Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthAugust 14, 1898
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinJack Green or Mrs. Jack Green (Step father & Mother), Cromer, Manitoba (C.N.R. Pump Man)
Trade / CallingLaborer
Service Details
Regimental Number1010198
Service RecordLink to Service Record
Battalion46th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentIndian Head, Saskatchewan
Address at EnlistmentIndian Head, Saskatchewan
Date of EnlistmentSeptember 13, 1916
Age at Enlistment18
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathMay 18, 1951
Age at Death52
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
PlotAngel Crest Block, 59E-38-4

Renger, Carl

Private Carl Renger enlisted in September 1916 at age 18 and served overseas for two years. He was wounded in France in the last months of the war but he survived and returned to Canada in April 1919.

Carl was the only son of Augusta Rabes and her first husband Emil Renger. Carl was born in Germany on 14 August 1898 and came to Canada with his family when he was seven years old. They arrived on the Lake Michigan on 28 March 1905 via Belgium and England with their destination listed as Winnipeg, Manitoba. Carl had one younger sister, Minnette or Minnie, who was born in 1902 in Hanover, Germany. By 1908 Carl’s parents had settled in the village of Davin, Saskatchewan, about 30 km east of Regina. His father died there on 17 May 1909, at age 40. When the 1911 census was taken Carl, his mother and his sister were enumerated in the district of Qu’Appelle, which included Davin. In June 1914 his mother was remarried in Brandon, Manitoba to John Alexander Green. John was from London, England and he worked for the CNR. He and Augusta had one son, Edmund William (b.1915), and when the 1916 census was taken they were living in the village of Cromer in southwestern Manitoba.

In August 1916 the war entered its second year and Carl enlisted a month later, signing up in Indian Head, Saskatchewan on 13 September. He was 18 years old and working in Indian Head as a farm labourer. He joined the 229th (South Saskatchewan) Battalion, which had been mobilized in Moose Jaw a few months earlier and was being recruited in several towns including Indian Head. After training over the winter the unit left for the east coast in the spring and embarked from Halifax on 17 April 1917 on the SS Northland. The recruits were absorbed into the 19th Reserve Battalion, to be used as reinforcement for other units, and six months later Carl was transferred to the 15th Reserve Battalion.

In August 1917 Carl turned 19 years old, the minimum age for service in a front line unit. On 24 November he was transferred to the 46th (Saskatchewan) Battalion and sent to France. After several months at the base depot and the reinforcement camp he joined his unit in the field in March 1918. That spring the Canadians were holding a long stretch of the front line north of Arras. They were relieved in May and went into reserve and during the summer they were given several weeks of intensive training in open warfare. The final period of the war, known now as the Hundred Days Offensive, started on 8 August with the Battle of Amiens and ended in November with the Armistice. The Canadians had some of their greatest victories during that time but they also suffered huge losses, with 20% of their total battle casualties occurring in the last three months of the war. The 46th Battalion was heavily involved, taking part in the battles of Amiens and the Scarpe in August and the capture of the Drocourt-Queant Line in early September. The Canadians were moving east towards Cambrai and in mid-September they began training for the next big offensive, the crossing of the Canal du Nord. The 46th Battalion relieved other units in the front line on the night of 25 September and the next day they assembled for the assault, set to start at 5:20 am on 27 September. They were in the first wave of the attack and they successfully crossed the canal and captured their objective that morning. They continued advancing the next day and in two days of fighting the battalion suffered 370 casualties. Carl was one of the injured, suffering a gunshot or shell wound to his back.

Carl was admitted to a casualty clearing station on 28 September then sent to a hospital in Camiers. From there he was evacuated to England where he spent three months recovering at the 1st Eastern General Hospital in Cambridge. In January 1919 he was discharged from the hospital to a convalescent centre in Epsom and on 19 February he was back with the 15th Reserve Battalion. A month later he left for Canada, embarking from Liverpool on the SS Canada on 24 March and landing in Halifax on 1 April. He was officially discharged on 6 April in Regina.

After the war Carl lived in Regina and Rainy River, Ontario before settling in the town of Kenora. He became known as Charles Henry Ranger and he was married around 1920, probably in Regina. He and his wife Mary had two sons, Norman (b.1921 in Regina) and William (b.1926 in Rainy River). Charles worked in the automotive industry for about thirty years and he was a member of the Legion in Rainy River and Kenora. In 1950 he was hired to work at the post office in Kenora. He passed away at home on 18 May 1951, at age 52. His wife died in 1959 and they are both buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery. Their son Norman served with the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War. He passed away in Kenora in 2011 and his brother William died that same year in California.

By Becky Johnson

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