Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthMay 10, 1892
Place of BirthSan Francisco, California
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinJohn Benjamin Lohman, 208 3rd Street, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
Trade / CallingBrakeman
Service Details
Regimental Number439035
Service RecordLink to Service Record
Battalion52nd Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentDecember 21, 1914
Age at Enlistment22
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathAugust 22, 1961
Age at Death69
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
PlotLiberty View, 39E-34-1

Lohman, Stewart Henry

Lance Corporal Stewart Henry Lohman enlisted in December 1914 and served with the 52nd Battalion in France and Belgium. He was wounded at the Somme in October 1916 and invalided to Canada the following spring.

Stewart was born on 10 May 1892 in San Francisco, California. His parents were John Benjamin Lohman and Susan Burgess and he had a brother John Burgess Lohman who was born in June 1890. At the time of the 1900 US census both boys were inmates at the Orphan Asylum Society in Manhattan, New York. The Society had been founded in the early 1800s and it took in children who were orphans or who had only one parent. In 1902 the orphanage moved to a new location north of Manhattan in Hastings-on-Hudson, Westchester County. The children lived in small residential units or ‘cottages’ on the 140-acre riverside property. Stewart was listed as an inmate there when the 1905 New York state census was taken. His mother, Susan Burgess, passed away in July 1907 at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan. Her record of death gives her age as 46 and her parents’ names as John Burgess and Elizabeth Stewart. She was born in Ireland and came to the U.S. as a child.

Stewart lived for awhile with an uncle and aunt, John and Isabella Burgess, in Brooklyn, New York. Around 1910 he moved to Canada and found work in Montreal with the Canadian Pacific Railway. By 1912 his job had taken him to the town of Kenora in northwestern Ontario where he was a brakeman with the CPR. The war started two years later and he enlisted in December 1914 when volunteers were being recruited for a third overseas contingent. He had already spent some time training with the local militia. The recruits were briefly attached to the 44th Battalion but when the 52nd (New Ontario) Battalion was organized in mid-March 1915 they were transferred to the new unit. It was based in Port Arthur and the Kenora lads were sent there in June to join the rest of the battalion. They trained in Port Arthur over the summer and fall and in November they left for the east coast, embarking from St. John, New Brunswick on the SS California and landing in England on 3 December. Stewart had been promoted to Lance Corporal just before leaving Canada. The 52nd Battalion trained at Witley and Bramshott Camps for 2-1/2 months before being sent to France on 20 February 1916, as part of the new 3rd Canadian Division. They were moved to Belgium by train the following day.

Early in March the battalion went into the trenches for orientation. Later that month the Canadian Corps took up positions in the south part of the Ypres Salient and the 52nd was moved into the area on 1 April. The Battle of Mount Sorrel started on 2 June with an intense bombardment of the Canadian lines followed by the explosion of underground mines. Stewart’s unit was involved in the heavy fighting several times over the next ten days. Most of the lost ground was recaptured and the battle ended on 13 June with little change to the front lines but at a cost of 8,000 Canadian casualties.

The Somme Offensive started later that summer and the first major operation for the Canadian Corps would be in mid-September. The 52nd Battalion boarded trains on 7 September and arrived at the Somme a week later. On 16 September they took part in an attack near the village of Courcelette, suffering over 200 casualties while crossing open ground to reach their objective. They were relieved on 18 September and had one more rotation in the front line before moving to billets near the town of Albert. The first few days in October were spent in reserve and support positions where heavy rains had turned the ground and trenches into a muddy morass. On the night of 5-6 October the battalion moved into the front line for a two day rotation. The men were relieved just after midnight on 7-8 October but Stewart was one of the casualties that last day, suffering a severe shrapnel wound to his chest and left shoulder.

Stewart was admitted to a hospital in Rouen where he had an operation to remove the shrapnel and a month later he was evacuated to England. He was a patient at No. 2 Southern General Hospital in Bristol until 12 January 1917. He spent another two months at a convalescent centre in Wokingham. After that he was invalided to Canada for further treatment, embarking from Liverpool on 12 March on the Letitia and landing at Halifax two weeks later. He was admitted to the Manitoba Military Convalescent Hospital in Winnipeg on 3 April. He became an outpatient at the hospital in September and on 31 December he was honourably discharged from service, due to being medically unfit. His conduct was described as very good and he was awarded the British War and Victory Medals. His brother John Burgess Lohman enlisted in February 1916 and he served overseas with the 8th Battalion. He was wounded at the Battle of Hill 70 in August 1917 and invalided to Canada in February 1918.

After his recovery Stewart returned to Kenora and resumed his career with the CPR. He married a local girl, Kathleen Aubrey Chambre, on 25 October 1918. Kathleen was 20 years old, the daughter of John Brett and Adeline Chambre. She was born in Fort William but her parents had moved to Kenora when she was a child. Her father was employed as an engineer with the CPR. After they were married Stewart and Kathleen lived in Fort William but by the time of the 1921 census they were back in Kenora. They had two children, a daughter Gladys and a son Albert (Bert). Stewart became a conductor with the CPR but he left their services in 1933. After that he worked for the Department of Northern Development and for the Town of Kenora as a weigh scale attendant. He was a member of the Kenora branch of the Canadian Legion and he served as a volunteer fire fighter from about 1930 until his death in 1961.

Stewart passed away at the Kenora fire hall on 22 August 1961, at age 69. He was survived by his wife Kathleen and their two children. His brother John had died in Manhattan, New York in 1942. Stewart’s funeral was held on 25 August and he’s buried in the veterans section of Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora. Kathleen passed away in Surrey, British Columbia in 1981, at age 82, and she’s buried in Victory Memorial Park in Surrey.

By Becky Johnson

52nd-1914-12-26 52nd-1915-06-16 52nd-1915-06-19 52nd-1915-12-08 Lohman-Stewart-90 Lohman-Stewart-91 Lohman-Stewart-92 Lohman-Stewart-95 Lohman-Stewart-93 Lohman-Stewart-94

Stewart’s original grave marker (bottom photo) has the initial ‘E’ in error. It was replaced by the new grave marker (top photo) in 2015.

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