Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthMarch 1, 1876
Place of BirthOttawa, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinJohn F. MacGillivray (brother), Crown Attorney, Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingAssistant Superintendent at Fish Hatchery
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number199359
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion94th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentMay 10, 1916
Age at Enlistment40
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathApril 17, 1941
Age at Death65
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

MacGillivray, Edmund Farquhar

Corporal Edmund Farquhar MacGillivray was the son of Farquhar MacGillivray and Jane Mary MacFarlane of Ottawa, Ontario. Farquhar was from Williamstown in Upper Canada and his wife was born in Montreal. Edmund was born in Ottawa on 1 March 1876. He had two older brothers, John and Archibald, and a younger brother, Grant. Their father was employed for many years as a clerk at the House of Commons. Their mother died of consumption in June 1886, when Edmund was ten years old. Archibald had passed away three months earlier, at age ten, and he and his mother are buried together in Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa.

Edmund and Grant were living at home with their father for both the 1891 and 1901 censuses, with no occupation listed. Their father died in February 1907, at age 74, and he’s buried in Beechwood Cemetery with his wife and son. John was living in Kenora, Ontario by then and Edmund moved to Kenora around 1909. When the 1911 census was taken he was working as a bookkeeper for a grocery firm. John was a Barrister and Crown Attorney for the District of Kenora. He was also a dedicated supporter of the Kenora Thistles hockey team and he served as their secretary in 1907 when they won the Stanley Cup.

In the spring of 1916 Grant was living in Kenora too. The war was in its second year by then and Edmund and Grant enlisted together on 10 May 1916, signing up with the 94th Battalion. Edmund was 40 years old, his occupation was assistant superintendent of a fish hatchery and next of kin was his brother John in Kenora. The 94th Battalion was based in Port Arthur and recruited in towns throughout northwestern Ontario. At the end of May the Kenora volunteers were sent to Port Arthur to join the rest of the battalion and on 9 June they left for Quebec. They trained for a couple of weeks at Valcartier, a military camp north of Quebec City.

Although he passed his medical in Kenora, at Valcartier Edmund was found unfit for overseas service due to a heart condition (mitral regurgitation). He was discharged from the Canadian Expeditionary Force on 24 June and he re-enlisted for Home Service on 27 June. Three days later he was transferred to the Camp Subordinate Staff. Edmund served for another three months and was discharged in Valcartier on 30 September 1916 with the rank of Corporal. His brother Grant MacGillivray was sent overseas in September 1916 and he died of wounds in April 1917.

Edmund returned to Kenora after the war. He worked as a stenographer for Colonel H.A.C. Machin, a Barrister at Law and veteran of both the Boer War and the First World War. Following that Edmund was employed at the local Customs office then with the Department of Highways. He passed away in St. Joseph’s Hospital on 17 April 1941, at age 65. His funeral was held three days later and he’s buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery. He was in an unmarked grave but a veteran grave marker was provided by the Last Post Fund in October 2018. His only surviving brother, John, died in Toronto on 20 August 1942 and he’s buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery.

By Becky Johnson

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