Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthDecember 15, 1895
Place of BirthKenora, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinElizabeth Woods, mother, 613 Jessie Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Trade / Callingclerk
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental NumberA22016
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion8th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at Enlistment613 Jessie Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Date of EnlistmentDecember 22, 1914
Age at Enlistment19
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathSeptember 11, 1949
Age at Death53
Buried AtBrookside Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Woods, Milfred Hueston

Milfred Hueston Woods was born on 15 December 1895 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora), Ontario. His parents Russell Woods, originally from Quebec, and Elizabeth Fletcher,  born in Ontario, had married in Winnipeg on 29 December 1886.

By the 1891 Canada census the family was living in Rat Portage East, Russell’s occupation given as locomotive engineer. Children in the household were Grace Maud, 7, Russell Clyde, 5, Clarence Fletcher, 3, and Daisy Dean, 1.  For  the 1901 Canada census the family was still living in Rat Portage where Russell  continued to work  as a railroad engineer. Family members in the household were Russell and Elizabeth, and children Grace M  age 17, Russell C age 15, Clarence F age 13, Daisy D  age 11, and new family members born since the last census, Irene I age 9, Joseph S age 7, Milfred H age 5, Walter age 3, and Elisabett age 9 months.

Then tragedy struck the family. Russell Woods was reported as missing and then later as his body was found at the foot of the Kenora dock, death by drowning on 26 August 1902. On 29 November 1904, Clarence, working as a switchman, lost his life due to an accident.

By 1911 Elizabeth and some of the children were living on 613 Jessie Street in Winnipeg Manitoba. Children listed were Russell, Hene (Irene), Stewart (Joseph), Milfred, Ralph (Walter), Bessie (Elizabeth), and an addition to the family, Olena (Olive)  Russell, a girl born in February of 1903, six months after her father’s death. For the 1916 Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta census, the family was still living at 613 Jessie Street with the widowed Elizabeth and the following children listed: Elizabeth, Joseph Stewart, Milfred Hueston, Walter Ralph, and Olive Russell. However the census notes that Joseph Stewart, Milfred Hueston, and Walter Ralph were all overseas, occupations given as soldiers. Grace had died 19 June 1913.

Milfred enlisted on 22 December 1914 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Along with his brother Joseph Stewart who had enlisted on 5  February 1915 in Winnipeg,  he left Montreal with the 1st Reinforcing Draft of the 44th Battalion aboard the  Grampian on 1 June 1915. Upon arrival in England he was transferred to the 32nd Reserve Battalion at Shorncliffe and then proceeded on draft to the 8th Battalion, taken on strength in the field July 22nd. In October of 1916 he was granted an eight day leave to England. On 19 April 1917 Milfred was appointed Lance Corporal in the field. The following month he was taken on strength at Dibgate from the 8th Battalion on reporting from Base Depot on compassionate grounds. On June 4th he was on command to CDD Buxton for furlough to Canada. Milfred suffered from irritability of the bladder  and frequent micturition thought due to exposure in the trenches. Anaemic, he was also diagnosed with marked left varicocele that caused pain while marching and standing as well as mild phimosis. While in Canada he was found medically unfit for service and discharged on 31 January 1918.

After the war Milfred worked as a switchman for the Canadian Pacific Railway until 1924. He died in Winnipeg on 11 September 1949 and is interred in the Military Field of Honour in Brookside Cemetery, Winnipeg. There is no mention of a wife or children in his obituary. Earlier that year his mother Elizabeth and brother Clyde had also died. Both of his brothers that served made the ultimate sacrifice. Joseph Stewart Woods was reported as killed in action on 26 September 1916 at Somme, and Walter Ralph Woods on 6 November 1917 at Passchendaele.

by Judy Stockham

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