Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthApril 18, 1862
Marital StatusMarried
Next of Kinwife, Margaret Peters of Keewatin, Ontario
Trade / CallingBlacksmith
ReligionRoman Catholic
Service Details
Regimental Number821001
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion141st Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentKeewatin, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentAugust 26, 1916
Age at Enlistment54
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathMay 12, 1958
Age at Death96
Buried AtMountain View Cemetery, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Peters, Fred

Fred Peters was likely born on 18 April 1862 in France, son of Antoine & Marguerite Peters. He  came to  Canada about 1880 and made his way from Montreal with a team of oxen to Whitewood, near  Regina. From there he followed the trail to  Great Slave Lake where he was one of only three white men. He worked as a trapper for the Hudson’s Bay Company  for seven years.

At the time of the 1901 census Fred was living in northwestern Ontario where he was working as a blacksmith at the Regina Mine. That year in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora), he married, names on the registration given as Ferdinand Joseph Pistre and Margaret Horrigan. Born in 1871 in Salem, Massachusetts, Margaret Organ was the daughter of William Organ and Anna Cassidy who had married in Salem in 1870. The family had immigrated to Fort William around 1878 where Margaret was raised in a Catholic orphanage after the death of her mother in childbirth in 1879. In 1907 Fred and Margaret gave birth to son John Joseph Felix in Kenora’s sister town of Keewatin where Fred was working as a blacksmith. By 1911 they were living in Crystal City, Lisgar, Manitoba with Fred’s occupation listed as blacksmith on the census. The family returned to Keewatin where Fred continued to work as a blacksmith.

On the 26th of August 1916 Fred enlisted with the 141st battalion in Kenora, Ontario. He gave his year of birth as 1882 although elsewhere in his service record the year was given as 1861. His place of birth was given as Marseilles, France while his marriage record gave Toulon as his place of birth and his obituary said he was born and educated in St Julia. He was sent to Port Arthur for training. On 21 April 1917 his unit left Port Arthur heading for Halifax where they boarded the S.S. Olympic for the trip across the Atlantic. Once there, Fred was transferred to the 18th Reserve Battalion and then on to the 8th Battalion that September. In November he sustained a shrapnel wound to the leg and in December, at Ypres, Fred was buried by a shell explosion. He was admitted to the No 7 Canadian General Hospital in Etaples on the 19th suffering from pneumonia and was invalided to England. After spending time in hospitals in England, diagnosis pneumonia, senility, myalgia, and impaired function of his leg, it was decided that Fred be returned to Canada. He embarked from Liverpool on 22 June 1918 and was discharged as being medically unfit for further war service on 20 August 1918 in Winnipeg. Fred is commemorated for his service on the Municipality of Keewatin For King and Country plaque and the Town of Keewatin Roll of Honour plaque.

Fred returned to Keewatin in 1919 but the family moved to Thunder Bay soon after where he worked as a gateman for the CPR. His wife Margaret died in 1920. He was remarried in 1923 to Mrs. George Norman (the former Martha Bond). Fred’s son Felix married Ivy Norman, daughter of George and Martha, in 1934 in Fort William. At the age of 68 (in 1930) Fred retired and continued to live in Thunder Bay.  Fred was a member of St. Thomas Anglican Church and a life member of the Canadian  Legion. He lost his sight in 1951  but continued to enjoy fishing.

Fred died at the age of 96 on 12 May 1958 in Thunder Bay, Ontario. His Veteran Death Card listed his wife, Martha Peters of Fort William, Ontario as his next of kin. He is buried in a military plot in Mountain View Cemetery, Thunder Bay, Ontario. Martha died in 1963, followed by his son Felix in 1971.

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