Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthMay 8, 1882
Place of BirthSouthwold, Elgin, Ontario
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinMary Valentine, wife, Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingPolice Constable
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number198279
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion94th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentNovember 10, 1915
Age at Enlistment33
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathAugust 17, 1921
Age at Death39
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Valentine, David Bowhey

David Bowhey Valentine was born on 8 May 1882, birth registration found for Southwold, Elgin, Ontario. His parents were  David Carson  and Elizabeth (née Bowhey) Valentine who had married on 1 October 1881 in Nichol, Wellington, Ontario. Other children born to the couple were Mabel, Violante, Bessie,and Leighton.

Earlier in the 1881 Canada census for Nichol, his mother Elizabeth, a British Home Child who at age 9, along with her sister Mary, age 11,  had been brought to Canada as part of a Maria  Rye group, arriving 12 May  1873,  was working as a domestic with the Valentine family, Thomas and Elizabeth (Carson) Valentine and two grown children, David Carson and Madeline.

By the 1901 Canada census David had moved to Maple Creek,  Assiniboia, the Territories  where he was working as a Northwest Mounted Police constable.  He later worked as a constable for Indian Department in Rat Portage/Kenora and then as a constable for the local force.

On 17 June 1903, in Rat Portage, Ontario (later named Kenora),  David married  Catherine Laurenson, daughter of a former Hudson’s Bay Company employee, trapper and trader, Robert Laurenson and Eliza Perrault, a Cree from Lac Seul. Catherine had three children, William, Barbara, and Robert, with William and Barbara assuming the Valentine surname after the marriage. On 2 September 1903, David Alvin Valentine was born. In 1906 and 1908, two other children were born but both died in infancy. Catherine died on 6 November 1909 of tuberculosis, a disease that was rampant at the time. David later married Mary Ann Begg on 11 June 1910, his occupation given on the certificate as marine engineer. Mary Ann was the daughter of   John and Juliet (née Sturgeon) Begg. David and Mary Ann had at least three children, Mable Mary, Thomas, and Bessie.

David enlisted on 10 November 1915 in Kenora with the 94th Battalion. On 1 December he was promoted to Sergeant but was then found medically unfit due to endocarditis, with discharge on 25 June 1916 in Port Arthur.

David’s step-son William had enlisted in Kenora on 15 January 1915, arriving in England with the 52nd Battalion on 3 December 1915. William was invalided home in June 1917 to a Military Sanitarium in Hamilton due to tuberculosis. At the time of William’s death on 27 August 1917, David was stationed in Port Arthur, Ontario. Step-son Robert Laurenson enlisted at Sarcee Camp in Alberta in May of 1918. After training at Sarcee, Private Robert Laurenson embarked from Canada aboard the Kiaora with the 107th Draft of Lord Strathcona’s Horse  (RC) CEF, debarking in England on 25 August 1918. On reporting from Canada at Shorncliffe, he was taken on strength with the Canadian Reserve Calvary Regiment. On 17 October 1918, he left Shorncliffe to join the Canadian Machine Gun Corps Depot at another training camp at Seaford. From mid November until mid February Robert was  on command with the Canadian Machine Gun Depot at Maresfield Park, a military camp also used for the calvary. At some point while serving, he met Wilbert Hobson, formerly from Missouri but  at the time of the war, of Rochester, Alberta. Private Robert Laurenson received his official discharge in Calgary, Alberta on 25 June 1919, having returned to Canada aboard the Aquitania earlier that month.  After the war  Robert moved to Rochester, Alberta, home town of Army buddy Hobson. He married Linda Ward in 1923 and the couple gave birth to a child the following May. A short time later Robert became very ill and was hospitalized in Edmonton. He died on 17 August 1924, with burial in the Peaceful Pines Cemetery, Rochester.

Sometime after the war David, Mary Ann, and family moved to Transcona, Manitoba where David became the Chief of Police. David died on 17 August 1921 in Transcona and Mary Ann in January of 1969. After his father’s death in 1902, his mother Elizabeth later married Charles Botwright, a boarder that had been living with the family in the 1901 Canada census. Elizabeth died in 1941.

David is interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora while Mary Ann is interred in the Transcona Cemetery on the outskirts of Winnipeg.

by Judy Stockham