Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthFebruary 14, 1876
Place of BirthLondon
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinLydia Harris, wife, Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingMechanical Engineer
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number216264
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion100th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentJanuary 21, 1916
Age at Enlistment40
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details

Harris, Ralph Sr

According to his attestation papers Ralph Harris was born on 14 February 1876 in London, England. A birth record was not found. Using the name of Roland Ralph McClude, Ralph married Lydia Collier during the 3rd quarter of 1893 in the registration district of Clutton in Somerset. Lydia, the daughter of William and Charlotte (née Penny) Collier was born on 2 June 1871 in Paulton, Clutton, Somerset. Ralph and Lydia gave birth to son Ralph Roland McClude on 24 December 1896 in Withy Mills, Paulton. On the baptism record Ralph Sr was listed as a boot and shoe operator. The couple gave birth to a second son Leonard Obeart McClude on 31 July 1905 in Cardiff, Wales. Upon immigration to Canada the family all adopted the surname of Harris. As no other records could be found for Roland Ralph McClude that surname was also likely an alias.

Ralph Sr and Ralph Jr Harris were found on the passenger list of the Empress of Britain that arrived in Canada on 3 September 1912. (Ralph Jr was mistakenly listed as Leonard although the birth information was correct.) They were on their way to Kenora in northwestern Ontario where apparently Ralph Sr had been employed with the Canadian Pacific Railway. Lydia and Leonard arrived aboard the Lake Manitoba on 15 July 1912, also on their way to Kenora to join the family. At some point Ralph Sr returned to England, found on the passenger list of the Missanabie that arrived back in Quebec on 7 November 1915.

With occupation given as mechanical engineer and his wife Lydia in Kenora as next of kin, Ralph Sr signed his attestation papers with the 100th Battalion in Winnipeg on 21 January 1916. He spent eleven days hospitalized in Winnipeg with tonsillitis in February and then was struck off strength as illegally absent (deserter) on 29 April 1916. He did not return to Kenora and his whereabouts thereafter are unknown.

Ralph Jr enlisted with the Royal Flying Corps in October of 1917. He trained with the School of Aerial Fighting in Texas and was discharged from the Royal Air Force on 11 January 1919 due to demobilization. Ralph and Leonard lived with their mother Lydia in Kenora until her death in 1936 with both brother later moving down east. Leonard married Vera Ferguson at some point. Ralph died in 1968 in Toronto and is interred with Lydia in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora. Leonard died in 1971.

by Judy Stockham

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