Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthMay 10, 1876
Place of BirthOttawa, Ontario
Marital StatusWidower
Next of KinGeorge Isaac Waite, son, 1589 11th Avenue East, Vancouver, BC
Trade / CallingCement Worker and Plasterer
ReligionRoman Catholic
Service Details
Regimental Number2137412
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion2nd Depot Battalion British Columbia Regiment
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at Enlistment1589 11th Avenue East, Vancouver, BC
Date of EnlistmentSeptember 20, 1917
Age at Enlistment41
Theatre of ServiceGreat Britain
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJanuary 6, 1926
Age at Death49
Buried AtMountain View Cemetery, Vancouver, British Columbia

Waite, Arthur John

Arthur John Waite was born on 10 May 1876 in Ottawa, Ontario. His parents Isaac Wait, a bricklayer, and Jane McGuigan were both from the area, marrying on 9 August 1875 in Ottawa. Other children born to the couple in Ottawa were Mary Agnes Maud (1877), and Isaac James (1879). By the time of the 1881 census the family had relocated to Manitoba, found farming in East Morris, Provencher at the time of the census. Children born in Manitoba were Robert George (1882) and Caroline Rose (1883). Moving to Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in northwestern Ontario, Francis (Frank) was born in 1885 followed by Elizabeth Beatrice in 1887. Over the years the spelling of the surname was usually Wait although Arthur consistently used Waite.

On 3 May 1898, in Rat Portage, Arthur married Josephine Beaubien. Born about 1879 in Minnesota, USA, Josephine was the daughter of Joseph Beaubien and Arsenie Paquette. Both of her parents were born in Quebec and at the time of the 1891 census the family was living in St Boniface in Manitoba, now part of Winnipeg. By the time of the marriage they were living in Rat Portage. Arthur and Josephine lived in a number of places as evidenced by the birth of their three children. Marie Henriette (Maudie) was born in 1901 in Winnipeg, George Issac in 1903 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Beatrice Cameron in about 1905 in Washington, USA.

In 1917 Arthur returned to Canada to enlist, signing his attestation papers in Victoria, British Columbia on 20 September 1917. A widower, he gave his son George Isaac in Vancouver in care of his sister Caroline as next of kin. His birth family had previously moved to Vancouver by the time of the 1901 census. Arthur gave his occupation as cement worker and plasterer and prior military experience as three years (1899-1902) with the 90th Battalion (Active Militia).

With the Draft No 1, 2nd Depot Battalion British Columbia Regiment, Arthur, rank of Private, arrived in England on 7 December 1917 aboard the Megantic. He was taken on strength with the 1st Reserve Battalion the next day. However all was not well with Arthur while in training as he developed issues with his kidneys. In February of 1918 he began a long series of treatments in various hospitals in England. Surgery was performed to remove a kidney stone but infection set in the aftermath, resulting in another surgery to remove the kidney. In late October it was decided that Arthur be invalided to Canada, arriving in Halifax on 10 November aboard the hospital ship Neuralia. He underwent further treatment at the Vernon Military Hospital as well as at the Shaughnessy Hospital in Vancouver. Arthur was discharged from service as medically unfit on 1 October 1919 in Vancouver.

Arthur’s brother Frank enlisted with the Canadian Field Artillery in Vancouver in April of 1916, serving overseas with the 4th Divisional Ammunition Column as a Driver.

On 5 March 1921, in Vancouver, Arthur married Jessie Ganner. Born in 1878 in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Jessie was the daughter of Joseph and Dorothy (née Preston) Ganner.

Arthur died on 6 January 1926 in Grey Point, Vancouver. His Veteran Death card listed his son George Issac in Portland, Oregon as next of kin. Arthur was predeceased by his first wife Josephine, his sister Mary Agnes Maud (1892, Rat Portage), and his father Isaac (1919, Vancouver). His wife Jessie later died in 1923 (Vancouver), brother Frank in 1926 (Grey Point), brother Robert George in 1928 (Powell River, BC), mother Jane in 1929 (Nelson, BC), brother Isaac James in 1958 (Los Angeles), sister Caroline Rose (Michael) O’Regan in 1962 (Los Angeles) and sister Elizabeth Beatrice (Herman) Nicholson in 1974 (Nelson, BC). It appears that his children all stayed in the United States, his daughters both marrying in Clarke, Washington, Maud to Ernest Larson in 1918 and Beatrice to Warren Simmons in 1923. His son George signed his WW2 Draft Registration card in 1942 in Portland and died in 1979, last address from the outskirts of the city.

Arthur is interred in the Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver. Other family members interred in the cemetery are his parents Isaac and Jane, brother Frank, and wife Jessie.

By Judy Stockham

Grave marker photograph by Herbert Rickards,

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