Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthMay 1, 1899
Place of BirthMontreal, Quebec
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinFred Mackie (father), Souris, Manitoba
Trade / CallingLabourer
Service Details
Regimental Number187300
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion27th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentWinnipeg, Manitoba
Date of EnlistmentOctober 23, 1915
Age at Enlistment16
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathOctober 21, 1968
Age at Death69
Buried AtSkyline Memorial Gardens, Portland, Oregon

Mackie, Edward Rosswell

Private Edward Rosswell Mackie enlisted in October 1915, at age 16, and served overseas for almost two years. After suffering an injury he was sent back to Canada due to being medically unfit and underage.

Edward was born on 1 May 1899 in Montreal, Quebec. His parents were Frederick Thomas Mackie, a glass blower, and Florence Reid. Fred and Florence were married in Montreal in January 1896 and Edward was the third of their four children: Edith Beryl (born November 1896), Arthur Edward (born 1898, died as a child), Edward Rosswell and Muriel. Florence passed away in 1904, at age 27, and she’s buried at Mount Royal Cemetery in Montreal. Frederick moved to the U.S. and married again around 1907. His second wife, Anna Sophia Severit, was born in 1883 in Belleville, St. Clair County, Illinois. Her father, Friedrich Severit, had emigrated from Germany and her mother, Augusta, was born in Illinois.

At the time of the 1910 census Fred and Anna were living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and they had two more children, Lillian (age 2) and Fred Jr. (age 1), both born in Illinois. Not long after that the family moved to Canada and settled in Beausejour, Manitoba. When the 1911 census was taken Fred was working there as a glass blower and they had another son, Thomas, age seven months. By 1916 Fred was working as a locomotive fireman for the Canadian Pacific Railway. He enlisted with the 108th Battalion in February 1916 and trained with the unit for about five months. He was discharged in July, due to being medically unfit for service.

Edward had enlisted in Winnipeg on 23 October 1915, signing up with the 90th Battalion. He was only 16 years old at the time but he passed himself off as 18. After training over the winter his unit embarked for England on 31 May 1916 on the SS Olympic, sailing from Halifax and arriving at Liverpool about nine days later. On 8 July Edward was posted to the 11th Battalion. On 27 August he was transferred to a front line unit, the 27th (City of Winnipeg) Battalion and sent to France. Around the time he joined his unit the Canadians were moving south to the Somme to take part in the British offensive there.

On 9 October, during the Battle of the Somme, Edward was classed as Permanent Base and assigned to the Canadian Corps Composite Company. In December he was ill with influenza and he spent four days recovering in a field ambulance. On 4 July 1917 he was transferred to the Canadian Corps Salvage Company and that same month it was learned that he was underage. On 25 July he was sent to the 2nd Infantry Base Depot as a minor and four days later he was on his way back to England.

Edward wanted to join the Royal Flying Corps when he was old enough but in the meantime he was posted to the Manitoba Regiment Depot to serve as an orderly. On 8 September while on duty he was thrown from a bicycle and he suffered a Pott’s fracture to his right fibula. He was admitted to No. 11 General Hospital at Shorncliffe where he recovered until 8 October. He spent a further two and a half weeks at the Monks Horton convalescent centre. In early November Edward rejoined the Manitoba Regiment Depot, where he served for another three months. His right ankle continued to bother him and walking any distance was painful. He was invalided to Canada on 31 January 1918 on the SS Olympic, arriving at Halifax on 13 February. He was discharged in Winnipeg on 12 March, due to being medically unfit and underage.

Edward’s family had moved to Kenora, Ontario around 1916. When Edward passed through there in February 1918, on his way to Winnipeg, the Kenora paper referred to him as a local lad. He may have spent a short time in Kenora after his discharge but later that same year he moved to Saskatchewan. He was married in Melville, Saskatchewan on 15 January 1919. His wife, Winnie (Winifred) Nuernberg (or Nurenberg), had emigrated from Russia in 1913. Edward and Winnie had a son, Jack, born in 1921 or 1922 in Kenora followed by a son, Robert, in 1924 in Port Arthur. In 1927 they moved to the U.S. and settled in Billings, Montana. A daughter, Shirley, was born there around 1934.

When the 1940 census was taken Edward and his family were living in Portland, Oregon and he was working for a building contractor. He passed away in Portland on 21 October 1968, at age 69. His wife died in 1972 and they are both buried at Skyline Memorial Gardens in Portland. His father had passed away in Kenora in 1939 and he’s buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery along with other family members.

By Becky Johnson

Grave marker photo courtesy of Steve McBride on

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