Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthFebruary 4, 1893
Place of BirthOxbow, Saskatchewan
Marital StatusSingle
Next of Kinfather, Robert Parrott of Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingBookkeeper
Service Details
Regimental NumberNA
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion107th Canadian Pioneer Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Date of EnlistmentOctober 22, 1914
Age at Enlistment21
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJanuary 31, 1958
Age at Death65
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Parrott, Cecil Leroi

Cecil Leroi (Roy) Parrott was born on 4 February 1893 in Oxbow, the Territories (now Saskatchewan). His father Robert James Parrott, the son of Irish immigrants, was from Bathurst, New Brunswick while his mother Naomi Caroline Sproule was from the Brock, Ontario area. The couple had married in 1887 in Cornwallis, Manitoba where Robert’s brother Richard was living. Roy’s father had first come to Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in northwestern Ontario in 1882 to work with the bridge and building staff on the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. He left for a few years, returning in the mid 1890’s with Naomi and Roy. In 1907 Robert formed the Parrott Boat Company which he ran until he sold it to the Anderson Boat Company in 1928.

Roy was working as a bookkeeper for the Canadian Pacific Railway when he signed his attestation papers on 22 October 1914 in Kenora, giving his father Robert as next of kin. He had 4 years of previous military experience with Company of the 98th Regiment. With recruitment in Brandon, Portage la Prairie, and Winnipeg in Manitoba, as well as in Kenora and Rainy River in northwestern Ontario, the 27th Battalion was mobilized in Winnipeg. Listed as a Private on the nominal roll of the 27th Battalion, Roy embarked from Quebec aboard the Carpathia on 17 May 1915.

By mid September 1915 Roy was in France with the 27th Battalion. In late January of 1916 he attended an instruction course in dive wiring. The 27th Battalion was to receive its ‘baptism of fire’ in early April of 1916 at the disaster of the Battle of St Eloi. Relieving British troops on the 3rd the battalion occupied the front line trenches, such as they were. Mines had created huge craters and the few actual trenches were waist deep in water. With a shortage of helmets, machine guns, and defensive positions, the Canadians were under constant bombardment on the 4th and 5th. Casualties were high. On the fifth Roy sustained a shotgun wound to the face and eye. On the 15th he was invalided to England where he was to spend time recovering from his wounds at the Cambridge Hospital in Aldershot, the Canadian Convalescent Hospital Bearwood at Wokingham and the Canadian Convalescent Hospital Woodcote Park, Epsom. Due to the wounding Roy lost sight in his eye. He was to stay in London well into the next year, attached to Headquarters and detailed for duty at the Maple Leaf Club. The Club of the Maple Leaf, which got royal patronage and was renamed the King George and Queen Mary Maple Leaf Club, was a place Canadian soldiers could get lodgings and meals while they were on leave in London.

In late June of 1917 Roy was granted a commission with the CEF, Temporary Lieutenant and was taken on strength with the 11th Reserve Battalion on the 7th of July. In late August he was transferred to the 107th Canadian Pioneer Battalion, arriving in France on the 30th and joining the unit in the field on the 6th of September. Later that month he attended the Canadian Corps Gas School.

In November of 1917 Roy became very ill with influenza /pneumonia and was returned to England to recuperate. In January of 1918 he was granted a two month leave to Canada, arriving in Halifax aboard the Saxonia on the 7th of February. His leave was further extended as he required medical treatment. It was recommended that Roy continue to serve in Canada but he was discharged from service on the 31st of May, being surplus to requirements.

On 2 November 1918, in Kenora, Roy married Martha Dalziel. Born in Rat Portage in 1895 Martha was the youngest child of Scottish immigrants John Law and Mary Agnes (née Hunter) Dalziel. Roy and Martha gave birth to two children, James (Jim) in 1919 in British Columbia and John (Jack) in 1923 in Kenora. In early life Roy was employed in the boat building and livery trade and then later as Agent for the Department of Transport Maintenance and Navigation. He was officer commanding the local regiment, non permanent Militia at the outbreak of the war in 1939. He was a member of the Lake of the Woods Lodge AF and AM No 445, the Kenora Branch of the Canadian Legion, the Lake of the Woods United Services Institute, and Knox United Church. In February of 1948 Major Cecil Leroi Parrott, retired list, Royal Canadian Artillery in Kenora, was awarded the Canadian Efficiency decoration.

Predeceased by his mother Naomi in 1911 and his father Robert in 1929, Roy died suddenly at his home at 223 Main Street North on 31 January 1958. His Veteran Death Card listed his wife Martha Parrott of Kenora, Ontario as his next of kin. He is interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora. Martha died in 1979 and is interred with Roy. Roy is commemorated on the Canadian Pacific Railway WW1 Roll of Honour, List 12.

Although details of their service are not known, both of Roy’s sons served during WW2.

by Judy Stockham


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