|Date of Birth
|September 5, 1892
|Place of Birth
|Next of Kin
|Gerrie McLeod, 448 Greenwood Place, Winnipeg, Manitoba
|Trade / Calling
|Link to Service Record
|Canadian Record Office
|Canadian Expeditionary Force
|Enlisted / Conscripted
|Date of Enlistment
|March 16, 1916
|Age at Enlistment
|Theatre of Service
|Prisoner of War
|Date of Death
|June 22, 1938
|Age at Death
|Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
James Norman McLeod was born on 5 September 1892 in Toronto, Ontario. His parents Samuel James and Winnifred Victoria (née Jones) McLeod had married in Toronto in 1885. Samuel’s occupation over the years was listed as bookkeeper. Children born to the family in Toronto were Dorothy Marie (1885-1958), John Keith (1889), Norman, Janet Blanche (1894-1895), and Samuel Nelson (1896-1978). By 1903 the family had moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba where two more children were added to the family, Marie Lucille (1903-1982), and Winnifred Laura (1904-1994). Sadly, Norman’s father Samuel died in March of 1904, four months before the birth of his last daughter.
On 26 September 1914, in Winnipeg, Norman married May Jeanette ‘Gerrie’ Bathie. Born in Winnipeg in 1893, Gerrie was the daughter of William and May (née Erskine) Bathie. With occupation given as accountant and his wife Gerrie as next of kin, Norman signed his attestation papers in Winnipeg on 16 March 1916. For active Militia he gave the 34th Fort Garry Horse. As a Sergeant with the 222nd Battalion, Norman embarked from Halifax for overseas on the Olympic on 14 November 1916.
Once in England Norman was transferred to the 19th Reserve Battalion and then in late March of 1917, reverting to Private, to the 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles. Landing in France in September of 1915, the 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles were to serve at Mount Sorrell, the Somme 1916, Flers-Courcelette, Ancre Heights, Arras 1917, 1918, Vimy 1917, Hill 70, Ypres 1917, Passchendaele, Amiens, Scarpe 1918, Hindenburg Line, Canal du Nord, Cambrai 1918 and Valenciennes.
Norman was granted a Good Conduct Badge in March of 1918. In late July he was struck off strength to the Canadian Corps Survey Section. Organized in France in May 1918, the Canadian Corps Survey Section, Canadian Engineers, was formed by absorbing the Corps Topographic and Intelligence Observation Sections. Duties were mainly flash-spotting and the accurate setting of battery positions. In November 1918 Norman was attached to the Canadian Section 3rd Echelon General Headquarters. The three echelons were for units that were not part of and didn’t take orders from one of the four Canadian Divisions. The 3rd Echelon included ‘transport and other units that remained permanently in the rear of the fighting lines, at base camps, depots, hospitals, etc.’ In February of 1919 Norman was transferred to the Canadian Records List, remaining attached to the 3rd Echelon. On the first of March he was promoted to Corporal in France. In May he was taken on strength with the Canadian Record Office and appointed Acting Sergeant at Witley that June. Returning to Canada in early July, Norman was discharged from service due to demobilization on the 12th in Montreal.
After the war Norman returned to Winnipeg to work for the Atlas Insurance Company. It is likely that he and Gerrie moved to Chicago and that the marriage ended in divorce as they both later remarried in Chicago, Norman in 1926. Norman’s second wife Josephine Sidebottom was the daughter of Reynold and Annie Sidebottom and had been born in 1901 in Medicine Hat, Alberta. By the early 1930’s Norman and Josephine had opened a tourist camp, Sioux Point Lodge, near Sioux Narrows in northwestern Ontario. Later renamed Red Indian Lodge, the camp operated up until the fall of 2017. He also had the first store in Sioux Narrows where later the Northland Camp and Restaurant was built. Norman was a member of the Northern Light Masonic Lodge, the Carleton Club, and Pine Ridge Golf Club in Winnipeg. He was also a member of the St Stephens Broadway Church.
Predeceased by Josephine in 1937, Norman died on 22 June 1938 at the lodge. At the time of his death he was survived by his mother Winnifred of Winnipeg, brothers John of Toronto and Nelson of Winnipeg, and sisters Dorothy (Robert) McRae and Lucille of Winnipeg and Winnie (Frank) Lindsay of Whitefish Bay, Sioux Narrows. Josephine and Norman are interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.
Both of Norman’s brothers served during the war. With occupation given as clerk, John Keith enlisted at Camp Sewell in July of 1915. His service number indicates that he was with the A Section of the No 1 Field Ambulance Depot. Further details of his service are unknown. Samuel Nelson, also a clerk, enlisted with the 190th Battalion in Winnipeg in March of 1916. At some point while overseas he was transferred to the 44th Battalion. John and Nelson returned to Canada after the war.
by Judy Stockham
photograph of Norman from Beyond the Bridge: Sioux Narrows