Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthDecember 26, 1899
Place of BirthPortage la Prairie, Manitoba
Marital StatusSingle
Next of Kinmother, Florence R. Woods of Winnipeg, Manitoba
Trade / CallingStenographer
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number2476396
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion52nd Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at Enlistment203 Langside St., Winnipeg, Manitoba
Date of EnlistmentJune 25, 1917
Age at Enlistment17
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJune 23, 1972
Age at Death72
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
PlotRC B -22 -11

Woods, Percy Alexander

Percy Alexander Woods was born on 26 December 1899 in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. He was the youngest child of Samuel Wesley Woods and Florence Rosamund Lelewelyn. Siblings included: Florence Meriam (b. 1890), Samuel Lelewelyn (b. 1892) and Ethel (b. 1894). The family continued to live in Portage la Prairie until some time after 1911. Percy’s father was a butcher. In 1916 the family was living in Winnipeg.

On 25 June 1917 Percy enlisted with the 17th Draft Canadian Army Medical Corps. His attestation papers show he had served with the 90th Winnipeg Rifles band prior to enlistment. In May of 1918 Percy travelled to England with his unit. When he arrived he was placed in the 18th Reserve Battalion. On 04 September 1918 he was drafted to the 52nd Battalion and sent to France. Soon after, on 29 September, Percy was wounded and gassed. He was sent to hospital and made a good recovery, returning to his unit on 18th October 1918. A month later Percy became sick with influenza and was transferred to hospital in Epsom, England in January 1919. Upon his discharge from hospital on 05 February 1919 he was once again in the 18th Reserve Battalion until being struck off strength for his return to Canada in April 1919. Percy received his official discharge due to demobilization on 13 April 1919 in Winnipeg.

After the war Percy returned to Winnipeg and on 30 June 1920 he married Leah Lorna Haarsma. Leah was the daughter of John Peter and Agnes Haarsma and one of at least 16 children. Two of her brothers, Jacob and Benjamin, had served in the war. Percy and Leah had a son, Harold.  The 1921 Canadian Census shows the family living at 211 Langside in Winnipeg and Percy’s occupation is listed as butcher.  In 1935 he was a merchant and in 1940 Percy was working as a fuel dealer. According to his obituary he served again in WW2. He was listed as a Major in City of Winnipeg directories and as Colonel Percy Woods in the Kenora phone book – a rank he may have achieved after WW2.

His wife Leah died in the Winnipeg General Hospital in October 1947, at age 46. Her obituary says burial was to be in Elmwood Cemetery, where her parents are interred, but she’s buried at Brookside Cemetery. Percy came to the Kenora area around 1947 and bought Sun Valley Lodge on McKenzie Portage Road.  He owned and operated the resort for twenty-five years. He became a member of the Kenora District Camp Owners Association and the Northern Ontario Tourist Outfitters Association.  He was also a member of St. Louis Roman Catholic Church in Keewatin. On 27 September 1958 Percy married Rose McGrath in Keewatin, Ontario.

Percy Woods passed away on 23 June 1972 in Kenora, Ontario. He is buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora. His wife, Rose, returned to Winnipeg when Percy died and lived there until she died in 2006. At the time of Percy’s death, his son, Harold, was living in Toronto.

Woods-Percy-Alexander-4 Woods-Percy-Alexander-5 Woods-Percy-Alexander-6 Woods-Percy-Alexander-7

Lorna’s grave marker photo is courtesy of Bocephus (#48533477) on Findagrave.

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