Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthOctober 10, 1878
Place of BirthLeicester
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinMary E.J. Smith (Wife), Box 204, Swift Current, Saskatchewan
Trade / CallingLaundryman
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number253114
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion5th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentSwift Current, Saskatchewan
Date of EnlistmentJuly 6, 1916
Age at Enlistment37
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJuly 7, 1963
Age at Death84
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
PlotChapel Grounds West, 6W-5-3

Smith, Arthur

Family and Early Life: Arthur  was born in the Parish of Great Glen, Town of Leicester, County of Leicestershire, England on October 10, 1878. He was the son of Alfred Smith and Harriet Tailby King. The family was recorded in Rawmarsh, Yorkshire in the 1881 British census, when Alfred was a railway porter. For the 1891 census they were in Bedford, Bedfordshire and Alfred was a railway signalman. There were at least three other children: Bertram, born in 1876, William Sidney, born in 1885, and Emma Elizabeth, born in 1888.

On June 25, 1897 at the age of 18 years, 8 months, Arthur enlisted with the 1st Royal Dragoons in London, England. He served in South Africa in the Second Boer War from October 1899 to September 1902. He was awarded the South Africa Medal and five clasps. On February 10, 1903, Arthur was transferred to the Reserves and became inactive. He was honourably discharged on June 24, 1909, after he had already married and moved to Canada.

Arthur married Mary Lizzie Cooke/Cook in 1903 in Leicester, Leicestershire. Mary was born in Leicester in 1881, the daughter of John and Annie Cooke. Arthur and Mary immigrated to Canada shortly after their marriage, sailing from Liverpool on the S.S. Parisian and arriving in Halifax on March 24, 1903. Their destination was Deloraine, Manitoba and Arthur’s occupation was engine fitter and farmer. Three children were born in Manitoba: Arthur in July 1907, Charles Lewis in July 1908 and Elizabeth in November 1909 (in Portage la Prairie). Sadly, Arthur Jr. died at age one day and Elizabeth at 9 months.

When the 1911 census was taken the family was living at 107 Lyon Street in Portage La Prairie. Arthur was working as a laundryman. By the time of the 1916 census the family had moved to Saskatchewan and Arthur and Mary had two more sons: Sydney Joseph (born in 1912 in Portage la Prairie) and Roy (born in 1916 in Saskatchewan and who appears to have died at about age 6 months). Arthur was still listed as a laundryman but he was already training at Camp Hughes. The address for his family was 5th Avenue West, General Delivery, Swift Current.

War experience: Arthur enlisted in Swift Current with the 209th Battalion on July 6, 1916. He was then transferred to the 249th Battalion, May 2, 1917; however, it was not until February 18, 1918 that Private Smith embarked from Halifax on the H.M.S. Saxonia arriving in England on March 4, 1918. He was taken on strength with the 15th Canadian Reserve Battalion on that same day in Bramshott. On June 1st, 1918, he was sent to France, arriving on the 3rd of the month, where he served with the 5th Infantry Battalion for the duration of the war. He was discharged due to demobilization on April 24, 1919 in Regina. Arthur’s War Service Badge, Class A is number 24142.

Life after the war: Arthur returned to Swift Current immediately following his service. The address given was 244 – 4th Avenue West. He and Mary added 2 daughters, Mary and Margaret, and another son, George to their family.

According to his obituary, Arthur and his family lived in Carmen, Manitoba for several years before moving to Kenora in about 1926. Arthur applied for membership in the Kenora Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion on July 16, 1934, at which time he was living on 5th Avenue South. He was employed as a Stationary Engineer and his last place of employment, before retirement in 1959, was St. Joseph’s Hospital in Kenora.

Date of death and burial location:  Arthur died  July 7,  1963 and is buried in the Chapel Grounds, Row 6 West, in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery. Mary had died just two months earlier on April 16th and is also buried in Chapel Grounds but with a different grave marker than her husband. At the time of his death, Arthur was survived by 5 children, 7 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. His son Lewis Charles (1908-1984) is also buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery.

By Susan (Hillman) Brazeau in support of the Kenora Great War Project – honouring all who served, remembering those who died

1881, 1891, 1901 Census of England
Passenger Lists: 1906
Library and Archives Canada
1911, 1916 Canadian Census
Royal Canadian Legion: Kenora Ontario Branch
Kenora Miner and news: Obituary
Northern Ontario Gravemarkers Gallery

Smith-Arthur-10 Smith-Arthur-12 Smith-Arthur-11 Smith-Arthur-13

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