Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthMay 22, 1889
Place of BirthSmith Falls, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of Kinfather, James H Ross of Winchester, Ontario
Trade / CallingRailroading
Service Details
Regimental Number1090403
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion21st Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentBank of Ottawa, Westboro, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentMarch 12, 1917
Age at Enlistment27
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Decorations and MedalsMilitary Medal
Death Details
Date of Death19400813
Age at Death51
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Ross, George

Private George Ross earned a Military Medal for his actions in a raid at Neuville Vitasse in late April of 1918, suffered a bullet wound to his knee at Amiens, and lost his life in an accident in 1940.

George Ross was born on 22 May 1889 in Smiths Falls, Ontario. His father James Herkhimer Ross was from the Belleville area while his mother Mary Christie was from Kingston, both in Ontario. The couple married in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba in November of 1882. Returning to Kingston, their first child, daughter Jessie Augusta, was born in November of 1883. By 1887 the family had moved to Smiths Falls where more children were added to the family, Elenor (Nellie) in 1887, George, and Marion in 1900. George’s father was involved in the newspaper industry, listed as editor, journalist, and printer in various records. Sadly, George’s sister Nellie died in 1905 followed by his mother Mary in 1908, both victims of tuberculosis. In 1913 George’s father James married widow Eliza Blanche (née Gardner) Agnew in Winchester, Ontario where the couple were to live.

George signed his attestation papers with the 253rd Battalion in Ottawa on 12 March 1917. He gave his father James in Winchester as next of kin and his occupation as ‘railroading’. In mid April he was transferred to the 207th Battalion and embarked from Halifax aboard the Olympic on the 28th of May.

Once in England George went through a series of transfers (7th Reserve, 156th Battalion, 21st Battalions) before being taken on strength with the 21st Battalion at Г‰taples, France on 1 March 1918.

For his actions during a combined raid of the 19th and 21st Battalions on the enemy’s position at Neuville Vitasse on 28-29 April 1918, George was recommended for a Military Medal which he was later awarded on 29 August 1918.

During the heavy fighting at Amiens on 8 August of 1918, George sustained a bullet wound to the knee. He was first admitted to the No 1 Canadian Field Ambulance and then transferred to the N 9 General Hospital in Rouen. On the 12th he was invalided to England and admitted to the Edmonton General Military Hospital in London where surgery was performed to remove the bullet from his knee. In early October he was transferred to the Bearwood Park Convalescent Hospital for a few days before being discharged and granted sick leave until October 23rd. George embarked from Liverpool for Canada aboard the Tunisian on 23 December 1918 and was discharged from service on 30 January 1919 in Ottawa.

George’s intended residence after the war was given as Ottawa where his sister Jessie was living but by the late 1920’s he was living in Winnipeg, Manitoba where his British War and Victory Medals were sent. He later moved to northwestern Ontario where he found work at a plant at Hawk Lake, about 25 kilometres east of Kenora.

Predeceased by his mother Mary in 1908 and his father James in 1935, George died on 13 August 1940  on the train tracks at  McMillan, Ontario, 5 kilometres west of Hawk Lake. He had been to Kenora and it was thought that he left on a freight train heading east later that night. He is interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario. George’s gravemarker was replaced in 2015.

by Judy Stockham


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