|Date of Birth||November 7, 1895|
|Place of Birth||Holland Township, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Robert James McKennitt, father, Moosomin, Saskatchewan|
|Trade / Calling||Law Clerk|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Date of Enlistment||November 22, 1915|
|Age at Enlistment||20|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||July 2, 1961|
|Age at Death||65|
|Buried At||Royal Oak Burial Park, Victoria, British Columbia|
|Plot||Section 0 Plot 58 Grave 20|
Along with his twin brother Robert Russell McKennitt, James Lloyd McKennitt was born on 7 November 1895 in Holland Township, Grey, Ontario, date confirmed by their Ontario birth record. Both of his parents Robert James McKennitt, a farmer, and Eliza(beth) Jane Freeborn were from the area and had lost their first spouses to death. Robert had married Isabella Walker in 1886 and together they gave birth to two daughters, Irene Mary Maud (1887) and Isabella Mabel (1892), with Isabella passing away after giving birth to Mabel. Eliza had married farmer Robert Montgomery in 1887, giving birth to daughter Rose Mary Alma the next year. Robert died in 1890. Robert James and Eliza married on 21 November 1894 in Linwood, Waterloo, Ontario. The next year they gave birth to the twins followed by daughter Kathleen Wray in 1899. By the time of the 1901 census for Holland Township, household members were Robert and Eliza and children Irene, Mary, Russell, Lloyd, and Kathleen. Robert’s daughter Mabel was living with her maternal grandparents at the time. The 1911 census found the family living in Markdale, Ontario where Robert was working as a well driller. Children in the household were Russell, Lloyd, and Kathleen. Irene had married John Sutcliffe in 1907 in Morden, Manitoba, Rose Mary had married Samuel Shields in 1908 in Markdale, and Mabel had married Absalom Saunders in 1910 in Lacombe, Alberta.
By 22 November 1915 when Lloyd and Russell signed their attestation papers, the family was living in Moosomin, Saskatchewan, Robert involved in well drilling. Both boys gave their date of birth as 7 December 1895 and their father in Moosomin as next of kin. At the time Lloyd was working as a law clerk and Russell as a drug clerk. As Privates with the 217th (Qu’Appelle) Battalion, Lloyd and Russell arrived in England aboard the Olympic on 9 June 1917. Upon arrival the battalion was absorbed by the 19th Reserve Battalion.
In October 1917 the boys were transferred to the 15th Reserve Battalion, struck off strength together on posting to the 46th (South Saskatchewan) Battalion in November. The 46th Battalion was authorized on 7 November 1914 and embarked for Britain on 23 October 1915. On 11 August 1916 it disembarked in France where it fought with the 10th Infantry Brigade, 4th Canadian Division in France and Flanders until the end of the war. The unit has come to be known as ‘The Suicide Battalion‘ with 1 433 killed and 3 484 wounded, a casualty rate of 91.5 percent in 27 months.
On 2 September 1918 at Arras, both Lloyd and Russell sustained serious injuries, Lloyd a shrapnel wound to this left shoulder and Russell a gunshot wound to the chest that penetrated his lung. First admitted to the No 12 Canadian Field Ambulance and then a hospital in Г‰taples, Lloyd was invalided to England on the 6th and admitted to the 2nd West General Hospital in Manchester. In mid October Lloyd was transferred to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital Woodcote Park in Epsom, discharged in mid November. Lloyd embarked for Canada aboard the Canada on 15 February 1919 and was discharged from service as medically unfit (wounds) on 22 March in Regina.
Russell had also been invalided it England, admitted to the Endell Street Military Hospital in London in late September. After spending time in two other hospitals, Russell returned to Canada aboard the Araguaya in late December 1918. He was admitted to the Manitoba Military Hospital in Winnipeg and would also spend time at a convalescent hospital in Keewatin, Ontario. Russell was discharged from service as medically unfit on 15 July 1920 in Winnipeg.
After the war Lloyd returned to Moosomin. Over the years he was to work at a number of different jobs in Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia. By the late 1930’s he was living in northwestern Ontario, working at the gold mine in Jackson Manion near Red Lake. The J-M Consolidated Mines Company owned a number of mines in the area, including in the Patricia Portion of the Kenora District. At some point while living in northwestern Ontario Lloyd joined the Kenora Branch of the Canadian Legion. On 17 March 1939, in Winnipeg, Lloyd married Beatrice Muriel Suttie. Born on 12 November 1907 in Winnipeg, Beatrice was the youngest daughter of Major James Malcolm and Alice Matilda (née Hawkins) Suttie. A Winnipeg Free Press article noted that after the wedding the couple would live in Jackson Manion.
By the time of a 1945 Voters list Lloyd and Beatrice were living in Fort McMurray, Alberta where Lloyd was working as a mechanic, and by a 1957 list they were living in Victoria, British Columbia, Lloyd’s occupation given as dock worker on the list. He was working as a mechanic helper for the Dominion National Defence, a job he held until a couple of months before his death.
Lloyd died on 2 July 1961 in the Vancouver General Hospital. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Beatrice, his step sister Rose Mary (Samuel) Shields in Hamilton, Ontario, and his sister Kathleen (Elmer) McKerricher in Victoria. He was predeceased by his father in 1940 and his mother in 1957, both interred in the South Cemetery in Moosomin, his half sisters Irene Sutcliffe in 1918 in Weyburn, Saskatchewan and Mabel Saunders in 1959 in Lacombe, Alberta, and his twin brother just months before him on 10 February 1961 in the Ste Anne’s (Veterans) Hospital in Ste Anne de Belleville, Quebec. Beatrice died on 1 May 1972 in the Queen Victoria General Hospital in Victoria and is interred beside Lloyd in the Royal Oak Burial Park in Victoria.
By Judy Stockham
Gravemarker photos: provided by Betty & Dan, findagrave.com