Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthAugust 29, 1894
Place of BirthWhetstone, Middlesex, London North
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMother: Elizabeth Parfitt, Post Office Box 149, Keewatin, Ontario
Trade / CallingCooper
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number2383808
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedConscripted
Address at EnlistmentPost Office Box 149, Keewatin, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentApril 17, 1918
Age at Enlistment23
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathNovember 12, 1977
Age at Death83
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Parfitt, Arthur Robert

Arthur Robert Parfitt was born on 29 August 1894 in London, England.  He was the youngest child of Fred Parfitt and Elizabeth Woodhouse. Siblings included: Frederick John (b. 1882; served with British Army in WW1), Catherine Emma (1884-1972; married Edwin Thomas Barnard); William Joseph  (1886 – 1963); Agnes Elizabeth (1887-1935; married Albert Deverell); Minnie Jessie (1890-1980; married Alfred Balchin); and David George  (1891-1916; killed in action during WW1).

Arthur grew up and was educated in England at a technical school. He and his brother, David, belonged to the Boy’s Brigade.  In 1910 they (David and Arthur) immigrated to Canada arriving on 15 May aboard the S.S. Tunisian. They stayed with a Woodhouse relative of their mother in Keewatin Ontario.  Their parents followed the next year. Arthur joined the local militia unit – the 98th Regiment – and trained with them for two years. On 17 April 1918 he was drafted and signed papers with the 1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment in Port Arthur, Ontario. At that time, Arthur was single and working as a cooper at the Lake of the Woods Milling Company in Keewatin. He did not go overseas due to a leg injury and was discharged in Port Arthur in 1919.  Arthur is commemorated for his service on Keewatin’s St. James Anglican Church Roll of Honour, on the Lake of the Woods Milling Company Roll of Honour, and on the Municipality of Keewatin For King and Country plaque.

That same year, Arthur married Mary Anne Bilow on 29 July in Port Arthur. In 1920 their daughter Elizabeth Mary was born in Port Arthur. The family moved back to Keewatin and Arthur resumed employment with the flour mill as a cooper. The 1921 Canadian Census shows the family living in the ‘slab town’ area of Keewatin. Four more children were born: David (1922-1986; served in WW2 with the Lake Superior Regiment), Frederick (1924-1951; in the navy during WW2), William (1926-2004), and Joseph (1931-1931).

Arthur worked at the flour mill for 50 years retiring from there as a stationary engineer.  He belonged to the Legion Branch 13, the Minnetonka Lodge #292 and St. James Anglican Church, all in Keewatin.  His wife Mary died in 1951 and in 1956 Arthur got remarried to Lillian Barnard (widow of Christopher Barnard).

Arthur died on 12 November 1977 in Kenora and is buried beside his first wife, Mary, in Lake of the Woods Cemetery.

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Photographs courtesy of grandson David Parfitt.

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