Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthMay 17, 1899
Place of BirthRat Portage (Kenora), Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinLillian Killins, mother 10931 83rd Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta
Trade / CallingStudent
Service Details
Regimental Number231178
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion202nd Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at Enlistment10931 83rd Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta
Date of EnlistmentMarch 15, 1916
Age at Enlistment16
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathFebruary 8, 1976
Age at Death77
Buried AtCremation via Vancouver Crematorium, Vancouver, British Columbia

Killins, Alfred Verne

Name registered as Alfred Laverne Killins, Verne was born on 17 May 1899 in Rat Portage (later named Kenora) in northwestern Ontario. His parents Alfred Camsell Killins and Lillian Florence Mason were both from southern Ontario but married in February of 1898 in Sault Saint Marie where Lillian was living. Alfred, a railroad brakeman, had been working out of Fort William. By 1900 the family was living in Cranbrook, British Columbia where they added to the family with the birth of daughter Enid Lillian. Moving on to Alberta, a third child was born in 1907, a daughter Clarice.

On 15 March 1916 Verne signed his attestation papers in Edmonton where he was living with his family and going to school. Although he was only 16 years of age, he stood six feet tall with a girth of 38 inches. On the second page of his attestation papers his age was written as 19. He listed his mother Lillian in Edmonton as next of kin. Mobilized and recruited in Edmonton, the 202nd Battalion embarked from Halifax on 24 November 1916 aboard the Mauretania. Listed on the Nominal Roll was Private Verne Killins.

Once in England Verne was transferred to the 31st Battalion, joining the unit in the field on16 July 1917. In early October Verne was admitted to the No 46 Stationary Hospital in Г‰taples with diphteria. Invalided to England he was admitted to the 1st South General Hospital on Dudley Road in Birmingham on 25 November and then on to the Military Convalescent Hospital Woodcote Park on 22 December. In mid January of 1918 he was transferred to the 21st Reserve Battalion and then struck off strength to the 31st Battalion in late October, joining the unit overseas on 14 November. He returned to England in early January of 1919 and embarked for Canada aboard the Belgic on 23 February. Verne was discharged from service on 31 March in Vancouver.

After the war Verne returned to Edmonton and was found on the 1921 Canada census living with his parents and sisters. His father was working as an engineer for the Canadian Pacific Railway while he was working as a clerk for the Canadian Nation Railway. According to Eastport, Idaho border crossing records of 1934 and 1940, Verne had moved to the United States in 1922 where he worked as an oil driller for Shell Oil in California, returning to Canada in 1930. With him at the crossing in 1940 he had tickets to sail to Trinidad in the West Indies to drill for oil. His nearest relative was given as his wife Elva (Stewart) who was living in Calgary and he had two children, Lucille and Jack, who were living in Penticton, British Columbia with his father. Earlier that year Verne and his wife had been found on the Voter’s List for MacLeod, Alberta where he had been working as a driller. By 1963 Verne, retired, was living in Half Moon Bay on the sunshine coast of British Columbia.

Predeceased by his mother Lillian in 1956 in Penticton, his father Alfred the same year in Orange, California, and likely his sister Clarice, Verne died in Vancouver on 8 February 1976. Disposition was by cremation via Vancouver Crematorium. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Brenda (nee Gow), son Jack of Boswell, British Columbia, daughter Lucille Bordeniuk of Drumheller, Alberta, five grandchildren and great grandchildren, and sister Enid Finlayson of California. Also surviving were his stepson Bruce Arundel and three step grandchildren. Brenda later died in 1983 in Vancouver.

by Judy Stockham

obituary: courtesy of Mike Melen


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