven months.
Frank and his wife lived in Riding Mountain at first and their son Elgin Graham was born there in 1922. They had another son, Keith David, and two daughters, Pearl and Ruby. By 1930 they were living in Kenora, Ontario where Frank operated a taxi service and later opened a furniture and appliance business. Elgin served as a pilot during the Second World War and was awarded the Air Force Cross. Keith had a long career in the military, serving with the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.
Frank was a member of Keewatin Lodge AF and AM, No. 417 Khartoum Temple, Winnipeg Scottish Rites, Fort William I.O.O.F. Lodge of Kenora and the Shrine Club. He passed away at home on 3 November 1957, at age 62. Beatrice died in July 1974 and they are both buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.
Frank and Joseph are commemorated on the World War 1 Honour Roll in the book ‘History of Riding Mountain and Area 1885-1985.’
By Becky Johnson
Wedding photo courtesy of Tracks of Time: Glenella and District by Glenella History Committee (Friesen Printers, Altona, Manitoba, 1990).