|Date of Birth||May 10, 1891|
|Place of Birth||Keewatin, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||William Horne (father), Keewatin, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Clerk|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||18th Reserve Battalion|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Conscripted|
|Address at Enlistment||Keewatin, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||January 10, 1918|
|Age at Enlistment||26|
|Theatre of Service||Great Britain|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||October 29, 1960|
|Age at Death||69|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
Private William Ross Horne was called up in January 1918 and sent overseas a month later. He served in Great Britain for a year and a half, returning home in August 1919.
Ross was the youngest son of William Franklin Horne and Wilhelmena (Minnie) Marion McKay of Keewatin, Ontario. William was a cooper by trade and he and his wife were both born in Ontario. They were married in 1876 in Minnie’s home town of Goderich and their first four children were born there: Minnie (1877), John Franklin (Frank) (1881), Edith (1884) and Ruby (1887). Around 1890 the family moved to the town of Keewatin in northwestern Ontario and Ross was born there on 10 May 1891. He grew up in Keewatin and attended the local high school. When he was about 18 years old he started working as a clerk at the Lake of the Woods Milling Company and he went on to have a long career with them.
In the summer of 1917 the war entered its fourth year and conscription started in Canada that fall. Single men age 20 to 34 were required to register by November. Ross registered and had his medical in the neighbouring town of Kenora on 4 November. He was found fit for overseas service and he was called up two months later, on 10 January 1918. He was assigned to the Port Arthur detachment of the 1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment. The following month he was sent to Great Britain with his unit’s third draft. They embarked from Halifax on the SS Cretic on 19 February and disembarked in England on 4 March. The day he arrived Ross was assigned to the 11th Reserve Battalion. From May to September he served on command with the 6th Reserve Battalion signal base. He came down with the measles in September and recovered for two weeks at No. 14 Canadian General Hospital in Eastbourne.
The Armistice ended hostilities on 11 November and a week later Ross was put on command to the 18th Reserve Battalion signal base. In February 1919 he was officially transferred to the 18th Reserve Battalion and that same month he became ill with influenza. He spent two weeks at No. 14 Canadian General again. In June he was transferred to the Manitoba Regiment Depot and two months later he was on his way home, embarking from Liverpool on 16 August on the SS Belgic and arriving in Halifax a week later. He was discharged on demobilization on 26 August in Port Arthur. Although he had missed it, he was honoured at a ceremony in Keewatin on 4 August, when medals were awarded to returned veterans and the families of fallen soldiers.
Ross’s mother died in 1911 and his father passed away in April 1919, while he was overseas. He went back to his job at the flour mill and when the 1921 census was taken he was living on Bay Street in Keewatin with his brother Frank and two of his sisters, Minnie and Edith. He was married in Winnipeg on 24 December 1924 to Joanne McLeod. They made their home in Keewatin and had two sons, William Ross Jr. and Donald. Ross worked for the Lake of the Woods Milling Company for 47 years, retiring in 1956. He was a member of the Canadian Legion, Keewatin branch, and the Masonic Lodge. His son Bill Jr. served in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War.
Ross passed away on 29 October 1960, at age 69. His funeral was held four days later and he’s buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery. He was survived by his wife and sons and his sister Edith. Ross is commemorated on the Lake of the Woods Milling Company 1914-1918 Roll of Honour, the Town of Keewatin Roll of Honour and the Municipality of Keewatin For King and Country 1914-1918 plaque.
By Becky Johnson