Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthDecember 16, 1900
Place of BirthKenora, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinWA Wilson, father, 506 4th Avenue, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Trade / CallingClerk
Service Details
Regimental Number1018665
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion232nd Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentCamp Hughes, Manitoba
Address at Enlistment506 4th Avenue, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Date of EnlistmentSeptember 18, 1916
Age at Enlistment15
Theatre of ServiceGreat Britain
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathFebruary 28, 1979
Age at Death78
Buried AtCremation/North Shore Crematorium, Vancouver, British Columbia

Wilson, William Alexander

William Alexander Wilson was born on 16 December 1900 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in northwestern Ontario. His father William Alexander Wilson was from the St Catharine’s area in Ontario while it appears that his mother Lillian Hayzy (aka Hill) was from Poland. The couple married on 16 March 1904 in Winnipeg. Moving to Saskatoon after the marriage, they later gave birth to children George Kenneth (1905-1970), Clifford Norris (1906-1973), Grace Lillian (1907), Eva Kathleen (1914-2005), James (abt 1917), Ruth Anita (1918-1975), and Gladys (abt 1920). William SR first worked as a carpenter for a contractor after arriving in Saskatoon.

William JR enlisted with the 232nd Battalion on 18 September 1916 at Camp Hughes in Manitoba. To appear older his date of birth was given as 18 December 1897. His occupation was given as clerk and his father William in Saskatoon as next of kin. As a Private with the battalion William arrived in England on 29 April 1917 aboard the Northland. First transferred to the 15th Reserve Battalion, William was found to be underaged and to be returned to Canada at his parents request. Embarking for Canada on 23 December 1917 aboard the Metagama, William was discharged from service as underage on 6 February 1918 in Regina.

William returned to Saskatoon, found living with his parents and siblings and working in a department store at the time of the 1921 census. His father had become a proprietor of a café. At some point, likely in Saskatoon, William married Leta Pauline Ireland. Born on 5 October 1893 in Delawere, Middlesex in Ontario, Leta was the daughter of Ferguson Ireland and Maria Jane Woodhull. Her parents had married in 1887 in Delawere and by 1916 the family had relocated to Saskatoon.

William and Leta ended up living in Vancouver, found on Voters lists for 1949 and 1953 with William listed as a merchant and in 1962 as a store proprietor. His BC death record later gave his occupation as display manager in a department store. It appears that the couple did not have any children.

William died on 28 February 1979 in St Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. Leta later died on 11 July 1982 in the Vancouver General Hospital. Cremation for both William and Leta was by North Shore Crematorium.

By Judy Stockham

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