Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthSeptember 26, 1882
Place of BirthOak Bay, New Brunswick
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinMrs Nellie Perry Rideout (wife), 35 Thornton Avenue, Saco, Maine, U.S.A.
Trade / Callingsurveyor
Service Details
Regimental Number425249
Service RecordLink to Service Record
BattalionRoyal Canadian Regiment
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentWinnipeg, Manitoba
Date of EnlistmentSeptember 3, 1915
Age at Enlistment33
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathOctober 7, 1970
Age at Death88
Buried AtChapel Lawn Memorial Gardens, Winnipeg

Rideout, Joseph Harding

Private Joseph Harding Rideout enlisted in September 1915 and served overseas for three years, about half that time with the Royal Canadian Regiment. He was wounded at the Somme but he survived the war and returned home in March 1919.

Joseph was the only son of Harding Rideout and his first wife Lydia Dolen. Harding and Lydia both grew up in the Oak Bay area in Charlotte County, New Brunswick. They were married in 1878 and Joseph was born in Oak Bay on 26 October 1882. In 1883 Harding and his family moved to Winnipeg where they stayed for a short while before settling in Rat Portage (now called Kenora), in northwestern Ontario. Lydia died in December 1894, when Joseph was 12, and two years later Harding married Mary Elizabeth Turner.

Joseph’s father was very involved in business and civic affairs in Rat Portage. He invested in real estate and mines, owned a furniture store, and worked as a carpenter and building contractor. He was also a Justice of the Peace, mayor of Kenora from 1908 to 1910, and a member of the town council, the Board of Trade and the school board. The Rideout area in Kenora was named for the family and was known at first as the Rideout Estates.

Joseph worked as a clerk in his father’s furniture business before being taken on as a surveyor for the Canadian Pacific Railway. He had an aunt living in Saco, Maine and when he visited her one winter he met Miss Nellie Perry Winslow. Nellie was the oldest daughter of Burton and Annie Winslow and she’d grown up in Saco, where her father worked as paymaster at a cotton mill. She attended Colby College in nearby Waterville and graduated in 1907. Joseph and Nellie were married in Saco on 31 December 1912. They settled in Kenora, living on Rupert Road with Joseph’s parents.

In August 1915 the war entered its second year and Joseph enlisted a month later, signing up in Winnipeg on 3 September with the 45th Battalion. The 45th was mobilized and recruited in Manitoba but several volunteers from Kenora joined the unit. In the spring they trained at the exhibition grounds in Winnipeg and in June they moved to Camp Sewell (later renamed Camp Hughes), east of Brandon. After spending another winter in Winnipeg the battalion left for overseas on 8 March 1916. A snowstorm delayed the trains as they headed east and they passed through Kenora late that night. The recruits embarked from Halifax on the SS Lapland on 17 March and arrived in England on 25 March. After another two months of training Joseph was transferred to the Royal Canadian Regiment and sent to France.

The Royal Canadian Regiment had spent a year in Bermuda before being shipped to England in September 1915. They served in France for several months as Corps Troops and in early 1916 they became part of the 7th Brigade in the new 3rd Canadian Division. Joseph arrived in a large draft of reinforcements in June, during the Battle of Mount Sorrel. The unit had suffered heavy losses in the first few days of the assault. They spent three more months in the Ypres Salient with the rest of the Canadian Corps and in early September they were moved south to take part in the Somme Offensive.

On 16-17 September the Regiment took part in an operation near Courcelette, attacking over open ground against heavy rifle and machine gun fire. They suffered more than 250 casualties before being relieved the second day. After a period to rest and refit they were sent into the trenches on 2 October. Enemy artillery and snipers were very active and the unit had another 70 casualties during the rotation. Joseph was one of the injured, with a shell or gunshot wound to his left arm. He was admitted to No. 12 General Hospital in Rouen on 7 October and by early November he had recovered and rejoined the Regiment.

In 1917 the Canadians took part in the battles of Vimy Ridge in April and Hill 70 in August. In October, just before the assault on Passchendaele, Joseph was put on command to the Assistant Provost Marshall, 3rd Canadian Division. He served in that capacity, as part of the military police, for the next year. In October 1918 he had two weeks leave in the UK. When he returned to France he became ill and he spent a month in No. 7 General Hospital in Wimereux. In late December he rejoined the Royal Canadian Regiment. They were in Mons, Belgium at the time, where they’d been since the Armistice. They spent another five weeks in Belgium, entraining for Le Havre on 1 February 1919 and embarking for England on the SS Mona’s Queen on 6 February. They left for Canada on 1 March, sailing from Liverpool on the SS Adriatic and arriving in Halifax eight days later. Joseph was discharged on demobilization on 15 March in Halifax.

During the war Nellie had spent some time in Saco with her family but she was back in Kenora when her husband returned home. They moved to Winnipeg a short time later. Joseph worked for the post office for the next 25 years, retiring around 1944. He passed away in Deer Lodge Hospital on 7 October 1970, at age 88. Nellie died in 1977 and they are both buried in Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens in Winnipeg.

By Becky Johnson

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