Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthMarch 10, 1895
Place of BirthWest Linton, Peeblesshire
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs Agnes Veitch, mother, 813 Park Street, Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingTrainman
Service Details
Regimental Number2384023
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion52nd Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedConscripted
Address at Enlistment813 Park Street, Kenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentMay 23, 1918
Age at Enlistment23
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJune 27, 1969
Age at Death74
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Veitch, Robert

The first born child of James and Agnes (née Kirkpatrick) Veitch, Robert (Bob) Veitch was born on 10 March 1895 in West Linton, Peeblesshire, Scotland. Also born in West Linton, his father was a stone mason by trade. His mother was from Kirkbean, Dumphriesshire. Other children born to the family were May Elizabeth (1900) and James (1904). In March of 1905 father James immigrated to Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora), Ontario, followed by Agnes and the three children in June of 1906. By 1915 James was employed by the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Prior to signing his recruitment papers in Port Arthur on 23 May 1918,  Bob had completed his medical examination in Kenora the previous October. Occupation given as trainman, he was fair haired and blue-eyed. With the 81st Draft of the 1st Depot Battalion Manitoba Regiment, Private Robert Veitch arrived in England on 15 August 1918. Transferred to the 52nd Battalion, he arrived in France after the Armistice. Proceeding back to England in February of 1919, he was on his way back to Canada aboard the Olympic that departed from Southampton on 17 March 1919.

Back in Kenora  Bob was found on the 1921 census living with his parents and siblings on School Street in the north end of town. All was not well in the Veitch household as pulmonary tuberculosis was taking its toll. After long illnesses, both James JR and May Elizabeth died in 1924 in Kenora. Father James continued to work for the CPR as a bricklayer, retiring in 1940.

Bob, working for the railway, transferred to Winnipeg around 1954 and retired in 1961. He married Gladys Bowman who had grown up in a large family on a farm in Alexander, Manitoba. She had received her degree in nursing, working in Flin Flon, Brandon, and Winnipeg before  they married. Bob and Gladys had one child, a daughter Margaret.

Predeceased by his mother Agnes in 1941 and his father James in 1951, both in Kenora, Robert Veitch died on 27 June 1969 at his home on Oakwood Avenue in Winnipeg. He is interred in the family plot with his parents and siblings in Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora. Gladys eventually moved to Vancouver Island and died there in her 97th year in 2009. In addition to Bob, she was predeceased by her son Donald Proven.

by Judy Stockham

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