Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthOctober 3, 1895
Place of BirthKenora, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinFred Mongrain, 4th Avenue South, Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingTrainman
ReligionRoman Catholic
Service Details
Regimental Number439052
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion27th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Date of EnlistmentDecember 25, 1914
Age at Enlistment19
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Decorations and MedalsMilitary Medal
Death Details
Date of Death19660614
Age at Death70
Buried AtBrookside Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Mongrain, Frederick Alfred

Frederick Alfred (Fred) Mongrain was born on 3 October 1895 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora), Ontario. His father Captain Alfred Mongrain was from Trois Rivieres, Quebec and had come to the area around 1877. His mother Marie Perrault was born in St Anne, Manitoba  and had moved to Rat Portage in the mid 1880’s. Captain Mongrain was considered a pioneer lake captain on Lake of the Woods with a record of over sixty years of lake transportation service. He was known throughout the district for his vast knowledge of navigation on Lake of the Woods and throughout the years navigated for lumber and transportation companies as well as passenger craft. Found in the 1901 census for Rat Portage, family members included Fred and Marie, and children Virginia, age 11, Roseanna, age 9, Eugene, age 7, Fred, and Ida, age 2.

With occupation given as trainman Fred signed his attestation papers in Kenora on 25 December 1914. With brown eyes and black hair he was only 19 years old. Along with a number of other Kenora/Keewatin fellows, Fred left for Port Arthur the following June to begin training with the 52nd Battalion. A short time later he was on his way overseas as Private with the 2nd Reinforcing Draft of the 52nd, embarking from Montreal on 4 September 1915 aboard the  Missanabie.

Once overseas Fred was transferred to the 27th Battalion, taken on strength in the field on 20 January 1916. That fall he spent close to a month at the 1st South Midland Casualty Clearing Station with the measles, rejoining the unit in October. The next April Fred was promoted to Corporal and following receiving the award of Military Medal for his actions in the field on 21 August 1917, while wounded, he was promoted to Sergeant.

In November of 1917 Fred sustained shrapnel wounds to the face, ending up in the No 6 Convalescent Depot in Etaples and then the  No 5 Convalescent Depot in Cayeux. Rejoining the 27th Battalion in June of 1918 just days later he was once again wounded, sustaining a gunshot wound to the shoulder.

Evacuated to England, Fred’s participation on the battlefield was ended. On 21 January 1919, Sergeant Fred Mongrain embarked for Canada on the Grampian.

Once back in Kenora Fred continued to work for the Canadian Pacific Railway, eventually retiring in 1961. On 11 August 1919 he married Eileen Jessie Longley in Kenora. Eileen was born in Rat Portage, the daughter of Harry and Jessie (née Atterbury) Longley although in 1916 she had been living in Pipestone, Manitoba where she was working as a housekeeper. The couple had at least one son, Ivan. For the 1921 census Fred and Eileen were living with Fred’s parents in Kenora. At the time of his father’s death in 1946 Fred was living in Fort William.

Predeceased by his mother  Marie in 1929 and his father Alfred in 1946 in Kenora, Frederick Alfred Mongrain died in Deer Lodge Hospital in Winnipeg, Manitoba on 14 June 1966. He is interred in the Military Field of Honour in Brookside Cemetery, Winnipeg. Eileen (Longley) Mongrain died in Vancouver in 1977, informant on her death record listed as her son Ivan Mongrain of Thunder Bay.

by Judy Stockham


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