Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthFebruary 12, 1881
Place of BirthHackney, London
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs Sarah Stanford, mother, 124 Tottenham Road, London, England
Trade / CallingCook
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number438662
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion52nd Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Date of EnlistmentApril 27, 1915
Age at Enlistment34
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJanuary 21, 1947
Age at Death66
Buried AtWabigoon Community Cemetery, Wabigoon, Ontario

Stanford, Charles Robert

Charles Robert Stanford was born on 12 February 1881 in Hackney, London, England. His father Joseph Stanford, a bootmaker, was from Norwich in Norfolk while his mother Sarah was from Exeter in Devon. Over the years the family lived in a number of London communities, Shoreditch, Bethal Green, Hoxton, Hackney, and Islington. Nine children were born to the family, starting with Joseph in 1864 followed by James, Sarah Annie, Alice, Florence, Daisy, Charles, Thomas, and Minnie. Father Joseph died in 1898 in Hackney and the family unit separated with Charles and Thomas found on the 1901 England census serving on the vessel Harborne at the Smith Dry Docks in South Shields in Durham. As stated in Charles’ obituary, he served for a number of years in the Merchant Marine and was awarded a certificate of merit from Lloyds for service at sea.

According to the 1921 Canada census Charles immigrated to Canada in 1905. He signed his attestation papers in Port Arthur, Ontario on 27 April 1915, occupation given as cook and his mother back in England as next of kin. Organized in March 1915 under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel AW Hay with recruitment in Port Arthur, Kenora, Fort Frances, Fort William, and Dryden, the 52nd Battalion was mobilized at Port Arthur. After training for several months as a Private with the 52nd Battalion Charles embarked from Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the California on 23 November 1915.

Once in England the battalion spent 6 weeks of training under British instructors at Witley Camp and then moved on to Bramshott for 2 more weeks. On 20 February 1916, the 52nd sailed from Southampton to La Havre in France, and then travelled on to Belgium by train.  The 52nd Battalion was awarded the following battle honours: Mount Sorrel, Somme 1916, Flers-Courcelette, Ancre Heights, Arras 1917, 18, Vimy 1917, Hill 70, Ypres 1917, Passchendaele, Amiens, Scarpe 1918, Drocourt-Quéant, Hindenburg Line, Canal du Nord, Cambrai 1918, Valenciennes, France and Flanders 1916-1918.

In mid December 1916 Charles was admitted to the No 10 Canadian Field Ambulance for six days with PUO, fever of unknown origin. In March 1917 he assumed duty as cook with the 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade. In July Charles was granted a ten day leave and in mid August he was transferred to the 3rd Canadian Divisional Employment Company. In January 1918 Charles was granted permission to marry and was granted a leave of absence on the 27th. On 3 February 1918, in St Jude Mildmay Grove in Islington, London, Charles married Ada Caroline Lewis. Born in 1891 in the registration district of Islington, Ada was the daughter of James and Elizabeth (née Jones) Lewis. Although records would be needed to confirm, it appears that her mother was in and out of the Hackney Union Infirmary and died in 1898, thus leading to Ada being raised in institutions. With the 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade Charles was granted a special seven day leave in August 1918 which was extended with his return delayed until the 23rd. That year he was granted working pay of 50 cents per diem.

With the end of the war Charles returned to England in February 1919 and went through a series of transfers while waiting to return to Canada, arriving in Halifax aboard the Royal George on 29 September 1919. The passenger list indicated he was on his way to his wife in Dinorwic, a small community in northwestern Ontario near Dryden. However, tragedy befell the newly weds with the death of Ada, registered during the last quarter of 1919 in Romford, Essex.

Charles was found living in the township of Southworth near Dinorwic for the 1921 Canada census. His marital status was given as widower and his occupation as cook. According to Charles’ obituary at one time he worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway and for a number of years operated a boarding house at Dinorwic before moving to Wabigoon in 1937 to become manager of the King George Hotel. At some point he joined the Kenora Branch of the Canadian Legion.

Charles died on 21 January 1947 in the Dryden Red Cross Hospital. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife and a sister. His funeral was held in St John’s Anglican Church in Wabigoon with members of Golden Star Lodge AF and AM attending. Charles is interred in the Wabigoon Community Cemetery.

by Judy Stockham

Stanford-Charles-Robert-1 Stanford-Charles-Robert-2

obituary courtesy of Anna Turcott of Dryden

« Back To Soldier Biographies