Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthSeptember 29, 1880
Place of BirthBlackburn, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinWilliam Purdy, brother, Blackburn, Ontario
Trade / CallingLocomotive Engineer
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number425597/718264
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion1st Canadian Mounted Rifles
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Mounted Rifles
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentOctober 15, 1915
Age at Enlistment35
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathAugust 22, 935
Age at Death55
Buried AtBurnsland Cemetery, Calgary, Alberta
PlotSection G Block 4 Plot 7

Purdy, David

Although he gave his birth place as Ottawa on his attestation papers, David Purdy was likely born on 29 September 1880 near Blackburn, Ontario, place as given on his second marriage record and numerous records of his siblings. His father George Purdy was from the Nepean, Ontario area while his mother Mary Virgin was from Lower Canada. The couple married on 7 February 1866 in Renfrew. At the time of the 1871 census the family was living in the township of Lindoche, South Renfrew where George was working as a foreman for Wright and Batson. By the 1881 census the family was farming near Blackburn, just outside of Ottawa. David had at least six older siblings, William, Laura, George, John, Harriet, and Ira, and a younger sister, Mary. David’s father George died in 1887, followed by his mother Mary in 1912, both interred in the St Mary the Virgin Cemetery near Blackburn.

David signed his first set of attestation papers on 5 October 1915 at Camp Hughes in Manitoba, service number 425597. Living in Kenora, Ontario, his occupation was given as locomotive engineer and his brother William in Blackburn as next of kin. As a Private with the 45th Battalion, he was discharged from service as medically unfit on 4 January 1916. Having fractured his tibia in 1912 and then again in the same place in 1913, he was unable to do regular marching. A few days later David enlisted again on 13 January in Winnipeg, date of birth given as 29 December 1880, service number 718264. As a Private with the 107th Battalion, he embarked from Halifax aboard the Olympic on 18 September 1916.

Once in England David was transferred to the 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles in early December, arriving at the unit on 22 January 1917. On 7 April he sustained a shrapnel wound to his left hand and was admitted to the No 1 Convalescent Depot in Boulogne on the 10th, transferring to the No 10 Convalescent in Ecault on the 12th and discharged on 19 May. David was struck off strength to the Canadian Labour Pool on 27 July 1918, taken on strength on 4 December and granted a ten day leave. A couple of days after his leave he was admitted to the Holborn Military Hospital Mitcham (London) with scabies, discharged on 30 December 1918. With the end of the war David embarked for Canada aboard the Aquitania on 18 January 1919 and was discharged from service in Halifax, Nova Scotia on 28 February.

David returned to Kenora and his work as a engineer with the Canadian Pacific Railway. On 16 January 1923, in Kenora, he married Marie Anne Roussin. Born on 15 September 1899 in the RM of La Broquerie, Manitoba, Marie was the daughter of Frank Roussin and Rose Falcon. At some point the marriage failed, and David entered a relationship with Ida Moore in Calgary. Ill and in the hospital in Calgary, the couple married on 16 August 1935 in the hospital. According to the marriage record Ida was 29 years old and born in Winnipeg, Manitoba to Robert and Mary Moore. A birth record and any other information about her with those parents was not found. The marriage record indicated that David was known as Murray, unclear as to forename or surname.

Less than a week after the marriage, David died on 22 August 1935. He is interred with a military marker in the Burnsland Cemetery in Calgary.

By Judy Stockham

Grave marker photo: Ron Reine,

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