Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthProbably between 1871 and 1874
Place of BirthClarence Creek, Russell County, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinJoseph Presley (father), Clarence Creek, Ontario
Trade / CallingTrapper
Service Details
Regimental Number820733
Service RecordLink to Service Record
Battalion141st Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentMay 17, 1916
Age at EnlistmentIn his 40's
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathAround November 20, 1927
Age at DeathIn his 50's
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Presley, John Arthur

Private John Arthur Presley was born in Clarence Creek, Russell County, Ontario. His parents were Joseph Presley, a farmer, and Jane Conn. Joseph and Jane were both Irish and born in the Clarence Creek area. John grew up there and he was one of at least ten children. At some point he moved west and when the 1911 census was taken he was living in the Russell House hotel in Kenora, Ontario.

The war started in August 1914 and John enlisted in Kenora on 17 May 1916. His occupation was trapper, his address was Kenora and next of kin was his father in Clarence Creek. John gave his birth date as 4 June 1871, making him 45, but based on census records he was likely two or three years younger than that. He signed up with the 141st (Bull Moose) Battalion, which was being recruited in northwestern Ontario. John probably left for Port Arthur on 1 August with the other Kenora volunteers. He was given farm furlough from 25 August to 25 September and afterwards he rejoined his unit in Port Arthur.

In November a medical board recommended that John be discharged from service, due to having varicose veins and being overage. He was discharged in Port Arthur on 19 January 1917 in consequence of being medically unfit for further service.

Sometime after his discharge John returned to the Kenora area and went back to his occupation of trapping. Sadly, he died in November 1927 in what was probably a trapping accident. Newspaper accounts state that he was found dead in mid-December near his camp at Whitefish on Lake of the Woods. The informant for his death registration was Constable William Woods. John’s date of death was recorded as “about 20th of November” and his age was estimated as about 50.

John was buried on 30 December 1927 in Lake of the Woods Cemetery. His grave is in the Eastern Section of Chapel Grounds Block and he has no grave marker. His parents both passed away in 1918 and they’re interred in Clarence Cemetery in Clarence Township, Russell County, Ontario.

By Becky Johnson

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