Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthJanuary 6, 1888
Place of BirthManchester, Lancashire
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMartha Hulmes, mother, Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingLocomotive Fireman
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number199164
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion94th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentMarch 16, 1916
Age at Enlistment28
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathAugust 1, 1949
Age at Death61
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Hulmes, Frank


The Hulmes family was from Manchester, Lancashire in England where parents Thomas and Martha (Pennington) had married on 24 March 1883. Thomas was listed as a coal wharfinger (takes custody of and is responsible for goods delivered to the wharf) in the 1891 census and as a coal dealer in later censuses. Children born to the family were Thomas (1884-1961), Jane (1885-1958), Frank (1888-1949), Martha (1890-1959), William (1892-1955), Lucy (1894-1953), Harry (1897-1971), and Edward (1899-1920). By the 1911 census Frank, William, and Edward were listed as assistants to their father in the coal business.

Although Frank, along with George Stubbins, had travelled to Canada in 1911, they both  returned to England. With the death of Thomas Sr in 1912, the family, except for Thomas Jr who had married and started a family of his own, immigrated to Kenora, Ontario in 1913: Frank aboard the Hesperian in February, Martha Sr aboard  the Teutonic and Lucy and William aboard the Victorian in March, and Martha Jr, Harry, and Edward aboard the Tunisian in May.

Frank made another trip back to England, returning to Kenora in May of 1915. With occupation given as locomotive fireman, he signed his attestation papers in Kenora on 13 March 1916. He gave three years of previous service with the Royal Army Medical Corps.

Organized in November of 1915 with recruitment in Port Arthur, Fort William, Kenora, Rainy River, Fort Frances, and Dryden, the 94th Battalion had its headquarters in Port Arthur. In May of 1916 Frank and his brothers Harry and Edward, along with a number of other local fellows, left Kenora for Port Arthur where they were to train for a short time; a large crowd saw them off at the station. It appears that once in Port Arthur, Frank transferred to the 141st Battalion. According to a local newspaper report, injured during training, Frank returned to Kenora on June 13th. However, listed as a deserter, his service record has a discharge date of 9 June 1916. In 1939 the discharge reason was changed to ‘services no longer required’ as there was ‘a reasonable amount of doubt to actual desertion’.

Frank resumed working for the Canadian Pacific Railway, retiring in 1938 due to illness. On 1 June 1921, in Kenora, Frank married Dora Agnes Stevenson. Born in Manchester, Dora had been working as a parlour maid for the Giommi family in Regent House, Victoria Park, Manchester for the 1911 England census. Dora arrived in Canada in April of 1921 aboard the Melita, destination given as Kenora and purpose of journey to marry Frank Hulmes.

Frank and Dora gave birth to four children, daughters Evelyn, Elsie, and Marion, and son Albert. Frank was a member of the Kenora branch of the Canadian Legion and St Alban’s Pro Cathedral, Kenora.

Predeceased by his mother Martha Rafter in 1944 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Frank died suddenly in the Kenora General Hospital on 1 August 1949. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Dora, daughter Marion at home, daughter Evelyn (Stan)  Cormack of Kenora, daughter Elsie (David) Balchin of Keewatin, and son Albert (Alice), Kenora. He was also survived by his brothers William (Annie) and Harry (Christina), Kenora, brother Thomas (Ellen) of Manchester, and sisters Jane (George) Stavely and Martha  (George) Stubbins, both of Kenora, and Lucy (William) Emery of Saskatoon.  Frank is interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora. Dora died in 1973 and is interred beside him.

Back in England, Frank’s brother Thomas served  with a number of different battalions; a Kenora newspaper article of March of 1916 suggested he was with Kitchener’s Army. Edward, enlisting at age 16, after serving for a short time with the 31st Battalion in France, was sent back to Canada in June of 1917 when his age was discovered. William went overseas  with the 2nd Reinforcing Draft of the 52nd Battalion and transferred to the 15th Battalion once in France. He returned to Canada in May of 1919. Harry transferred to the 16th Battalion once overseas and was wounded at Vimy Ridge in April of 1917. Found medically unfit, Harry returned to Canada the following February.

by Judy Stockham

Hulmes-Frank-3 Hulmes-Frank-4 Hulmes-Frank-5 Hulmes-Frank-6

1916 newspaper article about the Hulmes family provided by  Gail Hulmes-Backsai


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