Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthMarch 23, 1889
Place of BirthBalfort River, Manitoba
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinSimon Villeneuve, father, Box 345, Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingSteam Boat Engineer
Service Details
Regimental Number4070222
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedConscripted
Address at EnlistmentBox 345, Kenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentNovember 23, 1917
Age at Enlistment28
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathAugust 23, 1962
Age at Death73
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Villeneuve, Edmond

According to his obituary, Edmond Villeneuve was born on 23 March 1889 in Balfort River, Manitoba. His parents Simon Villeneuve and Marie Anne Lavoie were both from Quebec, marrying on 11 February 1877 in Notre Dame du Lac St Jean, Roberval, Chicoutimi where their families farmed. Children born to the couple in Quebec were Patrick (1877), Ludger (1880), Joseph Simon (1881), Armantine (1884), and Henri (1885). The family then moved to Manitoba where daughter Georgina was born in Winnipeg in 1887 followed by Edmond. By the time of the 1891 census the family was living in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in northwestern Ontario. Over the years Simon worked as a carpenter and ship builder, captain on a trading and freight carrier on the Winnipeg River, and then farmed in nearby Jaffray. Children born to the couple in northwestern Ontario were Helen Elizabeth (1891), Marion Leona (1893), Diana (1897), and Josephine (1899). The 1921 census for Simon and Marie Anne listed an adopted daughter with the family, nine year old Flora whose parents were born in France.

With the onset of conscription in the latter part of the war, Edmond had his medical examination in Winnipeg on 23 November 1917, signing his recruitment papers the same day. His occupation was given as steam boat engineer, his father Simon in Kenora as next of kin, and his place of birth as somewhere in Saskatchewan. Assigned to the 1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment, rank of Private, he was given a conditional leave of absence without pay. With the end of the war Edmond was discharged from service on 28 January 1919 at Minto Barracks in Winnipeg.

At the time of the 1921 census Edmond was living with his brother Henri and wife Jeanne in the Biggar, Saskatchewan area and working as a farmer. A short time later, likely in Saskatchewan, Edmond married Elizabeth Campbell. Born on 3 March 1901 in Goatmilk, Kinglassie, Fife in Scotland, Elizabeth was the daughter of William Campbell and Isabella Brown. After her mother died in 1904, his father immigrated to Canada and married Mary Eliza Barker in 1905 in the County of Ontario. By the time of the 1906 census Elizabeth was living in Saskatchewan with her father and stepmother along with her siblings.

By 1922 Edmond and Elizabeth were living in Kenora where they gave birth to son Everett that December. Two more children were born to the couple, son Ervin and daughter Evelyn. Edmond worked as an engineer on boats on Lake of the Woods, farmed in Jaffray and Melick (Winnipeg River), and was an engineer on the Argyle on Lake of the Woods for seventeen years before he retired in 1958. In later life he lived on Superior Street in Keewatin, about 5 kilometres west of Kenora.

Edmond died on 23 August 1962. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Elizabeth, son Ervin of the Northwest Territories, daughter Evelyn Sherbenek of Vancouver, sisters Diana (Edward) Caucutt and Georgina (David) Kelly of Kenora and Elizabeth (Harold) Cooper of Vancouver and brothers Joseph of Kenora and Henri of Peace River. He was predeceased by his father Simon (1934) and mother Marie Anne (1949), his son Everett (1943), and siblings Ludger (1910), Josephine (William) Miller (1931), Patrick (1940), Marion Leona (Lockwood) Canfield (1952), Armantine (John) Bavery (1954), all in the Kenora area. Edmond’s wife Elizabeth later died on 1 October 1980 in Vancouver and is interred in the Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver. Edmond is interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora as are most of his family.

By Judy Stockham

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