Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthMay 24, 1895
Place of BirthKenora, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of Kinmother, Mrs. Frances Guernsey, Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingLabourer
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number198270
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion52nd Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentNovember 17, 1915
Age at Enlistment20
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathOctober 6, 1955
Age at Death60
Buried AtBrookside Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Guernsey, George Lionel Vares

George Guernsey was born 24 May 1895 in Rat Portage (Kenora) Ontario. His parents, originally from England, were William Robert Guernsey and Frances Fuller who had arrived in Rat Portage around 1893 from Manitoba. George was one of thirteen children in the family.

George enlisted with the 94th Battalion in Kenora on 17 November 1915. His unit trained in Kenora until May of 1916 when they left for Port Arthur in the command of Major Schnarr. George sailed from Halifax aboard the S.S. Olympic on 28 June 1916. Once in England he was transferred to the 52nd Battalion and reached his unit in France on 03 October 1916. On the 04 September 1917, in the vicinity of Lens, France, George sustained shrapnel wounds to the face from an exploding bomb. He was returned to England and treated at hospitals in Frensham Hill, Aldershot and Epsom for injuries to his eyes. Initially he had been blind in both eyes, but sight returned to his left eye. There were pieces of metal behind and below his right eye and retinal detachment. A medical board recognized that his defective vision was a permanent disability but gave him a “B2” classification (Non Combatant Service in England or France – fit for base unit of medical service, garrison, or regimental outdoor duty).

George remained in England and was hospitalized with a bout of influenza from 19 March 1918 to 11 April 1918. In April of 1918 he was posted to the Manitoba Regiment Depot in Dibgate, England and the following month he was transferred to the Canadian Forestry Corps and sent back to France. He served with No. 1 Company in the Canadian Forestry Corps until January of 1919, when he returned to England. He embarked for Canada in April of 1919. His official discharge due to demobilization came on 12 April 1919 in Port Arthur, Ontario. He then returned to Kenora.

In 1949 George moved to Winnipeg and at the time of his death on 06 October 1955 at Deer Lodge Hospital he was residing in Room 4 of the Albert Hotel. He is buried in a military plot at Brookside Cemetery, Winnipeg.

George’s brothers ¬† Frederick and William¬†also served in WW1.

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