Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthFebruary 14, 1895
Place of BirthRat Portage (Kenora), Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs Catherine McKinnon, mother, Alexandria, Ontario
Trade / CallingFarmer
ReligionRoman Catholic
Service Details
Regimental Number3323533
Battalion2nd Depot Battalion, Eastern Ontario Regiment
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedConscripted
Place of EnlistmentOttawa, Ontario
Address at EnlistmentAlexandria, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentJune 5, 1918
Age at Enlistment23
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Death Details
Date of DeathAugust 28, 1980
Age at Death85
Buried AtAvondale Cemetery, Stratford, Ontario
PlotSt Anthony Section, Lot 032 Subplot 1

McKinnon, Donald Angus

Donald Angus Valentine McKinnon was born on 14 February 1895 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in northwestern Ontario. His father Angus Hugh McKinnon was from the Lochiel area of Glengarry in Ontario while his mother Catherine Jane McRae was from Roxborough, Ontario. Although he had been living in Rat Portage and working as a general merchant, Angus and Catherine married on 19 August 1884 in St Andrews, Stormont, Ontario. The couple made Rat Portage their home, giving birth to children Mary Anne Josephine (1887-1887), Christopher Hugh (1889-1976), Annabel (1891-1988), Clementine (Clemie) (1893-1989), Donald, and John David (1897). Sadly Mary died ten days after her birth.

According to Angus’ later obituary, in his early twenties he had left Glengarry for the northwest by way of the Great Lakes and from Port Arthur over the trail to Rainy River where he lived for a few years. From there he travelled across Lake of the Woods to Rat Portage where he and his brother William opened a general store where they furnished supplies for the various contractors working on the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the area. When the partnership was dissolved, Angus took on prospecting in the district. In 1906 the family moved back to the family farm in Lochiel.

Drafted under the Military Service Act of 1917, Donald was called up for service in June of 1918 at Ottawa. His occupation was given as farmer and his mother Catherine at RR1 Alexandria, Ontario as next of kin. Assigned to the 2nd Depot Battalion, Eastern Ontario Regiment, rank of Private, he was given a farm leave. He was discharged from service by reason of demobilization on 3 December 1918 in Ottawa.

Donald’s brother John was also called up for service in June of 1918 and served as a Private with the 2nd Depot Battalion, Eastern Ontario Regiment in Canada.

On 10 November 1943, in Saint John, New Brunswick, Donald married Margaret (Peggy) Loretta Milne. Born on 14 February 1904 in Port Arthur, Ontario, Peggy was the daughter of William Milne, a merchant, and Harriet Loretta Leroy, the couple marrying in 1895 in Toronto. Donald was working as a meat inspector and Peggy as a civil servant when they married. At some point they moved to the outskirts of Stratford in Ontario where Donald worked as a meat inspector for the Dominion Department of Agriculture. It appears that no children born to the marriage.

Donald died on 28 August 1980 in the Stratford General Hospital. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Peggy and sisters Annabel and Clemie of Toronto. He was predeceased by his father (1932) and mother (1957), interred in the Saint Finnigan’s Catholic Cemetery in Alexandria, Ontario, and brothers John and Christopher (1976, Kenora). Annabel later died in 1988 and Clemie in 1989, both interred in the Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in Thornhill, Ontario. Peggy died in 2000 and is interred with Donald in the Avondale Cemetery in Stratford.

By Judy Thorburn

Grave marker photograph by B.G. Wiehle, Find a Grave ID 47113682
Obituary courtesy of Perth County Archives