Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthMarch 21, 1896
Place of BirthKenora, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinLouisa Sewell, mother, Selkirk, Manitoba
Trade / CallingLabourer
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number721059
Service Record
Battalion108th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentSelkirk, Manitoba
Date of EnlistmentNovember 26, 1915
Age at Enlistment19
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details

Sewell, Claude

Claude Sewell was born on 21 March 1896 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora), Ontario. Both of his parents John Sewell and Louisa Sarah Parr were from England, immigrating to Canada around 1891 according to later census records. Their first child, daughter Gladys, was born in 1893 in Rat Portage where John was working as a cook. Son Horace was born in 1894, and at the time of Claude’s birth John was working as a laundry man. Daughter Olive was born in May of 1898, but sadly she died that August and is interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora. By the 1901 census the family had moved to Winnipeg where John was working as a merchant/tailor at the time of the census. For the 1911 census his occupation was given as dyer/wool work. Children born in Winnipeg were John (Jack) (1902), Fred (1904), Edith (1905), and Louise (abt 1906). John died in 1916, death listed in Selkirk, Manitoba where the family was living at the time of the 1916 census.

Claude enlisted with the 108th Battalion on 26 November 1915 in Selkirk, Manitoba. His occupation was given as labourer and his mother in Selkirk as next of kin. Illegally absent, Claude was discharged from service on 18 March 1916 at Camp Hughes in Manitoba.

Further trace of Claude was not found after deserting and he may have assumed an alias. He was not living with the family in Selkirk at the time of the 1916 census. At the time of the 1921 census his mother Louisa was living in Winnipeg with children Horace, Jack, Fred, Edith, and Louise. Also lodging with the family was Harry Thompson who his mother would later marry. Louisa died in 1953 in Winnipeg, brother Fred in 1962 in Winnipeg, sister Gladys Mitchell in 1967 in Fort Lupton, Colorado, brother Horace in 1969 in Winnipeg, brother Jack in 1984 in Winnipeg, and his sister Edith McElroy in 1995 in Los Angeles. Further trace of Claude’s sister Louise was not found after a 1924 border crossing record when she was on her way to her sister Gladys in Colorado.

Claude’s brother Horace enlisted in November of 1915 in Winnipeg, going overseas with the 144th Battalion. He transferred to the Canadian Forestry Corps, serving for the duration of the war with the 27th Company in France. He was discharged from service in April of 1919 in Winnipeg.

By Judy Stockham

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