Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthDecember 22, 1896
Place of BirthRat Portage (Kenora), Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs. Harriet Ann Campbell (mother), Cranbrook, British Columbia
Trade / CallingMachinist
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number931453
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion54th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentCranbrook, British Columbia
Date of EnlistmentMay 16, 1916
Age at Enlistment19
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJuly 26, 1968
Age at Death71
Buried AtWestlawn Cemetery, Cranbrook, British Columbia

Murgatroyd, Bertram

Bertram Murgatroyd was born on 22 December 1896 in Rat Portage (Kenora), Ontario. His parents were Benjamin John Murgatroyd and Harriet Ann Taylor. Siblings included Jessie May (b. 1894), Sydney (1898-1960), Harriet Edith (1904-1982) and Benjamin Edwin James (1908-1967). Bertram’s father, Benjamin Sr., worked for the railroad. When he married in 1894 he was a fireman for the Canadian Pacific Railway. The 1901 census shows Benjamin Sr. working as an engineer in the Kootenay district of British Columbia. He apparently passed away in Fort Macleod, Alberta in August 1907 and he’s buried in Cranbrook Old General Cemetery in Cranbrook, British Columbia.

The 1911 Canadian census shows Harriet Murgatroyd is a widow and she and her children were living in Cranbrook, British Columbia.  In April 1913 Harriet remarried Donald Campbell in Cranbrook.

Bertram was working as a machinist in Cranbrook when he enlisted with the 225th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force on 16 May 1916. In July he travelled to Vernon for training. In the fall of 1916 the battalion was moved to New Westminster in final preparation for the journey overseas. They entrained there and travelled for five days across the great expanse of Canada in the cold January of 1917. Embarkation for England took place on 26 January 1917 from Halifax on the ship S.S. Grampian. They arrived at Plymouth, England on 6 February 1917, and immediately entrained and arrived at the camp, Seaford, Sussex on the 7th. Bertram was assigned to the 16th Reserve Battalion. Strenuous training was the order of the day. On the 3rd of May in 1917, Bertram was posted to the 54th Battalion (known as the Kootenay Battalion). He entrained bound for Southampton and embarked to Le Havre on the 4th, left for his unit on the 7th and joined the unit in the Field on the 21st of May. This was the day on which Lieut.-Col. A.B. Carey, D.S.O. reported to the Battalion to take over command.

Training was again commenced and carried on daily. Sports were also freely indulged in, and on the 27th of May, brigade sports were held in which the 54th carried off the honours, both in football and track events. The Canadians continued operations in the Arras area. The 54th alternated between holding the front line and being relieved and moving back to the Chateau de la Haie. At the end of July, the 54th moved into the Vimy salient near the town of Lievin in preparation for the taking of the town of Lens. In November 1917 the battalion took part in the battle of Passchendaele. Bertram earned  a promotion to the rank of Corporal in March of 1918. Serving for another year without injury he was struck off strength to Canada and returned aboard the S.S. Mauretania at the end of May 1919. His official discharge due to demobilization was on 13 June 1919 in Hamilton, Ontario. His brother Sydney Murgatroyd was called up in June 1918 and he served in Canada and the UK for a year.

Bertram returned to British Columbia and married Mary Florence Nichol Bathie on 7 August 1926. They had at least one child – daughter Margaret. Bertram worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway for 28 years, retiring from the position of night locomotive foreman in December of 1961.

Bertram Murgatroyd died on 26 July 1968 in Cranbrook, British Columbia. He is buried in Westlawn Cemetery in Cranbrook. His wife passed away in 1992.


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