Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthOctober 28, 1887
Place of BirthGlasgow
Marital StatusMarried
Next of Kinwife, Janet McIlwraith of Keewatin, Ontario
Trade / CallingClerk
Service Details
Regimental Number439549
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion52nd Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Date of EnlistmentAugust 5, 1915
Age at Enlistment27
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathFebruary 10, 1933
Age at Death45
Buried AtMount Vernon Cemetery, Mount Vernon, Washington

McIlwraith, William Shankland

William Shankland McIlwraith was born on 28 October 1887 in Glasgow, Scotland. His parents were David McIlwraith and Agnes Shanklin. According to the 1901 Scotland Census his siblings included: Jeanie (b.1884), Thomas (b. 1886), Maggie (b.1889), Hastings (b. 1893), and Isabella (b. 1896).

William immigrated to Canada arriving on 30 June 1912.  His occupation was listed as railway clerk and he was going to Keewatin, Ontario. When William married Janet Dinning McCubbin on 30 June 1914 he was working as a packer in the flour mill in Keewatin.

World War 1 broke out in August 1914 and a year later, on 5 August 1915, William enlisted with the 52nd Battalion in Kenora (a neighbouring town of Keewatin).  It was December 1915 when he arrived in England with his unit and February 1916 before he set foot in France. William was first wounded at the Battle of Mount Sorrel on 3 June 1916.  He suffered a gunshot wound to his forehead and lip and spent two weeks at #23 General Hospital in Etaples before rejoining his unit. On 21 September 1916 he was wounded again during heavy shelling. He was treated for shell shock in #22 General Hospital and at the #6 Convalescent Depot for a month before returning to the 52nd Battalion. William’s service records show he was taken on strength by the Canadian Infantry Brigade as a ‘runner’ on 12 May 1917. He had ten days leave to the UK in September 1917 and two weeks leave to the UK in October 1918.  At the end of January 1919 William returned to the UK and the Manitoba Regimental Depot.  After some time with the 18th Reserve Battalion he made his way back to Canada aboard the Cretic. William’s official discharge came on 30 April 1919. He had spent 36 months in France.

William returned to Keewatin, his family and his job as packer at the flour mill. The 1921 Canadian Census shows that William and Janet had a son, David, who was born in 1920. In 1924 the family moved to the United States. They are found on the US 1930 Census living in Mount Vernon, Washington. William was working as a laborer in a laundry and a second son, Jack, had been born in 1925.

William S McIlwraith died on 10 February 1933 and is buried in Mount Vernon Cemetery, Mount Vernon, Washington.



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