Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthMay 16, 1894
Place of BirthKenora, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinEdith Travis, mother, 253 Baker Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA
Trade / CallingRailway Construction
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number2173466
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion8th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at Enlistment253 Baker Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA
Date of EnlistmentJuly 9, 1917
Age at Enlistment23
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathNovember 1, 1975
Age at Death81
Buried AtAcacia Park Cemetery, Mendota Heights, Minnesota, USA

Travis, Albert Edgar

Albert Edgar Travis was born on 16 May 1894 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in northwestern Ontario. His father Herbert Travis, a music teacher/professor, was from England while his mother Edith Florine Emily Wood was from Arkona in southwestern Ontario, having moved to Manitoba with her parents and siblings as a child. The couple married on 11 March 1885 in Birtle, Manitoba. Children born in Birtle were William Stanley Beresford (1884), Percy St Clair (1886), Ida Violette (1887), and Herbert Gordon (1889). By the time of the 1891 census the family had moved to Rat Portage. At some point after Albert’s birth the family immigrated to the United States where they gave birth to daughter Mabel Edith in 1896 in Butte, Montana. Sadly, it appears that Herbert Sr passed away a short time later, with Edith and the children found living with her parents and younger brother in Saint Paul, Minnesota for the 1900 US census. By the 1910 US census Edith and most of the children were still living in Saint Paul while Herbert Gordon had returned to Canada to live with relatives in the File Hills area of the Territories (Saskatchewan).

In early June of 1917 Albert signed his US WW1 draft registration card in Saint Paul. At the time he had been working in the stockroom of Ogden, Merrill, and Greer, importers and wholesalers of china, glassware, silverware. A short time later he returned to Canada where he enlisted on 9 July in Winnipeg. His occupation was given as railway construction and his mother Edith in Saint Paul as next of kin.

With the No 1 British American Draft to the Manitoba Regiment Depot, Albert arrived in England aboard the Metagama on 17 October 1917, rank of Private. First taken on strength with the 18th Reserve Battalion, in March of 1918 he was drafted to the 8th Battalion, joining the unit in the field on the 11th. The 8th Battalion had recruited in Brandon and Winnipeg, Manitoba and Kenora and Port Arthur, Ontario and was mobilized at Valcartier, Quebec. It disembarked in France on 13 February 1915 where it fought as part of the 2nd Infantry Brigade, 1st Canadian Division in France and Flanders until the end of the war.

On 9 August of 1918 Albert sustained a gunshot wound to his thigh. The Hundred Days Offensive was the final period of the First World War during which the Allies launched a series of offensives against the Central Powers on the Western Front from 8 August to 11 November 1918, beginning with the Battle of Amiens.Albert was first admitted to the No 3 Australian General Hospital in Abbeville on the 11th where he underwent surgery but the bullet could not be removed. He was invalided to England and admitted to the East Suffolk and Ipswich Hospital on the 17th and then on to the No 11 Canadian General Hospital at Shorncliffe on 2 December, discharged on the 21st. Two more surgeries had been performed due to hemorrhages. Albert embarked for Canada on 23 March 1919 and was discharged from service in Winnipeg on demobilization on 3 April. He was briefly admitted to the Manitoba Military Hospital Tuxedo Park in Winnipeg in early May.

Albert’s brother Herbert Gordon enlisted with the 11th Battalion at Valcartier, Quebec in September of 1914, later transferring to the 5th Battalion. In February of 1915 he died of an intestinal obstruction in Bailleul, France. Herbert Gordon is interred in the Bailleul Communal Cemetery.

Albert stayed for a short time with his sister Violet and husband Charles Graham in Winnipeg, returning to Saint Paul in June. His occupation on the border crossing record was given as surveyor. At the time of the 1920 census he was living with his mother and some of his siblings in Saint Paul, working as a wholesales grocery salesman. According to his service record, in 1926 Albert was living in Elmhurst, Long Island in New York. By the 1930 US census he was back living with his mother and some of his siblings in Saint Paul, listed as working as a newspaper collector on the census.

At some point after the census, Albert married Margaret Eleanor Roberts. Born on 29 October 1892 in Saint Paul, Margaret was the daughter of John Duncan and Jane (Jennie) (née Roberts) Roberts. At the time of the 1940 census Albert and Margaret were living on Carrol Street, along with Margaret’s widower father and a housekeeper. Albert was employed as a statistical clerk with the Minnesota Department of Highways while Margaret was working as a high school teacher.

Albert died on 1 November 1975 in Saint Paul. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Margaret and sister Mabel Jenson. Margaret later died on 1 March 1981 and Mabel in 1984, both in Saint Paul. Albert was predeceased by father Herbert, his mother Edith (1931, Saint Paul) and siblings Herbert Gordon, Percy (1931, Saint Paul), William (1953, Saint Paul), and Ida Violette (1973, Winnipeg). Along with other family members, Albert and Margaret are interred in the Acacia Park Cemetery in Mendota Heights, Minnesota.

By Judy Stockham

Grave marker photograph by Bob Rowe,

« Back To Soldier Biographies