Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthAugust 29, 1893
Place of BirthKenora, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinAnna Margach Preston, mother, c/o RW Ferrier Esq, Box 64, PO Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingBank Clerk
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental NumberN/A
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion43rd Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at Enlistment691 Jessie Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Date of EnlistmentJanuary 4, 1916
Age at Enlistment23
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJuly 5, 1959
Age at Death66
Buried AtMountain View Cemetery, Vancouver, British Columbia

Preston, Sidney Johnston Margach

Sidney Johnston Margach Preston was born on 29 August 1893 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora), Ontario. His parents Robert Edwin Preston and Anna Margach were both from the Kawartha Lakes area, Robert from Manvers and Anna from Lindsay. The couple married on 15 July 1884 in Port Arthur, Ontario. In 1890 the they moved to Rat Portage where Robert took on a teaching position. Children born in Rat Portage were Norah (1891) and Sidney. In 1895 Robert was appointed principal and in 1905, leaving the field of education, became Registrar of Rainy River/Town of Kenora. Robert died in May of 1915 and, following Sidney, in 1916 Anna and Norah moved to Winnipeg.

Sidney signed his Officer’s Papers with the 100th Battalion (Winnipeg Grenadiers) on 4 January 1916 in Winnipeg, rank of Lieutenant. Former military service was given as with the 98th Regiment in Kenora. His occupation was given as bank clerk and his mother Anna in Kenora as next of kin. Although the battalion embarked from Halifax aboard the Olympic on 18 September 1916, Sidney was not listed on the nominal roll, embarking on 23 September instead. Arriving in England on 6 October he was attached to the 100th Battalion on the 16th. A day later Sidney was admitted to the Cherryhinton Military Hospital in Cambridge (vdg, vds) and was discharged from the hospital on 3 March 1917. Meanwhile he was transferred to the 11th Reserve Battalion when the 100th Battalion was absorbed by it in January 1917. In mid April 1917 Sidney was admitted to the West Cliff Canadian Eye and Ear Hospital in Folkstone with acute tonsillitis. Although he had had his tonsils previously removed, a piece was missed. Discharged from the hospital on 7 May, Sidney was readmitted on 22 September and had surgery to remove the piece. He was also diagnoses with Vincents Angina (trench mouth). He was discharged on 7 November and given three weeks sick leave.

In March of 1918 Sidney proceeded overseas for service with the 43rd Battalion, taken on strength as reinforcement form England on the 22nd. On 8 September he was admitted to the No 14 General Hospital in Wimereux with pneumonia, with discharge from the hospital on the 24th and being granted 21 day sick leave. In late December he was admitted to the same hospital for a couple of days with synovitis of the knee. In January of 1919, suffering from myalgia, Sidney was admitted to the Prince of Wales Hospital in Marylebone in London on the 20th and was discharged on the 6 February. He was first posted to the 11th Reserve Battalion, on to the 18th Reserve Battalion, and then transferred to the Canadian War Graves Detachment overseas in mid May. In early July Sidney returned to England and embarked for Canada aboard the Baltic on 13 August. He was discharged from service on demobilization on 30 August in Toronto, intended residence upon discharge given as Kenora.

By the mid 1920’s Sidney was living in Vancouver, British Columbia where over the years he worked as a bookkeeper. He never married. In the mid 1950’s he developed cancer, returning to Kenora to stay with his sister and have treatment at Deer Lodge in Winnipeg. About a month before his death returned to Vancouver where he died on 5 July 1959 in Shaughnessy Hospital. Predeceased by his father and then his mother in 1950, at the time of his death he was survived by his sister Norah Calder in Kenora who was also listed as his next of kin on his Veteran’s Death card. Norah later died in 1972. Sidney is interred in Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver.

By Judy Stockham

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