Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthNovember 12, 1899
Place of BirthWhitemouth, Manitoba
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinHubert Jorgenson (brother), Whitemouth, Manitoba
Trade / CallingFarmer
Service Details
Regimental Number186330
Service RecordLink to Service Record
Battalion27th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentWhitemouth, Manitoba
Date of EnlistmentDecember 28, 1915
Age at Enlistment16
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathApril 7, 1955
Age at Death55
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
Plot38E-35-2, Liberty View

Jorgenson, Gustave

Private Gustave Jorgenson was one of five brothers who enlisted for service in the First World War. The five boys – Jacob, Martin, John, Gustave and Thomas – came from a large family in Whitemouth, Manitoba. Martin was killed in France in June 1917 but the other four brothers survived and returned home after the war.

Gustave was the son of John Jorgenson and Dina Amelia Anderson. John and Dina were from Norway and they had a family of 17 or 18 children but at least four of them died very young. The oldest ones (Ole, Minnie, Annie, Jacob and Casper) were born in Norway before the family emigrated. John came to Canada first, possibly with Ole and the two girls, and Dina followed later with Jacob and Casper, arriving in Halifax on 9 December 1889 on the SS Oregon. At the time of the 1891 census the Jorgensons were living in the Keewatin area in northwestern Ontario and John was working at a sawmill. Their son Martin was born in Keewatin in March 1892. Not long after that they decided to move to Whitemouth, Manitoba where John took up farming. The rest of the children were born in Manitoba (Hubert, John, Gustave, Thomas, Richard, Charlotte and Walter). Walter, who was probably the youngest, was born in 1908 and their parents died just a few years later, Dina in October 1913 and John in December 1914. Some of the boys continued to run the family farm in Whitemouth and the oldest son Ole had his own farm nearby. Casper found work with the railway and he moved to Kenora, Ontario. His sister Annie (Mrs. Walter Allin) also lived in Kenora where her husband worked for the CPR.

Gustave was the fourth of the boys to enlist, signing up with the 90th Battalion on 28 December 1915 in Winnipeg. He passed himself off as 19 but he was only 16 years old at the time. His brother John had enlisted in the same unit a month earlier. After training in Winnipeg over the winter the 90th Battalion embarked from Halifax on 31 May 1916 on the SS Olympic.Gustave served overseas for two and a half years. During that time he was wounded twice, fractured his ankle and became ill with diphtheria, bronchitis and a skin infection but he survived the war and returned home in December 1918.

Overseas service:

-Gustave arrived at Liverpool on 8 June 1916
-he was transferred to the 11th Reserve Battalion on 8 July
-he was drafted to the 27th (City of Winnipeg) Battalion on 27 August and sent to France
-he joined his unit in the field in mid-September during the Somme Offensive
-his unit moved north in October and spent the winter between Lens and Arras, opposite Vimy
-in April 1917 the Canadian Corps captured Vimy Ridge
-following the battle the 27th stayed in the area and in early May they took part in an assault on the village of Fresnoy
-the 27th was on the right flank of their brigade, advancing on the north side of the village
-Gustave suffered a gunshot wound to the groin and he was admitted to a field ambulance on 4 May
-he recovered in a hospital and convalescent centre in Boulogne then spent two weeks at No. 3 Rest Camp
-he rejoined his unit in June and had ten days leave in August
-he suffered a lacerated finger on 6 November during the Battle of Passchendaele
-he was treated in a hospital and convalescent depot in Rouen and discharged to base details on 6 December
-Gustave rejoined his unit on 21 January 1918
-he developed a contagious skin condition in mid-February as well as laryngitis and bronchitis
-he rejoined his unit in mid-March but five days later he became ill with diphtheria
-he was evacuated to a hospital in England on 15 April
-he was discharged from a convalescent centre on 21 June and attached to the 11th Reserve Battalion
-Gustave fractured his ankle in August and was admitted to a hospital in Bexhill
-in late August he was transferred to No. 14 Canadian General Hospital at Eastbourne; his age on the casualty card was listed correctly as 19
-he was released from the hospital on 4 October and rejoined the 11th Reserve Battalion
-he embarked from Liverpool on the SS Grampian on 16 December
-he was discharged in Winnipeg on 6 February 1919

After the war Gustave worked as a fire ranger, trapper and prospector and he enlisted again in the Second World War. He lived in Whitemouth but he passed away at the General Hospital in Kenora on 7 April 1955, possibly while visiting family there. Gustave is buried in the veterans section of Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora. His brothers Jacob and Casper, his sister Annie Allin and other family members are also buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery.

By Becky Johnson

Jorgenson-Gustave-2 Jorgenson-Gustave-90

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