Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthSeptember 24, 1896
Place of BirthVictoria, Harbour, Simcoe County, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinChristopher Scherk, father 325 7th Avenue South, Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingFlour Miller
Service Details
Regimental Number2383969
Service Record
Battalion1st Depot Battalion Manitoba Regiment
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedConscripted
Address at Enlistment325 7th Avenue South, Kenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentApril 22, 1918
Age at Enlistment21
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJune 6, 1925
Age at Death28
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Scherk, Richard Lawrence

Richard Lawrence Scherk was born on 24 September 1896 in Victoria Harbour, Tay Township, Simcoe, Ontario. His father Christopher Scherk was from Whitechurch, Ontario while his mother Margaret Timmons was from Tecumseth, Ontario, the couple marrying on 5 October 1887 in the village of Stayner. At the time of the marriage both were living in the Township of Nottawasaga where Christopher was farming. Their first child, daughter Elizabeth Jane, was born in 1888 in Nottawasaga. By the time of the birth of their second child in 1890, son William John, the family was living in Victoria Harbour where Christopher was working as a labourer in a local saw mill. Following Lawrence’s birth, son Christopher Robert Clifford was born in 1899 in Victoria Harbour. By the time of the 1901 census the family had moved to the Mikado Mines near Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in northwestern Ontario. It appears that a son, Radford, was born in 1905 at the mine, passing away at the age of 5 months. By the 1911 census the family was living in Kenora.

With the onset of conscription in the latter part of the war, Lawrence had his medical examination in Port Arthur, Ontario on 22 April 1918 and was called up on the 10th of May. At the time he had been living with his parents on 7th Avenue South in Kenora and was working as a flour miller. Originally a Private with the 1st Depot Battalion Manitoba Regiment, Lawrence was transferred to the 10th Battalion Canadian Garrison Regiment. Because of a hernia, his original medical category was changed from A2 to C3, later upgraded to C2, not able for overseas service. That September Lawrence was ill with La Grippe (influenza), hospitalized for five days. In early March of 1919 Lawrence was admitted to the Manitoba Military Hospital in Winnipeg to undergo surgery on the hernia. In the hospital for 38 days, Lawrence was discharged on 2 April. Lawrence was discharged from service on 31 July 1919 in Winnipeg. His intended residence was given as Winnipeg.

On 12 July 1921, in Kenora, Lawrence married Isabel Pearl Wyse. Born in 1901 in Rat Portage, Pearl was the daughter of Russian immigrant Henry Wyse and New Brunswicker Janet Thompson. Her parents had married in 1895 in Rat Portage where Henry was working as a bricklayer. Janet had previously been married to Daniel Chisholm.

Following a protracted illness of cancer of the bowel, Lawrence died on 6 June 1925 in Kenora. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Pearl and his parents in Kenora, and siblings Elizabeth (Robert) Mackie of Toronto and William of Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba. He was predeceased by his brother Christopher in an accident in 1922. Pearl later married WW1 veteran John Richard (Jack) Burnham in 1930. Predeceased by Jack in 1969, Pearl died in 1981 in Pinecrest Home for the Aged in Kenora. Along with his parents and brother Christopher, Lawrence is interred in the family plot in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery.

By Judy Stockham

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