Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthOctober 11, 1891
Place of BirthNorman, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinNellie Paterson, mother, Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingSalesman
Service Details
Regimental Number29374
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion16th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentValcartier, Quebec
Date of EnlistmentSeptember 23, 1914
Age at Enlistment23
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathSeptember 19, 1976
Age at Death85
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Paterson, Norman William

Along with his twin sister Euphemia, Norman William Paterson was born on 11 October 1891 in the village of Norman, later absorbed by Kenora, in northwestern Ontario. His parents John Alexander Paterson and Helen (Nellie) Clark were both from Dundee, Scotland where the couple had married in 1881. After the birth of their first two children, John in 1882 and Joseph in 1885, John Sr immigrated to Canada in 1885, followed by Nellie and the two children. They settled in Norman where John first worked as a baker, then in the local sawmills for a number of years, returned to baking, and in latter years, as postmaster for the Norman post office. Children born in Canada were Charles (1887), Alexander (1889), Norman and Euphemia, Nellie (1893), James (1896) and Isabelle (1898). A street in Norman bears the Paterson name.

With occupation given as salesman and his mother Nellie in Norman as next of kin Norman signed his attestation papers in Valcartier, Quebec on 13 September 1914. His birth year was recorded as 1892. The 16th Battalion was organized at Valcartier that September with recruits from Victoria, Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Hamilton. The battalion embarked from Quebec on 30 September 1914 aboard the Andania and listed on the nominal rolls was Private Norman Paterson. That December, on Salisbury Plain, the battalion was subtitled ‘The Canadian Scottish’.

The 16th Battalion sailed for France on 12 February 1915 and disembarked at St Nazaire three days later. The battalion was to take part in all the major engagements of the Canadian Corps, including the battles of Ypres, the Somme, Vimy Ridge, and Passchendaele. By April Norman had sustained the first of his injuries, a gunshot wound to the back. He was hospitalized in Rouen before being discharged to the No 3 General Base Depot in mid May. In November of 1915 he was transferred to No 1 Camp Details and then attached to General Headquarters. In March of 1916 he spent ten days in the No 8 General Hospital in Rouen with a case of tonsillitis, returning to Base Depot later that month. In May Norman was granted a seven day leave and by July of 1917 he was taken on strength with the No 2 Canadian Infantry Base Depot with the promotion to Company Quartermaster Sergeant in August. That July Norman was granted a second leave, ten days to the UK.

In March of 1918 Norman was granted a fourteen day leave, and on the 22nd, in Dundee, he married Euphemia Bruce Stewart. Born in Dundee on 26 Oct 1892 Effie was the daughter of James and Euphemia (née Clark) Stewart. In July of 1918 Norman returned to service with the 16th Battalion in France. The next month, at Amiens, he was wounded when buried by a shell explosion, suffering a contusion to his back. First admitted to the No 11 Stationary Hospital in Rouen on the 13th he was invalided to the Beaufort War Hospital in Bristol on the 16th. With the combination of the contusion and the diagnosis of neurasthemia, Norman returned to Canada aboard the hospital ship the Arguaya, arriving on the 10th of January 1919. He was admitted to the Manitoba Military Hospital Tuxedo in Winnipeg and was later discharged from service on the 27th of March.

Norman and Effie were to make the Kenora area their home, first living in Norman and later in both Kenora and Keewatin. They also had a camp on nearby Longbow Lake. Norman and Effie gave birth to two children, Winnifred and Norman. Sadly, Norman died in 1927 at age 5. Norman worked for a number of years for the Lake of the Woods Milling Company in Keewatin and then as warehouse supervisor for the Keewatin Lumber Company. During WW2 he served with the Wartime Prices and Trades Board and was later appointed Indian Agent in Kenora with the Department of Indian Affairs, retiring in 1956. He was a member of the Great War Veterans’ Association, joining in 1926. He was also a member of Knox United Church in Kenora, Minnetonka Lodge No 292 in Keewatin, and the Keewatin Masonic Lodge No 417.

Predeceased by his father John in 1932, his mother Nellie in 1938, and some of his siblings, Norman died at the Lake of the Woods Hospital in Kenora on 19 September 1976. At the time he was survived by his wife Effie and daughter Mrs Winnifred Figley of Winnipeg, two grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Also surviving were his brother James and sister Nellie of Kenora and sister Isabelle Edmunds of Vancouver. Norman’s wife Effie died in 1978 and is interred with Norman in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora.

Norman’s brother James enlisted in Winnipeg in February of 1917 and went overseas with the 2nd Draft of the No 1 Section Skilled Railway Employees. After the war he returned to Kenora where he died in 1989.

by Judy Stockham

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