|Date of Birth||February 1, 1870|
|Place of Birth||Ethel, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Mrs Emmeline Wood, wife, Kenora, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Clerk|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||Kenora, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||November 15, 1915|
|Age at Enlistment||45|
|Theatre of Service||Great Britain|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||June 14, 1939|
|Age at Death||69|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
William Wood was born on 19 February 1870 in the Ethel area in Grey Township, Huron, Ontario. His parents were John Stephen Wood and Catherine Link, both from the Cornwall, Stormont, Ontario area. The couple likely married around1857 in Cornwall where they were to farm for a number of years. Children born in Cornwall were Ann Janet (1858), Catherine Elressa (1860), John Walton (1863), and Ida Edith (1968). By the time of their next child’s birth, William, the family had relocated to the Ethel area to farm. Daughter Ellie was born in 1872 in Grey but had died by the time of the 1881 census. By the birth of daughter Alice in 1874 the family had moved to Manitoba to farm in the Selkirk area on the outskirts of Winnipeg. Other children born in Manitoba were Ella May (1877), Minnie (1879), and Sarah Isabel (1881). Sadly Catherine died in 1883 in Winnipeg and after her death it appears that her sister Isabel came to live with the family. By the time of the 1891 census John, Isabel, and some of the children were living in Winnipeg where John was working as a transfer driver. John later died in 1901 in Winnipeg.
According to his obituary, William moved to Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in northwestern Ontario in 1884. In 1890 he joined the provincial government service as a game and fish overseer. In 1899 he went to South Africa to fight in the Boer War and for five years after the end of the war he was a member of the Cape Mounted Police. Returning to the Kenora area he was made governor of the district jail and then later in 1914 joined the Kenora Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police.
On 7 July 1909, in Kenora, William married Emmeline Mary Fletcher. Born in 1864 in the St Paul’s Deptford, Greenwich area of London in England, Emmeline was the daughter of Henry Fletcher and Mary Ann Roughley. Emmeline had arrived in Canada aboard the Kensington on 22 April 1908, the passenger list indicating that she was a trained nurse on her way to Vancouver.
William signed his attestation papers on 15 November 1915 in Kenora. His occupation was given as clerk and his wife Emmeline in Kenora as next kin. Previous military service was given as two years with Baden Powell’s Constabulary. In early March 1916, in Kenora, William was promoted to Corporal with the 94th Battalion.
After training in Port Arthur, Ontario the 94th Battalion embarked from Halifax aboard the Olympic on 28 June 1916. Once in England William was transferred to the 17th Reserve Battalion and then on to the 30th Battalion in September. However, found to be overage and suffering from lumbago and neuritis, he went through a series of transfers in England before it was decided that he be returned to Canada. He sailed from Liverpool on the Grampian on 23 March 1917 and was discharged from service as medically unfit on 29 April 1917 in Quebec.
Upon discharge William returned to Kenora, found living on 7th Street South with Emmeline and her sister Maude and working as a police constable for the 1921 census. Emmeline died on 30 May 1936 in the Kenora General Hospital. Ill for some time, William died on 14 June 1939 at his home. At the time of his death he was survived by his sisters Janet (William) Lawrence of California and Minnie (Thomas) Dougall of Winnipeg. William and Emmeline are interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.
By Judy Stockham