Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Place of BirthIvy (Orillia), Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinDonald McKinnon, father, 1312 Ford Street, Fort William, Ontario
Trade / CallingFarmer
ReligionRoman Catholic
Service Details
Regimental Number2383657
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion43rd Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedConscripted
Address at Enlistment1312 Ford Street, Fort William, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentFebruary 4, 1918
Age at Enlistment21
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarNo
Death Details
Date of DeathOctober 1, 1918
Age at Death22
Buried AtMill Switch British Cemetery, France
PlotC. 7.

McKinnon, John Daniel

Their first born child, John (Jack) Daniel McKinnon was the son of Donald (Dan) and Ellen  (Nellie) (née Doulan) McKinnon who had married 26 June 1895 in Orillia, Ontario. For the 1901 Canada census the family was living in Orillia where Donald was working as a general labourer. Household members were Donald, age 35, Ellen, age 26, John, age, 5, Hugh, age 4, and Roy, age 4 months.  By the 1911 Canada census the family had moved to Fort William, Ontario, address given as Island No 2. Along with Donald, Nellie, John, and Hugh were two new family members, Mary, age 8, and Edna, age 1. Young Roy had died on 20 April 1902. Donald was working as a dairyman.

By 1913 John had started to work for the Woolworth Company in their store on Victoria Avenue in Fort William, and in 1916, appointed as manager, he was sent to Kenora, Ontario to open up a new store.

John signed his  recruitment papers on 4 February 1918 in Port Arthur, Ontario although he had his medical examination in Kenora the previous October. According to the Fort William Daily Times Journal newspaper, he left Fort William for England on 10 April 1918 and arrived in France 4 September 1918.

With the 43rd Battalion, less than a month later, Private John Daniel McKinnon was reported as killed in action in the attack northeast of Tilloy on 1 October 1918. From the War Diary of the 43rd Battalion, the operation on 1st October 1918 started at 5 a.m. when the Battalion jumped off. They were relieved on the 2nd and casualties for the two days were approx. 260 men killed, wounded and missing. His final resting place in the  Mill Switch British Cemetery, Tilloy les Cambrai, France.

Private John Daniel McKinnon is commemorated on page 461 of the First World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, on the Kenora Cenotaph, and on the Kenora Legion War Memorial.

by Judy Stockham

McKinnon-John-Daniel-2 McKinnon-John-Daniel-3 McKinnon-John-Daniel-4 McKinnon-John-Daniel-5 McKinnon-John-Daniel-6 McKinnon-John-Daniel-7 McKinnon-John-Daniel-8

photograph of Woolworths in Kenora courtesy of the Lake of the Woods Museum Archives
Fort William Daily Times Journal article courtesy of the Thunder Bay Public Library

research notes:  Although John gave his birth date as 08 October 1891, it is likely he was born in 1895 as shown in the 1901 Canada Census and his obituary, or in 1896 as shown on the 1911 Canada Census. No birth record could be found. His occupation was given as farmer although he had been managing a Woolworth store in Kenora prior to his enlistment.

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