|Date of Birth||January 2, 1881|
|Place of Birth||Odin, Marion County, Illinois|
|Next of Kin||Mrs. Kizzie Lee (mother), Vici, Oklahoma|
|Trade / Calling||Machinist|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Kenora, Ontario|
|Address at Enlistment||Kenora, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||December 8, 1915|
|Age at Enlistment||34|
|Theatre of Service||Canada|
|Prisoner of War||No|
Private Sanford Clarence Lee was the son of Delmer Lee and Kizzie Bryant of Vici, Oklahoma, U.S.A. Delmer was a farmer and he and his wife were both born in Illinois. They were married in December 1879 in Marion County, Illinois and Sanford was born on 2 January 1881, mostly likely in Odin Township, Marion County. He had a sister Stillie who was about seven years younger than him. The family was still in Illinois at the time of the 1900 and 1910 U.S. censuses and Sanford was employed as a farm labourer. By 1915 his parents were living in Vici, Oklahoma.
Sanford moved to Canada in September 1915, crossing the border at Emerson, Manitoba. His previous address was Decatur, Illinois and he was a farm labourer on his way to Winnipeg. The war was in its second year by then and Sanford enlisted on 8 December 1915 in Kenora, Ontario. His address was Kenora, his occupation was machinist and next of kin was his mother in Vici. He signed up with the 94th Battalion, which was being recruited in northwestern Ontario. He trained with his unit in Kenora for about three months. On 20 March 1916 he was transferred to the 212th (American Legion) Battalion, which was based in Winnipeg.
Sanford spent two months with his new unit before being transferred again, this time to the 97th (American Legion) Battalion. He joined them in Toronto on 16 May and trained with them for almost three months. However, when the battalion headed overseas in September Sanford wasn’t with them. He had been absent without leave since 2 August and following a court of enquiry he was struck off strength as a deserter on 25 August.
So far, nothing further is known about Sanford and his date of death and place of burial have not yet been determined. His parents continued to live in Vici and Delmer was a hardware salesman at the time of the 1930 census. By 1940 Delmer was widowed and retired, still living in Vici.
By Becky Johnson