|Date of Birth||September 25, 1900|
|Place of Birth||Cedar Lake, Manitoba|
|Next of Kin||Edward Benjamin Haight (father), 10629 - 127th Street, Edmonton, Alberta|
|Trade / Calling||Bank clerk|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||1st Depot Battalion, Alberta Regiment|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||10629 - 127th Street, Edmonton, Alberta|
|Date of Enlistment||May 24, 1918|
|Age at Enlistment||17|
|Theatre of Service||Canada|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||December 25, 1979|
|Age at Death||79|
|Buried At||Pineridge Cemetery, Sioux Narrows, Ontario|
Private Ernest Joseph Haight was born on 25 September 1900 in Cedar Lake, Manitoba. His parents, Edward Benjamin Haight and Elizabeth Annie Garvie, were both born in Ontario. They were married in 1885 in Winnipeg, Manitoba and they had at least six children: Edward Laurence, Gordon Joyner, Elizabeth Olive, Edith Annie, Ernest Joseph and Harold Arthur. Edward worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company for more than thirty years, first as a postmaster and clerk then as a steamboat captain. From 1890 to 1905 he was stationed in the North-West Territories, in what is now northern Saskatchewan. After that he worked in the Athabaska and McKenzie River regions in northern Alberta.
When the 1916 census was taken Ernest was living at home in Athabaska with his mother, his two sisters and his youngest brother Harold. Conscription was introduced in Canada in the summer of 1917, as the war entered its fourth year, and single men aged 20 to 34 were told to register by that fall. In April 1918 an order-in-council required single men aged 19 to report. Ernest was only 17 at the time but he signed up as a volunteer on 24 May 1918 in Edmonton. His occupation was bank clerk, he was living in Edmonton with his parents and next of kin was his father. Ernest was assigned to the 1st Depot Battalion, Alberta Regiment and sent to Victoria Park Barracks in Calgary. He was discharged in Calgary about three weeks later, on 19 June, due to being underage. His brother Gordon had enlisted in February 1916 and he served overseas with the 10th Battalion. He died of tuberculosis in August 1919 at Wetaskiwin Hospital in Alberta.
When the 1921 census was taken Ernest was living at home in Edmonton and working as a bank clerk. He was married on 18 July 1928 in Ryland, Ontario, a village just west of Hearst in the District of Cochrane. His residence at the time was Hudson, Ontario and his occupation was bookkeeper. His wife, May Ethel Augusta Achilles, was born in 1904 in London, England, the daughter of Albert Achilles and Augusta Siegman (Sieckmann). Albert was born in Germany and Augusta in Vienna, Austria. May immigrated to Canada with her family in 1905 and grew up in Grey County, Ontario. Her mother died of tuberculosis in 1913, at age 41. When the 1921 census was taken Albert was farming in Ryland and May was living at home with three older brothers and a younger sister.
Ernest and May had three children: Marion, Ernest Benjamin ‘Ben’ (b.1932) and Elizabeth Louise ‘Betty.’ Ernest worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company at several places in northern Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba. Around 1941 he and his wife settled in Winnipeg where the children attended school. Sadly, their daughter Elizabeth died there in August 1945, at age eight, and she’s buried in Brookside Cemetery. By the early 1960s Ernest was retired and he and his wife were living in the small community of Sioux Narrows in northwestern Ontario. Their son Ben spent some time in the army. He married Betty Kaatz in 1964 in Calgary and they moved to Sioux Narrows a couple of years later. Ernest and May’s daughter Marion married Alfred Herbert Kaatz (Betty’s brother). Alfred had a 30-year career in the Canadian army and served in the Second World War and the Korean War. He also took part in peacekeeping missions in the Middle East and had a tour in Germany. After his retirement he and Marion settled in British Columbia.
Ernest passed away in the Lake of the Woods District Hospital in Kenora on 25 December 1979, at age 79, and May died in 1993, at age 89. They are both buried at Pineridge Cemetery in Sioux Narrows. Their son Ben passed away in 2014 and his cremains are also buried at Pineridge Cemetery along with his wife Betty. Ernest’s mother died in 1941 and his father in 1942. They are buried in Mount Pleasant Municipal Cemetery in Edmonton along with their son Gordon (1888-1919).
By Becky Johnson
Wedding photo courtesy of Haight public family tree on ancestry.com. Edmonton obituaries courtesy of Alison Glass.