|Date of Birth||March 19, 1893|
|Place of Birth||Keewatin, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Mother: Annie Beaton, Keewatin, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Stenographer|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||1st Labour Battalion|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Branch||Canadian Labour Corps|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||Keewatin, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||November 12, 1915|
|Age at Enlistment||22|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||June 14, 1970|
|Age at Death||77|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
On March 19, 1893 Cyril Dougal Beaton was born in Keewatin, Ontario. His parents were Dougald Beaton (Scottish ancestry) and Annie Carmody (Irish ancestry) who lived on Ottawa Street in Keewatin. The family had made their home in Keewatin since 1879. Mrs. Annie Beaton was born at Plantagenet, Prescott County in the eastern part of Ontario. Father, Dougald made a living as a contractor until his death in 1900. Cyril’s siblings included Florence (1885 – 1918), Sarah (1887 – 1907), Edith Pearl (1891 – 1972), Harry Walter (1889 – ?) and Daniel Percival who also served in WW1. Cyril received his education in Keewatin and then went to business college in Winnipeg. He returned to Keewatin in 1910 and obtained work as a stenographer in the office of the Keewatin Lumber Company earning $70 a month.
Cyril enlisted in Kenora, Ontario on November 12, 1915. He was placed with the 94th Battalion. This was a new battalion that was formed with men from Kenora-Rainy River districts of Northwestern Ontario. It was designated as a ‘New Ontario’ battalion. As supplies were very short the local men started their training without uniforms, weapons or even office supplies. The men from Kenora did their daily drills and were sent home for the night. It wasn’t until May 25, 1916 that the men were moved to Port Arthur to continue training and then onward to Valcartier, Quebec by June 9th. On June 13, 1916 the 94th Battalion sailed from Halifax to England on RMS Olympic.
Cyril arrived in England, July 18, 1916, with the rank of Sergeant. He was transferred to the 32nd Reserve Battalion and then in September 1916 was attached to the Canadian Record Office in London. Cyril was transferred to the 1st Canadian Labour Battalion on 26 December 1916 and was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant. He went to France in January of 1917 and was attached to the Canadian Section, 3rd Echelon General Headquarters. By his own request Cyril reverted back to the rank of Sergeant. This position held less responsibility and perhaps different duties. In March of 1918 the 1st Canadian Labour Battalion was designated the 1st Canadian Works Battalion. Cyril remained with this battalion and in October 1918 he was promoted to Company Quartermaster Sergeant (a non-commissioned officer who was in charge of supplies). In February of 1919 Cyril returned to England and was transferred to the 12th reserve battalion before sailing back to Canada in March of 1919. His official discharge came on April 5, 1919 due to demobilization.
After the war, Cyril returned to Keewatin and married a Keewatin girl, Mary Ethel Robinson on Dec. 10, 1921. They had two children – a daughter and a son, Douglas, who served as a pilot officer with the RAF during WW2. Cyril worked for the Ontario Minnesota Pulp and Paper Company in Kenora. He held various office positions with the company- the last being resident auditor. After this he worked with Kenora Lumber & Supply Co. and was also in a paint and wallpaper business in Kenora. His wife, Mary, passed away at the young age of 40 in 1937.
Cyril was active in his community being a member of the Keewatin Masonic Lodge, the IOOF Lodge, Knox United Church, the Kinsmen Club and the Kenora branch of the Legion.
Cyril died at the age of 77 on June 14, 1970 in Regina, Saskatchewan. He is buried with his wife in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora, Ontario. On his tombstone is the middle name of ‘Douglas’ but he signed his attestation papers as ‘Cyril Dougal Beaton’. He is commemorated on the Town of Keewatin Honour Roll that hangs in the Keewatin Legion.
By Linda Pelletier