Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthMarch 24, 1898
Place of BirthSelkirk, Manitoba
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs (Isabella) Corrigan, sister, 247 Ellen Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Trade / CallingLabourer
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number721421, 892398
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion78th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at Enlistment247 Ellen Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Date of EnlistmentDecember 27, 1915
Age at Enlistment17
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathApril 28, 1955
Age at Death57
Buried AtBrookside Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba

McLean, Allan

Allan McLean was born on 24 March 1898 in Selkirk, Manitoba on the outskirts of Winnipeg. His parents were Findley McLean and Sarah Ann Donald, both having Métis roots in the Red River Settlement. The couple married on 8 February 1883 in St Andrews, Manitoba and over the years gave birth to children Charlotte (abt 1882), Donald (1884), Isabella (1887), Catherine Eleanor (1888), Isabella (1890), Jane Mary (1892), Laura (1893), John George (1896), Allan (1898), Alec (1900), and Florence (1904). Charlotte’s birth was not registered while the births of the rest of the children were registered in Selkirk, St Andrews, St Clements or Springfield, all in the same general area in Manitoba. The 1901 census found the family living in the town of Selkirk where Findley was working as a day labourer. Household members were Findley and Sarah Ann, and children Donald, Catherine, Isabella, Jane Mary, Laura, and Allan. By the time of the 1906 census, Allan was living in Badger, Manitoba in the southeastern corner of the province. Listed as lodgers, household members were his mother and siblings Jane Mary, Laura, Allan, and Florence. Sadly Sarah Ann died later that year in Winnipeg. By 1911 Allan was living with farmers George and Adeline Thomas in Selkirk. His father Findley later entered a relationship with Mariah Jane Thomas. Born in 1911 in Balsam Bay, St Clements, Manitoba, Mariah was the daughter of William Robert Thomas and Catherine Anderson. It appears that Findley and Mariah gave birth to at least two children.

Allan signed his first set of attestation papers in Winnipeg on 27 December 1915, assigned service #721421. His occupation was given as labourer, his date and place of birth as 24 March 1897 in Selkirk, and his next of kin as his sister Mrs (Isabella) Corrigan in Winnipeg. While training with the 108th Battalion at Camp Hughes, Allan was found to have a mastoid abscess as well as otitis media. Refusing surgery he was discharged as medically unfit on 31 July 1916. He enlisted the next day in Winnipeg with the 190th Battalion, occupation given as teamster, his date and place of birth as 24 March 1898 in Selkirk, and his father Findley in Winnipeg as next of kin.

Transferring to the 251st Battalion, Allan was hospitalized a number of times in Winnipeg in 1917 while in training (vdg, otitis media, old mastoid). As a Private with the battalion, he arrived in Liverpool, England aboard the Metagama on 17 October 1917. Shortly after arrival Allan was transferred to the 18th Reserve Battalion. That November he was admitted to the Canadian Hospital at Etchinghill (vdg) and then to the Westcliffe Ear and Eye Hospital in Folkestone in March of 1918. A medical report from the hospital indicated that Allan had had surgeries on the mastoid in 1916 and 1917 in Canada but that the eardrum was perforated and there was a purulent discharge from the ear. In October of 1918 Allan was drafted to the 78th Battalion, joining the unit in the field on the 28th where he was to serve until the end of the war. After a bout of influenza in February, he returned to England in early May, embarking from Liverpool for Canada aboard the Adriatic on the 31st. Allan was discharged from service on 12 June in Winnipeg, intended residence given as Portage la Prairie.

Little is known about Allan’s life after the war. On 28 June 1933, in Winnipeg, he married widow Laura Jane (née Folster) McKay. Born in 1884 in St Clements, Laura was the daughter of George Folster and Nancy Sinclair. Her first husband James Albert McKay had died in an accident at the paper mill in Kenora in 1926. Together the couple had at least 11 children, sadly three of the McKay boys dying in 1944 in service, John Albert, Alexander Allan, and Hugh Robert. It appears that Allan and Laura lived in Portage la Prairie for a while as well as Kenora where Allan joined the Kenora Branch of the Canadian Legion. His father Findley died in 1942, interred in the St Luke’s Anglican Cemetery in Balsam Bay, Manitoba.

Allan’s wife Laura died on 21 August 1952 in the Winnipeg General Hospital. Along with her first husband, she is interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora. Allan died on 28 April 1955 in Deer Lodge Hospital in Winnipeg. His Veteran Death card listed his sister Mrs (Jane Mary) McCorrister of Winnipeg as his next of kin. Allan is interred in a military plot in Brookside Cemetery, Winnipeg.

By Judy Stockham

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