Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthApril 20, 1895
Place of BirthKenora, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs Florence McArthur, mother, 27 Hargrave Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Trade / CallingLocomotive fireman
ReligionRoman Catholic
Service Details
Regimental Number3039420
Service Record
Battalion19th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedConscripted
Address at Enlistment27 Hargrave Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Date of EnlistmentMay 23, 1918
Age at Enlistment23
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathDecember 26, 1954
Age at Death59
Buried AtAll Saints Catholic Cemetery and Mausoleum, Des Plaines, Illinois

McArthur, Lawrence James

Lawrence James McArthur was born on 30 April 1895 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora), Ontario. His father Daniel McArthur was from Newcastle, Nova Scotia while his mother Florence/Flora McDougall was from Antigonish, Nova Scotia. The couple married on 26 April 1892 in Rat Portage where Dan worked as an engineer. Children born to the family in Rat Portage/Norman/Kenora were John Angus (1893), Lawrence, May Isabelle (1898-1898), Anna Elizabeth (1899), Gertrude (1901), and Florence (1906). At some point after the 1911 census the family moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Drafted under the Military Service Act of 1917, Lawrence was called up for service in May of 1918, signing his recruitment papers in Toronto on the 23rd although his discharge paper later indicated his date of enlistment as the 5th. He’d had his medical examination the previous October in Winnipeg where he was working as a locomotive fireman. At time of attesting he gave his mother Florence in Winnipeg as next of kin.

With the 78th Draft of the 1st Depot Battalion Central Ontario Regiment, Lawrence arrived in England aboard the Corsican on 8 August 1918. He was taken on strength with the 3rd Reserve Battalion, transferring to the 19th Battalion in early November for service overseas, arriving at the unit on the 17th. That December Lawrence was admitted for a week to the 55th General Hospital in Boulogne. In January of 1919 he was invalided to England sick on the 14th, admitted to the Cambridge Hospital at Aldershot for a few days with influenza, and then on to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Bearwood, Wokingham in Berkshire for two weeks. Lawrence embarked for Canada aboard the Empress of Britain on 23 March and was discharged from service in Winnipeg on 4 April. At the time his proposed residence was given as Winnipeg.

Lawrence’s brother John had also had his medical examination in mid October of 1917 in Winnipeg and was called up for service in early January of 1918. He served overseas during the latter part of the war with the 8th Battalion, returning to Canada in late April of 1919.

It appears that Lawrence immigrate to the United States in April of 1923. Likely living in Chicago at the time, on 7 June 1929 in Whiting, Indiana, he married Bernice Bond. Born on 13 February 1906 in London Mills, Indiana, Bernice was the daughter of Milo and Nell (née Hawkins) Bond. The couple later divorced with Bernice marrying Harry Peterson in 1940 in Bettendorf, Iowa. Over the years Lawrence worked as a taxi cab driver and/or a private chauffeur. His 1942 Petition for Naturalization indicated that he that he had a son Jack who was born in 1927 in Chicago. Lawrence signed his WW2 Draft Registration card in April of 1942 in Chicago.

Lawrence died on 26 December 1954 in Chicago. He was predeceased by his sibling May Isabella in infancy, and parents Daniel (1939) and Florence (1955), both interred in St Mary’s Cemetery in Winnipeg. His siblings Anna Elizabeth (James) Gilchrist later died in 1974 in Toronto, Gertrude (Richard) Kerry in 1971 in Vancouver, Daniel in 1979 in Winnipeg, according to  an online family tree Florence in 1972 in Grand Falls, Newfoundland, and John in 1985 in Winnipeg. Lawrence is interred in the All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines, a suburb of Chicago in Illinois.

By Judy Stockham

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