Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthJuly 24, 1894
Place of BirthRichmond, Quebec
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinDavid Kerr, father, Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingBarber
Service Details
Regimental Number4079058
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedConscripted
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentMay 16, 1918
Age at Enlistment23
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJune 5, 1954
Age at Death60
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Kerr, David Thomas

David, baptised as Frederick David Thomas Kerr, was born on 24 July 1894 in Richmond, Quebec. His father David Duncan Kerr had been born in Scotland. In February of 1888, David Sr married Janet Edna Lay in Richmond. Janet, also known as Jane and/or Jennie, had been raised in Melbourne, a community a short distance from Richmond. David had two older siblings, Ethel Elizabeth (1888-1907) and Alexander Gordon (1890-1904), both born in Acton Vale, Quebec where father David had been working as a fireman on pilot engine for the Grand Trunk Railway. David’s mother died in August of 1897 in Richmond and is interred in the Maple Grove Cemetery in Melbourne, Quebec. Interred with her are children Ethel Elizabeth and Alexander Gordon.

David’s father remarried in early 1900 in Montreal to Alice Harper. Their first child was born later that year, a daughter Mary Catherine Gertrude (1900-1977). The family was found on the 1901 Canada census for Richmond with family members being David and Alice, and children David and Mary; Ethel was living with relatives in Montreal.

By the 1911 Canada census the family had moved to Kenora, Ontario where David Sr was working for the Canadian Pacific Railway and David Jr was apprenticing as a barber. Other children born to David and Alice were Myrtle Isabella Margretta (1906-1979), Alice Edna (1907-1987), Louise Mable Marion (1908-1974), William John (1909-1964), Charles Alexander (1912), Albert George (1913), and Lila Kathleen (1914-1984).

With occupation given as a barber in Kenora and his father David in Kenora as next of kin, David signed his recruitment papers in Port Arthur on 16 May 1918. With blue eyes and brown hair, it was noted that he had atrophy of the muscles of the calf and had a hammer toe, both which made marching difficult. With H Company of the 1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment, David served in Canada for the duration of the war. He was discharged in Winnipeg on 12 December 1918 due to demobilization and being in lower than category.

Predeceased by his stepmother Alice in 1919 due to pneumonia caused by influenza, and by his father David in the spring of 1928 in a drowning accident, David died on 5 June 1954 in the Kenora General Hospital following a lengthy illness. He had been a member of the Kenora Branch of the Canadian Legion. At the time of his death he was survived by brothers William of Kenora, Charles of Geraldton, and Albert of Toronto, as well as sisters Mrs Mary (Alexander) Findlay of Kenora, Mrs Alice (Guy) Frank of Kingsbury, Myrtle of Ottawa, Mrs Marian (Gilbert) Ward of Los Angeles, and Mrs Lila Kathleen (Gordon) Crack of Kingsbury. David Sr, Alice, David, William and Mary are all interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora. David’s gravemarker was replaced in 2015.

by Judy Stockham

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