Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthJanuary 13, 1888
Place of BirthManchester
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinMartha Stubbins, 516 Sixth Ave. S., Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingLabourer
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number439097
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion52nd Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Date of EnlistmentFebruary 12, 1915
Age at Enlistment27
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJuly 5, 1937
Age at Death49
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Stubbins, George Harry

George Harry Stubbins (known as Harry) was born on 13 January 1888 in Manchester, England.  His parents were Mark Stubbins, a carpenter and grocer, and Mary Henrietta Robinson. Siblings included James, Martha, John (Jack), Thomas and Mary (Polly). Harry served in the Royal Engineers for two years before coming to Canada.  His first arrival in Canada was in 1911 but he returned to England.  When he came over a second time in May of 1913, he was heading for Winnipeg, Manitoba and his occupation was listed as ‘salesman – railroad’.

Harry married Martha Hulmes on 24 November 1914 in Kenora, Ontario.  At the time he was working for the Canadian Pacific Railroad. Less than three months later he joined the Canadian Expeditionary Forces for service in WW1.

Harry enlisted with the 52nd Battalion in Kenora on 12 February 1915.  He trained in Kenora and his records indicate he was a bugler for his unit for part of that time. In June 1915 the battalion travelled to Port Arthur for further training. While they were there men were needed to replace casualties overseas and battalions in Canada were asked to send reinforcements. Harry was sent to England with the 2nd Reinforcing Draft in September 1915, one of 250 men from the 52nd Battalion. They embarked from Montreal on 4 September on the S.S. Missanabie and arrived in England about nine days later.   Harry was taken on strength with the 12th Battalion in Shorncliffe and he worked as an orderly in the orderly room. His wife, Martha, followed him to England and on 26 June 1916 she gave birth to their first daughter, Margery Beatrice, in Manchester, Lancashire.

In August of 1916 Harry was seconded to the Canadian Military School as a batman (a personal servant for an officer).  He was transferred to the Canadian Railway Troops Depot in January 1917 and in November 1917 he was attached to the 85th Canadian Engine Crew Company. Before he was sent to France with this unit, his wife and daughter returned to Canada (October 1917). In April 1918 Harry was transferred to No. 58 Broad Gauge Railway Operating Company, Royal Engineers. He had a two week leave back to England in December 1918. It was April 1919 that he left France returning to England and then to Canada in May 1919.  Harry received his official discharge on 28 May 1919 due to demobilization.

After the war, Harry returned to Kenora and his family.  The 1921 Canadian Census shows Harry, Martha and Margery living at 215 4th Avenue. He sought to resume his railway duties but he had to retire due to a heart condition. He then worked as a painter and eventually became the caretaker at the local armouries building.  A second daughter, Dorothy, was born.

At age 49, Harry died in Kenora, Ontario on 05 July 1937 of a heart attack. The Canada War Graves Register records that his death was ‘due to service’.  Harry is buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora next to his wife who died in 1959.

52nd-1915-02-13 52nd-1915-06-16 52nd-1915-09-22 Stubbins-George-Harry-10 Stubbins-George-Harry-11 Stubbins-George-Harry-12 Stubbins-George-Harry-13 Stubbins-George-Harry-14 Stubbins-George-Harry-15 Stubbins-George-Harry-16

1916 newspaper article about the Hulmes family provided by  Gail Hulmes-Backsai

« Back To Soldier Biographies