Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthFebruary 25, 1894
Place of BirthStirling, Stirlingshire
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinSister, Mrs. F. Mackenzie, Ballinluig, Scotland
Trade / Callingbutcher
Service Details
Regimental Number439215
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion52nd Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentKeewatin, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentMay 20, 1915
Age at Enlistment21
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathNovember 13, 1971
Age at Death77

McLellan, Murdoch

Murdoch McLellan was one of many recent immigrants to enlist for service with the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the Great War.

Murdoch, born in Stirling, Stirlingshire, Scotland in 1894, came to Canada in the spring of 1913 to settle in Keewatin, Ontario where his mother Mary’s brother, James Dempster, had settled several years earlier along with several other relatives. Murdoch worked as a butcher in Keewatin.

In the spring of 1915 the Kenora enlistment depot was seeking volunteers to fill the ranks of the 52nd (New Ontario) Battalion, the first of three infantry battalions to be raised in Northwestern Ontario throughout the war. Kenora had been allotted a quota of 100 volunteers for the battalion and easily exceeded that number.

Murdoch signed his attestation papers for overseas service on May 20, 1915 and after training in Port Arthur and Valcartier, Quebec sailed with the battalion to England in November of 1915. In February 1916 the battalion moved to France where it became part of the Canadian Corp, 3rd Division.

McLellan was with the battalion during most of the Canadian Corp’s major battles over the next two years including Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele.

Hospitalized for brief periods on four occasions for fever, he was also wounded twice. Suffering a gunshot wound to the head in June 1916 that required a five day stay in hospital, a wound to the knee in June 1917 that kept him out of the frontlines for a week.

In late August of 1918 he was sent to hospital with another fever and this time it was serious enough to evacuate him to England where he spent the rest of the war in a convalescent hospital before being discharged to the army reserve system in December 1918. In March 1919 McLellan returned to Canada and was formally discharged from service on April 3, 1919 in Winnipeg where he settled and resumed his trade as  a butcher.

In 1922 he returned to Keewatin for his marriage to Emma Erickson, a stenographer he’d met in Winnipeg. The wedding was held Dec. 27, 1922 at his uncle’s house in Keewatin.

Murdoch and Emma returned to Winnipeg, and in 1925 moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota where Emma had been born.

The 1931 census records them as living there with two children. Raymond age, 5 and Alice, 3.

Murdoch and Emma remained in Minneapolis where he worked as a meat cutter.

Murdoch McLellan passed away Nov. 13, 1971 in Minneapolis. His WW1 service is commemorated on the Town of Keewatin Honour Roll plaque, the Municipality of Keewatin For King and Country plaque, and on the Lake of the Woods Milling Company Roll of Honour.

by Bob Stewart


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