Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthMay 25, 1897
Place of BirthKenora, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs. Jennet Hare (mother), 407 Charles Street, Steelton, Ontario
Trade / CallingMachinist
Service Details
Regimental Number3038612
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion1st Depot Battalion, 1st Central Ontario Regiment
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedConscripted
Address at Enlistment407 Charles Street, Steelton, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentMay 18, 1918
Age at Enlistment20
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJuly 18, 1972
Age at Death75
Buried AtGreenwood Cemetery, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
PlotRange 3, Lot 18, Grave 4

Hare, William Walker

Private William Walker Hare was born in Rat Portage, Ontario on 25 May 1897, his birth registered as William Walker Albert Hare. His parents were William Henry Hare, who was born in Simcoe County, Ontario, and Jennet (Janet/Jeanette) Walker, also born in Ontario. William Sr. and Jennet were married in Winnipeg in 1886 and they had at least four children, all born in Rat Portage (later called Kenora): Elizabeth Jane (1887), Mary Elizabeth (1888), William Bryson or Bryan (1890) and William Walker (1897). William Sr. was a lumberman and he and his family lived in the village of Norman, just west of Rat Portage. William Bryson died at age two months and Elizabeth Jane likely died before 1891, as she was not listed in the census that year. By the time the next census was taken in 1901 William, Jennet and the two remaining children had moved to Sault Ste. Marie and they settled in the community of Steelton, on the outskirts of the town. William Sr. died there on 13 May 1903, at age 47.

At the time of the 1911 census William was living in Steelton with his mother, who was working as a charwoman, and his sister Mary, who was employed doing laundry. He was 17 years old when the war started and conscription was introduced in Canada three years later. William registered as required by the Military Service Act and had his medical exam in Sault Ste. Marie on 1 October 1917. His occupation was machinist and his residence was Steelton. William was called up for service on 18 May 1918 in Toronto and attached to the 1st Depot Battalion, 1st Central Ontario Regiment, which trained at Camp Niagara. He was discharged on demobilization in Toronto on 21 December, about a month after the Armistice.

When the 1921 census was taken William was working as a machinist and living in Sault Ste. Marie with this mother and his sister Mary, who was now a stenographer. By the winter of 1923-24 they had moved to Toronto and in March 1924 William moved to the U.S., going to Detroit, Michigan with the intention of residing there permanently. Three months later Miss Myrtle Genevieve Rolston, a stenographer from Winnipeg, also moved to Detroit. William and Myrtle were married in Highland Park, Michigan on 16 December 1924. Myrtle was born in the RM of Clanwilliam, Manitoba in 1899, the daughter of John Wesley Rolston, a farmer, and Minnie Shaver. Her brother Leonard Kennedy Rolston died in November 1917, during the Battle of Passchendaele, while serving with the 8th Battalion. He’s commemorated on the Next of Kin Monument in Winnipeg and the Menin Gate Memorial in France.

William and Myrtle were still living in Detroit when the 1930 U.S. census was taken but by 1934 they had returned to Canada. They made their home in Sault Ste. Marie and had two sons, William Robert and Donald Rolston. William worked as a machinist and toolmaker and belonged to a local Lodge. He was also a member of the Sault Ste. Marie branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. He passed away in the General Hospital on 18 July 1972, at age 75, and Myrtle died two years later. They are buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Sault Ste. Marie, along with their sons Robert (1931-2005) and Donald (1936-2016) as well as William’s mother Jennet (1855-1946) and his sister Mary Elizabeth (1888-1984).

By Becky Johnson

Obituaries are from the Sault Daily Star, courtesy of Betty Andrews.

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