Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthFebruary 28, 1900
Place of BirthRat Portage (Kenora), Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs D P Clark, mother, 254 Russel St, Brandon, Manitoba
Trade / CallingClerk
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number700682
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion101st Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Date of EnlistmentJanuary 10, 1916
Age at Enlistment15
Theatre of ServiceGreat Britain
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJuly 31, 1951
Age at Death51

McGuire, Russell Edward

Russell Edward McGuire was born on 28 February 1900 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora), Ontario. Both of his parents, Edwin Ernest McGuire and Mary Jessie (May) Parsons, were from Quebec. The couple married in late 1885 in Richmond, Quebec although Edwin was listed as working in Montreal as a fireman, presumably with a railway, at the time of the marriage. The 1891 Canada census found the couple, along with two year old son Henry and domestic Katie Parsons, living in Hochelaga in Quebec where Edwin was working as a railroad engineer.

By the time of the 1901 Canada census, the family had moved to Rat Portage where Edwin continued to work as an engineer for the Canadian Pacific Railway. Other children born to the family were Georgianna (abt 1895), Edwin (stillborn, 1896), Genevieve (Jennie) (abt 1897), Russell, and Edwin Ernest (1902). Tragedy was to strike the family in 1903 when father Edwin was killed in a railroad accident that August.

In August of 1905, May married David Patrick Clark in Rat Portage. David, born in Montreal, was also a locomotive engineer. While in Rat Portage/Kenora, the couple gave birth to two children, Marguerite May (1906) and Preston David (1910). The 1911 Canada census found David and May and children Genevieve, Russell, Edwin, Marguerite, and Preston living on 5th Avenue South in Kenora.

For the 1916 census for Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, David and May were living on Russell Street in Brandon. Other household members were Preston and Marguerite, and stepchildren Edwin and Russell. Russell was listed as serving with the 101st Battalion.

With occupation given as clerk, and his mother Mrs DP Clark in Brandon as next of kin, Russell signed his attestation papers in Winnipeg on 8 January 1916. To appear older than his actual age of 15, he gave his date of birth as 3 March 1897.

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. However, 10 days after enlisting, Russell was admitted to a hospital with tonsillitis, discharged the third week of March. The battalion embarked from Halifax aboard the  Olympic on the 29th of June; on board was Private Russell McGuire. A photo of the 101st Battalion before leaving showed Russell as a bugler.

Once in England the battalion was absorbed by the 17th Reserve Battalion. In late November of 1916 Russell was taken on strength with the 34th Battalion and appointed Acting Lance Corporal, with pay, on the 27th. However, found underage with poor physique, Russell ceased to be attached to the 34th Battalion on proceeding to Canada in mid January of 1917. Aboard the Metagama, he arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick on the 29th, with official discharge on the 25th of February. It was noted on his discharge paper he was of good conduct and character.

Russell married Marjorie Higinbotham on 15 November 1924 in Lethbridge, Alberta. Born in Lethbridge in 1899, Marjorie was the daughter of John David and Margaret Anna (née Torrance) Higinbotham. Russell and Marjorie gave birth to a son Allan in 1928 in Lethbridge. By 1930 the family had moved east, settling in Toronto.

Russell entered the radio business in 1937. He eventually became president of National Programs Ltd, a Toronto company which represented a number of American radio programs in Canada. The couple were found living in Rosedale in Toronto for two voters lists, one in 1935 where Russell was working as a manager, and the other for 1940 where his occupation was listed as radio.

Russell died suddenly on 31 July 1951 in Campbellton, New Brunswick while on a business trip. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Marjorie and son Allan. Marjorie later died in 1969 in Guelph. According to his obituary, Russell was interred in the St James Cemetery in Toronto but the cemetery records show disposition was by cremation with the cremains picked up and not interred.

Russell’s brother Edwin, at age 13, enlisted in Brandon, Manitoba in February of 1916. With the 181st Battalion, his attestation papers had noted him as also being a bugler. Two months later Edwin was discharged from service.

by Judy Stockham

McGuire-Russell-Edward-2 McGuire-Russell-Edward-3 McGuire-Russell-Edward-4 McGuire-Russell-Edward-4b McGuire-Russell-Edward-5 McGuire-Russell-Edward-6

101st Battalion photographs are from the 101st Battalion Souvenir Booklet 1916

« Back To Soldier Biographies