|Date of Birth||July 15, 1884|
|Place of Birth||Tealing, Forfarshire|
|Next of Kin||Mrs WB Taylor, mother, Kenora, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Labourer|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||526 Stiles Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Date of Enlistment||December 20, 1915|
|Age at Enlistment||31|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||Yes|
|Date of Death||April 13, 1932|
|Age at Death||47|
|Buried At||St Cuthbert's Church Cemetery, Lytham, Lancashire, England|
Although he gave his year of birth as 1888 on his attestation papers, George Ogilvie Lunan was born on 15 July 1884 in Tealing, Forfarshire in Scotland (confirmed by birth record). Tealing is about 10 kms north of the city of Dundee in what is now the county of Angus. George’s father Thomas Lunan was from Menmuir, while his mother Isabella Ogilvie was from Kirriemuir, both communities located nearby. Thomas and Isabella had married in 1880 in Kirriemuir where David, their first child, was born later that year. The 1881 Scotland census found the family living in Montrose where Thomas was working as a railway surface man. Their daughter Isabella was born the next year in Inverarity. By the time of George’s birth the family had moved to Tealing where Thomas was working as an estate labourer.
George’s father died in 1888 and by the 1891 Scotland census George, his mother, and brother David were living with Isabella’s father Thomas Ogilvie on his farm near Inverarity. George’s sister Isabella was living with relatives. George’s mother married William Bell Taylor in Mains in 1900 and the couple gave birth to a daughter Susan later that year. George was living in Wellbank House, Monifieth with his grandfather for the 1901 Scotland census; his grandfather was listed as a farmer employer on the census.
George, his mother, and half sister Susan were found on the passenger list of the Empress of Ireland that arrived in Halifax on 20 December 1907. They were heading west to Kenora, Ontario to join Isabella’s husband William. The 1911 Canada census found the family living on River Street in Kenora where William was working as a labourer and George as a boatman.William and Isabella gave birth to another daughter, Annie.
George signed his attestation papers in Winnipeg on 20 December 1915. Working as a labourer, he had been living on Stiles Street in Winnipeg. He gave his mother, Mrs W Taylor in Kenora, as next of kin. The 101st Battalion had been organized in Winnipeg in November of 1915 with training taking place throughout the winter of 1916 before moving to Camp Hughes in May. As a Private with the 101st Battalion, George embarked from Halifax aboard the Olympic on 29 June 1916.
Once in England George was transferred to the 17th Reserve Battalion and from there to the 16th Battalion, reporting to the 16th at Contay, France on 16 September 1916. During the attack on Regina Trench that October, he suffered gun shot wounds to both legs on the 8th. George was invalided to the 26th General Hospital in Etaples and then to the 1st Western General Hospital in Liverpool. From late November until mid March of 1917 he convalesced at Blackpool in Lancaster and Epsom in Surrey. During that time he was posted to the 14th Reserve Battalion. He was promoted to Acting Lance Corporal on the 4th of May.
George was found medically unfit to return to duty and transferred to the 11th Reserve Battalion on October 15th, awaiting return to the battalion. Voluntarily reverting to the rank of Private he was posted back to the 16th Battalion on 20 March 1918. He was based at the Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre at Boulogne until early August.
A Kenora newspaper reported the death of George in late fall of 1918 but he had been taken prisoner at Cuvillers on October 1st. With the end of the war, he was repatriated to the Manitoba Regimental Depot on the 6th of December. George embarked from Liverpool aboard the Royal George on 10 February 1919, arriving in Halifax ten days later. He was discharged from service at Port Arthur, Ontario on March 24th.
George returned to Winnipeg after the war. Perhaps while he was convalescing at Blackpool George met his wife to be, Rachel Gertrude Bayliss. Born in the district of Whitehaven in Cumberland, Gertrude was the daughter of David and Elizabeth (née Humpage) Bayliss. The family settled in Lytham in Lancaster, a community only a short distance from Blackpool. Gertrude arrived in Canada aboard the Metagama on 24 October 1919 and they were married in Kenora on the 6th of November.
George and Gertrude took up residence in Winnipeg but Gertrude made a number of extended trips back to England after their marriage. George was found lodging with the Gregory family on Pine Street and working at a grain elevator for the 1921 Canada census. Gertrude gave birth to their son George in 1922, birth registered in the district of Fylde in Lancaster. George joined the family in Lytham in Lancaster, arriving in England in mid December of 1929 aboard the Duchess of Atholl.
Predeceased by his mother Isabella in 1928 in Etobicoke, Ontario and his half sister Susan (Taylor) Miller in 1931 in Kenora, George died of pulmonary tuberculosis in Adlington, Lancashire, England on 13 April 1932. His Veteran Death Card listed his wife, Gertrude Lunan of Lytham, Lancashire, England as his next of kin. It also noted that his death was due to service during the war. He is interred in St. Cuthbert’s Church Cemetery, Lytham, Lancashire, England.
Gertrude never remarried and died in 1984 in the registration district of Sefton North, Merseyside. Their son George married Sylvia Walsh during the 3rd quarter of 1946, marriage registered in the district of Fylde, Lancaster.
by Judy Stockham
Grave marker photographs courtesy of Robert Dobbie, findagrave.com
Photograph of George provided by Bill Zroback