|Date of Birth||October 27, 1889|
|Place of Birth||Quilquox, Aberdeenshire|
|Next of Kin||Alexander Mitchell, father, Quilquox, Ellon PO, Aberdeenshire, Scotland|
|Trade / Calling||Teamster|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Conscripted|
|Address at Enlistment||302 Main Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Date of Enlistment||January 5, 1918|
|Age at Enlistment||28|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||November 20, 1976|
|Age at Death||87|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
William Littlejohn Mitchell was born on 27 October 1889 in Quilquox in the registration district of Savoch, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. His father Alexander Mitchell, a crofter/farmer, was from Tarves while his mother Margaret (Maggie) Littlejohn was New Deer, both communities within a 15 kilometres radius of Quilquox. Alexander and Maggie married on 28 December 1888 in New Deer. Other children born to the family were Alexander Charles (1891), Maggie (1892), Elizabeth (Lizzie) (1894), Isabella (1895), Mary Ann (1896), James Littlejohn (1899), Joseph George (1900-1901), and Katie Jeanie (1903). By the time of the 1911 census for East Quilquox household members were Alexander and Maggie and children Maggie, Mary Ann, and James.
William immigrated to Canada in 1910, arriving in Quebec aboard the Athena on 26 April. He was on his way to Port Perry, Ontario, found working as a labourer on the John Leask farm in the area at the time of the 1911 census. William’s brother Alexander also immigrated to Canada, the two ending up in Winnipeg where they lived in an apartment on Main Street.
With the onset of conscription in the latter part of the war, William and Alexander were called up on 5 January 1918 in Winnipeg. At the time William was working as a teamster and Alexander as a chauffeur. Both gave their father back in Scotland as next of kin. With the 2nd Draft of the 1st Depot Battalion Manitoba Regiment, they arrived in England aboard the Grampian on 16 February 1918, taken on strength with the 18th Reserve Battalion.
In June 1918 William and Alexander were transferred to the 52nd Battalion. The 52nd Battalion was authorized on 7 November 1914, recruited in Port Arthur, Kenora, Fort Frances and Dryden, Ontario, was mobilized at Port Arthur and embarked for Britain on 23 November 1915. It disembarked in France on 21 February 1916 where it fought as part of the 9th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division in France and Flanders until the end of the war. However, a short time later William’s and Alexander’s paths separated as William was transferred to the 27th Battalion, arriving at the unit on 25 August. Recruited in the same area, it disembarked in France on 18 September 1915 where it fought as part of the 6th Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Division.
Having sustained a gunshot wound to the back of his leg, on 3 October 1918 William was admitted to the No 20 General Hospital in Camiers. He was evacuated to England and admitted to the 2nd West General Hospital in Manchester on the 10th. In early November he was transferred to the Military Convalescent Hospital Woodcote Park in Epsom, discharged on 3 February 1919. With the end of the war William embarked from Liverpool for Canada aboard the Caronia on 29 March. He was discharged from service on 10 April in Winnipeg with his intended residence given as Winnipeg. A few days after William’s wounding his brother Alexander also sustained a gunshot wound (ankle) and having been invalided to England had been discharged from Woodcote Park just days before William’s arrival. Alexander was discharged from service on 10 March 1919 in Winnipeg.
A 1921 census entry for an age appropriate William Mitchell suggested that he was living on Fort Street in South Winnipeg where he was working as a labourer. His later obituary stated that he worked as a boilermaker for the Canadian Pacific Railway. It appears that he did not marry and eventually moved to Norman, Ontario, a village a couple of kilometres west of Kenora. Retired by the time of a 1957 Voters list, while in the area William was a member of the Keewatin Branch of the Canadian Legion.
William’s mother died in 1934 followed by his father in 1936, both interred along with their son Joseph in the Savoch Church Cemetery, Auchnagatt, Aberdeenshire. His brother Alexander married in 1922 and died in Winnipeg in 1967, interred in the St Vital Cemetery with his wife Isabella. William’s brother James immigrated to Canada after the war, marrying in Winnipeg in 1935, and later moving to New Westminster, British Columbia where he died in 1974.
William died on 20 November 1976 in the Pinecrest Home for the Aged in Kenora. He is interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora. Previously unmarked, his grave marker was provided by Last Post Fund in August of 2020.
By Judy Stockham