|Date of Birth||October 25, 1898|
|Place of Birth||Cedar Springs, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Joseph Lancaster, father, 16 Lansdowne Avenue, Chatham, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Farmer|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||Elkhorn, Manitoba|
|Date of Enlistment||November 13, 1916|
|Age at Enlistment||18|
|Theatre of Service||England|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||July 17, 1970|
|Age at Death||71|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
Ivan Bruce Lancaster was born on 25 October 1898 in Cedar Springs, Kent, Ontario. His father Joseph Lancaster was from England while his mother Mary Jane Cullis was from the Port Hope area of Ontario. The couple married on 7 February 1876 in Howard, Kent. The family first farmed in the area of Euphemia, Bothwell, Kent and later in the township of Raleigh, Kent. Children included Elizabeth (1876), Mary (1878), Frank Cameron (1879), Mark Leslie (1880), Wilbert Basil (1882), Thomas Harvey (1883), Robert Vincent (1885), George (1887), Maggie Millicent (1888), Edward Wallace (1890), Frederick George (1892), Mary Ada (1893-1896), Jenny Jane (1896), and Bruce. Sadly, mother Mary Jane died in 1899 and is interred in the Evergreen Cemetery in Blenheim. In 1901 Joseph married widow Janet Fowke (née Wanless).
By the time of the 1916 census Bruce was farming in the area of Wallace, Manitoba with his father Joseph and stepmother Janet. Later that year his father and stepmother moved back southwestern Ontario, living in Chatham. Bruce signed his attestation papers with the 190th Battalion in Winnipeg, Manitoba on 13 November 1916. He gave his occupation as farmer and his address as Elkhorn, Manitoba, a community about 10 kilometres from Wallace. He listed his father back in Chatham as next of kin. While training in Winnipeg Bruce was hospitalized for 19 days late January/early February and then discharged from service as medically unfit on 18 March 1917.
Relocating to Calgary where his brother George was living, Bruce signed his second set of attestation papers on 2 November 1917. His occupation was given as mechanic and his brother George as next of kin. With the 4th Draft of the 78th Battery, Canadian Field Artillery, Bruce arrived in England aboard the Lapland on 24 February 1918. Suffering with a case of the mumps, he was admitted to the No 12 Canadian General Hospital at Bramshott on April 10th, discharged on May 21st. Bruce was to spend the remainder of the war in England with the Reserve Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery. He embarked for Canada aboard the Belgic on 23 February 1919 and was discharged from service on 26 March in Calgary. Although from a large family, Bruce was the only member to serve during the war.
The 1921 census found Bruce living in Calgary and working as a fireman for the Canadian Pacific Railway. He was to eventually make Kenora, Ontario his home where he was self employed in the office supply industry for many years. He joined the Kenora Branch of the Canadian Legion in 1944.
Bruce died on 17 July 1970 in the Lake of the Woods District Hospital, Kenora. At the time of his death he was survived by two brothers, George in Calgary and Robert in Red Deer. Bruce is interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.
by Judy Stockham
Bruces’s grave marker was installed in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in 2018 by the Last Post Fund.