Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthNovember 13, 1898
Place of BirthKenora, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinHarriet Ann Campbell (mother), P.O. Box 587, Cranbrook, British Columbia
Trade / CallingMachinist
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number2024308
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion1st Reserve Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedConscripted
Place of EnlistmentVancouver, British Columbia
Address at EnlistmentP.O. Box 587, Cranbrook, British Columbia
Date of EnlistmentJune 20, 1918
Age at Enlistment19
Theatre of ServiceGreat Britain
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathFebruary 10, 1960
Age at Death61

Murgatroyd, Sydney

Private Sydney Murgatroyd was the son of Benjamin John Murgatroyd and Harriet Ann Taylor. Benjamin and Harriet were both born in England. They were married in 1894 in Rat Portage, Ontario, where Benjamin worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway. They had at least five children: Jessie May (1894), Bertram (1896), Sydney (1898), Harriet Edith (1904) and Benjamin Edwin James (1908). Sydney was born in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) on 13 November 1898.

When the 1901 census was taken Benjamin was working as an engineer in the Kootenay district of British Columbia. His wife and children may have still been living in Rat Portage and the youngest daughter Edith was born there in 1904. Benjamin passed away in August 1907, apparently in Fort Macleod, Alberta, and he’s buried in Cranbrook Old General Cemetery in Cranbrook, British Columbia. His youngest son Benjamin Edwin was born in Cranbrook eight months later. Harriet remarried there in 1913.

The war started in August 1914 and Bertram enlisted about two years later. He was sent overseas in February 1917. Conscription was introduced in Canada that summer and single men aged 20 to 34 were required to register by November. In March 1918 the Germans launched a massive offensive aimed at breaking through the Allied lines and ending the war. More soldiers were needed overseas and in April single men aged 19 were ordered to report. Sydney was living in Cranbrook at the time and he had his army medical on 19 June in Vancouver. He was found fit for service and called up the following day. His occupation was machinist and next of kin was his mother, Harriet Ann Campbell, in Cranbrook.

Sydney was assigned to the 1st Depot Battalion, BC Regiment. He embarked from Sydney, Nova Scotia on 10 August 1918, arriving in London, England about two weeks later. He was transferred to the 1st Reserve Battalion and he served in the UK for the next ten months. He returned to Canada in June 1919, sailing from Southampton on the SS Aquitania and arriving in Halifax. He was discharged on 25 June in Revelstoke, British Columbia. His brother Bertram had returned just a few weeks earlier.

When the 1921 census was taken Sydney was living in Cranbrook with his mother, his stepfather Donald Campbell and his two younger siblings, Edith and Benjamin. Donald was a locomotive engineer and Sydney was an apprentice machinist. Sydney lived in the U.S. from about 1922 to 1926 and moved there permanently in the spring of 1927, making his home in California. He was married in the early 1930s to Mary McKeone and they lived in Los Angeles. They had a daughter, Mary, who was born in Los Angeles in 1933. Not long after that they moved to Chicago, Illinois and a son, Michael Edward, was born there in 1935. When the 1940 census was taken they were still in Chicago. Sydney was listed as a mechanic working in adult education. His wife Mary was 25 years old and born in Pennsylvania.

Sydney passed away in Santa Clara, California on 10 February 1960, at age 61.

By Becky Johnson

« Back To Soldier Biographies