Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthDecember 24, 1894
Place of BirthDraper Township, District of Muskoka, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinJohn Alexander Heffren (father), Wadena, Saskatchewan
Trade / CallingFarmer
Service Details
Regimental Number2115137
Service Record Link to Service Record
BattalionCanadian Army Service Corps Training Depot
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentWadena, Saskatchewan
Date of EnlistmentApril 9, 1917
Age at Enlistment22
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of Death19401216
Age at Death45
Buried AtKelvingrove Cemetery, Kelvington, Saskatchewan

Heffren, Arthur

Private Arthur Heffren enlisted in April 1917 and served in Canada for one year, much of that time suffering from illness. He was discharged as medically unfit in April 1918.

Arthur was one of twelve children of John Alexander Heffren (Heffern) and Margaret Malinda Clement. Records vary but John was born in either Ontario or Quebec to Irish parents, and Margaret was born in Ontario. They were married in 1881 in the District of Muskoka, Ontario. Their children were: Edith Adelle, James William, Annie May, John Edward, Mary Elizabeth, Charles Bertram, Arthur, Angus Langford, Robert Alexander, Ellen Margaret, Percy Ray and Gordon Clifford. Although his attestation lists his birth place as South Dakota, Arthur was born on 24 December 1894 in Draper Township, District of Muskoka, where his father was a farmer. His brother Angus was born in the District of Muskoka in January 1898.

By the fall of 1899 John and Margaret were living in the town of Norman (now part of Kenora), in northwestern Ontario. Sadly, they lost three of the children within just two months. Edith died on 20 July 1900, at age 18, and Angus passed away the next day, at age two, both from diphtheria. Annie died of typhoid fever on 10 September, at age 14. They are all buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora. Two children were born in the Norman area, Robert (October 1899) and Ellen (May 1902). Percy’s birth was registered in Grandview, Manitoba in September 1905.

By 1906 the family had settled near Kelvington, Saskatchewan where the youngest son, Gordon Clifford, was born in June 1908. John took up farming and later became a store keeper in the town of Kelvington. During the war Arthur and his brother Bertram Heffren both enlisted, Bertram in January 1916 and Arthur the following year. Arthur went to Winnipeg where he signed up on 9 April 1917 with the Canadian Army Service Corps Training Depot. His occupation at the time was farmer and next of kin was his father in Wadena, Saskatchewan.

Arthur had been ill with pleurisy several times in the previous few years and his health became a problem in the fall of 1917. He was in St. Boniface Hospital for a month, from 16 October to 16 November, recovering from jaundice. At the beginning of December he was admitted again, this time with pleuro-pneumonia. On 11 February 1918 he was transferred to the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire convalescent hospital, where he recovered until 20 March. A medical exam on 1 April found Arthur had impaired function in his chest and limited mobility in his right shoulder. He was discharged as medically unfit for service on 27 April.

Little is known of Arthur’s life after the war. By the late 1930s he was married and when the 1940s voters list was compiled he and his wife were living in Kelvington, Saskatchewan where he worked as an agent. Arthur passed away on 16 December 1940, just before his 46th birthday. He was survived by his wife, Leona, and a daughter who was three years old. Arthur is buried at Kelvingrove Cemetery in Kelvington.

By Becky Johnson

There is a photo of Arthur’s gravemarker on CanadaGenWeb’s online Cemetery Project.

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