Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthApril 12, 1892
Place of BirthNorman, Ontario
CountryCanada
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs Bella McIntosh, mother, Harrison Mills, British Columbia
Trade / CallingClerk
ReligionPresbyterian
Service Details
Regimental Number1048540
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion242nd Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentHarrison Mills, British Columbia
Date of EnlistmentAugust 24, 1916
Age at Enlistment24
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathAugust 31, 1962
Age at Death70
Buried AtOcean View Burial Park, Burnaby, British Columbia

McIntosh, Donald Fergus

Donald Fergus McIntosh was born on 12 April 1892 in the village of Norman, a community a few kilometres west of Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in northwestern Ontario. His parents were Peter Hugh McIntosh and Isobel (Bella) Jamieson, the couple marrying on 30 December 1885 in VanKleek Hill, Ontario. Their first child, son Hamish Crecare, was born in 1886 in Montreal. By the time of the 1891 census the family was living in Norman where Peter was working as a lumber shipping clerk. Children born in Ontario were Herbert Douglas (1888) and Donald. By the turn of the century the family had moved to Winnipeg where Peter was working as a traveller (sales representative). Son Hugh Swane was born in Winnipeg in 1900. At the time of the 1911 census Donald was no longer living with his parents and siblings in Winnipeg, having found a job at a sawmill in Banning in the district of Thunder Bay. The family reunited, moving to the Harrison Mills area in Fraser Valley in British Columbia where Peter managed a sawmill, likely the Rat Portage Mill.

Donald enlisted with the 242nd Battalion on 24 August 1916 in Vancouver. His occupation was given as clerk and his mother Bella in Harrison Mills as next of kin. The 242nd Battalion was based in Montreal, Quebec and began recruiting sometime in mid 1916 in Montreal and the surrounding district. As a Private with the battalion, Donald embarked from Halifax aboard the Mauretania on 30 November 1916. The unit was absorbed into the Canadian Forestry Corps Depot upon arrival in England.

In January of 1917 Donald arrived in France to serve with the No 19 Company, Canadian Forestry Corps. The Canadian Forestry Corps provided lumber for the Allied war effort by cutting and preparing timber in the United Kingdom and on the continent of Europe. Forestry units also cleared terrain for the construction of installations such as airfields and runway, prepared railway ties, as well as lumber for the creation of barracks, road surfaces, ammunition crates, trench construction, etc. These units were sometimes called on in the First World War to perform as infantry. (canadiansoldier.com)

On 1 January 1918 Donald was appointed Acting Lance Corporal. In mid March he was granted a fifteen day leave to the UK. On 30 August Donald sustained an accidental injury to his right foot and toes. He was evacuated to England, later discharged from the hospital on 8 September. Reverting to the rank of Private, Donald proceeded overseas for service with the 29th Battalion on 4 October. With the end of the war he returned to England in mid January of 1919 and was appointed Acting Corporal on the 17th at Bramshott. He embarked for Canada on the Cassandra on 24 June and was discharged from service on 10 July on demobilization in Montreal.

At the time of the 1921 census Donald was living with his parents in Harrison River/Mills where he was working as a carpenter. On 29 June 1925, in Vancouver, he married Kathleen Moffatt Bond. At the time he was working as a saw filer. Born in 1893 in the registration district of West Ham, Essex in England, Kathleen was the daughter of Reginald Bond and Beatrice Frost. Along with her parents and some of her siblings, she arrived in Canada on the Virginian on 7 May 1910. By the next year the family was farming in the Coquitlam area.

It is not known if the marriage failed or if Kathleen died (a death record was not found). It is likely that the marriage was short lived with various city and Voters lists listing Donald as single. It appears that the couple gave birth to one child, daughter Jean. Around 1944/45 Donald married Gladys Emily McKinnon. Born in 1912 in Saskatchewan, Gladys was the daughter of Malcolm McKinnon and Adelaide Amelia Hay who farmed in the Tecumseh area of Assiniboia. For many years Donald worked as a saw filer for the Anderson Brothers Company while Gladys owned her own book store.

Donald died on 31 August 1962 in the General Hospital in Vancouver. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Gladys, daughter Jean Archibald of Calgary, and his brother Hamish. He was predeceased by his father Peter (1925), mother Bella, brother Hugh (1920), and brother Herbert (1961), all in the Vancouver and surrounding area. Gladys died on 13 April 1969 in Richmond. Donald and Gladys are interred in the Ocean View Burial Park in Burnaby, BC, Donald’s grave unmarked.

By Judy Stockham

Obituary provided by Mike Melen.


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